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Position Details

250 Apiculture Specialist

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Status

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.

Comments

56 Comments

1
I believe the postion of Apirulture Specialist is indispensable, not only for beekeepers, but for agriculture in general. I have bsen involved in honey bee pollinstion of California crops for over 40 years. Eric Mussen has done a superlative job in his postion, When Dr. Mussen retires in 2014, it is hoped thst the position can be filled with someone of similar caliber.

Dr. Mussen's work has contribute greatly to increasing CA farmers/growers appreciation of the role of honey bees in crop prodction. Without the voice of an apiculture specialst such as Dr. Mussen, many growers would be unaware of the role played by honey bees in crop production and the problems that beekeepers encounter in supplying honey bee colonies for crop pollination.
Posted May 26, 2012 10:23 AM by Joe Traynor
2
Dr. Mussen's work with beekeepers of every level, from small scale, hobbist, and commercial has been monumental. His work with the general public in education about the honeybee and the value of honeybees both to agriculture and the environment have no equal. His position cannot be eliminated without untold damage to apiculture.
Posted May 26, 2012 10:53 AM by BillCervenka
3
The position of Cooperative Extension Apiculturist needs to be placed at the top of the list of programs to be saved. Dr. Mussen has been superlative in his work with beekeepers, agriculture, and in education of the general public. I know of no person in beekeeping who is more highly thought of than Dr. Eric Mussen.
Posted May 26, 2012 10:58 AM by BillCervenka
4
The value of an apicultural expert of Dr Eric Mussen's caliber is beyond measure. Without food the world starves. Without bees, the food supply is limited. Without University Extension support, Beekeepers CANNOT survive the maladies and afflictions that kill bees rampantly today.

I have subscribed to Dr Mussen's newsletter since its inception over 30 yrs ago, when it was hand typed and mailed. Countless times I have used the information he has provided, in newsletters, in trade journals, as a speaker, and reference pages on the web, to resolve issues directly affecting the success of my business and health of my bees. Most recently, his information has allowed me to completely control the loss of colonies due to mites and pathogens. (some refer to this as CCD)

The current challenges facing the industry will destroy it without the continued support of a UC Extension Apiarist. Dr Mussen has earned his retirement in full, but his support will be sorely missed. It will be devastating if the University does not continue this program. Particularly so, considering the many deadly problems affecting the very survival of honeybees today.
Posted May 26, 2012 11:50 AM by Terry Holcomb, T-H Apiaries
5
The value of an apicultural expert of Dr Eric Mussen's caliber is beyond measure. Without food the world starves. Without bees, the food supply is limited. Without University Extension support, Beekeepers CANNOT survive the maladies and afflictions that kill bees rampantly today.

I have subscribed to Dr Mussen's newsletter since its inception over 30 yrs ago, when it was hand typed and mailed. Countless times I have used the information he has provided, in newsletters, in trade journals, as a speaker, and reference pages on the web, to resolve issues directly affecting the success of my business and health of my bees. Most recently, his information has allowed me to completely control the loss of colonies due to mites and pathogens. (some refer to this as CCD)

The current challenges facing the industry will destroy it without the continued support of a UC Extension Apiarist. Dr Mussen has earned his retirement in full, but his support will be sorely missed. It will be devastating if the University does not continue this program. Particularly so, considering the many deadly problems affecting the very survival of honeybees today.
Posted May 26, 2012 7:17 PM by Terry Holcomb, T-H Apiaries
6
Dr. Mussen's dedication to promoting a healthy bee industry is undeniable and has been very helpful to me as well as many others. I started beekeeping without having any experience about 10 years ago, and Dr. Mussen's informative and poignant newsletter has always been a foundational source of knowlege for me. Now I own a commercial beekeeping business and work on bees full time. I continue to eagerly await Dr. Mussen's newsletter and have on occasion spoken to him personally to discuss various technical issues regarding honey bees.

I will say from personal, every-day experience that honey bees are not healthy today. It is very important to have a knowledgeable Extension Apiarist who will continue to disseminate good information and offer much needed advice for the industry.
Posted May 27, 2012 9:54 AM by Jeremy Rose
7
I started out as a hobbyist beekeeper for my own personal pollination. I joined associations attended lectures, took beekeeping classes along with other agriculture events and there was Eric. WOW how does he find the time? What an individual of such knowledge and his willingness to share. Eric inspired me to want to do the same. I began volunteering at the Harry H. Laidlaw Honey Bee Research Facility with Sue Cobey and Eric Mussen. In the 3 months of spring for 3 years that I volunteered, my knowledge of honey bee biology, challenges the bees face, and solution’s for the maladies to assist me in raising health bees was outstanding. Eric’s knowledge and his broad area of participation has lead me to now to having approximately 100 healthy hives, the knowledge to share with others, teach beekeeping classes and to participate in many organized events. Eric’s willingness to share his knowledge with all ages and a diversity of beekeepers is the inspiration that has taught me more than I ever expected.
Brian Fishback
BD Ranch, Wilton CA.
Posted May 28, 2012 12:51 PM by Brian Fishback BD Ranch & Apiary
8
Four years ago, my company, Heidrun Meadery, began a small-scale commercial beekeeping operation in Northern California. With limited resources, we have and continue to rely on the UC Apicultural Specialist to provide us with timely and pertinent guidance in our beekeeping operation. Quite simply, this resource is making value-added agricultural commerce possible.
Posted May 29, 2012 9:25 AM by Gordon Hull
9
Eric Mussen has been a great asset for the beekeeping industry. His overall knowledge of our entire industry has made him a wonderful liaison to the Almond growers and chemical companies. He has always brought our beekeeping issues and concerns to the forefront. His near perfect attendance at the State and local level bee meetings has provided beekeepers with up to date INTEL concerning our industry. UC Davis is fortunate to have a State of the Art bee research facility and farm acreage to go along with and support it. You cannot just replace this setting on another campus like you could any Liberal Arts College. The agriculture influence on the UC Davis campus is undeniable. They thought so much of agriculture, that they chose their mascot an AGGIE. It would be a shame to understaff and decrease through attrition the Ag department by not replacing the UC Extension Apiculturist position. People do like to eat, and we should not loose our focus in these trendy times.
Posted May 29, 2012 12:19 PM by Kamron Koehnen
10
I cannot overstate the positive impact Dr. Mussen has had in making a difference for the health of our honey bees and the vital pollination services they provide for California agriculture. As a teacher, hobbyist beekeeper and founder of Partners for Sustainable Pollination, dedicated to the health of honey bees and native pollinators, I can attest to the essential role that Eric has played as extension apicultural specialist.

