Fall Conference

{Updated 10/25  10:42 pm} items are posted once confirmed

2023 OSBA Fall Conference, October 27 & 28 at the Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center (OARDC) Center, Wooster, Ohio ~ Registration Goes Live ~ September 1st, 2023 at 5:00pm EST

The Fall Conference will be held at Fisher Auditorium and Shisler Conference Center on the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) campus, located at 1680 Madison Ave. (at State Route 302 east and State Route 83) just south of Wooster.

Friday, October 27th at 5:00 pm ~ right before the OSBA Fall Conference, take a tour of the bee museum at the OSU Wooster Campus, Campus Drive. Enjoy some history for those who want to learn more about this great hobby. Please come early to attend.



Friday, October 27th, 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm ~

Key Note Speaker ~ Stephen Scheel of Steve’s Bees 

   Steve’s Bees was founded in 2004 by the entrepreneur, Stephen Scheel. Stephen has been happily married for 22 years and is a proud father of three wonderful kids. The idea for the company arose after the birth of his middle son, Isaac, who suffered from severe allergies and asthma at a young age. As concerned parents, Steve and his wife Fran conducted extensive research and discovered the remarkable effectiveness of honey in managing Isaac’s health issues.

Throughout the journey, Steve’s fascination with bees grew, leading him to establish his own beehives and start a small honey business catering to his friends and families in the Norwalk Ohio community. What began with just 15 hives rapidly expanded to 50, 100, and now over 750 hives.

In 2017, Steve ventured into local pollination on a small scale, which opened up new opportunities. The turning point came in 2018 when a broker from California expressed interest in using his bees for almond pollination. It was then that Steve decided to take a leap of faith and go “All In” on beekeeping. In that transformative year, he worked tirelessly, managing over 450 local pollination hives, extracting honey, and even balancing a demanding full-time regular job.

On January 31, 2019, a significant day that marked his daughter’s 21st birthday, Steve made a life-altering decision. He bid farewell to his secure and reliable construction job and embraced the uncertain but exhilarating world of beekeeping full-time.

Since then, Steve’s Bees has continued to flourish. The company now boasts an impressive portfolio of over 1600 contracts for local pollination services and 3 semi-truck loads of bees for almond pollination in California every fall. Additionally, Steve has expanded the business by selling packaged bees and nucleus colonies in the spring.

Steve’s unwavering commitment to his passion aligns with his company’s ultimate goal: to improve the health of both our planet and its people. Through sustainable beekeeping practices and the production of natural honey, Steve’s Bees strives to make a positive impact on the environment and the well-being of individuals far and wide. With an ever-growing vision and a deep-rooted love for bees, Steve’s Bees is on track to continue expanding and fulfilling its noble mission.

Social Hour ~

Following the Friday evening speaker, Steve Scheel, commercial beekeeper, a social gathering offering homemade baked goods and refreshing drinks will be offered. Stay and visit with beekeeping friends and vendors- catch up on summer adventures.
Coffee, tea, and water will be served along with a wide variety of bakery and snacks.

Saturday, October 28th, 8:00 am – 6:00 pm ~

Three Tracks of Education(You’re welcome to start or end on any track, these are just groupings “tracks”)

5 years and under…

How to do a Full Hive Inspection ~ Ron Zickefoose

In 1995, Ron Zickefoose of Creston officially embarked on an apiary career. His interest in bees first manifested itself during a grade-school field trip to an Ohio historical village where there was a demonstration of beekeeping and wax candle making. Ron earned a master’s degree in 2009 and in addition to operating a real estate business now operates Grandpa’s Farm with numerous hives in both Medina and Creston. Along with marketing his Ohio-made honey, he raises queens and nucs for sale.


How to Manage Pests in Your Apiary ~ Barbara Bloetscher

Barb Bloetscher has kept bees for over 35 years and recently retired as the State Apiarist from the Ohio Dept of Agriculture.  Barb will talk about how to manage bees to keep them strong so that pest levels stay low.  Using available educational resources, how to enjoy beekeeping while still staying ahead of the pests.


How to get ready for Winter ~ Jeff Gabric

Jeff Gabric is the President of the Knox County Beekeepers Association.  His interest in beekeeping started at a young age as his father had kept bees since the 1930’s.  Jeff obtained his Degree in Agricultural Economics from Ohio State University, where he was lucky enough to take the last class taught by Dr. Rothenbuhler. Presently Jeff is in his sixth season running My Bee Supply in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and is preparing 50 colonies for winter.  All equipment needed for beekeeping, including bees, is available through My Bee Supply.  One of his favorite pieces of equipment is a quilt box he designed for year-round use but mainly for winter insulation and ventilation.


How do I do this…

Overwintering Nucs ~ Dwight Wilson

Dwight Wilson is the President of the Northwest Ohio Beekeeper Association. He has years over 10 years of experience starting overwintering nucs with some educational difficulty, there is always a learning curve. I’ve worked out an easy system that works and would be glad to share it with you. Like anything in the bee world, it takes a little planning, equipment, and timely comment. See you in Wooster!


Pollen – How to collect, store, and its uses? ~ Dave Noble

Dave Noble began breeding and keeping honey bees quite by accident just over 25 years ago when he was trying to get some extra credit for a college course while majoring in Plant Pathology at OSU. He ended up working at the University’s Honey Bee Research Lab for almost a decade. There he discovered a true passion for honey bees as well as developed a joy for teaching others how to care for and appreciate these magnificent little beasts. He is the owner, and operator of Red Beard Bees, a business dedicated to breeding better bees and training better beekeepers.


Wax – where does it come from, how to clean it, and its uses ~ Joe Kovaleski

Joe has been keeping bees for 30 years. Currently managing around 90 colonies as the owner of Buena Vista Honey Farms in Steubenville, Ohio. This all started out as a Boy Scout Beekeeping Merit Badge project with his younger son and two hives and has advanced into honey production, beeswax crafting, and queen breeding using instrumental insemination techniques. He does presentations for schools, garden clubs, and other beekeeping organizations.
Joe is an EAS Master Beekeeper, West Virginia Master Beekeeper, Ohio Master Beekeeper, Current HAS, and previous EAS director for Ohio, and was awarded Ohio State 2008 Beekeeper of the Year.
Joe, along with his wife Suzan, produces beeswax candles and honey for sale at many fairs and festivals and has won many bests of show and blue ribbons in honey and molded wax contests, recently including the 2022 West Virginia State Beekeepers Best of Show Award for Comb Honey. Also, the 2018 Ohio State Beekeepers Best of Show Award for Extracted Honey and First Place for Comb Honey and Beeswax.
Joe is currently the Sec/Treas of the Buckeye Queen Producers Cooperative, a founding member of the Heartland Honeybee Bee Breeders Cooperative, a member of the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association – assisting in their queen-rearing initiative, and also a member of the West Virginia Queen Producers Assoc., raising queens in the northern panhandle


Research & Beyond…

Queen Vaccine, Availability of Queens to Beekeepers, & How it Will Affect Beekeepers ~ Dr. Tracy Farone

Now My Bees Need a Doctor?! Proper Antibiotic Use in Honey Bees ~ Dr. Tracy Farone

Dr. Tracy Farone, DVM is a Professor of Biology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. She has worked in various areas of private practice, academia, and/or research for over 23 years.
Since late 2016, Dr. Farone has been researching beekeeping and bee medicine. She was granted a sabbatical to allow additional time to pursue apicultural studies and develop a teaching and research apiary at her college. In 2019, Dr. Farone worked in the field with dozens of backyard, sideline, commercial beekeepers, and bee researchers, both in the US and abroad.
Dr. Farone gives bee lectures for universities, veterinary associations, and various bee clubs around the country. She has published several articles on bee medicine, including a monthly “Bee Vet” series for Bee Culture Magazine, written biosecurity industry guidelines for veterinarians entering bee yards in the US, and developed an educational website, https://www.gccbeeproject.com/  Dr. Farone’s work has also been featured in the JAVMA and Veterinary Clinics. She is consulting nationally and internationally with industry stakeholders and manages two honey bee yards and a PSU pollinator-friendly garden with the help of her research students

Listening for bees: Using sound to know when bees are foraging in soybeans ~ Dr. Reed Johnson

Dr. Reed Johnson ~ Associate Professor and Entomology Graduate Studies Chair at Ohio State University. My program focuses on understanding the relationship between pollinators and their environment, with an emphasis on the effects of pesticides and understanding the physiological basis of pesticide toxicity. Insect pollinators are vital for the production of many fruits, nuts, and vegetables, including apples, blueberries, almonds, tomatoes, and pumpkins. These crops are also vulnerable to pests and diseases, which are often controlled through the use of pesticides. However, pesticides may be toxic to insect pollinators, setting up a conflict between the need for pollination and the need for pest and disease control. In our lab, we are seeking to understand how to protect pollinators from the pesticides and other toxins they encounter. The managed European honey bee, Apis mellifera, serves as a model pollinator for toxicological testing. While the honey bee is the most economically important pollinator in the U.S. and serves as an excellent model species, we are also interested in understanding pesticide toxicity in other pollinating insects as well.

