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 Community room of the Redwood City public library (1044 Middlefield Road). 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.

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: Topic TBD — Randy Oliver,

June 1:  Panel Discussion: Varroa Management — Panelists TBD

July 6: Topic TBD — TBD

August 3: Topic TBD — TBD

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

October 5: Topic TBD — TBD

November 9: Topic TBD — TBD

December 7: Annual Holiday party and Elections 

2022 Meeting Topics

January 6 VIRTUAL MEETING: Research Updates Including Impact of Phytochemicals, Self-fertile Almonds, and Which Ornamentals are Most Attractive to Bees — Elina L. Niño, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Cooperative Extension – Apiculture, Department of Entomology and Nematology, UC Davis

7:00 pm: Hive Registration on the BeeWhere Site —
Michael Wong of the San Mateo County Dept of Agriculture will be giving a short presentation reminding beekeepers to register their hives with the county on the BeeWhere site. California law requires all beekeepers to register their honey bee hive locations with their local Agricultural Commissioner’s office within 30 days of establishing the apiary.
7:05 pm: Not a Cottage Food: Deregulating the Sale of Honey
— Eugene Makovec, Editor, American Bee Journal

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

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

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

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

July 7 Hybrid Meeting: Concepts in Varroa Management — Randy Oliver,

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

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

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

November 3 Hybrid Meeting: Brood Factories — Mike Palmer, French Hill Apiaries. Announcement of board candidates.

December 1 Holiday Party — Board elections.

Recorded Meetings from 2021

January 7 VIRTUAL MEETING: 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.


7 pm: Hive Registration —  Michael Wong, San Mateo County Dept of Agriculture
Michael will be giving a short presentation reminding beekeepers to register their hives with the county on the BeeWhere site. California law requires all beekeepers to register their honey bee hive locations with their local Agricultural Commissioner’s office within 30 days of establishing the apiary.

7:10 pm: 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 VIRTUAL MEETING: 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 VIRTUAL MEETING: Beekeepers United: Lessons Learned from Bees and Their Keepers Around the Globe
— Melanie M. Kirby, Zia Queenbees Farm & Field Institute

May 6 VIRTUAL MEETING: Requeening Naturally — Elizabeth Newell

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

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

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

Recorded Meetings from 2020

April 2, 2020: A Year at a Glance for Bay Area Beekeepers — Kendal Sager.

May 5, 2020: 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 VIRTUAL MEETING: 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.