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How to keep bees happy, healthy

A bee collects pollen from a blossom in a Central Valley almond orchard. California is one of the nation’s top honey producing states.
A bee collects pollen from a blossom in a Central Valley almond orchard. California is one of the nation’s top honey producing states. TPN

Bees need all the friends they can get – especially honeybees.

Concern over honeybees (and sustainability) has brought new interest in beekeeping especially in urban areas such as Sacramento. But how do you keep bees happy — and making honey?

Start by keeping them healthy. That’s the theme of an upcoming bee symposium at the Robert Mondavi Institute’s Honey & Pollination Center at UC Davis.

Aimed at beekeepers and bee lovers of all experience levels, this one-day workshop on May 9 will cover the basics of bee management and health plus a lot more. Keynote speaker will be internationally renown bee biologist Marla Spivak, distinguished McKnight professor from the University of Minnesota, who will address, “Helping Bees Stand on Their Own Six Feet.”

Spivak’s talk will reflect on these hard-working insects and their relationships with people worldwide as well as what humans need to do in order to sustain bees into the future.

“Marla is a passionate researcher and speaker,” said Amina Harris, the center’s director and organizer of the symposium. “She leads some of the country’s most innovative programs.”

Other speakers include bee experts from across North America. The event includes a tour of the Hӓagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on the UC Davis campus as well as presentations by UC Davis students and faculty. Expect to taste some honey, too.

Tickets are $75, $15 students, and include breakfast, lunch and a reception. Availability is limited, Harris noted. More than 300 people already have signed up for the symposium and seating is limited to 400. To learn more, click on http://honey.ucdavis.edu.

Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.

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