Presentations by the OSU Students

Title: Spray adjuvants in pesticide tank mixes. ~ Brandon Shannon, Ph.D. Student, Environmental Sciences Graduate Program, The Ohio State University


Title: Toxicity of pesticide combinations applied to pumpkins. ~ Adam Foster, Ph.D. Student, Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University


Title: Can mustard cover crops provide both food and medicine for bees? ~ Luke Hearon, M.S.  Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University

Confirmed Vendors ~ Registration deadline September 30, 2023

American Crop Insurance Beelitewax BEEpothecary
Bee Culture Magazine Betterbee Blue Sky Bee Supply
Mann Lake Motherlode My Bee Supply
Reid’s Apiary & ‘Bee-tique’ Simpson Bee Supply Superior Bee
Queen Right Colonies Wicwas Press ~ Quality Bee Books WiFi Hive Scale (O’Keefe Electronics)


OSBA Membership ~ 2024 Season

Is your OSBA membership paid up? 2023 paid memberships receive $10.00 off of their registration fees to the Fall Conference, compared to a Non-Member. Visit https://ohiostatebeekeepers.org/join-us/ to become a new 2024 member or renew your 2024 membership. Year memberships run from January 1st to December 31st. If you are tired of trying to remember if you paid last year or this year, just become a Life Member and receive peace of mind.

Registrations ~ will begin September 1st, 2023 

Soft Close – Friday, October 20, 2023 / Hard Deadline – Tuesday, October 24, 2023

OSBA Member – $55.00 (Paid 2023 Members, Seniors, or Life Members)

Non-Member – $65.00

Student – $30.00

MealsFree $17.00 value (included in the cost of registration)

Registration Options ~ electronic & mail-in 

Emails will be sent to all paid 2023 OSBA Members with active links for Eventbrite and attached fillable/printable .pdf to send in. All clubs and associations will also be informed to share with their membership. Look for social media posts with links on Facebook too. Any questions, please email Jamie Walters ~

For those who would like to do online registration, REGISTER NOW. Eventbrite.com uses a credit card payment with a completed/printable receipt.

For those who want to download and complete a fillable/printable PDF Registration Form Send the completed form, along with your payment to: Jamie Walters, 730 Deerwood Drive, Defiance, OH 43512  Postmark Deadline: Friday, October 20, 2023

Wooster Area Hotels ~

Best Western 243 East Liberty Street 330-264-7750 800-528-1234 Best Western Hotels & Resorts Wooster
Comfort Suites 965 Dover Road Wooster 330-439-0190 Comfort Suites Wooster
Days Inn 789 East Milltown Road (ST RT 3) 330-345-1500 800-434-5800 Days Inn Wooster
Econo Lodge 2137 Lincoln Way East 330-264-8883 800-248-8341 Econo Lodge Wooster
Hampton Inn 4253 Burbank Road (ST RT 83) 330-345-4424 800-Hampton Hampton Inn Wooster
Hilton Garden Inn 959 Dover Road 330-202-7701 877-782-9444 Hampton Garden Inn Wooster
Rodeway Inn 2055 Lincoln Way East 330-262-5008 800-434-5800 Rodeway Inn Wooster
St. Paul’s Hotel 203 South Market Street 330-601-1900 St. Paul’s Hotel Wooster
Super 8 Motel 969 Timken Road (off US 30) 330-264-6211 800-800-8000 Super 8 Motel Wooster

2024 OSBA Board Member Nominations 

OSBA President

Nominee ~ Jamie Walters (completed nomination form)

OSBA Secretary

Nominee ~ Kelly Morse (completed nomination form)

OSBA Director of Buckeye Hills

Nominee ~ Patrick McGuigan (completed nominating form)

OSBA Director of Crossroads

Nominee ~ Kohlton Channell (completed nomination form)

OSBA Director of Western Reserve

Nominee ~ Dale Olson (completed nomination form)


Conference Information ~

Honey Judging Contest ~ OSBA members are welcome to participate in the Honey Judging Contest. Don’t forget to check the box on the “OSBA Fall Conference Registration” for participating in the honey judging contest. The rules, all classes, and prizes can be found on the honey judging form. Any questions, email