Northern Natural Beekeeping Conference

october 4-6 2019, benzie county MI

Join the Benzie Bee Guild and Grow Benzie for an exciting weekend of community and learning, with keynote speaker Ross Conrad, author of “Natural Beekeeping” (Yes, that Ross Conrad!) and Dr. Meghan Milbrath.

Choose from over 20 sessions and events!

Four session tracks will be offered in each time slot, with classes and workshops for both beginners and more seasoned beekeepers. Cost includes a Friday evening mead tasting and meet and greet with Ross and Meghan; Saturday breakfast and lunch, and all sessions. Other events available for an additional fee.



Dr. Meghan Milbrath, featured presenter

Dr. Milbrath is a renowned Michigan educator and a passionate and acclaimed expert on honeybees and the science around them. She’s the founder of the Sand Hill Apiary, a small livestock and queen-rearing operation in Munith, Michigan. She also runs the Northern Bee Network, a directory and resource website dedicated to supporting queen producers.

Conference tentative schedule

(Times and sessions subject to change)


  • 3:00 Tour of Sleeping Bear Farms commercial honey production facility (requires free registration)

  • 4:00-9:00 Pre-registration Get your Buzz On social time at St. Ambrose Cellars. (requires free registration)

    • Hosts Kirk and Sharon Jones, owners of St. Ambrose Cellars and Sleeping Bear Farms

    • Optional mead tasting (Just $5 per flight of 4!)

    • Meet featured conference presenter, Dr. Meghan Milbrath

    • Tasty food for purchase from St. Ambrose’ food truck

    • Live music and good times outdoors!


  • 8:00-9:00 Registration/Coffee hour

  • 9:00-10:00 Keynote with Ross Conrad

  • 10:15-11:15 Session One

  • 11:30-12:30 Session Two

  • 12:30-1:30 Lunch

  • 1:45-2:45 Session Three

  • 3:00-4:00 Session Four


  • 7:00-9:00 Bee Inspired Farm-to-table dinner prepared by Chef Loghan Call, featuring dishes prepared with local honey and fresh seasonal foods; Ask the Experts panel with Ross, Meghan, and others - plus fun surprises! (add $30)


Early Bird Registration (by September 9): $60

After September 9: $75

Bee Inspired Dinner: $30

Conference t-shirt: $25

Bundle pricing available through September 9!

Conference, dinner, and a t-shirt $100 (Save $15)

Limited partial scholarships are available. Contact Carol Bontekoe for more information.