Chris Hiatt - Bowman, ND
Chris was born into a beekeeping family in Ephrata, Washington in 1975. He and his five brothers grew up spending springs managing apple pollination in central Washington and summers pulling and extracting honey in North Dakota. Together they now own Hiatt Honey Co., started by their father 50 years ago. Chris splits his work year between Madera, California and Bowman, North Dakota running 20,000 hives. He also manages the business’s almond orchard in Madera.
Mr. Hiatt graduated from Brigham Young University in 1999 with a BA in Horticulture, minor in Business Management. Having served a two-year mission to Chile for the LDS church as a young adult, his fluency in Spanish has proved helpful in his business relations. When he is not in the bee yard, Chris likes to ride his dirt bike, hike, and also go birding. He has seen close to 600 species of birds within the US and 1,000 in the world. Chris has also served as a leader within his local church and Boy Scouts. Chris and his wife, Heather, have four children: Holly (22), Kadee Jane (20), Ella (16) and Weston (13)
Steven Coy - Wiggins, MS
Steven Coy is a second-generation commercial beekeeper where he learned how to manage bees in the soybean and cotton fields of Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. In 2007 he moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to help his family manage a 12,000 hives multi-state honey production operation. In 2014 he started Coy Bee Company, LLC so that he could focus on producing Russian queens and nucs.
He is a member of the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association and has been breeding Russian bees since 2001.
He currently serves as the Vice-President of the American Honey Producers Association and has served on the Executive Board since 2010.
He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Plant Science and a Master’s Degree in Biology from Arkansas State University. In addition to his work as a beekeeper, he worked as a Research Assistant at Arkansas State University then as a Research Technician at the USDA Biological Control Research Unit in Stoneville, MS.
Cassie Cox - Mendon, UT
Cassie has lived n Utah most of her life, and lived in Kenya, Africa for two years. She was employed by Sprint, and managed a coffee roasting company for many years. Cassie also worked for a commercial fossil dealership and spent some time digging up fossils and dinosaur bones in Utah and Wyoming.
She has dual American and British citizenship.
Cassie has an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Art and Media Design, as well as twenty-eight years office management experience, and twenty-two years bee industry experience.
She has two children: a son, Randy (37) and a daughter, Jaime (31).
TREASURER & EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Doug Hauke - Marshfield, WI
Doug Hauke manages the Hauke Honey Corporation, a 3,000 colony operation which produces and packages honey at its FDA/USDA inspected facility in Marshfield, WI and he also produces nucs and queens in East Texas.
Doug serves on the board of at Project Apis m. and had the opportunity to work several seasons at the Madison Bee Lab under Dr. Eric Erickson and E.R. Harp. Doug earned degrees in bacteriology and virology from the University of Wisconsin.
Kelvin Adee - Bruce, SD
Growing up in a commercial beekeeping family Kelvin developed his interest beekeeping at a young age, learning the business and the science from his father. As a third generation beekeeper, he also gathered beekeeping knowledge from his grandfather, uncles and
cousins who have been involved in beekeeping operations. He attended college in Bartlesville, OK and earned a BA degree in Business and Accounting. Upon graduation he returned to the beekeeping business and has been actively involved in growing the business into an 80,000 colony farm operating in multiple states. Kelvin lives in Brookings and works out of the home office in Bruce, SD. He oversees the queen rearing/nuc operation in Mississippi and Texas along with company-wide honey production.
In addition to beekeeping, Kelvin has served on boards in various positions for the state beekeeping association and the national association. He is active in his community and his church and has served numerous years on the school board.
Kelvin married his high-school sweetheart Darla and recently celebrated 37 years of marriage. They have four grown sons and five grandchildren. Three of Kelvin’s sons have joined him working full time in the beekeeping business, and the fourth son works in crop production ag. He also enjoys working in the business with his father, Richard, brother, Bret and his sister Marla.
Joe Sanroma - Bunkie, LA
Joe Sanroma has been in commercial beekeeping since the age of 14 formerly with the Cards who own Merrimack Valley Apiaries/Evergreen Honey Company which operates out of Louisiana, Massachusetts, and New York. Merrimack Valley Apiaries/Evergreen Honey Company ran 26,000 colonies for honey production and pollination along the East Coast and California. Joe grew up in Massachusetts and started working at Merrimack Valley Apiaries as a young child. In 1997, Joe moved to Louisiana to manage the newly formed Evergreen Honey Company which produces honey and pollinates in California. After working for MVA/EHC for 31 years, Joe started his own honey bee farm Sunshine Honey Bees. Operating at 5000 colonies, they raise queens, produce honey and pollinate in California.
In addition to being on the Executive Board for AHPA, Joe has served as president of the Louisiana Beekeepers Association and is currently on the board. On the AHPA executive board Joe is the USDA/ARS Research Lab committee chair. Joe has been instrumental in the collaboration with USDA labs on various area wide research projects.
matt Halbgewachs - Driftwood, TX
Matt currently owns and operates Sweet River Honey, a multi-state pollination and honey production company. While beekeeping in Matt’s family is traced back to the mid 1400’s, most recently, Matt’s grandfather and dad were beekeepers until the 1990’s. Prior to Sweet River Honey, Matt was an engineer and consultant in the information and data security industry. Since 2001, Matt has worked in or consulted with nearly 20% of the Fortune 500 companies defining data security and market growth strategies.
Matt currently lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and four children whom all enjoy traveling, boating, hiking, and other outdoor recreational opportunities. Matt serves his local church on the deacons board and enjoys advising and working with various other companies and charitable organizations.
