2014-15 Speakers

Club meetings are on the first Thursday of each month at 7:30pm.  Meetings are held at the Legion Log Cabin in San  Anselmo, CA (20 Veterans Place)

The line-up for the next beekeeping club season is as follows:

September 4, 2014: Michael Burgett, Professor, Extension Beekeeping, Department of Entomology, Oregon State University.

October 2, 2014: Jennifer A. Berry, is the Research Coordinator and Lab Manager for the University of Georgia Honey Bee Program, where she also manages the lab. Her investigations have centered on bee health, particularly the sub-lethal effects of pesticides and PM management techniques. Her multiple-season study on the effect of small cell foundation on mite reproduction caused a stir: she found that it did not provide benefit. Among the many other subjects she has delved into are: top versus bottom supering, comb age, mite controls such as powdered sugar. She has assayed the genetics of feral bees. She is a columnist for Bee Culture and writes for Bee World as well as other European publications. She has a queen and nuc business, Honey Pond Farm, where she does her own selection for longevity, pest resistance and honey production.

November 6, 2014: Marin County Beekeeper: Gadgets and Gizmos (back by popular demand! Email Bonnie: bonnie@bonniebmorse10@gmail.com if you have something to share).

December 4, 2014: Robbin Thorpe, Professor Emeritus of Entomology, Harry H Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, University of California, Davis.

January 8, 2015: Tom Seeley, Professor and Chairman in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. In this talk, we will explore how a colony of honey bees operates as an factory that produces honey efficiently despite tremendous day-to-day swings in the supply of nectar, the raw material for making honey.  An important feature of the organization of the honey production process is a division of labor between the nectar foragers, elderly workers who toil outside the hive collecting the nectar, and the nectar receivers, middle-age workers who toil inside the hive converting the nectar into honey.   We will see how the bees can boost their colony’s rate of nectar collecting during a honey flow, using the waggle dance and the shaking signal.  And we will see how the bees can also boost their colony’s rate of nectar processing—to keep the rates of nectar collecting and nectar processing in balance—by means of the tremble dance and stop signal.   For this talk, I will draw heavily on material reported in my book The Wisdom of the Hive, and I will show videos of bees producing all the signals mentioned above:  waggle dance, shaking signal, tremble dance, and stop signal. Meeting Video

February 5, 2015: Jay Evans, researcher at the USDA lab in Beltsville, Maryland. Honey bees: Up with the Good! Most of the dialogue and research related to honey bee health has focused on the bad actors: pathogens, parasites, and chemicals. While these factors do hurt colonies, there is also a strong undercurrent of research focused on ways bees and beekeepers resist, tolerate, and ignore the insults sent their way.  I will cover recent work on improving honey bee nutrition, identifying disease resistance traits, and managing bees to be stronger in the face of disease and other threats. I will also discuss recent work on the microbes residing in the honey bee digestive tract, and the beneficial roles these microbes play in bee health. Meeting Video

March 5, 2015: Christina Grozinger, Professor of Entomology and Director, Center for Pollinator Research Penn State University. Her areas of expertise are: pollinators, genomics, immunity, behavior and physiology. She will present “Bee health: from genes to landscapes.” Populations of honey bees and other pollinators are in decline globally due to the effects of multiple biotic and abiotic stressors.We have examined the impacts of several of these stressors (pathogens, parasites, and pesticides) on honey bee workers at the genomic level to determine if they perturb common or distinct pathways, and if these pathways are related to particular physiological functions or social behaviors. Parasitization with Nosema and chronic sublethal pesticide exposure both modulate expression of metabolic and nutrition-related pathways, suggesting that nutritional parameters can mitigate the impact of these stressors. Additional testing demonstrated that diet can significantly influence individual bees’ sensitivity to pesticides. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that the nutritional quality of floral resources is influenced by environmental conditions, and, in turn, influences foraging preferences of bees.Overall, our results demonstrate that the nutritional quality of floral resources is modulated by multiple factors, bees use nutritional cues while foraging, and high quality nutrition improves bees’ resistance to stressors.

April 2, 2015: Elina Nino, Extension Apiculturist, University of California, Davis. Marin Beekeepers will host honey bee scientist Elina Lastro Niño, PhD, the new Extension Apiarist at UC Davis who replaced Eric Mussen, now emeritus. Her expertise in queen biology, chemical ecology, and genomics was honed at the Grozinger Lab at Pennsylvania State University on a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship funded by the USDA_NIFA. At Davis, she will conduct problem-solving research as well as be a conduit for scientific information to beekeepers throughout the state. Mussen said, “Elina is a very accomplished scientist.” In her research, she has demonstrated how different components of the mating process drive different post-mating changes in honey bee queens — including differences in behavioral interactions with workers. She has been honored by The Entomological Society of America, The Eastern Apiculture Society, The International Congress on Insect Neurochemistry and Neurophysiology, Pennsylvania State University, The Center for Pollinator Research among others.

May 7, 2015: Dr. Marla Spivak, Marla Spivak is the Distinguished McKnight Professor of Entomology, University of Minnesota and the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” fellowship. Her lab is focused on how bees can stay “on their own six feet”. Among her many projects, she has demonstrated hygienic genetic traits by developing a line of bees and shown the antibiotic use of propolis in the hive. Meeting Video

June 4, 2015: Mark Winston, Academic Director and Fellow of the Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC. There are powerful lessons to be learned from bees about how we humans can better understand our place in nature, engage the people and events surrounding us with greater focus and clarity, interact more effectively in our relationships and communities, and open ourselves to a deeper understanding of who we are as individuals, communities and a species. Winson will talk about his experiences over 30 years of walking into apiaries, and the lessons learned from a life spent among the bees.

His book, The Biology of the Honey Bee published by Harvard University Press, remains the standard reference book. His new book, Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, will be made available for purchase and signing at the meeting by Whyte’s Booksmith. Professor Winston currently directs SFU’s Centre for Dialogue, where he hones communication skills, promotes strategic planning and inspired positive change through interdisciplinary actions in the community — particularly the communication of science to public audiences.

July: No meeting (Marin County Fair)