Randy Oliver – Bees in California – Colony Buildup and Decline – Understanding Varroa – Breeding the Ideal Bee for Your Area

Randy Oliver owns and operates a small commercial beekeeping enterprise in the foothills of Grass Valley in Northern California. He and his two sons manage about 1000 colonies for migratory pollination, and produce queens, nucs, and honey. He has over 40 years of practical beekeeping experience, plus holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biological Sciences. Randy researches, analyzes, and digests beekeeping information from all over the world in order to not only broaden his own depth of understanding and knowledge, but to develop practical solutions to many of today’s beekeeping problems, which he then shares with other beekeepers through his various articles in bee magazines, his speaking engagements worldwide, and on his website: www.ScientificBeekeeping.com

Presentation 1: “Randy Oliver–The Keeping of Bees in California”
Keeping bees commercially in the mountains of California is likely quite different than the beekeeping practiced by the attendees of this conference. With photos, Randy will describe his high-intensity beekeeping over the course of the year, and then answer questions about beekeeping in the United States.

Presentation 2: “Understanding Colony Buildup and Decline”
By acquiring a better understanding of the biology of bees, nutrition, parasites, and pathogens over the course of the season, and by learning to “read the combs,” the beekeeper can then make better informed management decisions adapted to his/her particular situation.  Randy combines data and practical applications for beekeeping over the course of the year.

Presentation 3: “Understanding Varroa”
Our number one problem in beekeeping is the varroa/virus complex. Randy will describe how the problem started, model varroa population dynamics and management techniques, how beekeepers exacerbate the problem, and what our goals should be for the future.

Presentation 4: “A Biologist/Beekeeper’s Practical Perspective on Breeding the Ideal Bee for your Area”
Randy has bred bees adapted for his specific area, disease and parasite resistance, and business profitability for over 30 years. He will discuss both the biological considerations and practical aspects