Since purchasing Sweet River Honey in 2015, many in the industry have been kind enough to help, mentor, advise, and teach. With this help and mentorship, Sweet River Honey has doubled in size over the last five years and Matt looks forward to the opportunity to serve AHPA as the honeybee industry continues to grow.
Scott Hamilton - Nampa, ID
Scott Hamilton grew up in a commercial beekeeping family. As a 3rd generation beekeeper, he gathered a lot of his knowledge from his father Tom Hamilton. Scott has 40 years of beekeeping experience.
He owns Hamilton Honey Bees, LLC along with his brother Eric and his son Kory. They run colonies in the state of Idaho and Montana for honey production and pollination. They also run bees into California for almond pollination.
In addition to being on the executive board for AHPA, Scott has served on various positions with the Idaho Honey Industry.
Scott currently lives in Idaho with his wife Wendy. He has three children, 2 sons Kory and Jake and a daughter Caitlyn.
JB Meyer - Madison, SD
JB owns AH Meyer and Sons, along with his brother Ken and sister Melissa. He is a 4th generation beekeeper. He has enjoyed running bees for honey in the Dakotas and raising queens in Louisiana. JB learned beekeeping from his father, Jack Meyer, who continues to be a mentor.
JB currently oversees the supercritical extraction, honey packing, and beeswax refinement parts of the business.
JB graduated from Brigham Young University in 2005 with a BS in mechanical engineering. He enjoys serving in his church, CrossFit, being active, and spending time with family. JB and his wife, Kirsti, have six children: Addy, Henry, Oliver, Charles, Holbrook, and Penelope.
Ryan Lamb - Edina, MN
Ryan started off in the family beekeeping business with his father Gary, then worked on his own for 10 years, and now works with his brother Mike. Lamb’s Honey Farm produces honey in North Dakota, sends bees for almond pollination in California, and raises queens and queen cells in East Texas.
Ryan serves on the NDBA Honey Promotion Research committee and is involved with queen breeding research. Ryan graduated from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls where he earned degrees in Business and Economics.
Mark Jensen - Power, MT
Mark Jensen is part-owner and vice-president of Smoot Honey Company, a family owned business, in Power, MT. Smoot Honey runs 5,600 colonies for honey production just east of the Rocky Mountain Front in Central Montana. They have been a package operation since 1964 producing around 650,000 pounds of quality Montana honey each season.
Mark has served on the AHPA Executive Committee as both president and co-chair of the legislative committee. He is also the editor of AHPA’s Honey Producer Magazine. He has served as the Montana State Beekeeper’s Association president, sits on the National Honey Board and holds degrees in Environmental Biology and Psychology from the University of Montana, Missoula. Mark and his wife, Carrie, past AHPA treasurer, have two children, Andrew and Maggie.
Darren Cox - Mendon, UT
Darren Cox is president of Cox Honey of Utah, LLC. A fourth generation beekeeper, Cox’s family started keeping bees in St. George, Utah in the late 1800’s. In 1929 Cox Honey was incorporated as a family business. Darren bought and took over operation of Cox Honey from his father, Duane Cox, in 2002. He manages 6,000 hives of honeybees.
Darren was nominated to the EPA Farm, Ranch, and Rural Committees Advisory Committee in 2007; appointed as chairman for the American Honey Producers Association Ag Advisory Board in 2008; appointed as Chairman for the National Honey Bee Advisory Board in 2009-2010; board member of National Pollinator Defense Fund; Past president of the AHPA 2015-2017.
Jerry Hayes - Mansfield, OH
Jerry is currently Editor of Bee Culture Magazine in Ohio. He wrote the column “The Classroom: Beekeeping Questions and Answers” for the American Bee Journal for many years. He is a national speaker on honey bees and the health problems being encountered by them.
He is a founding member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition , Colony Collapse Working Group, and Bee Informed Partnership.
Jerry was previously the Honey Bee Health Lead for Monsanto, working with a technology that uses a normal natural process called RNAi to see if it can be adapted to control honey bee parasites and pathogens. He has also worked at the USDA/ARS Bee Breeding and Stock Lab, at Dadant, a leading national beekeeping supply company and publisher of The American Bee Journal. He has also authored multiple research papers on understanding and preserving honey bee health. From 2004 until 2012 he was Chief of the Apiary Inspection Section of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, responsible for the regulatory health of 350,000 colonies.
dr. Jeff Pettis - Pettis & assoc. LLC
As former research leader of the USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, MD and now an independent consultant, Dr. Pettis has focused on improving colony health by limiting the impact of pests, diseases and pesticides on honey bees. His research areas include; IPM techniques to reduce the impacts of parasitic mites and disease, effects of pesticides and pathogens on queen health and longevity, host-parasite relationships and bee behavior.
Dr. Pettis serves on several international committees including the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and is the current President of Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations. With more than 35 years of research experience conducted in more than 15 countries; he is frequently interviewed by the media for his opinions on worldwide pollinator declines and honey bee health. Dr. Pettis received undergraduate and MS degrees from the University of Georgia and his doctoral degree in Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1992.
Dr. Christina M. Grozinger
PENN STATE UNIVERSTY - DEPARTMENT OF ENTOMOLOGY
Christina Grozinger is a Distinguished Professor of Entomology and the Director for the Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State. She is a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America and the American Association for the
Advancement of Science. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology at McGill University, and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University. Grozinger uses an integrative approach – from genomics to ecology – to study health and social behavior in bees. Together with other members of the Center for Pollinator Research, Grozinger is developing comprehensive approaches to improve the health of wild and managed pollinators, and coordinates networks of researchers, stakeholders, educators and policymakers to address these issues. The Center is the largest group of pollinator researchers and educators in the world, with more than 30 faculty and their associated students and staff engaging in efforts to conserve and support pollinators.