Featured Experts

Our courses include content from many of the world's leading figures in bees and beekeeping.


Prof. Thomas Seeley

Thomas is the Horace White Professor in Biology Emeritus at Cornell University. He is based in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, where he taught courses on animal behaviour. He studied chemistry at Dartmouth College and earned his PhD in biology from Harvard University. Thomas’ research focussed on swarm intelligence by studying how bees collectively make decisions. 

He is the author of Honeybee Ecology (1985, Princeton University Press), The Wisdom of the Hive (1995), and Honeybee Democracy (2010). In 2001 Thomas received the Humboldt Prize in Biology. His latest book, The Lives of Bees (2019), explores the behaviour, social life and survival strategies of wild honeybees, and investigates how beekeeping can better align with the natural habits of honeybees. 


Dr. Kirsten Traynor

Kirsten is currently a research associate at the Global Biosocial Complexity Initiative at Arizona State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Biology from Arizona State University, focussing her research on honeybee societies. Kirsten has been awarded the prestigious German Chancellor Scholarship from the Humboldt Foundation, as well as a Fulbright Fellowship. Her research has taken her to Maryland, France, Berlin and across Western Europe. 

Kirsten has edited the journals Bee World and American Bee Journal. She is the author of Two Million Blossoms: Discovering the Medicinal Benefits of Honey (2011, Image Design) and Simple, Smart Beekeeping (2015, Image Design). In January 2020 she will launch '2 Million Blossoms', a quarterly magazine dedicated to protecting pollinators.


Michael Bush

Michael is a renowned beekeeping expert, author, and a leading proponent of treatment-free beekeeping. Based in Nebraska, he has been practicing natural beekeeping since 1974. He is active on many beekeeping forums, with over 60,000 posts logged. His books Practical Beekeeping - Volumes I-III (X-Star Publishing) have been translated into numerous languages. Michael’s website also contains a wealth of beekeeping info.


Professor Dave Goulson

Dave is a Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex, specializing in bumblebee ecology and conservation. He studied Biology at Oxford University and did his PhD in butterfly ecology at Oxford Brookes University. In 2006 he founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, a charity devoted to reversing bumblebee declines.

Professor Goulson has published over 200 scientific articles on the ecology of bees and other insects, and is the author of Bumblebees; their behavior, ecology, and conservation (2010, Oxford University Press). He is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Garden Jungle: Or Gardening to Save the Planet (2019, Random House). His other popular science books include A Sting in the Tale (2013, Jonathan Cape), and A Buzz in the Meadow (2014, Jonathan Cape). 

Dave is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, and a former Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 2010 he was BBSRC "Social Innovator of the Year" and in 2013 he won the Marsh Award for Conservation Biology from the Zoological Society of London.


Hilary Kearney

Hilary is the author of the books Queenspotting (2019, Storey Publishing) and Little Book of Bees (2019, Abrams). She founded Girl Next Door Honey in 2012 in San Diego, California after graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Fine Art. Girl Next Door Honey focuses on bee-centric programs such as natural beekeeping classes, apiary management, classroom presentations, beehive tours, live bee removal and more. You can find her on Instagram.


Dr. Judy Wu-Smart

Judy is a Research Entomologist at the Bee Lab University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She received her PhD in Entomology from the University of Minnesota. She previously studied at Humboldt State University, California, and at Washington State University. 

Judy’s research focuses on the health of bee communities and on developing best practices for bee management. She is an expert on the effects of pesticides on bee behavior and colony development.


Prof. Marla Spivak

Marla is a MacArthur Fellow and McKnight Distinguished Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota.  Marla obtained her PhD from the University of Kansas in 1989 on the identification and ecology of Africanized and European honey bees in Costa Rica.  She was a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Insect Science at the University of Arizona before coming to the University of Minnesota in 1993.

Marla is particularly well known for her work breeding a lines of honey bees that detect and quickly remove diseased larvae and pupae, called the Minnesota Hygenic line. She has initiated a new breeding program to select bees that can defend themselves against diseases and parasitic mites. More recently, she has begun studying the role of resins, which bees collect and mix with wax to make propolis coatings on the inside of their hives, as an example of honey bee social immunity. Her lab also studies the effect of the surrounding landscape on the health and nutrition of both honey bees and native bees.

In 2013 Marla gave a Ted Talk on Why bees are disappearing.



Prof. Lars Chittka

Lars is the founder of the Research Centre for Psychology at Queen Mary University of London, where he is a Professor of Sensory and Behavioural Ecology. He studied Biology at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and obtained his PhD degree at the Free University of Berlin. 

Lars has carried out extensive work on the behaviour, cognition and ecology of bumblebees and honeybees, and their interactions with flowers. He explored phenomena such as numerosity, speed-accuracy trade-offs, false memories and social learning in bees. His discoveries have made a substantial impact on the understanding of animal intelligence and its neural-computational underpinnings. 

Lars is also a musician, creating bee-themed songs with his band the Killer Bee Queens. You can follow him on Twitter.


Frederick Dunn

Fred is a Cornell University Certified Master Beekeeper. He documents honeybee behaviour and evaluates beekeeping products. He resides in farm country in the northeastern United States, where he manages 15 colonies of survivor honeybee stock in a variety of hive configurations. Fred has been observing and photographing honeybees since 2006 and obtained his first beehives in 2007. He frequently gives educational presentations about bees and also reviews beekeeping equipment on his YouTube Channel. His cinematic works have been included in bee-related presentations, including the Animal Planet series Nature's Strangest Mysteries Solved in 2019.


Professor Benjamin Oldroyd

Ben is a Professor in Behavioral Genetics at the University of Sydney, where he has taught since 1995. Before joining Sydney, he worked at LaTrobe University, the USDA bee lab in Baton Rouge, and the Victorian Department of Agriculture.

Ben is primarily interested in behavioral genetics and the evolution of social behavior. His research has been mainly been on honeybees, focussing on how social cohesion is maintained in bee colonies. He is the author of Asian Honey Bees (2006, Harvard University Press). 

Here you can read about Ben’s work on the rare phenomenon of virgin birth in Cape honeybees. 


Dr. Nural Cokcetin

Nural is a postdoctoral researcher at the ithree institute at the University of Technology, Sydney. She gained her PhD in Microbiology from the University of New South Wales. She is an expert in the medicinal properties of honey. Her research focuses on the use of honey as a topical treatment for chronic wounds and skin infections; and as a prebiotic food to help combat gut-related diseases.

Nural is passionate about doing research that has direct positive impacts for society, and about communicating her research to a broad audience.


Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich

Noah is a behavioral ecologist, author, co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of The Best Bees Company, and affiliated nonprofit Urban Beekeeping Lab. He is also a research affiliate at the MIT Media Lab. Noah completed his undergraduate studies at Northeastern University and received his PhD from Tufts University in Massachusetts. As an academic scientist, he has held various adjunct faculty appointments in biology and is the author of several scientific publications, as well as features in National Geographic, The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, and Science. Two of Noah's talks are featured on TED.com. He is the author of The Bee: A Natural History (2018, Princeton University Press & Quarto).


Professor Madeleine Beekman

Madeleine is a professor in Behavioural Ecology at the University of Sydney. She has always been fascinated by insects in general and social insects in particular. She did her PhD at the University of Amsterdam on bumblebees. After finishing her PhD in 1998 she moved to the University of Sheffield, where she worked both on honeybees and ants.

Madeleine continued this work after moving to the University of Sydney in 2001. Currently her main honeybee research interests are conflict and cooperation in honeybee colonies, the evolution of the dance language and the evolution of virulence of honeybee RNA viruses. You can find more information about the research she is involved with on her lab's website.   


Doug Purdie

Doug is cofounder of The Urban Beehive, an initiative that maintains more than 80 beehives on city rooftops, balconies, backyards and in community gardens around Sydney. He runs beginner beekeeping courses and is president of the Sydney branch of the Amateur Beekeepers' Association. He is the author of Backyard Bees (2014, Murdoch Books) and The Bee Friendly Garden (2016, Murdoch Books).


James Dorey

James is a photographer who is currently completing his PhD at Flinders University in Adelaide, looking at the evolution, taxonomy and ecology of Australian and Fijian native bees. In his research and photography, he specializes in exploring the insect world. He is the author of Bees of Australia - A Photographic Exploration (2018, CSIRO Publishing). You can find his work on his website.  


Prof. Andrew Barron

Andrew is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, and Deputy Head of the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University. He is a neuroethologist, studying the neuroscience of natural animal behavior. Andrew’s research focuses mainly on honey bees and their brains, - through which he studies mechanisms of cognition, social behaviour and even consciousness. 

Andrew also conducts research to improve honey bee health and welfare. His work investigates how bees and bee colonies are impacted by pesticide and disease stressors, and how to best intervene to help colonies under stress. You can find out more at: http://andrewbarron.org/ 


Professor James Wilkes

James is Professor of the Department of Computer Science at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He is part of the Information Technology team for the Bee Informed Partnership.

James owns and operates Faith Mountain Farm, a family farm and beekeeping operation. He is also CEO and co-founder of Hive Tracks, a hive management software system for beekeepers.


Dr. Jamie Ellis

Jamie is the Gahan Endowed Professor of Entomology in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at the University of Florida. He created the UF, South Florida, and Caribbean Bee Colleges, and the UF Master Beekeeper Program. 

