The Beekeepers’ Guild of San Mateo County holds meetings the first Thursday of each month, featuring experienced members or special guests who talk about honey bees and/or beekeeping.  Meetings start at 7:00 pm; additionally, at 6:30 pm the BEEginner’s Corner meets for informal discussion on beginning beekeeping.

Meeting Location

We are currently meeting in the Fireplace Room of the Congregational Church of the Peninsula (Formerly Belmont Congregational Church), 751 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont. Speakers will be joining us via Zoom. Meetings will also be available on Zoom, with specifics and links to join the meetings emailed to the Guild’s member roster and our Google email group before each meeting.

2024 Meeting Topics

January 4: Discussion/Q&A – Dealing with winter prep/losses while beginning spring preparations

February 1: Fishing for Bees  — Phil Stob, Alameda County Beekeepers Guild

March 7: Spring Beekeeping: Inspections, Swarm Prevention, and Splits — Master Beekeeper Kendal Sager will cover what to look for during your spring inspections, swarm prevention, and how to effectively split your hives. Recording available online.

April 4: Getting Started with Your Bees (How to Install, Get Drawn Comb, What to Look For) — Member Elizabeth Newell will speak on how to start up a hive of bees. If you are ordering a package or nuc, it is highly recommended you attend this meeting! Recording available online.

May 2:  Varroa Management: Concepts and Practice Randy Oliver, scientificbeekeeping.comRecording available online.

June 6: Sustainable Miticide Use and Varroa Control — Dr. Frank Rinkevich, USDA Entemologist. Dr Rinkevich will be presenting via Zoom, Beeginner’s Corner and other monthly meeting functions will be in person.

July 11, SECOND Thursday: Africanized BeesDewey Caron, Professor Emeritus, University of Delaware, Author and Beekeeper.

August 1: Reserve Queens – Raising Your Level of Backyard Beekeeping — Greg Mau

September 5: Darwinian Beekeeping: Letting Bees be BeesBryan Hains, Guild Member.

October 3: Club Elections  and TBD — TBD.

November 7: Biodynamic ApicultureMichael Thiele,

December 5: Holiday Party — Location TBD.

2023 Meeting Topics

January 5 VIRTUAL MEETING: Nectar Microbes and Pollinators — Professor Tadashi Fukami, Professor of Biology and community ecologist at Stanford University

February 2: Ant Biology and Control in the Apiary — Bryan Hains, Beekeepers Guild of San Mateo County

March 2:  Swarms and Trapping Them — Phil Stob, Alameda County Beekeepers Guild

April 6: Installing Packages — Bob Silverstein; and Inspections: Why, when, and what? If you don’t inspect you don’t know the whole picture of how your bees are doing. BUT… if you open a hive, move a couple of frames and close it, it takes the bees 3-4 days to repair your “Help”. Make every inspection count! — Art Hall

May 4: Varroa Management — Randy Oliver,

June 1:  Panel Discussion: Varroa Lifecycle and Management — Members Peter Mckone, Elizabeth Newell, Levi Romandine and Bob Silverstein will share their varroa strategies, then take questions from the audience.

July 6: Extractor Demo and Bee Social — Beeginner’s Corner at 6:30, then member Elodie Lorenz will demo how to use an extractor — if you’re thinking of borrowing one of the  Guild’s extractors, we highly recommend you attend!  After the demo we’ll have a potluck social to meet fellow members and talk bees & beekeeping. Bring a finger-food or dessert to share.

August 3: Anticipatory Beekeeping — Dewey Caron, Emeritus Professor of Entomology & Wildlife Ecology, Univ of Delaware, & Affiliate Professor, Dept Horticulture, Oregon State University

August 20: Annual Summer Picnic!  — 11 am – 2 pm, Washington Park, Olive Tree Picnic Area, Burlingame. The Guild will supply meat- and non-meat grillables plus buns and beverages, please bring a dish to share!

September 7: Anaphylaxis and the Apiary — Elizabeth Newell, Beekeepers Guild of San Mateo County

October 5: UC Davis Research Updates  — Elina L. Niño, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Cooperative Extension – Apiculture, Department of Entomology and Nematology, UC Davis

November 9: Cancelled 

December 7: Annual Holiday party and Elections — Thursday, December 7, 6:30 – 9:00 pm. Congregational Church of the Peninsula (formerly the Congregational Church of Belmont), 751 Alameda de las Pulgas, Belmont.

Recorded Meetings from 2022

February 3: Not a Cottage Food: Deregulating the Sale of Honey — Eugene Makovec, Editor, American Bee Journal

March 3: Bee Nutrition and Varroa Treatment — Ramesh Sagili, Associate Professor-Apiculture  Oregon State University

April 7: Managing Colonies for Spring Build up and Swarm Management — Randy Oliver,

May 5: Using “Increase Colonies” as a Management Tool — Lawrence Connor. Author, contributor to Bee Culture and the ABJ

June 2: Honey, Health Food for Bees — May Berenbaum, PhD. Professor and head of Entomology at the School of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois

July 7: Concepts in Varroa Management — Randy Oliver,

August 4: Honey Bee Division of Labor and Communication — Dr Brian Johnson, UC Davis. Note: this meeting will not be recorded.

September 1: Handling Defensive Bees — Dewey Caron, PhD. Professor of Entomology at the University of Delaware

October 6: Why are Our Bees Dying? — Noah Wilson-Rich & Emily O’Neil, Call for board nominees.

Recorded Meetings from 2021

January 7: Effective and Accessible Queen Rearing MethodsAng Roell

Resources mentioned in Ang’s presentation:

  • Newsletter.
  • Online shop, featuring our Beginning Bee School as well as pins, zines, wax, honey, virtual consultations with Ang and more.
  • They Keep Bees on Youtube
  • Instagram, for updates on what we’re doing and where:
  • Tshirt fundraiser:  support our Big Red Barn Fundraiser!
  • Free e-book, which includes planning tools for beekeepers & stories of beekeepers in the field.

February 4: Making Candles, Beeswax Body Products and More — Laryssa Kwoczak
Laryssa will discuss how to render beeswax, candle making basics, making a candle from items in your house, choosing a wick size, and beeswax body products. Laryssa worked for marketing and ad agencies for 15 years before becoming a beekeeper. She then worked with Big Island Bees in Hawaii to establish their honey brand and beekeeping tours. She also hosts the podcast “The Buzz About Bees” and is owner of Beekeeping Made Simple, a beekeeping education website.

March 4: The Game of Drones — Julia Mahood
Honey bee drones are the Rodney Dangerfields of the bee world, they (often) get no respect! Learn all about the amazing drones and their mysterious drone congregation areas at this informative talk. Julia Mahood is a Georgia Master Beekeeper who has been keeping bees since 2004. She created the citizen science website to gather data on drone congregation areas. Julia is passionate about education and teaches beekeeping in Georgia prisons and is active in her local and state bee organizations.

April 1: Beekeepers United: Lessons Learned from Bees and Their Keepers Around the Globe — Melanie M. Kirby, Zia Queenbees Farm & Field Institute

May 6: Requeening Naturally — Elizabeth Newell

August 5: Treatment Options for Varroa — Panel discussion featuring Guild members  from a range of viewpoints

September 2: Imperfect Comb and the Architectural Abilities of Honeybees — Dr Michael Smith

November 4: Eyesonhives: Computer Vision at the Hive’s Entrance – Seeing the Superorganism — Kelton Temby

Recorded Meetings from 2020

April 2: A Year at a Glance for Bay Area Beekeepers — Kendal Sager.

May 5: 10 Things Every Beginner Beekeeper Should Learn — Elizabeth Newell.

June 11: Re-envisioning Beekeeping in a Time of Crisis — Michael Thiele.
Studies references in this talk:
1) The Darwin cure for apiculture? Natural selection and managed honeybee health. Evol Appl., 2017 March; 10(3): 226–230
2) A Plea for Use of Honey Bees’ Natural Resilience in Beekeeping. Bee World, 2018 April; 95(2), 34–38
3) Darwinian Beekeeping: An Evolutionary Approach to Apiculture. American Bee Journal, 2017 March.

July 9: Harvesting — Alex Johnson.

August 6: Mite Management — A lively panel discussion by  Guild members representing various approaches to mite management.

October 1: Fungi and Bee Health — Tom Dadant, UC Santa Cruz. Materials referenced in this talk:

Suggest a Speaker

Got an idea for a speaker you’d like to see at a Guild meeting? Email . Please include the speaker’s name and contact info, as well as a description of their area of expertise.