Presentation Topics
For Beekeepers

Understanding Removal Work

This is a intro-level summary of bee removal situations for beekeepers.  Introduces the concepts of cut outs, trap outs, and forced absconds.  Covers legality, fees, equipment, liability, safety, tips for bee-friendly results, queen-finding, rescuing brood comb, removal honey, transportation of removals, post-removal feeding, preventing recent removals from absconding, an easy-build vacuum, and more.

 

Fights About Mites

"Fights About Mites" is a somewhat satirical take on the finger-pointing that can result from different styles of varroa management in the beekeeping community. This presentation will take us on a tour of the varroa blame game, from the historical to the present day, from the rational to the absurd, and attempt to show how much we can stand to learn from a friendly examination of opposing approaches and perspectives, while in the process building a solid groundwork of knowledge and understanding on which to base our decisions regarding dealing with mites in our hives.  Thoroughly researched and well-cited.

 

Swarms, Swarming, & Swarm Management

This topic describes swarm behavior, including what triggers swarming, what happens to your hive when bees swarm, swarm behavior and scouting, nest-site selection.  It also covers collecting swarms and convincing them to stay; as well as discussing management surrounding swarming, including swarm prevention, swarm encouragement, swarm cells, and making use of swarm conditions for splits.  Lastly, we will explore concerns related to swarming... absconds vs swarms, usurpation swarms, and more.

One Million Ways To Kill Your Bees

While the title is a bit morbid (and likely a bit overstated numerically), this talk will address some of the things we can do as beekeepers that inadvertently harm our colony's odds of survival; if you want to keep bees alive, knowing what kills them is a great place to start!

 

Honey Bee Biology
This is a beginner-friendly yet extensive and detailed two-hour presentation on how bees work, with very little focus on approaches to beekeeping management.  Covers basic anatomy, venom, sociality, intro to non-mellifera Apis species, intro to management practices for non-Apis bee species, A mellifera races/subspecies, Africanized honey bees, castes, rotating worker duties, wax production, comb building, pheromones, foraging behavior, pollination, dance communication, honey production, bee bread, mating biology, brood development, haplodiploidy, laying workers, parthenogenesis, colony reproduction by creation of swarms, swarm scouting, swarm dancing/voting, swarms in flight, and establishment of a new colony.  Can be condensed into a shorter timeline by sacrificing content.

Africanized Bees:

This presentation discusses African and Africanized bees, covering ancestry, origins, range expansion, present day range, feral bee populations, "gentle" Africanized bees, the media frenzy, identification, management of Africanized hives, developmental biology of African genetics, pest & disease resistance, usurpation swarms, and more.

Foundationless Beekeeping

This talk discusses pros and cons of running foundationless comb and differences in foundationless management.  Contains some mentions of top bar management, but has an emphasis on foundationless Langstroth frames.

 

So You Think You Want Bees

This is a beginner wintertime presentation targeting soon-to-be beekeepers, talking through the reasons to keep bees, considerations and concerns involved, and what can be done now to prepare for the upcoming first Spring.

 

Where To Get Bees & What To Put Them In

Self-explanatory beginner beekeeping topic.  Addresses packages, nucs, established hives, and swarms as sources of bees, and explain why removal work is not a good beginner source of "free bees".   Also discusses pros and cons of various hive styles including Langstroth, top bar, warre, and AZ, as well as recommending against the Flow Hive as a first investment and explaining the ag code prohibitions against skeps and other fixed-comb hives.

 

How To Talk To Kids About Bees

Intended to help prepare a beekeeper to speak to a group of kids, this is a commentary-filled walk-through of a presentation designed for a guest educator teaching children about bees, with tips and tricks that have repeatedly proven well-received for me in speaking to younger age groups.

 

Winter Management

Intended for a beekeeping audience, this presentation covers how to get your hive through fall and prepare your hive for winter. This will include dealing with robbing, supplemental fall feeding, what to expect of food store requirements for winter, understanding the differing difficulties provided by a cold winter vs a warm winter, fall combines, emergency winter feeding, general winter management, winterizing hives, and more.

