Ana Heck is Michigan State University’s Apiculture Extension Educator. She began working with honey bees in Nicaragua, and then she worked with the University of Minnesota Bee Squad and Michigan State University’s Department of Entomology before joining Extension. Her role engages beekeepers, growers, pesticide applicators, and home gardeners to improve the health of pollinators. Ana holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and a graduate minor in Entomology from the University of Minnesota.
Charlotte Hubbard, a beekeeper since 2008, manages about a dozen colonies. She and her late husband Marshall routinely ran 30 – 50 with excellent overwintering success. Michigan’s 2018 Beekeeper of the Year, Charlotte is the lead instructor for KVCC’s beekeeping program, a board member for the Kalamazoo Bee Club, and author of numerous articles and books on beekeeping, including a chapter in “Honey Bee Medicine,” a veterinary textbook. All profits from her writing and charity go to feeding the homeless in Southwest Michigan. (Learn more at www.hubbardhive.com.) She is passionate about helping beekeepers enjoy and unravel some of the mysteries of this fascinating, critical insect.
Don Lam has been keeping bees for nearly 35 years. He provides pollination services and produces honey, frequently hosts field trips to his apiaries. Don teaches local, state and regional classes and gives presentations to the community. Learn more at www.donlambees.com.
Jan Lawson started beekeeping in the late 1960s when he was 14 years old. He really didn’t know what he was doing, so learned by trial and error, which was much easier back then. There were very few bee clubs and he didn’t have a mentor, so when he got himself into serious trouble Roger Hoopingarner was just a phone call away. These days Jan is searching for the magic number of bee hives. That number where beekeeping is fun, especially on those hot summer days. Jan can occasionally be found at the Dadant’s Bee Store where he “works” part time. If he’s not there, he’s in the garden or in the bee yard.
Jason Towers is a 7th year beekeeper, past president of the Fremont Area Beekeepers and graduate of the Heroes to Hives program. Jason has gained a reputation for being able to teach beginner beekeepers in a fun and easy-to-understand manner..
Mike Connor is a Certified Arborist, Nursery Grower, and a Beekeeper. He has a wide diversity of experiences in the horticultural world, including managing a beekeeping supply company; operating a wholesale/retail nursery, working as a Commercial Beekeeper, followed by jobs as a Municipal Horticulturist, Park Superintendent, and Municipal Arborist.
His company, Honeytree Arborist Services (bees + trees), is dedicated to tree health care while preserving and promoting pollinators.
Haley Terpstra owns Herbal Meadows Botanicals LLC; a women-owned enterprise registered with the city of Kalamazoo. As an avid gardener, forager, herbalist and beekeeper, she loves sharing her goods with her customers. Her focus is on all natural products infused with wildcrafted and organic herbs. Many of her products include plants that she has harvested right here in West Michigan. She is also a local beekeeper and supporting member of the Kalamazoo Bee Club. Beeswax is the only wax used at Herbal Meadows Botanicals. Sharing the journey of natural care is a passion of Haley’s and she invites you to join in the process. Catch her on social media including Facebook, Instagram & YouTube @HerbalMeadowsBotanicals and on her website at www.HerbalMeadowsBotanicals.
Kimi Baker grew up on her family’s 4th-generation fruit farm in Northern Michigan, where her dad taught her from a young age to love and respect honeybees. When she and her family moved to Lawton from Grand Rapids in 2021, one of their first additions to the property was a small bee yard — followed closely by way more chickens than they planned. Her passion for outreach and youth education led her to get involved with the Kalamazoo Bee Club where she shares her love and knowledge of bees (and other pollinators) with school groups and youth organizations around Southwest Michigan. You can follow along on Kimi’s adventures in the bee yard and beyond on Instagram @livingthatloghomelife.
Andrew Connor grew up as the son of an entomologist. After 36 years and a move to Michigan he was stung by the beekeeping excitement. He has kept between 10-15 hives over the past 12 years. He is an author of “BeeCabulary Essentials” and does not pass up a chance to talk about honey bees, beekeeping or the importance of both of them. Having a 24-year background as a mental health caseworker he knows the importance beekeeping has to ones mental and physical health.
Rich Wieske was a lifelong camera operator and media production company owner. He considered himself a quiet introvert who hated meetings. That all changed when he discovered mead and apis mellifera. Now Rich declares “the bees made me do it!” A self-proclaimed “tree hugger”, he enjoys hunting for mushrooms and has even traveled around the world on a ship. In his spare time, Rich enjoys making candles and chocolate truffles. Rich serves as the current president of the Michigan Beekeepers Association (MBA) , the Educational Director of the Southeastern Michigan Beekeepers Association (SEMBA) and the Vice President of the Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS). He loves going to conferences and talking with beekeepers: “some of the greatest people in the world!” And yes, Rich has visited all 36 bee clubs in the state of Michigan!
Paul Miller is a commercial beekeeper since 2011, selling nucs, vast amounts of comb honey, as well as liquid honey. He owns Pine Creek Honey Farm in northern Indiana.