That’s so much more than a title. He has made time to be a resource at our annual honey bee forum in Santa Rosa and for meetings with CA NRCS and CDFA where he provided the science and legitimacy in making the case for access to safe forage at the larger scale needed by honey bees and their beekeepers. He is the go to person for all matters of bee policy and health. He is a vital voice for bees and the beekeeping industry in all matters of wide ranging issues. He helps bridges differences and helps find solutions to conflicts that arise such as pesticide use and bee health.

We are indeed fortunate that Eric will be helping us through the middle of 2014. It is absolutely critical that the position continue to be funded without interruption so that a worthy successor can be recruited to build on Dr. Mussen’s outstanding work. This position can play a major role in shaping a positive future for beekeepers, their honey bees and California agriculture. This position needs to be continued to help ensure the future well being of our honey bees and reliable ag pollination services.
Posted May 29, 2012 9:11 PM by Kathy Kellison
11
The problems facing the beekeeping industry and by extension, the agriculture that depends on bees for pollination are of global importance. The research needs are large and diverse. The nut industry has shown a willingness to support research. We really need two positions.
Posted May 30, 2012 11:42 AM by Maxwell Norton
12
Dr. Mussen has served as the UCCE liaison (non-voting advisory position) on the CA Farm Bureau Federation’s (CFBF) statewide Bee Advisory Committee for more than 25 consecutive years. CFBF is CA’s largest non-profit agricultural trade association, a type of rural chamber of commerce for farmers and ranchers. The UC and its Cooperative Extension prompted the founding of the Farm Bureau movement in CA. As such CFBF places a high priority on supporting agricultural research and the extension of those results to the private production sector; no one fills that role for CA beekeepers and their allied industries as ably and tirelessly as Dr. Mussen—and not just because he is literally the only statewide UCCE apiculture specialist in the number one agricultural state.

Dr. Mussen is an indispensable source of readily accessible knowledge that is factually sound and without bias. Our Communications/News Division, as just one example, taps Dr. Mussen often throughout the year as a reliable subject matter expert to inform news coverage of managed bees and other pollinators; farmers, public policy makers, and the general public are beneficiaries of that information. On our advisory committee (whose yearly meeting we schedule around his availability), Dr. Mussen recommends topics for discussion and action, provides scientific analysis of complex issues (e.g., colony collapse disorder, pesticide effects on castes of bees and their developmental stages, pest and disease risks), offers professional opinion, and facilitates the committee’s development of science-based policies at the state and national level for organizational review, adoption, and implementation. Those policies once adopted guide our actions year-round in response to state and federal legislation (including the farm bill) as well as regulations, including those proposed within the Federal Register.

We urge retaining the UCCE intellectual resource that Dr. Mussen’s long tenure has come to define. Educated as a scientist myself (not in entomology), I would be noticeably handicapped in my position representing CA agriculture were it not for the advice I receive from the statewide apiculture specialist.
Posted Jun 15, 2012 4:59 PM by Ria de Grassi, MS, Director, Federal Policy
13
Dr. Mussen has been an invaluable asset for the honeybee industry. In his position as the UC Extension Apiculturist he is able to keep us informed of the latest research and he does this without any bias. His newsletter is read by many in agriculture. His service to the California State Beekeepers Association is unparalleled. When we beekeepers have a bee related question, you ask Dr. Mussen.

I have questions and theories as to what can make my bees healthier, and when I have those questions who do I ask? I call Dr. Mussen. I know I can trust his answer to be factual and without an agenda. Just the facts. And this is what I want my Extension Specialist to give me. Just the facts. Without an Extension Specialist to bounce ideas and theories off of, who do I call? The researcher who is focused on his project? The product manufacture who is claiming his product will cure all ills? No, what I need is the person who is on top of all research and is only interested in the facts. This is what Dr. Mussen has brought to the industry and what should be continued after his retirement.

