Master Gardeners Promote Continuing Education

Max Martin will speak about the “Bizziness of Bees – Pollination, Honey, and Wax” to members of the Door County Master Gardeners Association and members of the general public on Tuesday evening, February 9, 2010 at 7 pm at the Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay.

Martin, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy and a Master of Science degree in plant breeding and genetics, is currently the program manager at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Potato Gene Bank in Sturgeon Bay. While his education and work experience provide a solid foundation for this presentation, his love of honey began as a young child growing upon on a small dairy farm in central Wisconsin. His father traded their family’s maple syrup for his cousin’s delightful, sweet honey.

Martin’s intrigue about honey carried over into his work 15 years ago when he partnered up with beekeeper Paul Eggert in an attempt to improve pollination of wild potatoes using honey bees. While the attempt was unsuccessful, Eggert was later asked to remove a nest of bumble bees from a house, and the bees surprised him, finding a new home among the potatoes and successfully engaging in potato pollination.

Eggert’s enthusiasm for beekeeping proved infectious, and soon Martin had his own hives. Although he has been keeping bees for approximately 10 years, Martin continues to learn about bee keeping through his own missteps and from the many stories of fellow beekeepers. Now, Martin shares his insight into the fascinating world of bees with anyone interested in the little creatures.

For more information contact the Bill or Sarah Freyman, members of the Door County Master Gardeners Association Education Committee, at 920.569.6581 or email [email protected].