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2020 World Bee Day

Natural Beekeeping
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Date and Time: You may watch this recorded Webinar any time (the Live Interactive Broadcast was on May 20, 2020 was recorded, so you will receive 12 hours of recorded presentations, along with the transcript of the Chat Window, Attachments and Links referenced throughout the Webinar, as well as Speaker contact information for questions.

Cost: $45

How does this work? You will receive a webinar access link at registration, allowing you to attend this video conference from the comfort of your home, via computer, tablet or smart phone, either live the day or the event or via download to watch on your own schedule afterward.

Why this conference: The biggest challenge beekeepers encounter in going Natural is a lack of information and understanding on the underlying mechanisms honey bees use to fend off pests and pathogens on their own, why it is so important to keep bees naturally, and what best practices beekeepers can use to leverage those natural mechanisms.

What you will learn in this webinar: 

  • Our Featured Speakers (Bios and Topics listed below) are internationally recognized authorities in Natural Beekeeping, who will share with you their expertise and core philosophy throughout the day for a deep understanding of those natural mechanisms and how beekeepers can work with the honey bee's nature to boost their colonies' health naturally. Featured Speakers are: 

    • Dr. Tom Seeley: Darwinian Beekeeping

    • Michael Bush: 

    • Les Crowder

    • Solomon Parker

  • Our panel of Natural Beekeeping Specialists will provide you with real life success stories of how they put in practice Natural Beekeeping principles in their apiaries and business models, and how they reap the benefits with clean, chemical-free hive products. Panel Speakers are:

    • Shelley Rice

    • Ryan Giesecke

    • Veronica Hawk

    • Mark De Kiewiet

    • Tara Chapman

    • Cyrus Nasr

    • Nathalie Biggie

  • You will learn about core principles of Natural Beekeeping, best practices, and tips and tricks on how to grow your apiary sustainably while focusing on a chemical-free, natural approach to beekeeping.

  • These principles apply to backyard beekeeping, small scale businesses, and even large commercial operations

  • You will discover how many beekeepers successfully keep bees leveraging their nature, and get inspired to do the same with your bees

  •  You will also witness how keeping bees naturally also contributes direct benefits to human health through clean, pure hive products, and how that can be used in apitherapy



"Darwinian Beekeeping" by Dr. Thomas Seeley

How you can provide managed honey bee colonies with living conditions as close as possible to those of wild colonies. The goal is to harmonize beekeeping methods with the natural history of Apis mellifera, allowing the bees to make full use of the toolkit of adaptations that they have evolved over the last 30 million years. This talk will discuss how you can pursue beekeeping in a way that is centered less on treating a bee colony as a honey factory, and more on nurturing the lives of the bees.​​

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  • Thomas D. Seeley, biologist and writer, is the Horace White Professor in Biology at Cornell University, where he is a member of the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. He teaches courses on animal behavior and does research on the behavior, social life, and ecology of honey bees.

  • Tom is also an avid beekeeper: he began to master this craft when he was a high school student, in Ithaca, in the

  • late 1960s.

  • His scientific work is summarized in five books:

  1. Honeybee Ecology (1985)

  2. The Wisdom of the Hive(1995)

  3. Honeybee Democracy (2010)

  4. Following the Wild Bees (2016)

  5. The Lives of Bees (2019)

  • In recognition of his scientific contributions, he has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a member of the German National Academy of Sciences.

  • He has also received an Alexander von Humboldt Distinguished U.S. Scientist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Golden Goose Award of the AAAS.

  • He writes: "These honors are gratifying, but for me, the most important prizes by far are the discoveries that I have made about the natural lives and inner workings of honey bee colonies"


"Four Simple Steps to Healthier Bees" and "A Few Good Queens

by Michael Bush                                                                       

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  • Michael Bush is an internationally recognized author and speaker on natural beekeeping. He is the author of "The Practical Beekeeper", which has been published in five languages and is one of the authoritative sources on sustainable beekeeping without chemical treatments.

