Ross Conrad of Middlebury learned his craft from the late Charles Mraz and his son Bill. Conrad is a former president of the Vermont Beekeeper's Association, a regular contributor to Bee Culture Magazine, and author of Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches To Modern Apiculture published by Chelsea Green. He has given bee related presentations and led organic beekeeping workshops and classes throughout North America for many years. His human-scale beekeeping business, Dancing Bee Gardens, supplies friends and neighbors with honey and other bee related products, 5-frame nucleus bee colonies in the spring, and rental hives for local pollination.
Bill Mares has been a backyard beekeeper for over 45 years. Raised in Texas, educated at Harvard, Mares is a former journalist, state representative and high school teacher. Mares has authored or co-authored 17 books on a range of topics, including "Bees Besieged." He been president of the Vermont Beekeepers Association and the Eastern Apicultural Association. He received the Devillbiss Award for from EAS in 2012 and was named Vermont Beekeeper of the Year in 2013. He lives in Burlington, Vermont, with his wife of 48 years, Chris Hadsel.