SPEAKER REVIEWS

 

Here's what others are saying about Howland's presentations. 

The UCNCBA (Union County North Carolina Beekeepers Association) enjoyed an interesting and very informative presentation by Howland Blackiston at our August, 2021 Club Meeting. The topic was 'Honey I Love You', based on Howland's recent book 'Honey for Dummies'. Our membership was engaged and entertained by Howland's well researched material, which provided multiple perspectives on honey and its uses. The presentation was handled through Zoom, with helpful visuals and a nicely orchestrated narrative from Howland. Even the experienced beekeepers among us learned new facts about honey!  I would recommend this material to other bee clubs and groups interested in bees, pollinators or the value of honey for medicinal, culinary or recreational purposes. -- Sheila Jeffrey, UCNCBA Event Director (2021 - 2022)

Howland's Vanishing Honeybees zoom presentation to the Ridgefield Men's Club was "beeyond" entertaining and informative.  He used humor,  passion and expertise to explain the essential role that bees play in maintaining life on earth. He took us inside the hive to witness the precision of bee society and the division of labor that keeps it all buzzing along. (We'd like to offer a shout out to all those drones who are pretty much good for only one thing...and then they die or get kicked out. Ouch!)  Howland also highlighted several factors contributing to the alarming decline of the bees and what we should and shouldn't do to support the recovery of these pollinating powerhouses. And he introduced us to the  bee keeping and  it's sweet rewards. -- The Ridgefield Men's Club

 

Wow. That's the first word that comes to mind. Your assembly was FANTASTIC!!! To have that many boys dial into an assembly after school hours is truly remarkable -- they were all rapt with attention. We are so tremendously grateful that you took the time out of your day to share your wealth of knowledge with them. I definitely think you inspired a few future beekeepers there! I was astounded by how much I learned, too. It was so informative, so engaging, and so useful for the boys to learn a bit more about the world around them. You brightened many, many boys' days!  -- Kate Philip, The Buckley School, NYC

Howland was FABULOUS! We had such a delightful afternoon listening to him.  Everyone agreed that Howland’s presentation was our best program ever.  He was interesting, informative, easy to understand and enthusiastic. Howland presented the material in a charming and funny way. He’s so knowledgeable about honey bees. We learned so much. –- Karen Marr, PEO Sisterhood

 

Howland Blackiston spoke at our NCL chapter meeting, and many felt he was the best speaker of the year. Everyone was pleasantly surprised at how intriguing, informative, and comical his beekeeping presentation was, evoking many a belly laugh and "aha moments" from the audience. Our membership particularly enjoyed his charming sense of humor and entertaining delivery. Howland went way 'beeyond' our expectations! We highly recommend him. -- Maryalice Gelhaus, VP Patroness, National Charity League - New Canaan, CT Chapter

Our students loved learning with Howland. His interactive program is clear, thorough, and kid-friendly.  He was informative and engaging with our students. He presented wonderful visuals, answered questions and engaged the children through discussion, movement and inquiry.  Students were highly motivated and eager to share what they learned about bees, honey, and beekeeping. The classroom was abuzz! We highly recommend "Mr. Bee".  -- Erin Brown and Kelly Soisson, The Holmes School, Darien, CT

I wanted to thank you so very much for your impressive (as always) talk about honey wine (mead) and facts about honey bees.  I have had so much good feedback about your program.  Everyone had a lovely time and felt that they had learned some very interesting things (that’s always a good thing).  This was a very fun morning. – Karen Giannitti, Program Chair, Weston Garden Club

 

Howland gave an inspiring talk to the Easton Garden Club on The Vanishing Honey Bee.  Howland’s passion for his topic shines through in his presentation as he reveals what goes on inside that hive and how essential the honey bee is to our ecosystem.  From the “waggle dance” to the lazy drones we were educated and enthralled by his description of these fascinating creatures.  Many of the members said it was the best talk this year.  The Easton Garden club is actively involved in the Pollinator Pathway project and found this topic to fit in perfectly with our focus and goals.  Many thanks to Howland for a wonderful presentation. – Susan Slagle, Program Chair, Easton Garden Club

 

Howland’s talk about the vanishing honey bee was a complete hit with our group, The Darien Men’s Association. This was a relatively new subject for many of our members and the audience of about 130 listened with rapt attention to Howland as he unraveled the mysteries of the honey bee. He is a natural public speaker with a presentation style that is simply superb: not only is the content interesting and informative, it is delivered with an easy style, illustrated with excellent slides and laced with an ample dollop of humor. That the audience was very engaged was evident from the lively Q and A that followed. Thank you Howland for an outstanding presentation much appreciated by our group.  --  Sunil Saksena, Program Chair, Darien Men’s Association.

