The Beekeeper’s Companion Since 1861
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Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College – 6th Annual Bee Symposium (Virtual)

- February 13, 2021 -


Feb 13, 2021    
Please Verify Hours

This year’s Virtual Symposium on February 13th  will open at 8:45 a.m. and classes run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. via Zoom.
Pre-registration is required as the Zoom links to the day’s presentations will be emailed to registered participants. The cost is $10/ person. 

Our presenters this year:

How Honey Bee Colonies Keep Themselves Healthy presented by Dr. Spivak

Honey bee colonies have a fascinating natural health care system called “social immunity.”  I will describe two basic forms of social immunity: propolis (resin) collection and hygienic behavior, and how they help the colony prevent and fight off diseases and maintain a healthy microbiome.

Dr. Marla Spivak is a MacArthur Fellow and McKnight Distinguished Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota. She bred a line of honeybees, the Minnesota Hygienic line, and is now initiating a new breeding program to select bees that can defend themselves against diseases and parasitic mites. Dr. Spivak’s current research includes studies of the benefits of plant resins (propolis) to honeybees, and the effects of agricultural landscapes and pesticides on bee health.

How a Honey Bee Swarm Chooses its Home presented by Dr. Seeley

The bees in a swarm make their choice of their new dwelling place collectively and democratically.  They stake their future on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building.  We will look at how these bees evaluate potential nest sites, advertise their discoveries to one another, engage in open deliberation, and choose their new home.

Dr. Thomas Seeley received his Ph.D. in 1978 from Harvard University, where he studied with Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson. He joined the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University in 1986. In recognition of his scientific work, he has received the Alexander von Humboldt Distinguished U.S. Scientist Prize, been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, received a Gold Medal Book Award from Apimondia for The Wisdom of the Hive, and been elected a fellow of both the Animal Behavior Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His most enduring honor, though, is to have had a species of bee named after him: Neocorynurella seeleyi

Introduction to Beginning Beekeeping with Joseph Coffey

Joseph Coffey, member of the Northeastern Minnesota Beekeepers Association and owner of C & C Apiaries LLC, will introduce people interested in beekeeping to the science and craft of beekeeping, how to get started, the history and language of beekeeping, and pest and pathogens.

A Tale of Two Apiaries: Case Studies in Mite Management from the Bee Squad with Jessica Helgen from the University of MN Bee Squad

Why do some apiaries have ongoing problems with mites and viruses, while others seem to escape relatively unscathed? The University of MN Bee Squad manages hundreds of colonies scattered around the Twin Cities Metro, allowing us to notice patterns in colony health trends. Jessica Helgen, Bee Squad Mentoring Apiary Coordinator, will give examples from several Bee Squad apiaries and talk about current research on mite horizontal transmission.

To learn more about the Symposium visit the FDLTCC Event page at:

To register visit:

We have limited registrations available so be sure to register early.

We are so happy to be able to offer this to regional beekeepers again this year. Hope to see you there!