At this time I serve as the CSBA President. I'm attempting to put together a program for our Annual Meeting to be held November 13-15, 2012, which you are all invited to attend, Dr Mussen is the person I call when crafting the agenda of speakers. His wealth of information helps us focus on the most current research. Dr. Mussen will also be a speaker at our meeting and his talk will be one of the most attended. When the UC Davis Extension Specialist talks, people listen.

I urge you as a 5th generation commercial beekeeper and as the President of CSBA, that we continue to support the position of Apiculturist Extension Specialist. In a time of ever increasing health pressure being placed on honeybees, we California beekeepers need what this position brings to the industry.
Posted Jun 18, 2012 8:49 AM by Bryan Ashurst, Ashurst Bee Company
14
Dr. Mussen has been an invaluable asset for the honeybee industry. In his position as the UC Extension Apiculturist he is able to keep us informed of the latest research and he does this without any bias. His newsletter is read by many in agriculture. His service to the California State Beekeepers Association is unparalleled. When we beekeepers have a bee related question, you ask Dr. Mussen.

I have questions and theories as to what can make my bees healthier, and when I have those questions who do I ask? I call Dr. Mussen. I know I can trust his answer to be factual and without an agenda. Just the facts. And this is what I want my Extension Specialist to give me. Just the facts. Without an Extension Specialist to bounce ideas and theories off of, who do I call? The researcher who is focused on his project? The product manufacture who is claiming his product will cure all ills? No, what I need is the person who is on top of all research and is only interested in the facts. This is what Dr. Mussen has brought to the industry and what should be continued after his retirement.

At this time I serve as the CSBA President. I'm attempting to put together a program for our Annual Meeting to be held November 13-15, 2012, which you are all invited to attend, Dr Mussen is the person I call when crafting the agenda of speakers. His wealth of information helps us focus on the most current research. Dr. Mussen will also be a speaker at our meeting and his talk will be one of the most attended. When the UC Davis Extension Specialist talks, people listen.

I urge you as a 5th generation commercial beekeeper and as the President of CSBA, that we continue to support the position of Apiculturist Extension Specialist. In a time of ever increasing health pressure being placed on honeybees, we California beekeepers need what this position brings to the industry.
Posted Jun 18, 2012 6:13 PM by Bryan Ashurst, Ashurst Bee Company
15
Dr. Mussen' position is the go between, beekeepers and researchers.He has been invaluable as the pipe line of information, both to the reaschers and from them to the beekeepers. The position has to be maintained so we the beekeepers can be heard and the information from the reaserchers can be understood by the beekeepers. The ability to keep bees alive is worse now than ever, we need the position of Apriculturist Extension Specialist to help the beekeepers stay on top of the informatin to keep the bees alive.
Posted Jun 27, 2012 9:39 PM by Shannon Wooten, Wooten's Golden Queens Inc.
16
I am a small business owner and beekeeping instructor in San Diego and I have had the pleasure of picking Dr. Mussen's brain on several occasions. He never failed to return a phone call or email and he never gave me bad advice. It's important to understand that his position impacts every eater in California and every American that buys California almonds, fruits or vegetables (and I just had the pleasure of eating fresh guacamole in Maine. Thank you Fallbrook beekeepers! ). Beyond pollination, bees have become an index species, "as the bees go so will we". Pesticides that used to be thought of as safe are now getting a second look. The Apicultural Extension Specialist is the our man (or woman) in the middle of it all. He's on top of the research and we beekeepers count of him to get it to us in a useable form. Conversely, researchers have a pipeline to the beeks in the field through him. This position is too useful, too important to leave vacant. Never has so much information that is so critical to our food supply been released on a work force that is so occupied with just keeping their stock alive. We really need this position!
Posted Jul 2, 2012 2:08 PM by Lori Dekker, owner California BeeWorks.net
17
Eric Mussen, in his position at UC Davis, has been of immense value to the beekeeping industry and to me personally. He is extremely knowledgeable, and uses that knowledge to assist beekeepers individually and through the state beekeepers association.
Being part of a beekeeping family for over 60 years, we have seen the demands on beekeepers change through those years. Eric is on top of these changes, especially when it comes to the health of honey bees. We have personally called on Eric with questions and he was helpful with timely, scientific guidance.
The position Eric Mussen holds is an important one. It will become even more important in the days and years to follow as beekeepers deal with issues faced in beekeeping.
Posted Jul 2, 2012 9:42 PM by Mark Hohmann
18
Dr. Mussen's accessibility and experience have been of inestimable value to my local beekeeping association. There have been countless meetings where one of Dr. Mussen's publications or a phone call have been recounted to our membership at large detailing things as basic as what ratio to use when mixing sugar water to feed bees at various times of year, or how to keep robbing bees out of a hive while letting colony members come and go at will. These very basic, elementary skills, when explained with the deep understanding of an apiculture specialist (the "why" portion of an explanation) helps our largely-hobbyist membership be better beekeepers. The success of our local hobbyists is particularly important in regions where the Africanized influence is making the presence of ANY bees harder and harder to get municipalities to support.
Posted Jul 11, 2012 2:51 PM by Stacy McKenna, Secretary, Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association
19
Dr. Mussen and his role UC Extension Apiculturist has not only a resource to commerical beekeepers but backyard beekeepers like myself. He has provided helpful support, useful references, and encourgement. Given the importance of bees for the state and the role that USD plays in both research and academics, I would trust that this position would be recongized for its outstanding value to industry and society as a whole.
Posted Jul 11, 2012 3:14 PM by Chris Tankersley
20
Beekeepers and the Ag community are truly IN NEED of a voice with brains and that was always given freely and willingly by Eric Mussen. He helped solve issues, give advice and counsel, inform us in areas that needed that additional voice through journals, phone calls and his tireless participation and genuine interest. Beekeepers are IN NEED of recognition - not only as participants in the life of the planet but as educators to those who do not know - do not connect the dots between pollination and foods. It is through research, study and sharing of information that we all benefit as there is always something to be learned. Eric Mussen's role has been invaluable and he will be a hard one to replace, both for his knowledge and in his offering of this knowledge, and his excitement as a participating guardian of planet earth. Hard shoes to fill but ones that MUST BE. Dr. Mussen will be sorely missed for sure. This position is of great value to the industry and must be continued, nurtured and expanded as it is a win win situation for all.
Posted Jul 11, 2012 4:33 PM by erika decker / klaus koepfli - klausesbees.com
21
The necessity of having (and replacing) the position of the UCCE Honey Bee Specialist is to the great benefit and service to the Almond Industry.