 

Honey Bee Pests & Diseases

A beginner-friendly introduction to some of the issues found in American honey bee hives, a summary of Integrated Pest Management in beekeeping, explanation of different schools of thought on treatments and encouraging genetic tolerance, and more.

 

Sugar Roll Mite Counts & OAV

Intended for a beekeeping audience, this presentation covers monitoring varroa mite load in your hive with a non-lethal approach to taking a mite count, as well as exploring Oxalic Acid Vaporization (OAV) as a mite treatment.

Ag Valuation for Beekeeping

This talk looks at state guidelines and typical county requirements for beekeeping ag usage, as well as talking through leases and other concerns pertaining to using beekeeping to establish agricultural usage to benefit your property taxes.

 

Texas Bee Law and Recent Update Efforts

This talk walks us through the current Ch. 131 of the Texas Ag Code, helping us to understand some of the legal requirements placed on us as beekeepers.  It also provides information on attempts toward updates, including the background on the HB1293 debacle and what's currently happening with planning Ch. 131 updates.

Don't Buy Junk

This is a short presentation (20-30min) based on an article published by Dennis Gray of Coastal Bend Beekeepers Association on the SaveTexasBeekeepers blog.  It explores frequent pitfalls in purchasing bees, and should leave beginners better equipped to ask the right questions and get the right starting point for this new hive and their beekeeping experience.  Explains the differences between nucs, packages, splits, swarms, and recent removals.

For Everybody (***including kids!)

Homeowner's Guide To Bees and Bee Removal

Addresses distinguishing bees from other insects commonly mistaken for bees, explains options for dealing with bees in various locations and situations, pros and cons to various options for removal, regulations, pricing expectations, liability concerns, and more.

The World of Honey Bees***

A kid-friendly presentation that adults should be able to learn from as well, this covers bee biology, sociality, beekeeping, honey bee castes, pollination, foraging, communication, die off, what we can do to help, and where we would be without bees.

 

Introduction To Native Bees***

Discusses native bee species in contrast with honey bees, examining species diversity, nesting habits, pollination value, management options, and discussing how to maintain a native-bee-friendly yard.

 

Beekeeping History

This covers the long history shared by humans and honey bees, from honey hunting to early management, traditional hive styles and the progression to more modern techniques, other (non-Apis mellifera) honey-producing bee species worldwide, and traditional approaches still in use present day.

 

Modern American Beekeeping

Intended for a non-beekeeping audience, this talk covers agricultural pollination, migratory beekeeping, modernized beekeeping techniques, pest/disease issues/treatments, and other threats to our honey bee population.  Details and explains the three segments of the beekeeping community (hobbyist, sideliner, and commercial beekeepers), real honey vs food fraud, the impact of global honey production on American beekeeping, and more.

 

Sustainable Beekeeping & Sustainable Agriculture

Addresses the importance of bees to agriculture and the importance of adopting sustainable practices in both farming and beekeeping in order to preserve our bee population.

 

The Micro-Habitat Inside a Beehive***

This discusses how bees control conditions inside their hive, and the various other creatures which share the environment provided by the bees.  Includes parasitism, mutualism, and commensalism.  Originally structured for a middle-school science classroom, this topic can also be simplified some or presented as more advanced subject matter for adults.

 

Working in Beekeeping/Bee Removal***

A Career-Day-type presentation for younger audiences. 

Africanized "Killer" Bees: The Myth & The Reality

This presentation discusses Africanized "Killer Bees", covering ancestry, origins, range expansion, present day range, feral bee populations, "gentle" Africanized bees, the media frenzy, best safety practices around bees, the role honey bee mating plays in the genetics of the situation, why beekeepers are the best defense against undesirable bee genetics, and more.

***Though some topics are marked as great for kids I've found that the real keys to success with children (especially younger age groups) are enthusiasm and flexibility.  Youth presentations centered primarily on Q&A also tend to go well.