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Land of Milk and Honey book cover

Contact Bill Mares, or click here to find an independent Vermont bookseller near you. Also available at Abe Books and other national online bookstores.

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At the summer meeting of the Vermont Beekeepers Association I got two shocks: I was named the first Vermont Beekeeper of the Year,  and  someone suggested  that it was high time for someone to write a history of Vermont beekeeping! While all the non-writers in the room cheered, the two writers in attendance looked at each other quizzically.

Ross Conrad of Middlebury had been a beekeeper for over 20 years. He learned his craft from the late Charles Mraz and his son Bill.  Like me, he had been president of the Vermont Beekeepers Association.  He was  a regular contributor to Bee Culture magazine and his book Natural Beekeeping  had become a best-seller among bee books.

The year before, the Vermont Beekeepers Association had hosted the annual Eastern Apicultural Society conference at the University of Vermont.  As the Vermont representative on the board, I was the President of EAS that year and with the sterling help of 70 volunteers we had over 750 attendees  at the conference.    


After a few discussions,  Ross and I agreed that yes, such a book should be written.  In fact, it could be the first real state history of beekeeping in the land. We recruited four other beekeepers from around the state to help us with some of the research. In another clever move, we  invited 20 beekeepers from around the state to write short essays about their own beekeeping.  In four years, we were done.  

Bill Mares and Ross Conrad
Ross Conrad & Bill Mares
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