Both scientific research and the practical implementation and actual cultural uses of critical information on colony health, strenghth and performance has been disseminated to beekeepers that has enabled decades of successful production increases for California Almond growers.

Almonds rank as the #1 Horticultural export from both California and the United States, remarkable growth in this industry would NOT have been possible without healthy, well maintained Honeybee colonies from across the entire USA; California Beekeepers work closely with the UCCE Apiculturist and cooperate in, and utilize research on their bees, this information rapidly integrates into maintaining healthy bees.

Please stromgly consider the importance of filling this position for the reasons I have outlined.
Posted Jul 25, 2012 9:56 AM by Steve Rothenberg Field Supervisor Blue Diamond Growers
22
California's top agricultural export is almonds--a crop that is entirely dependent upon pollination by managed honey bees. This crop alone adds billions of dollars to the California economy.

In addition, many other California specialty fruit, vegetable, and seed crops are also dependent upon honey bee pollination.

The beekeepers who provide the bees necessary for pollinating such crops are currently facing serious problems due to exotic parasites and pathogens, as well as nutritional and pesticide issues. We beekeepers depend upon the Honey Bee Specialist to provide us with practical interpretation of scientific findings--a job that has bee exceptionally well performed by Dr. Mussen.

Over half of all managed colonies in the U.S. are placed in California's almond orchards, meaning that the Honey Bee Specialist essentially oversees the well being of the majority of honey bees in the entire country!

It is essential for the University to continue to support, fund, and expand the position of Honey Bee Specialist for the benefit not only of the beekeeping industry, but for the success of California agriculture as a whole.
Posted Jul 27, 2012 6:48 AM by Randy Oliver
23
The position currently occupied by Dr. Eric Mussen is invaluable in providing expert apicultural information to the public as well as to beekeepers. In my function with the CSBA, I frequently (multiple times per month, on average) refer news media and members of the public at large to Dr. Mussen for answers that are to my knowledge not available anywhere else. Experienced California beekeepers generally know to call or email him directly, but newcomers to the craft and any legistlators who contact me I usually end up referring to Eric, who always has good and authoritative answers for them.

Beekeeping continues to get harder and more important. It will be bad enough to lose Dr. Mussen's personal store of bee lore when he retires; please do not exacerbate the situation by not refilling this position.

Respectfully,

Carlen Jupe
CSBA Secretary/Treasurer and BEE TIMES Editor
Posted Jul 28, 2012 8:57 PM by Carlen Jupe, Secretary/Treasurer & BEE TIMES Editor, California State Beekeepers Association
24
I don't know how I could forget to mention (but I did!) that Dr. Mussen has been the CSBA's chief advisor every year in issuing Requests For Proposals for honey bee-related research, and in winnowing the results so we can fund the research that is likeliest to improve our chances of keeping our bees alive. We absolutely MUST HAVE someone in his position to continue helping us with this task of ensuring that our research dollars are used wisely. (I suspect that some of the other bee research funding organizations, especially in California, also depend on the State Apiculturalist position to help them direct their funding.)
Posted Jul 28, 2012 9:15 PM by Carlen Jupe, Secretary/Treasurer and BEE TIMES Editor, California State Beekeepers Association
25
Dr. Mussen has made a huge difference in my knowledge of the health of our honey bees and the vital pollination services they provide for California agriculture. As a sideline beekeeper and active member of Sonoma County Beekeepers Association, I can attest to the essential role that Eric has played as extension apicultural specialist. He has come to many of our meetings to speak over the years. He has also always been ready to answer all sorts of questions via e-mail and has published an on-line newsletter to keep us up on what has been happening and what we can do to help the bees. He has also been the person who speaks to the media when they have questions about honey bees. His talks are easy to understand and well researched. This is a position we need to keep filled to maintain the level of our education on honey bees.

