Jeff Berta launched Always Summer Herbs in Slippery Rock, PA in 1997 providing high quality, unique and fantastically huge flowers and herbs to commercial garden centers. Jeff expanded the business in 2002 with honey production and onto the web (www.alwayssummerherbs.com) retailing raw honey, herb plants, and teas nationwide. Honey and bee nuclei are the fastest growing segments of our business. Mr. Berta has been awarded US Department of Agriculture Sustainable Agriculture Research Experiment (SARE) grants six out seven years (2011- 2017) for his work in the Queen Bee Improvement in Pennsylvania Project. Jeff and a contingent of bee keepers across the state are breeding survivor stock crossed with VSH genetics using chemical free IPM methods to develop more resilient bee stock. In 2014, he was appointed Chairman of the Pennsylvania queen improvement project by the president of the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Assoc. He has recently joined forces with the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Coop and Dr. Hunt at Purdue University, helping to develop and distribute “Indiana Leg Chewers”, which is a bee that chews the legs off of varroa mites. Jeff now the president t of the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Coop, which covers 6 states. During his work with the USDA field study the group discovered other types of “chewing hygienic behavior” in stocks from commercial or feral sources in the US and in Canada, which are promising. This is now locally known as the ‘Mite Mauler Project’ which is in conjunction with Purdue, the HHBBC, and many outside sources. Jeff regularly lectures at local clubs, societies, Home Shows and at the Phipps Conservatory and loves teaching others about growing herbs, and keeping happy, hardy honeybees
Krispn Given is Apiculture Specialist at Purdue University’s Department of Entomology in West Lafayette Indiana. Mr. Given started breeding bees over 20 years ago. His responsibilities include, maintaining the 120 research colonies, running the Purdue honey bee breeding program, teaching an annual queen rearing short course, managing the honey bee laboratory and extension activities. Krispn also teaches the instrumental insemination class each year at the university, annually gives lectures to beekeeper’s and researchers at national and international conferences and beekeepers meetings. His research is focused on selecting for behavioral resistance to varroa destructor by selecting bees with behavioral traits, grooming, mite-biting. Krispn was instrumental in developing the new “mite-biter” bee strain, where they have demonstrated high-selected bees that chew 50% of the mites that are groomed off their body’s, The primary mechanism of defense is the ability to groom themselves free of varroa mites and bite them (collaboration with Dr. Greg Hunt). Given plans to breed bees that tolerate viruses in the future. Krispn has also been involved in several research projects the last fourteen years at Purdue, he is an author and co-author of numerous publications, including scientific and trade journal articles. Krispn has received numerous honors and awards. He also recently developed innovative instrumental insemination devises and equipment along with his partner Dale McMahan and launched Apis Engineering where breeders can purchase high-end instrumental insemination devices made in America.
Dorothey Morgan, Nancy, Kentucky
President and founder of Kentucky Honey Bee Queen Breeders’ Association,
board member of Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Co-op, Instrumental
Inseminator, assistant to Krispn Given for his insemination programs, and
founding member of Sustainable Genetics Technology Network.
Dorothey has been a resident of Kentucky since 2001. That year she retired
from the Anchorage, Alaska Fire Department. She spent 23 years serving
Anchorage, as Master Firefighter, Swiftwater Tech., Auto Extraction Specialist,
and firehouse cook.
Dorothey began her honey bee passion in 2010, after reading the plight of the honey
bee. She began her journey joining the local Pulaski honey bee club, and took every
bee school she could, averaging 4 schools a year. Her honey bee career took off in
2016 at Purdue University Bee Lab. State Apiarist Dr. Tammy Potter invited her to the
2016 Purdue Bee Fest with is where queens are inseminated and purchased through
Heartland Honey Bee Breeders’ Co-op. She took bee specialist Krispn Given’s
insemination class that year. In 2017 she inseminated over 80 queens with an amazing
survival rate that most professional inseminators would be proud to state. Later that
year Mr. Given asked her and she accepted to be his assistant during classes and
workshops. In March of 2018, she completed the Advanced Insemination Certification in
Huntington WV. That event was sponsored by the West Virginia Queen Producers
2016 Dr. Potter and a room full of honey bee enthusiasts formed Kentucky Queen Bee
Breeders. She was chosen to be president and with a very strong board and the help of
Dr. Potter 2017 proved to be a very successful year. She was elected again for 2018.
Dorothey was elected to Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Co-op board in 2017 and took
on the task of being their treasurer.
Dwight Wells, Jamie Walter and Dorothey formed Sustainable Genetic Technology, a
network designed to bring high quality, mite resistant queens to the Midwest. They had
their first event in Springfield, OH at Hess’s farm. This year Lavender Lane Farm will
host their first event in May. This event will help Kentucky with its bee production by
providing queens when there is a honey bee flow, making queen acceptance easier.
Judge Dan O’hanlon has been keeping bees for almost 40 years and raising queens for almost 25 years. He was chosen as West Virginia Beekeeper of the Year in 2011. He is the Founding President of the West Virginia Queen Producers and the Founding President of the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Cooperative. He has spoken many times at HAS, EAS and to many state bee associations.
Started keeping bees in 1954 at age 14 as a Penn State 4H Project.
President of West Central Ohio Beekeepers Association (WCOBA), Life Member and a Board Director of Ohio State Beekeepers Association (OSBA), a member of The Beekeepers of Indiana and The Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association. A founding member and Director of the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Cooperative (HHBBC). Vice President of the Ohio Queen and Nuc Producers Association. Director of the Sustainable Genetics Technology Network
My passion is promoting Sustainable Beekeeping, which creates low over-wintering losses, mentoring and educating beekeepers. Presently working on several projects, evaluating Purdue Honey bee stock (mite-biter), catching swarms with Swarm Traps and evaluating Feral Colonies for Chewing Behavior. Also involved in Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) projects. In 2018 starting a project to distribute 48 Hour Queen Cells, mature queen cells or unmated queens to beekeepers within the HHBBC region.