  • His website ( is an invaluable source of information on natural, chemical-free beekeeping and just plain beekeeping. The topics are based on the questions that come up on beekeeping forums over and over. 

  • The wisdom of his methods is evidenced by the fact that he successfully keeps bees through the harsh winters of Nebraska.

  • "His talks are like his writing, with more content, detail, and depth than one would think possible with such few words...his website and PowerPoint presentations are the gold standard for diverse and common sense beekeeping practices."    D. Stiglitz

"Debunking the "Mite-Bomb" Myth and How Natural Beekeeping Leads to a Higher Competency"

by Les Crowder


  • Les started beekeeping at 14, and is both a biologist and a true veteran of the beekeeping world. Earlier in his career, he worked for a commercial beekeeper with 4,000 hives. Ever since, he has looked for ways to eliminate toxic inputs in the hive.

  • He now is an internationally recognized expert in Natural Beekeeping, and specializes in Top-Bar Hives. He wrote “Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health”,  an authoritative source for Natural, Mindful Beekeeping and a very popular book all over the world. 

  • He has been teaching highly popular Natural Beekeeping classes domestically and abroad for over 35 years (both in English and Spanish).

  • Together, he and Nathalie Biggie now run a Natural Beekeeping sideliner company called Bee Mindful. (

  • Les was a honeybee inspector in New Mexico.for 5 years, the President of the New Mexico Beekeepers Association multiple times, and now is the President of the Hays County Beekeepers Association, a Natural Beekeeping club in Austin, TX. 


"Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Swarm" by Solomon Parker

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  • Solomon Parker started keeping bees in 2003 by purchasing packages. He quickly moved away from conventional methods, instead embracing natural processes and a strictly treatment-free philosophy to encourage mite tolerance and resistance for stronger bees, teaching his methods to new generations of beekeepers, in particular through his podcast "Treatment-Free Beekeeping".

  • He teaches the best methods for commencing a beekeeping hobby, acquiring bees, expanding rapidly, weathering mishaps, and counting success in ways that don't inevitably lead to failure.

  • He also experiments with small scale farming, sustainable living, and permaculture.

  • Solomon holds an Associate's Degree in Agriculture, and Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Civil Engineering. 


Honey Massage and Bee Venom Therapy Demonstration: how Natural Beekeeping helps People 

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  • Shelley Rice will demonstrate and give the Natural Beekeeping community a glimpse of the work being done in New Mexico using massages and bee venom therapy to help with Lymes Disease and auto-immune issues such as Rhumathoid Arthritis, as influenced by Hoshindo practices, which is the Japanese approach to apitherapy.

  • Bio: Shelley is a mother, wife, philanthropist and entrepreneur. She is best known as the Bee Lady, and has served as a trailblazer in the urban beekeeping industry for over 12 years. Her front yard apiary evolved into All Things Bees Texas. In addition to managing her business, Rice founded and continues to manage beekeeping programs and the apiary for the Future Farmers of America Chapter at Lamar High school. She is a board member and treasurer for the Houston Beekeepers Association. She was the first apiarist in Texas to place hives onsite at the Discovery Green and the McGovern Centennial Gardens in Hermann Park. On any given day, you can find the Bee Lady offering public lectures as well as classes for all ages and levels. Her passion for all things bees has become a lifetime pursuit to the environmentalist activist

Shelley Rice

Earning the Right, a Strategy to Credibly Promote the Natural Beekeeping Approach

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  • Mark De Kiewiet will explain how chemical-free beekeeping can be discussed in an educated, credible and non-controversial way in order to promote  what should be the default way of beekeeping, the chemical-free way.

  • Bio: Originally from South Africa, Mark de Kiewiet Mark founded the San Antonio Beekeepers Natural Beekeeping Association "Bees In The East". Mark is a Master Beekeeper and Master Naturalist. He has successfully used his engineering logic to consistently achieve treatment free beekeeping in Texas. He is passionate about research, outreach and has been a guest speaker at local and International organizations and conferences. He was a guest presenter at the  11th Annual Organically Managed Beekeeping Conference in 2018 and has spoken alongside Michael Bush, Dee Lusby and Solomon Parker.

