- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The daylong symposium, themed “Keeping Bees Healthy,” will begin at 8 a.m. in the UC Davis Conference Center. Open to the public, it is sponsored by the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science and the Department of Entomology and Nematology.
Le Conte, known throughout Europe for his varroa mite research and the effects on honey bees, will speak on “Honey Bees That Survive Varroa Mite in the World: What We Can Learn from the French Bees.”
In addition to his groundbreaking work in Europe, Le Conte collaborated with bee scientist 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 is a member of the advisory board of the Bee Informed Partnership, which strives to help beekeepers keep healthy and stronger colonies.
VanEnglesdorp focuses his research on pollinator health and honey bee health. He describes his approach to understanding and improving honey bee health as “epidemiological and multi-faceted.” He studies individual bee diseases and engages in large scale monitoring of colony health.
VanEnglesdorp was one of several founders of the Bee Informed Partnership. “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,” he said. “Along with a group of our country's most influential apiculturists, the Bee Informed Partnership took hold.”
Other speakers include assistant professors Rachel Vannette and Brian Johnson, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology; assistant professor Quinn McFrederick, Department of Entomology, UC Riverside; and professor Claire Kremen, UC Berkeley and MacArthur Foundation Fellow.
For the Lightning Round talks, six-minute presentations are planned. Among those speaking will be Extension apiculturist Elina L. Niño.
“This is going to be a very exciting symposium,” said organizer Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute. “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 the UC Riverside and Rachel Vannette and Brian Johnson from the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.”
In describing last year's inaugural Bee Health Symposium as “an overwhelming success,” Clare Hasler-Lewis, executive director of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, said: “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!”
The day-long symposium will conclude with a reception in the Robert Mondavi Institute's Good Life Garden where appetizers, mead, cyser (mead made with apples), local honey beers and assorted other beverages will be served.
Other Program Highlights
Graduate Student Research Poster Competition: Graduate student entomologists from UC Davis and UC Berkeley will present their research during the lunchtime poster session.
Lightning Round: This year's lightning round will include information from California Extension apiculturist Elina Niño, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, on her development of California's first Master Beekeeping Certification Program. Five other researchers and beekeepers are scheduled to provide five-minute presentations.
Vendors and Educational Exhibits: Vendors and educational exhibits will line the corridors of the Conference Center with beekeeping equipment, honey tastings, bee T-shirts and other items. The UC Bookstore will offer bee and honey-related books.
UC Davis, recently ranked No. 1 nationally for its Department of Entomology and Nematology, continues to lead the way in agricultural innovation and sustainability, in part through its pollinator-related research and conferences, including the Bee Symposium. The symposium is made possible through a generous gift from the Springcreek Foundation.
Tickets are $80, which includes breakfast, lunch and the reception. Student tickets are $20 (with valid identification). To register for this event, access http://honey.ucdavis.edu/events/2016-bee-symposium. For more information, contact Amina Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 754-9301. Prospective vendors should contact Liz Luu at Luu@caes.ucdavis.edu.
The UC Davis Conference Center is located on Alumni Lane, across from the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts.