CATCH THE BUZZ – Honey Bee Health and Management to Be Featured at UC Davis Symposium

Honey Bee Health and Management to Be Featured at UC Davis Symposium - BUZZ

Yves Le Conte, Director of the French National Bee Lab and Dennis vanEnglesdorp, professor of Entomology at the University of Maryland, will be speaking at the University of California, Davis, on Saturday, May 7, 2016 during the 2nd Annual Bee Symposium: Keeping Bees Healthy. The Symposium, held in the University Conference Center, is presented by the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute and the Department of Entomology and Nematology.

Le Conte, known throughout Europe for his work researching varroa mites and their effects on honey bees, will address “Honey Bees that Survive Varroa Mite in the World: What we can Learn from the French Bees.” In addition to groundbreaking work on the continent, Le Conte collaborated with Gene Robinson at the University of Illinois to isolate the pheromone that helps regulate labor in the honey bee colony. Le Conte has also worked with Mark Winston, Marion Ellis and many others throughout the country. He now sits on the Advisory Board of the Bee Informed Partnership, a ground breaking organization that helps beekeepers keep healthy and stronger colonies. A Le Conte interview, by MEA Mcneil was featured in the April issue of Bee Culture magazine if you would like additional information on his program.

Research in Dennis vanEnglesdorp’s lab is focused on pollinator health and honey bee health. He uses an epidemiological approach to understanding and (importantly) improving honey bee health. This approach is multi-faceted, requiring understanding individual bee diseases and the large scale monitoring of colony health. vanEnglesdorp was one of several founders of the Bee Informed Partnership, an idea that many beekeepers had. “As I traveled across the country sampling bees to try to find out what was killing them, beekeepers everywhere said that what they needed was a way to find out what other beekeepers did and which of those things worked“ says vanEnglesdorp. “Along with a group of our country’s most influential apiculturists, the Bee Informed Partnership took hold.”

“This is going to be a very exciting Symposium,” says Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the UC Davis Robert Mondavi Institute and organizer of the symposium. “Not only are we bringing together two leading researchers for our keynote sessions, we will have presentations from several other ground breaking entomologists in the state: Claire Kremen, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow from UC Berkeley, Quinn McFrederick from UC Riverside and Rachel Vannette and Brian Johnson from the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.”

“Last year’s inaugural Bee Health Symposium was an overwhelming success” said Clare Hasler-Lewis, Executive Director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science. “With a focus on exploring best management practices that help sustain the bee population for the future, we believe the 2016 Symposium will have even greater impact!”

Other Program Highlights

Graduate Student Research Poster Competition: Learn from the top graduate student entomologists from UC Davis and UC Berkeley when they present their research during the lunchtime poster session.

This year’s lightning round includes information from Elina Niño, California Extension Apiculturist, about the development of California’s first Master Beekeeping Certification Program. Five other researchers and beekeepers will also give five-minute presentations during this lightning session.

Vendors and educational exhibits will line the corridors of the Conference Center with beekeeping equipment, honey tastings, cool T-shirts and bee clubs. The UC Bookstore will be on site selling bee and honey-related books.

The day-long symposium will conclude with a reception in the Robert Mondavi Institute’s Good Life Garden featuring appetizers, mead, cyser, local honey beers and an assortment of other beverages.

UC Davis was recently ranked No. 1 nationally for its Department of Entomology and Nematology, and continues to lead the way in agricultural innovation and sustainability, in part through fostering pollinator-related research and conferences, like the Bee Symposium. The symposium is made possible through a generous gift from the Springcreek Foundation and sponsor Natural American Foods.

Tickets are $80, which includes breakfast, lunch and the reception. Student tickets are $20 (with valid ID). To register for this event: For more information, contact Amina Harris: For vendor opportunities, contact Liz Luu: