Mussen to keynote Beekeepers' conference

Eric Mussen, a noted authority on honey bees and a member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology faculty since 1976, will be the keynote speaker at the California State Beekeepers’ Association’s 120th annual convention, set Nov. 17-19, in San Diego.

Mussen, an Extension apiculturist, will speak on “Glimpses of California’s Beekeeping Future” at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the convention headquarters, the Hilton Resort and Spa.

Mussen, who was named the California Beekeeper of the Year in 2006, won the American Association of Professional Apiculturists’ Award of Excellence in Extension Apiculture in 2007. In 2008 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America.

Mussen has been interviewed by Good Morning, America, the Lehrer Hour, National Public Radio, California Heartland, New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among other media.

Other UC Davis speakers at the conference will be breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey, manager of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility and assistant professor and native pollinator specialist Neal Williams. Cobey, who was named the association’s California Young Beekeeper of the Year in 1986, will speak Nov. 17, on “Update on Stock Improvement.” Williams will discuss his work as the UC Davis new native pollinator specialist on Nov. 18.

Brock Ahsurst of El Centro, state association president, said other topics include pesticides in hives, effects of fungicides, pollen substitutes, impact of Nosema on almond pollination, sperm viability, and pollination forecast and fees. Senior Extension Associate Maryann Frazier of Pennsylvania State University will speak on “Latest on Pollinator Decline and Colony Collapse Disorder.”

The agenda is at Headquartered in Hughson, Calif., the state association aims to educate the public about the beneficial aspects of honey bees, advance research beneficial to beekeeping practices, provide a forum for cooperation among beekeepers and to support the economic and political viability of the beekeeping industry.

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