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Presentation at ACBA
May 9 @ 7:30 am - 9:00 pm PDT
Contemporary research documents the resilience and longevity of wild honeybees in remote landscapes that are sheltered from agricultural and apicultural practices. How can we integrate the qualities and conditions that allow honeybees in the wild to thrive into our backyards and beekeeping? One approach Apis Arborea (www.apisarborea.org) has taken is to incorporate the biomimicry of arboreal nest conditions and to promote natural population dynamics. Honeybees as novel wildlife in the Americas have become a rich and pioneering field of research that can serve our quest for a sustainable apicultural framework. Environmental challenges such as climate emergency and the 6th mass extinctions are new emerging compass points for apian conservation (and that of all species) that invite us with utmost urgency into the development of truly sustainable systems.
Apis Arborea is a non-profit organization in Sonoma County and was founded to preserve the life and resiliency of honeybees through ‘wilding’ and the use of a holistic framework of apian ecologies for conservation and apiculture. Michael will share the different aspects of the work of Apis Arborea. The topics of the presentation will include a 7-year research study of wild, unmanaged honeybees in a Wildlands Preserve in Mendocino County, which is owned by Sonoma State University, and associated collaborations with Texas A&M and also UC Riverside. So far, we could document 100% winter survival (with a small initial data set). We will publish a white paper in 2023, once survival figures are in from this current winter.
Michael will talk about the ancient craft and science of beelining as a tool to track bees and locate BeeTrees, with some of the new revelations of beelining, including tips and challenges. He will also ask about some of our current programs, like Apian Networks programs and a project that introduces a wild honeybee framework into a diverse community in Oregon that includes farmers, a Tribal Nation, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.