We are indeed fortunate that Eric will be helping us through the middle of 2014. It is absolutely critical that the position continue to be funded without interruption so that a worthy successor can be recruited to build on Dr. Mussen’s outstanding work. This position can play a major role in shaping a positive future for beekeepers, their honey bees and California agriculture. This position needs to be continued to help ensure the future well being of our honey bees and reliable ag pollination services.
Posted Jul 28, 2012 9:58 PM by Ettamarie Peterson
26













































Dr. Eric Mussen is the go to guy for honey bee information, doesn't matter if you are a hobby or commercial beekeeper. Eric is the go between for beekeepers, agriculture, news media and the science / research community. The position that Eric hold is invaluable !! We need to maintain the position of Apiculturist Extension Specialist !!
David Bradshaw


Posted Jul 29, 2012 7:48 AM by David Bradshaw / Bradshaw Honey Farm /Research chairman CSBA
27
The beekeeping community in California numbers in the hundreds if not thousands. Our authority, and de facto "leader" has been our State Apiculturist, Dr. Eric Mussen. He has unified and guided our community with his willingness to speak at our meetings every year, his accessibility to answer questions, and his knowledgable guidance as we face new challenges keeping bees. I cannot imagine his position not being filled once he retires. It is essential that his position continue. The State needs to understand how important it is to have his position funded and filled by a capable successor. Beekeepers play an essential role in agriculture, we need the State to support us by keeping the position of State Apicultural Specialist
Posted Jul 29, 2012 10:33 AM by Philip Gerrie/Noe Valley Bees
28
Please keep the position of State Apicultural Specialist viable. I am an amateur beekeeper and gardener and have found Dr Mussen's newsletters and talk at our bee club (and other events) very helpful. I would hate to have his knowledge, experience, and skills disappear just because he retires.
Posted Jul 29, 2012 11:29 AM by George Kunkel
29
Dr. Eric Mussen, in his position of UC Extension Apiculturist, has been a beacon of light of light in a morass of confusing and often contradictory information on bee-keeping. Whether one is a hobbyist or professional bee-keeper or orchard keeper, you can rely on Dr. Mussen to provide straight, unvarnished knowledge. His position at the new UC Davis Laidlaw facility is invaluable & must be preserved, to the benefit of both new and established bee-keepers. He has personally been very helpful to individual bee-keepers such as myself, and to clubs such as the SF Beeekeepers Association. All bee-keepers need a conduit of knowledge and resources to keep on top of ever-changing information.
Posted Jul 29, 2012 11:35 AM by Lorrie Gallagher
30
Please make sure this position is filled if it ever becomes vacant. Having a State Apicultural Speiclialist and their association with UC is essential. My wife and I run a small beekeeping operation which has benefitted from Mr. Mussen's advice and experience. We are affiliated with a non-profit educational foundation that provides a learning center for children to interact with bees and flowers, giving many their first "hands-on" experience with biology. We have depended on feedback and suggestions from Eric Mussen to make this project successful. Please do everything you can to keep this vital position filled. Thank you very much
Posted Jul 29, 2012 11:35 AM by Craig Merrilees
31
I am a member of the Marin Beekeepers Assoc and have had the opportunity to hear Dr. Mussen a couple of times. In an era when honey bees are facing threats from mites, viruses, flies, and other parasites and when colony collapse disorder is affecting commercial beekeeping, agriculture, and the hobbyist as never before, it is vital that we fill Dr. Mussen's position with an experienced and knowledgeable person. This is not the time to eliminate the position of apiculture specialist when it is needed most. There are some very large shoes to fill here, Dr. Mussen has not only studied bees for many years, but has a gift of explaining what he knows in layman's terms. Please put his position on the top of the list of important ones to fill. Thank you, Wendy
Posted Jul 29, 2012 1:08 PM by Wendy Arthurs
32
The position of Cooperative Extension Apiculturist needs to be placed at the top of the list of programs to be saved. Dr. Mussen has been excellent in his communication of university information with the many backyard beekeepers, beekeeper associations and commercial beekeepers throughout the State. The education he provides has been very valuable. We are hopeful this position will be preserved to help the community.
Posted Jul 30, 2012 6:58 AM by April Lance
33
As a writer for The American Bee Journal for nearly a decade, I ply the world of apiculture from backyard beekeepers to large scale breeders and migratory beekeepers. I have yet to do an interview with the person who has not gratefully benefited from the contributions of the UC Cooperative Extension Apiculturist -- be it from the vetting of the tsunami of information for the solid science from the hokum; the advice phone call; the hands-on help. True, Dr. Eric Mussen is extraordinary, but that fact does not negate the vital necessity of his job to the state that hosts the majority of the nation's bees. Their unsustainable decline and their crucial role to our food are well known. Please keep at least one Extension Apiarist position and consider that the need could well be filled by several.
Posted Jul 30, 2012 11:00 AM by Mea McNeil
34
it's been extremely helpful to have dr. mussen to be the local authority of all bee-things considered. it would be prudent to continue this post so that the research and spread of knowledge isn't lost.
Posted Jul 30, 2012 12:51 PM by evangeline fugazzotto
35
I have been a backyard beekeeper for the past 8 years. I manage 30 to 40 hives at two apiaries. I am an active member of the Marin County Beekeepers Association and serve on our Nuc (effectively the Club's Board). I have watched our MCBA grow from a small group of 12 to 15 mostly long term beekeepers to over 300, almost all new to beekeeping. This growth in a result of the public's awareness of the many problems facing our honeybees and the publicity that has been generated.