At the Honey Bee Research Lab, Jamie and his team conduct research projects in the fields of honey bee husbandry, conservation and ecology, and integrated crop pollination. The lab’s website contains an array of beekeeping resources.


Sam Droege

Sam is a wildlife biologist based at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. He is head of the USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program in Maryland, an organization that designs and develops large and small scale surveys for native bees. They also  create archival reference catalogs and online identification guides for North American bees. 

Sam has coordinated the North American Breeding Bird Survey Program, developed the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, the BioBlitz, Cricket Crawl, and FrogwatchUSA programs and worked on the design and evaluation of monitoring programs.  

Check out his group’s Instagram page for some amazing high resolution macro photographs of bees and other natural wonders. 



Elizabeth Frost

Liz is the Technical Specialist for Honey Bees in the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries in Australia. She delivers research, development and education programs and is currently developing a Queen Bee Breeding Program, a platform for honey bee genetic research and extension.

Liz has worked in bee research labs and commercial queen breeding in the US, Australia and New Zealand. You can follow her on Twitter. 



Dr. Megan Halcroft

Megan received her degree in Horticultural Science from the University of Western Sydney in 2004. She was introduced to the Australian stingless bee Austroplebeia australis while studying for her Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in 2006, and completed her PhD in 2013 on the potential for using this bee as a crop pollinator.  In 2015, she started Australian Native Pollinator Week, an annual week celebrating and promoting the importance of native pollinators. Megan’s website is dedicated to sharing information about native bees, and promoting practices that encourage native bees in gardens and croplands.


Mark Page

Mark is a Bee Biosecurity Officer Surveillance for the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. This role supports the National Bee Pest Surveillance Program, including sampling to detect any new pest or disease incursion and floral sweeping for exotic bees in NSW. Mark provides education for amateur beekeeping groups as well as the public on the specific needs required to keep bees, beekeeper registration, the Biosecurity Act and obligations, and the Australian honey bee industry biosecurity code of practice that has now been mandated in NSW, community engagement is another key element in providing information so beekeepers can meet their obligations under the new Code.

 Mark has been fascinated with bees ever since childhood. He has been a beekeeper for many years, and previously incorporated this knowledge into his work with Valley Industries (supported employment for people with disability). Through this program, he set up Valley Beekeeping Supplies.


Dr. Jody Gerdts

Jody is a fourth-generation beekeeper whose work focuses on the development and practical application of science-based beekeeping practices. Her main areas of interest are the role of nutrition in honey bee immune defences and genetic contributions to honey bee health. 

Jody is the founder and Managing Director of Bee Scientifics. She is an International Specialised Skills Institute Agribusiness Fellow and accomplished speaker and educator.


Dr. Cameron Jack

Cameron is a lecturer in the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida. He obtained his Master’s from Oregon St. University in 2015 focusing his research on the honey bee gut pathogen Nosema ceranae. In 2020, he completed his PhD from the University of Florida with a primary focus on the integrated pest management of Varroa destructor.

Cameron is obsessed with creating a premier educational program that prepares students for the many challenges associated with beekeeping and to train those interested in entering the beekeeping workforce. His main research interests are honey bee epidemiology and toxicology.


Dr. Scarlett Howard

Scarlett is an Alfred Deakin postdoctoral research fellow at Deakin University, specialising in the neurobiology, cognition, and perception of honeybees, and the impacts of anthropogenic change on pollinators. She completed her PhD in the Bio-Inspired Digital Sensing Lab at RMIT University in Melbourne, and also studied at the Research Center on Animal Cognition in the University of Toulouse in France. 

Her research on the numerical and mathematical capabilities of honeybees has garnered several awards. Scarlett is an avid science communicator, and has published several articles on TheConversation.com. You can follow her on Twitter, and check out her community science project Bees at Home.


Robyn Underwood

Robyn is an assistant research professor in the Department of Entomology at Penn State University. She received her BSC in Entomology and Applied Ecology from the University of Delaware and her PhD in Entomology from the University of Manitoba.

Her research program interests focus on honey bee health and practical beekeeping considerations. Specifically, her current research focus is on the impacts of honey bee management and queen origin on colony health and productivity. She is particularly interested in understanding the trade-offs and economic impact of beekeepers’ choices about how they manage their bees and where they buy their queens. She also works as an extension educator, as her research and extension aspirations work hand in hand. Conducting scientifically sound research projects to study beekeeper-applied questions is critically important. Bringing the results of the projects to the beekeepers through extension products then improves the industry while making beekeeping a more successful venture.


Pete Wilkins

Pete was beekeeping with his dad from a young age and finds bees endlessly beautiful and fascinating. His Hive Care business in Northern NSW offers beekeeping help and advice, apiary management, and live feral colony removal and relocation. He also manages around 70 - 80 of his own production hives, specializing in bee breeding and nucleus colonies.