Howland is a lively and engaging speaker with deep knowledge of his subject.  Our garden club really enjoyed his presentation. We highly recommend him! – Sonya Terjanian, Program Chair, Dobbs Ferry Garden Club

 

Our club really enjoyed Howland's presentation on the Vanishing Honey Bee.  His speaking style and the content are thoroughly entertaining, engaging and very informative!  Many of our members felt Howland was the best speaker we ever had present to our club.   -- Laurie Columbia, Program Chair, Cherry Brook Garden Club 

 

A thousand thank you’s for your beekeeping presentation.  It was so informative, very amusing, and had just the right amount of concern and thought about how the honey bees are in trouble without going off the deep end.  It was very refreshing.  We all loved  it.  – Karin Giannitti, Weston Garden Club, CT

 

You were a big hit!  All of the feedback from our members has been very positive.  You delivered captivating information about honey bees, with great humor and authority.   - Barbara Defino, Program Director, Garden Club of Irvington, NY

 

The Long Island Bee Club members had a bee blast playing Jeaporbee with Howland Blackiston.   We cheered on our club members who were representing our 2 contestants.  They answered  the questions and we all learned many new facts about the bees we love.  Howland was a hit and I strongly recommend him for your monthly club meeting or beekeeper event. 

 - Moira Alexander, Program Director, Long Island Beekeepers Club

Jeoparbee presented to 200+ individuals attending the 2017 EAS conference at University of Delaware was outstanding. The categories and questions were very timely and educational. The presentation was first-rate - it moved along at a good pace and Howland was entertaining in introduction of the questions and very gracious with audience and participants. The technology worked perfectly with sound effects and registering of the ring-ins by the two participants. Audience buy-in with give-aways, including Howland's text Beekeeping for Dummies, helped insure greater audience participation and to hold their attention. It was a most pleasant and enlightening evening entertainment. Thanks Howland for your proving the Jeoparbee program.  -  Dewey M. Caron EAS Program chairman

 

You were fantastic! I’ve never heard our group laugh, chuckle, ah-ha, and ask so many questions. In fact, one member said that you were the best speaker we have ever had. I can’t agree more!  -  Lea Cornell, Program Chair, Millbrook Garden Club.

 

You certainly kicked off the Rye Garden Club speaker series with a buzz! (Sorry, can’t help the bee puns.)  Your presentation was terrific.  You are an animated and personable speaker who not only had so much interesting information to share, but also had the flare to keep captivated even our most seasoned club members.  I received many thank-you emails and comments after our meeting.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge (and fun) with the RGC!  I will be posting a review of your fabulous presentation on the GCA website to encourage other clubs to have you present to them as well.  – Lori Kost, Program Chair, Rye Garden Club

 

When Howland Blackiston spoke at our Greenwich Garden Club business meeting everyone wanted their husbands to hear him! That prompted the GGC conservation committee to create a "Pollinator Potluck" as an evening event to enable people to come from work, have dinner and hear an inspirational speaker. Howland did not disappoint and had over eighty guests riveted as he spoke about the allure of bees and the harm that neonicitinoids cause them. Since our gathering, conservationists are celebrating the partial ban of this harmful chemical in consumer pesticides, thanks to Howland and all of the naturalists that work so hard to communicate these important messages. Howland has made another difference in our community in that many of our friends that evening now have backyard bee hives! The money raised from that evening went towards the purchase of bees on the Garden Education Center of Greenwich property since the GEC lost its last colony. We highly recommend Howland for your next event! Howland is a hit!    ---   Kim Gregory, GGC conservation chair

 

Howland spoke to the Connecticut Valley Garden Club and gave us a wonderful talk on the life of bees. His talk was very engaging and everyone loved it.  He is a very animated speaker with great stories. I think he inspired a number of members to become beekeepers, and those who were already beekeepers learned even more about their hobby. We highly recommend Howland!  You will enjoy every minute of his talk.  -- Barbara Anthony, Program Chair CVGC

 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen our members enjoy a speaker as much as they did Howland’s entertaining talk about bees and beekeeping.  His charming wit and engaging manner had everyone in the audience captivated.  And we’ve never had a speaker that has generated so much dialogue following a presentation.  Our members are still talking about the presentation.  Howland is now our benchmark for what a truly terrific speaker should be!  -- Andrea Swanson, Program Chair, Lakewood Nature Center

 

I cannot thank Howland enough for coming down to share his love of honey bees with our first graders. I have heard rave reviews from the teachers and students. And the children came home with such excitement, the parents were calling me to ask “who was this guy?”  Howland was so wonderful with the children and explained everything at their level.  He had them (and me!) rapt with attention.  The teachers have already asked to have him back next year.  --  Jeanne Peloso, Program Chair, East Elementary School, New Canaan, CT

 

We loved having Howland speak to our garden club’s membership.  He was entertaining and knowledgeable, and we thoroughly enjoyed his presentation on the Vanishing Honey Bee.  His passion for his subject was contagious and we came away convinced that we must do our part to help these remarkable bees, as they provide so many benefits to us all.  We would highly recommend him for your next meeting! -- Libby King, Greenwich Garden Club, Greenwich, CT