Our Extension Apiarist, Eric Mussen, has provided an invaluable resource as one of our annual speakers at MCBA, through his New Letter and as the go to person for the latest research and best practices for our members.

The agricultural community as well as the beekeeping community relies heavily on this Extension Position. With the direct link between these two important interests as it relates to the State's economy. It is essential that Dr. Mussen's position be continued after his upcoming retirement.

While Dr. Mussen is irreplaceable, the best qualified candidate should be searched out and hired, ASAP to work with him and be prepared to assume the bulk of his duties when he is no longer available to answer our questions and interpret and explain everything that is going on in the scientific community.
Posted Jul 30, 2012 1:50 PM by David Peterson
36
I have kept bees since 1944. Dr Mussen's work has been available to me the last few years and I have to say I have learned more from him (& Dr Seeley in Princeton) than from anyone else in my life. Fluent, clear, precise, exuberant, Dr Mussen is a pleasure to listen to: only a fool would assume he already knew all this stuff.
Keith Wedmore. member of the Marin Beekeepers Association, and sometime member of the Kent, Hertfordshire, and finally Somerset Beekeepers' Associations.
Posted Jul 30, 2012 2:36 PM by Keith Wedmore
37
The California position of Apiculture Specialist has been essential for our organization, Honey Bee Research Institute, to better target our non-profit scientific research mission to both the agricultural and the beekeeping communities of California, a prime produce production state. A specialist extension apiculturalist has been and hopefully will continue to be our key statewide point of knowledgeable contact in outreach to assist others in this area of expertise.
Posted Jul 30, 2012 3:48 PM by Peter Butzloff, Ph.D., Director, Honey Bee Research Institute
38
Though it will be hard to replace Dr. Eric Mussen, you must know how valuable a resource of information he has provided to professional as well as hobbyist beekeepers in California. In Alameda County we do not have an Apiculturist or bee inspector on the payroll, Yet we have thousands of beekeepers that have questions and seek advice. In spite of time being financially tough it is a matter of national health & security that we have someone to ask questions concerning disease & bee care and expect an informative and timely intelligent response. It is imperative that you fill the position of State Apiculturist with a seasoned and knowledgeable expert in the coming years Thank you.
Posted Jul 30, 2012 6:00 PM by Alice Rosenthal
39
Dr. Mussen and the position that he holds has made great progress in our understanding of bees. It is important that this position be retained for the advancement of bees.
Posted Jul 30, 2012 6:45 PM by Andrew Bernal
40
Dr. Mussen has had a tremendous impact on bee keeping both for the professional and the back yard bee keepers. His knowledge and his ability to impart that knowledge to others has definitely furthered the cause of bees and their plight. This position is extremely important and there is still so much to learn about the health of bees. I urge you to retain this position.
Posted Jul 31, 2012 9:20 AM by Carol Soker Hunt
41
As a small scale beekeeper for the last 27 years I cannot emphasize enough the value of having a professional like Eric Mussen available to handle the myriad of issues that we face as beekeepers.

I understand that Eric is the only apiculturist west of the Rocky Mountains. The industry needs to have more, not fewer, resources working for beekeepers.

Please find a way to fully fund this position and do more to keep this valuable industry thriving.

Posted Jul 31, 2012 11:26 AM by Jerry Draper
42
In December, 2014, the UCCE Apiculture Specialist, Dr. Eric Mussen plans to retire.

The beekeeping industry in California and across America is confronted with critical issues.

I urge the retention of the Apiculture Specialist in the UCCE system.

California beekeepers have suffered >25% hive losses in five of the past six years.

This is unsustainable. Dr. Mussen provides critical information and insight to beekeepers.

These losses come from multiple sources including Varroa destructor mites, a non-native parasite that kills its host, the European honeybee.

Numerous pesticides are found in beeswax within hives. Dr. Mussen has provided leadership investigating the impact of these pesticides.

Thanks to the UC Apiculture Specialist position, beekeepers have access to a Newsletter six times a year. Dr. Mussen writes the newsletter, providing access to information and best management practices.

The UC Apiculture Specialist provides outreach to dozens of beekeeping clubs, and organizations, including the California State Beekeepers Assn., where Dr. Mussen has served with distinction.

The Apiculture Specialist provides sound recommendations for many California crops pollinated by honeybees. New horticulture practices, new crop varieties, and new crops all contribute to the quality of life, nutrition, and wellbeing of the public.

The A. S. provides the public valuable information about the African Honey Bee, a honeybee that exhibits dangerous defensive behavior.

Further, recommendations from the A.S. have assisted California Bee Breeders, who provide millions of queens and hive-replacement resources for beekeepers nationwide.

UC Cooperative Extension provides the beekeeping industry a valuable resource in the Apiculture Specialist. California beekeepers have enjoyed the time, the talent, and the energy of Dr. Mussen for over 25 years. During his tenure, Dr. Mussen has become widely acknowledged as a National Treasure.
Posted Jul 31, 2012 1:48 PM by John Miller, Miller Honey Farms, Inc., Newcastle, CA
43
Dr. Mussen has been exemplary in his role as apicultural specialist, an invaluable conduit between the academic world of research and the realm of California beekeepers, both commercial and hobbyist. The value provided by this position is extraordinary. In my 4 short years as a beekeeper, I have heard at least three talks by Dr. Mussen and learned tremendously at each. He has been responsive to Sonoma County beekeepers when we have needed his expertise in understanding the threat posed by such imported pests as the Small Hive Beetle, and what we can do to avoid their spread.

The apicultural world and the future of California honeybee populations will be greatly diminished if this position is not continued.
Posted Jul 31, 2012 7:22 PM by Betty Andrews
44
Dr. Eric Mussen's impending retirement as UC Extension Apiculturist comes at a critical time for the beekeeping industry, as well as for growers of crops which require bee pollination, and consumers who enjoy honey and the multitude of fruits, vegetables, and other crops dependent on the pollination activities of honey bees.

Beekeepers large and small have benefited greatly from Eric's work as Extension Apiculturist since he filled the position in 1976. He has been invaluable as a trusted source of information about honey bees and bee issues for beekeepers, growers, the general public and the media. His newsletter "From the UC Apiaries" is read far and wide by those interested in the latest news about honey bees and/or bee related issues. Some of these issues are particular to California, and as the leading honey bee state in the nation, it is important that the information be disseminated in a factual, professional publication such as Dr. Mussen's newsletter.

California is "home" to approximately 80% of the available managed commercial honey bee colonies in the US every February and March. These colonies are needed to pollinate the nearly 800,000 acres of almonds in the Central Valley. Approximately 1.6 million colonies of bees are needed for this massive undertaking. Ironically almond pollination takes place at the very time of year when the nation's bee colony numbers are at their low point.

As a beekeeper for the past 40 years, I can testify that it has never been more difficult to keep bees alive and healthy than it is today. Ironically, the demand for strong, healthy honey bee colonies to pollinate the wide variety of crops needing bee pollination has never been greater. A healthy beekeeping industry is critical to agriculture as well as the environment, and the UC Extension Apiculturist plays an important role in helping to maintain a vibrant, healthy bee industry.

Dr. Mussen has conducted (and collaborated in)research projects related to honey bee nutrition, diseases, parasites, and pesticides which are all key areas of concern for colony health and survival.

Several years ago when many feared that Africanized bees would terrorize California, Eric conducted a program at the California State Beekeepers Association Convention that granted participants a "Certificate of Training for Keeping Bees in Africanized Areas." This endeavor helped to calm the fears of some who wanted to regulate the bee industry or ban beekeeping from certain areas.

Eric has provided valuable assistance to the California State Beekeepers Association, the Almond Board of California, the National Honey Board and others with the evaluation of honey bee research proposals.

Dr. Mussen has been an active member (and Board Member) of the California State Beekeepers Association as well as the Western Apicultural Society.

Eric has been a featured speaker at countless meetings and conventions of beekeepers, growers, entomologists and many others, as he is the authority on honey bees in California.

The aformentioned are just a few of the important tasks that have been undertaken by Dr. Mussen and it is difficult to envision how some of these tasks could be accomplished without a UC Extension Apiculturist.

Although Dr. Mussen's shoes will be difficult to fill, it is essential that a qualified replacement be found in order to continue the UC Extension Apiculturist activities and programs vital to the future success of the beekeeping and agricultural industries.
Posted Jul 31, 2012 9:00 PM by Gene Brandi, Gene Brandi Apiaries, Los Banos, CA
45
Rumor has it that Einstein said... (paraphrased) - if bees ceased to exist, within four years, so would humanity - The essential nature and contribution of bees cannot be highlighted more strongly - especially while we are agrifarming our soil to death... we must diversify and bees are critical in the transition back to sensibility for food and fuel... thank you.
Posted Aug 1, 2012 7:33 AM by Julie Zak
46
Because of CCD, beekeepers and are gaining popularity and power. We are helping the public make decisions about pesticides and land use. We are too busy keeping bees to keep up on all the scientific literature. If we are not scientifically informed by an extension apiculturist, we will misinform the public and the ripple effect will cause poor agricultural decisions (e.g. banning useful pesticides, not treating our bees for new diseases, and using home-remedies to treat CCD).
How can we justify any university position if the #1 pollinator of our food doesn't deserve a representative?
Posted Aug 1, 2012 7:51 AM by Steven Sparks
47
This position is critical because every third forkful of the food we put into our mouth is the result of honeybee pollination. With all of the issues around neonicotinoids and colony collapse disorder it is important to have an Apiculture Specialist as an essential link between academic and applied sub-disciplines. Dr. Mussen’s dissemination of knowledge has benefited my daughter who is a 4H beekeeper. It is this type of knowledge transfer that will inspire another generation to continue the essential job of raising bees and/or studying to become a scientist who researches bees.
Posted Aug 1, 2012 7:55 AM by Tricia Jiang
48
Dr Mussen has proved to be a fountain of information about bees and agriculture for many years. He is the person to go to regardless of what your question may be. He has been the link between scientist and beekeepers. I, and many of my fellow beekeepers will be sorry to see him retire.