Robyn Francis

Robyn Francis is an Australian permaculture figure, designer, educator, presenter, innovator and founder of Permaculture College Australia.

For four decades, Robyn has worked in Permaculture throughout Australia and overseas. She was founding director Permaculture International Ltd (PIL) in 1987, designer and creator of Djanbung Gardens, Australia’s leading permaculture centre, and was member of the National Reference Group which developed the Accredited Permaculture Training™ (APT) for Permaculture International.

Robyn has dedicated her expertise to empowering people to be effective agents of change. Her students include some of permaculture’s leading teachers and activists. You can find out more about her work at https://permaculture.com.au/


Carla Marina Marchese

Carla Marina is a beekeeper, author and honey sommelier. She studied wine tasting in order to transfer those skills to honey tasting. She became the first US citizen to be accepted as a member of the Italian National Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey. In 2013, she founded the American Honey Tasting Society to bring the Italian program to the US. 

Carla Marina is the author of two books -  Honeybee Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper and The Honey Connoisseur - Selecting, Tasting, and Pairing Honey co-authored with Kim Flottum. She has appeared on numerous TV shows to talk about honey. Her Red Bee Honey was awarded the coveted Slow Food Snail of Approval.


Dr Paul Siefert

Paul is a research assistant at the Bee Research Institute at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. Paul has developed a method of recording videos inside the cells within a beehive. This technology provides fascinating insights into the inner workings of bee colonies.
Paul has used the footage from inside the cells, along with a machine learning algorithm, to analyse bee behaviour, brood development, pests and other bee stressors. His research has also focussed on the effect of neonicotinoid pesticides on brood development.


Jennifer Berry

For over 21 years, Jennifer has been the Apicultural Research Professional and Lab Manager for the University of Georgia Honey Bee Program. Her research objectives have focused on queen breeding, improving honey bee health, the sub-lethal effects of pesticides on beneficial insects, IPM techniques for varroa and small hive beetle control, weeds for bees, and what best to plant in non-traditional horticultural landscapes to enhance pollinator populations and diversity.  

Jennifer is involved in numerous outreach and educational programs, including teaching beekeeping to young women and teens in Latin America and prison inmates in Georgia. Recently, she has become a PhD student and is reinstating the entomology course “Bees, Beekeeping and Pollinator Conservation” at the University of Georgia this Fall.


Randy Oliver

Randy is a California-based entomologist who has been keeping bees since the 1960’s. He started a migratory beekeeping operation in California in 1980 which he now runs with his two sons. After the Varroa mite wiped out his operation for a second time in 1999, Randy began to use his scientific background to research ways to combat the pest.  

A regular contributor to the American Bee Journal, Randy also publishes a beekeeping blog and attends beekeeping conferences around the world. His goal is to translate scientific research into practical applications for beekeepers, avoiding opinion and conjecture. You can find his work at ScientificBeekeeping.com



Richard Sims

President of the Australian Queen Bee Breeders' Association, Richard has been involved with bees all of his life.

At 17 years old in 1981 he began working for Murray Charlton, a renowned queen bee breeder, and after that he worked with Norm Rice.

Richard now breeds queens in southern Queensland NSW.



Dr. Erica Shelley

Erica is the founder and CEO of Best for Bees, a research and development company for beekeepers that includes agricultural and research projects centred around honeybee health. Erica holds a B.A. in Biology from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Medical Genetics from Oregon Health and Sciences University. She uses her blend of microbiology expertise and practical beekeeping experience to bridge the gap between beekeepers and researchers.

Erica collaborated with Dr. Peter Kevan at the University of Guelph to develop the ProtectaBEE™. This is a pioneering hive entrance solution that fuses bee vectoring tech with a plug-and-play system to enhance hive protection. 

Erica is working on encouraging beekeepers of all types to contribute to honeybee health through the gathering and sharing of big bee data.


Stuart Anderson

Stu is a life-long beekeeper, and before the Andersons’ incredible invention became all-consuming he was the director of a not-for-profit community organisation based in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia.

As well as his work for BeeInventive/Flow, Stu speaks regularly at beekeeping conferences and other events in Australia and abroad. He’s still an avid beekeeper with a passion for sustainability and the natural world.


Cedar Anderson

Cedar has been a beekeeper since the age of six, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather before him. Growing up on a bushland “intentional community” in northern New South Wales, Australia, Cedar didn’t have a TV. Instead, he spent his time tinkering and coming up with crazy inventions to delight his friends and family.

It was during a particularly nasty summer honey harvest that he decided, “there has to be a better way”, and got to work with his dad Stuart on the decade-long process of inventing a gentler, easier system. The Flow Hive has been hailed as the biggest innovation in beekeeping since 1852, and the Andersons' company (BeeInventive Pty Ltd) has now shipped more than 75,000 orders all around the world. 


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