UC Davis Experts to Speak at 'Basics of Beekeeping' Conference

Feb 1, 2016

Want to learn the basics of beekeeping from a team of experts, including scientists from the University of California, Davis, at a two-day conference set Feb. 27-28 in Cherry Valley, Riverside County? 

Registration is now underway for the “Beekeeping Basics Workshop,” sponsored by the Highland Springs Resort and  SuperOrganism, a non-profit, San Anselmo-based organization that books speakers and does bee projects.

The event, limited to 25 registrants, takes place from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Feb. 27 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 28 at the Highland Springs Resort.

Conference speakers will include Extension apiculturist Elina Niño and Bernardo Niño of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology. 

Elina Niño discuss how bees communicate and beekeeping basics and offer hands-on instruction. Bernardo Niño will cover beekeeping basics—from how to examine a colony to how to split a hive.

Other speakers include

  • Megan Mahoney of the national Bee Informed Partnership Tech Transfer Team, who will discuss top bar beekeeping and what forage to plant.
  • Mark Brandenburg, an agronomist whose topic is soil development for forage grasses.
  • Jerry Draper of SuperOrganism and a 30-year beekeeper who will share his experiences on “what an inexpensive electronic hive can reveal.”
  • M.E.A. McNeil of SuperOrganism and a master beekeeper and journalist writing for The American Bee Journal and Bee Culture who will provide insight into what's happening for bees nationally--on both a grassroots and national level.
  • Ricardo Placienta, Highland Springs Resort beekeeper who will discuss his philosophy of beekeeping and provide a hands-on look at the bees.
  • Tina Kummerle, beekeeper and manager of the Highland Springs Resort who will introduce the attendees to the history of the resort, its plantings and information on the bees

 The Highland Springs Resort, located just west of Palm Springs, is an historic site that once served as a stage coach stop. Its 2400 organically maintained acres include hiking trails and large lavender beds that provide an ideal home for bees.

"I think this is a rare opportunity for people to have face time with these expert beekeepers, the Niño and Megan Mahoney," said McNeil, who as the co-founder of SuperOrganism, lined up the speakers.

Of the venue, she said: "It's a beautiful place with enormous organic acreage, hoping to promote beekeeping."

For more information, access the beekeeping conference on the Highland Springs Resort website.  It includes information on conference fees, accommodations and meals.  The conference fees will go toward travel expenses of the speakers.