That being said, I feel it is critical that his position be filled as soon as possible. It is very important to both commercial and non-commercial beekeepers to have an extension apiculturist to disseminate information and provide the contact for resources to help keep our bees thriving.
Posted Aug 1, 2012 1:02 PM by Rob Tysinger
49
Without Dr. Mussen's visits to the Santa Clara Valley Bee Guild, my hives would not be thriving. His guidance has been critical to the success of my hives. I believe I am not alone in my sentiments. Please keep the apiculturist position in the budget.
Posted Aug 1, 2012 5:10 PM by Beth McGuire, backyard beekeeper
50
Dr. Mussen has been such a valuable asset to the beekeeping community that it is hard to imagine his absence. That said, it would be an egregious error to leave his position empty after his departure. Continuing challenges facing bees managed by both commercial as well as hobbyists, and increasing interest by the public and in hobbyist beekeeping, merit not only preserving his position but even expanding the department to include additional resources.
Posted Aug 2, 2012 10:57 AM by Bonnie Bollengier
51
We, the Board of Sonoma County Bee Association, are requesting that the Specialist position Dr.Eric Mussen currently holds be retained for the following reasons. The state of apiary research, information dissemination and practice is undergoing fundamental changes in light of the several identified ongoing problems in our state, as well as within the field of study. The fact that your department has a standard, and an excellent bearer of same in the person of Dr. Mussen, is vital in light of the economics generated and importance of the agricultural commodities produced in California The Sonoma County Beekeepers Association of 300 members possess more than two thousand hives and the continuous help and availability Dr. Mussen imparts is invaluable. When our members attend his public presentations he is clear and effective in bringing the latest accurate, unbiased and vital information we need to allay the misinformation that circulates in our biotic community. In turn we inform our general membership, as well as the public, the latest in the science & art of beekeeping. While we do not speak for the professionals in our craft, we cannot overestimate the importance of the position, in the person that Dr. Mussen, holds within our community. The Master Gardeners in our association have been influenced by Dr. Mussen relative to their approach to landscaping utilizing the information gleaned from UC Davis and dovetailing with the pollinating practices promulgated by this specialist. We understand the economic difficulties our universities face but in light of the service to both hobbyist and professionals, as well as the public in general via the importance of the agricultural industry, please consider retention of this important specialist position.
Posted Aug 3, 2012 7:06 PM by Sonoma County Beekeeprs Board of Directors: Mike Kelly, Thea Vierling, Betty Andrews, Randy Sue Collins, Ettamarie Peterson, Emery Dann, Sherilynn Bunc, Cheryl Veretto
52
The position of Cooperative Extension Apiculture Specialist, currently held by Dr. Eric Mussen, is absolutely indepensible, not only to Beekeeping, but California agriculture. California is possibly the number one state in agriculture and the abolistment of his position would be a death knell not only to beekeeping but CA agriculture.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 8:21 AM by BillCervenka
53
We are indeed fortunate that Dr.Eric Mussen will be helping us through the middle of 2014. It is absolutely critical that the position continue to be funded without interruption so that a worthy successor can be recruited to build on Dr. Mussen’s outstanding work. This position can play a major role in shaping a positive future for beekeepers, their honey bees and California agriculture. This position needs to be continued to help ensure the future well being of our honey bees and reliable ag pollination services.
Dr. Mussen has had a tremendous impact on bee keeping both for the professional and the back yard bee keepers. His knowledge and his ability to impart that knowledge to others has definitely furthered the cause of bees and their plight. This position is extremely important and there is still so much to learn about the health of bees. I urge you to retain this position.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 9:50 AM by anna salas
54
Dr. Mussen was a strong influence in my decision to become a beekeeper a few years ago, and I have relied on his expert advice innumerable times since. He provides an essential level of scientific knowledge and advice to both commercial and non-commercial beekeepers that otherwise would not be available.

Dr. Mussen has done an outstanding job in his role as apiculture specialist, and his will be a tough act to follow. I know from my own experience, however, that it is vitally important to California beekeeping, and, hence, to California agriculture, that a person of Dr. Mussen's caliber be engaged to continue this essential service.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 9:52 AM by Steve Wahle
55
Please keep position of Cooperative Extension Apiculture Specialist, currently held by Dr. Eric Mussen. Dr. Mussen has been a tremendous asset to beekeepers not only in California, but worldwide. The grassroots interest in beekeeping in the past few years had been huge and we have so many more people who will benefit from keeping this position open.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 1:12 PM by Christine Keller
56
The Almond Board of California views retention of the Extension Apiculturist position upon the anticipated retirement of Eric Mussen in 2014 as a high priority. This position is an important and unique blend of research, extension, and outreach and service to a broad clientele. It is important given both the current issues facing honey bees and need for pollination of one third of the crops in California. Almonds are the most visible California pollinated crop, requiring well over one half of colonies in the U.S. and must have a sufficient supply of strong, healthy colonies.

With respect to research, this position will be engaged in addressing a number of pest, health and nutrition and forage issues currently impacting honey bees.

With respect to extension, this position is important in providing impartial information and guidance on honey bee research conduct and findings for both bee keepers and pollinated crops alike.

With respect to outreach and service, this position has served a diverse audience: commercial beekeepers, pollinated crops such as almonds, hobby beekeepers, the public, interest groups, and the media.

The almond industry has relied on this position in all the areas mentioned: research, extension, and outreach and service. As mentioned in the position description, the incumbent can expect engagement and research support from the Almond Board of California.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 5:56 PM by Bob Curtis, Associate Director Agricultural Affairs, Almond Board of California

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