Meet the Technology Adaptation Team “TAT

Meet the Technology Adaptation Team - "TAT"

Hannah Neil - Team Lead

Hannah Neil is the team lead for our Technology Adaptation Team (TAT) and has been working for the SBDC since early 2016. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Geography from the University of Guelph in 2013, but her motivations for attending that particular school were not entirely academic… an article in Canadian Geographic she read in high school detailing the work on honey bees & pollinators done at Guelph spoke to her long-held interest and curiosity in bees and inspired her to apply. There, she was the co-president of the Apiculture Club for 4 years, bottling honey and preparing beeswax products to sell in support of the research conducted at the Honey Bee Research Centre. This experience was what inspired her to try beekeeping for real, and so in 2013 she applied for every beekeeping job from coast-to-coast she could find that would train on the job.

Luckily for her, she was hired by Howland’s Honey in Yorkton, SK. Instantly she was hooked, and spent three seasons there, doing everything from pulling honey, to rearing queens, to attending farmers markets and learning everything she could about the art and science of beekeeping. She then spent one winter in southern New Zealand working for a large commercial operator helping them run 3200 colonies in the hills of the South Island for 8 months. Continuing to work seasonally after she graduated university was presenting challenges, so when the opportunity to work for the SBDC TAT came about, she jumped at it. Despite the learning curve and challenges of the job, she has settled into a happy relationship working for the beekeepers of the province and doing what she can to support the industry in this position.

The main focus of her research with the TAT is on alternative treatments for Nosema, but she is also passionate about outreach and education both with beekeepers and the general public. Participating in education events for elementary school programs with Agriculture in the Classroom SK, she reaches around 2500 students per year teaching them about honey bees and their importance. The TAT also help run annual Beginner Beekeeping & other courses for newcomers and experienced beekeepers alike. Hannah feels strongly about representing the needs and desires of Saskatchewan beekeepers in her research and activities, and is available for questions and comments by email: hannah.mae.neil91@gmail.com

Monica Winkle

Monica is a recent graduate of the University Guelph with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. Throughout both her university career and personal interests, Monica gained an appreciation and passion for honeybees. First taking an interest in bees as an onlooker watching her family keep a couple hobby hives, Monica rediscovered her intrigue of bees in an introductory apiculture and honeybee biology class in her undergrad and pursued her interest further in a pollinator conservation class. Looking to put her theoretical knowledge to the test and gain hands-on experience in the honeybee world, Monica joined the SBDC TATeam as a honeybee research assistant to help provide Saskatchewan beekeepers with practical research to further beekeeping in the province alongside team lead Hannah Neil.