Howland's presentation "Introduction to Beekeeping" at the Scranton Memorial Library proved to be an informative and entertaining event.  He covered the historical background of bees, their anatomy, uses for their products, and basics of beekeeping.  Numerous patrons expressed to me their thanks for hosting such an erudite, humorous, receptive and knowledgeable speaker.  Many also sought him out, holding their beloved personal copies of his book, and he was even asked to pose for a photo with a fan.  I highly recommend booking Howland for a speaking engagement; novices will catch his enthusiasm, and those who already keep bees will appreciate his contribution to the field, and his vast expertise.    --  Tom Piezzo, E.C. Scranton Memorial Library, Madison, CT

Howland spoke at our monthly garden club membership meeting and kept us riveted with his entertaining and extremely informative lecture.  His passion for bees is evident as well as infectious and we now all want to try our hand at bee keeping.  Our club has had a lot of very impressive speakers over the years and we all agreed that he was one of the best and most memorable.    --  Adrienne Westerfield, Hortulus, Greenwich, CT

Howland came to Roanoke College as part of our Biology Department Seminar series. Student audiences generally are around 50 people, but Howland drew 200 audience members because of this fascinating topic.  His delivery of content and enthusiasm for the subject had the students raving that this was the best lecture they had ever attended.     --  Dr. Dorothybelle Poli, Associate Professor, Roanoke College

Lifetime Learners Institute at Norwalk Community College has guest speaker presenters almost every week on a variety of programs to our over 800 members. Without doubt, Howland Blackiston's professionalism and good humor makes him one of the most impressive, informative and enjoyable presenters we have had in recent years.    --  Andre Guilbert, LLI Special Events and Publicity Chairman

Howland has an incredible ease, passion and expertise with his subject which comes through effortlessly when addressing an audience. Mixing humor with insight, he takes us on a delightful and educational ride.    --  Pamela Street, Martha's Vineyard Garden Club

Howland knows so much about bees and loves them so much that he ignites a firestorm of enthusiasm and fun in the classroom. He had our students totally engaged as busy bees acting out all of the activities in the hive. Much laughing, jumping and learning all the while.   --  Vonnie Neufeld, Ellsworth Avenue School, Danbury CT

Howland was the speaker at our Author Luncheon series. He was so engaging he kept my guests asking questions until well after dessert was served! He has inspired me to become a beekeeper myself; they are such incredible creatures.  Howland brought them to life for us! People are still talking about it! We look forward to having him back in the spring.    --  Sarah Bouissou, Bernard's Restaurant, Ridgefield, CT

After your presentation on "Building Beehives for Dummies" I was eager to pick up a hammer and saw and create my very first homemade beehive. I'm sure others in our club were inspired to do the same. ​You're a born story-teller full of wit and humor. You sure can paint a colorful story with a lesson learned at the end. You're remarkable!    --  Ruth Harrigan, New York City Beekeepers Association

Howland was FABULOUS!  We learned so much during his interactive JEAPORBEE game. It was so entertaining -- lots of fun and laughter!   --  Alisa Shorey, Washington State Beekeepers Association

 

Buzz is the appropriate sound for this interesting, educational, and fun presentation called JEAPORBEE. Watching Howland and his passion for life, and bees helps everyone gain a better knowledge about just how amazing these little creatures are. This is a wonderful presentation for all ages and experience levels. Trivia is such fun, and our audience is still buzzing about it.    --  Dean & Jodi Turner, Monadnock Beekeepers Association

 

Children and adults alike enjoyed an interactive presentation on honey bees from bee expert Howland Blackiston. The room was buzzing with information and excitement!  The hands on materials Howland piqued the children's interest and made our job distributing fiction & non-fiction books after the presentation a snap.  After his presentation, Howland made us want to say, "Horray for Beekeeping"!    --Suzanne Lancaster, Avon Public Library, CT

 

Howland kept my group's rapt attention with his description of the honey bee and its critical role in agriculture -- doing it with clear, vivid slides but even more important with humor, charisma and great communication skills.    --  Alfred C Knight, Greenwich Connecticut Retired Men's Association

 

As gardeners, we were fascinated by the incredible benefits of bees in the garden. We were intrigued by the history of bees and Howland’s humor-filled tales of activities in and around the hive. It was obvious that Howland loves his bees. He has a wealth of knowledge to present, and an engaging humor with which to present it. Howland’s presentation was the best program we have had in a long time!   --  Jane Vouros, Program Chair, Town & Country Garden Club, Newtown, CT

 

Our members really enjoyed your talk on honey bees. You are completely correct, the honey bee is fascinating. You delivered a wonderful presentation and have a very entertaining approach to the subject. I might even become a beekeeper too!   --  Debbie Murray, Program Chair, Garden Club of Darien