Three UC Davis Speakers at California State Beekeepers' Association Convention
Brian Johnson, newest member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty, will be among the speakers at the California State Beekeepers' Association meeitng. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
DAVIS--Brian Johnson, Eric Mussen and Susan Cobey of the UC Davis Department of Entomology will be among the speakers at the California State Beekeepers’ Association (CSBA) 2011 conference, set Monday, Nov. 14, through Thursday, Nov. 17 in Rohnert Park.
The annual convention will be held in the Sonoma/Wine Country Doubletree Inn. The first day, Monday, Nov. 14, will include tours and a president's reception. The next three days are devoted to the program..
Johnson, who joined the UC Davis Department of Entomology last summer, will be introduced at the 9 a.m. session on Tuesday, Nov. 15. On Wednesday, Nov. 16, he will speak at 11:15 a.m. on “Plans for UC Davis Bee Research Program.” Johnson specializes in behavior, evolution, and genetics of honey bees, and apiculture. (See lab research)
As a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Johnson worked with Neil Tsutsui of the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM) from 2009 until this spring. Earlier, from 2006 to 2009, he served as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at UC San Diego and the University of Bristol, UK.
Johnson received his doctorate in 2004 from Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. in behavioral biology (thesis: “Organization of Work in the Honey Bee”). He obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1998 from the UC San Diego, where he majored in ecology, behavior and evolution.
Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen, a member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty since 1976, will speak on “The State of California Beekeeping” at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. He will also discuss on “Swarm Prevention” at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday. Mussen conducts a varied program focused mainly on his role as liaison between the academic world of apiculture and real world beekeeping and crop pollination.
Bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey, who shares a dual appointment with the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis and Washington State University, will discuss “How to Raise Queens” at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.
Cobey’s research focuses on identifying, selecting and enhancing honey bee stocks that show increasing levels of resistance to pests and diseases. Cobey developed the New World Carniolan stock, a dark, winter hardy race of honey bees, in the early 1980s by back-crossing stocks collected from throughout the United States and Canada to create a more pure strain. Stock imported from the German Carnica Association has recently been added to enhance this breeding program. In collaborations with Steve Sheppard of WSU, they are importing honey bee germplasm to increase genetic diversity in the U.S. honey bee gene pool. In addition, stock from the Republic of Georgia has been imported to re-establish the subspecies Apis mellifera caucasica, another dark race of bee that is not currently recognizable in the U.S.
The CSBA, organized in 1889, is headed by president Frank Pendell, Stonyford; vice president Bryan Ashurst, Westmorland; secretary-treasurer Carlen Jupe, Salida; and past president Roger Everett of Porterville.
It lists its purpose as “to educate the public about the beneficial aspects of honey bees, advance research beneficial to beekeeping practices, provide a forum for cooperation among beekeepers, and to support the economic and political viability of the beekeeping industry.”
More information is on the CSBA website.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology