Our Team

Nancy Petrin
Board Member

Nancy Petrin began Zen practice in 1996 through the Organic Farm and Garden Apprenticeship at Green Gulch Farm, where she lived and practiced for nine years. She served as head student (shuso) with City Center Abiding Abbot Ed Sattizahn in the fall of 2014 and serves currently as head of practice. She resides at San Francisco Zen Center with her partner. Having raised her young adult daughter in the Bay Area, Zen, and Waldorf communities, Nancy is especially enjoying her work with new parents as a postpartum and night doula.

Gary Pace
Board Member
I am very pleased to serve as a Board Member for Apis Arborea, in service of ecological restoration through re-wilding honeybees.
My main interests lie in human and ecological health.  Having served as a front-line medical doctor in underserved communities for 25 years, I know well the impact of our deteriorating biosphere on vulnerable populations.  Combining these professional health experiences with some time living in permaculture and other collective action communities has fostered a deep interest in working to find healthy solutions to the mess we are in and to supporting the structural pillars that will keep our biosphere functioning.  Michael’s relationship to the pollinating bees, and the organization he has founded, will be a potent force for regeneration of the ecosystem, and I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to this noble, visionary effort.
Michael Joshin Thiele
Founder & President

Michael’s pioneering approach to apiculture and honeybee conservation has appeared in national and international magazines, books and films. He has presented his work at Harvard University & New York University, consulted for the USDA, and in 2006 developed the organization Gaia Bees to advance biodynamic practices in apiculture. 

In 2017 he founded Apis Arborea to preserve the life and resiliency of honeybees through rewilding, that is, the restoration of natural nesting habitat, and the use of a holistic ecological and science-based framework in working with bees. He offers workshops and training in the U.S. and internationally.

Michael was born and educated in Germany. He lives with his family, and an infinity of bees, in the oak woodlands of Northern California.

Cheyanna Bone
Treasurer & Collaborator

Cheyanna is passionate about facilitating dynamic connections between humans, honey bees and the earth.  She is devoted to supporting honey bees to reclaim their vitality and wild nature by bringing the innate wisdom of the Hive Being more deeply into human awareness.

Cheyanna met Michael at his first Zeidler log hive class in 2017 and knew she had met a “kindred bee spirit” at work.  She is enjoying collaborating with Michael to support the work rewilding of honeybees locally and globally. Cheyanna lives in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California where she works closely with her local community using natural, biodynamic and rewilding apiculture practices.


Leslie Thiele

Leslie lives with her husband Michael and two children in Sebastopol.  Leslie has a B.A. in History from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She studied Zen Buddhism in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi at San Francisco Zen Center, both at Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery where she lived in residential practice for ten years. Leslie currently works on the Marketing team for Enso Village, the first Zen-inspired senior living community being built in Healdsburg CA. 

Elizabeth Candelario

Elizabeth Candelario works at the nexus of food, agriculture, and climate change, and is most passionate about uniting brands and nonprofits to activate social mission causes in innovative ways that benefit both.  She works throughout the USA and Europe via her USA-based consultancy Studio Airstream and as a partner with Merika Advisory in the UK.  Elizabeth’s client list includes NGOs, grassroots non-profits, and companies focused on organizational development, brand development, and strategic planning. Education and communication are a big focus of Elizabeth’s work.  She has been a speaker at national food and environmental conferences and has published articles and written website and social media content on agriculture and climate change.  Prior to Elizabeth’s current consulting roles, she served as Managing Director of Demeter USA, the nation’s only certifier of Biodynamic® farms and products.  Over her eleven years of service, Elizabeth had the unforgettable experience of connecting brands to farms, working with many leading natural food companies to bring Biodynamic products to national retailer shelves, and fundamentally leveraging the marketplace to encourage the adoption of regenerative agriculture.


Pepa Reimann
Creative Director

Originally from Germany, Pepa Reimann is a creative director and designer with a passion for branding, design and visual language. She helps organizations and individuals launch, rejuvenate and expand their brands in meaningful ways. Sharing her design experience to brand and launch Apis Arborea is her contribution to support and protecting honeybees.


Cameron Nielsen
Documentary Filmmaker & Collaborator

Cameron Nielsen’s is a documentary filmmaker. His journey with bees started from a young age under the mentorship of Michael Thiele. He explores the question, “how can you engage people with the importance of honeybees?”  through interdisciplinary perspectives on ecology and communication. During his undergraduate studies at Quest University Canada he created a short documentary, The Good of the Hive. The documentary tells the story of a mural initiative that is painting 50,000 honeybees – the number of bees in a healthy hive, in murals around the world. 


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