Welcome New Wisconsin State Apiarist

Pictured: DATCP Apiary Coordinator Brooke Nikkila-Sommerfeldt

Brooke Nikkila-Sommerfeldt began working as the new state Apiary Coordinator and Wisconsin State Apiarist on June 3. In her role, she will coordinate the apiary program and cover inspections across her territory in northern Wisconsin.

Brooke’s prior experience includes working as the Program Manager and Mentoring Apiary Manager for the University of Minnesota Bee Squad as well as previously serving as their Outreach Coordinator, Research Technician, and Pollinator Ambassadors Program Coordinator. In these roles, she has performed a variety of apiary tasks, including conducting apiary inspections, collecting bee and virus samples, and giving presentations to beekeepers and the public.

Additionally, she co-instructed a beekeeping short course for 60 beginning beekeepers; helped develop the Beekeeping in Northern Climates system; led 43 youth through the Pollinator Ambassadors training program, who later interacted with over 3,000 Minnesotans; and tracked colony management of 60 apiary locations with over 200 colonies.

Brooke earned a BS in Applied Science with a concentration in Biotechnology and a minor in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Her beekeeping education included participating in a Nicaraguan Beekeeping Exchange, where she learned about Africanized honey bees; and a queen-rearing course with the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. She assisted the Bee Informed Partnership Tech Transfer Teams with commercial sentinel apiary sampling and data collection, is a member of the IPM4Bees Working Group for the Midwest region, and currently serves as the Secretary for the Minnesota Honey Producers Association.

Brooke will be joining the joint meeting of the Wisconsin and Minnesota Honey Producers Association meeting coming up in St. Paul, Minnesota July 11-13. Meet her at the DATCP exhibit or during a field inspection this summer.