Bee Audacious Conference 2016

Audacious Visions for the Future of Bees and Beekeeping

A collaborative working conference to envision bold evidence-based ideas through which honeybees, wild bees, beekeepers and pollination managers can prosper

Post conference panel discussion video.

Final report.

Interviews with leaders and participants.




Inspired by Mark Winston (see his editorial in the April 2015 Bee Culture magazine and recently posted Manifesto) and to be guided by the methods utilized at the Simon Fraser University Center for Dialogue ( and Thomas Seeley’s “Five Habits of Highly Effective Hives”, an exciting working conference took place in Marin County in December 2016.

We often support the value of bees solely with economic arguments, neglecting the dimension of values, the principles we hold important and the personal and environmental standards that should be at the heart of beekeeping rather than its fringes.

Bees are no longer healthy enough to respond with the resilience that allowed us to manage honeybees intensively, and ecosystems are no longer sufficiently diverse for wild and managed bees to thrive. Pesticides are ubiquitous, diseases and pests rampant, and the diversity and abundance of bee forage has plummeted.

These are not conventional times for bees, and the conventional wisdom about how to keep honeybees and manage wild pollinators no longer serves beekeepers, farmers or the critical societal imperative for environmental sustainability. It is time for bold new ideas that recognize beekeepers as stewards of both managed and wild bees, promoters of healthy environments, managers of economically sustainable apiaries and paragons of collaboration and cooperation.

It’s time for some audacious thinking about the future of bees and beekeeping.

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