Northern Natural Beekeeping Conference

october 4-5 2019, benzie county, MICHIGAN

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”, featuring Dr. Meghan Milbrath and beekeeping experts from around the country.

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 social hour and meet and greet with Ross and Meghan; Saturday continental breakfast and lunch, and all sessions. Other events available with advanced registration or 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 SOLD OUT 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)

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

    • Enjoy tasty food for purchase from St. Ambrose’ food truck

    • 4 pm: Optional mead tasting (just $5 per flight of 4) and social hour

    • 5 pm: Hear from conference presenters including Dr. Meghan Milbrath

    • 6-9 pm: 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

  • 1:30-2:30 Session Three

  • 2:45-3:45 Session Four

    Sessions are located in Benzie Central Schools, 9300 Homestead Rd., Benzonia, Michigan


  • 6:30-9:00 Honey and Harvest 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)

    Dinner held at Grow Benzie, 5885 Frankfort Highway, Benzonia, Michigan


Early Bird Registration (by September 9): $60

After September 9: $75

Bee Inspired Dinner: $30

Conference t-shirt: $25

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

Lodging Options




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