Mark De Kiewiet

Pesticide-Free Native Plants for a Sustainable Healthy Diet Year-Round

  • Veronica Hawk will discuss the importance of using plants native to your area and planting for year-round forage. She will remind us of the importance a clean source of diverse food sources for healthy colony nutrition, and share her recommendations on how best to achieve that in your local context. 

  • Bio:  coming soon

Veronica Hawk

The Importance of Natural Beekeeping as it relates to Apitherapy Practices

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  • Cysrus Nasr will discuss how you can use Natural Beekeeping to produce clean, chemical-free hive products that can be used in apitherapy and help people cope in a significant way with a multitude of ailments, and how Natural Beekeeping is about producing so much more than just honey, wax and bees.

  • Bio:  coming soon Hive Bee Farm 

Cyrus Nasr

Going Foundationless to Augment Colony Health, from Backyard Beekeepers to Sideliners

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  • Tara Chapman will discuss how you too can transition to foundationless in your Langstroth hives to maximize colony health, including in large apiaries or working as a beekeeping business

  • Bio:  After working for the Central Intelligence Agency for 10 years, Tara took a beekeeping class and got hooked. She quit her government job to work for a beekeeper rearing queen bees in East Texas, then started her own company, Two Hives Honey, a socially conscious business that aims to educate the community, support other local businesses, and produce hyper local honey.

Tara Chapman

Understanding Varroa Biology for a Treatment-Free Approach to Beekeeping

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  • Ryan Giesecke will discuss in details the major honey bee pest Varroa Destructor, how it spread, its detailed biology, and how it negatively impacts honey bee health at the individual and colony level. It will then connect this knowledge to what this all means to a treatment-free approach to beekeeping.

  • Bio: Ryan owns and operates G-Bar Bees in East Dallas. He offers  "Bee Relocation Services" (bee-friendly removal services of both honey bees and bumble bees), and maintains a focus on education through speaking engagements around the state and beekeeping classes at his home apiary. Ryan is currently the President of 2 beekeeping organizations in the DFW metroplex: the Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association (in Dallas), and the Metro Beekeepers Association (in Fort Worth). He teaches a Bess and Beekeeping class at Richland College, is a Texas Master Beekeeper, and has received Texas Master Naturalist training in 2018.

Ryan Giesecke

The IPM Pyramid and How Chemical-Free Interventions Are Enough for Trouble-Shooting

  • Nathalie Biggie will provide a brief reminder of what Integrated Pest Management is and its rules of engagement; and go through some Best Practices in Natural Beekeeping for strong, healthy colonies, naturally. Nathalie is the MC for this event, and she will also introduce the Featured Speakers and curate questions from the audience .

  • Bio: A multi-lingual French native, Nathalie left lucrative corporate and private consulting practices to follow her passion for bees and start Bee Mindful, a sideliner operation where she and her partner Les Crowder raise bees naturally and teach Natural Beekeeping classes and Top-Bar Hive making workshops. She has created 2 comprehensive Teaching Apiaries in Austin, which feature Top-Bar, Langstroth, Layens, Long Langs, Warre and Slow Flow hives. Nathalie’s mission in life is teaching about sustainable and mindful Natural Beekeeping while doing community outreach. She recently was hired by the Congolese Minister of Professional Education to design, develop, and direct their country wide beekeeping training program as a means to improve the local economy. She is a candidate in the Texas Master Beekeeper Program at the Master Level, has started the Hays County Beekeepers Association, and has concurrently been the President and VP there and at the Travis County Beekeepers Association.

Nathalie Biggie



  • 03pm-04pm Solomon Parker

  • 04pm-05pm Les Crowder

  • 05pm-06pm Michael Bush

  • 06pm-07pm Michael Bush

  • 07pm-08pm Dr. Seeley


  • 08am-09am Veronica Hawk

  • 09am-10am Cyrus Nasr

  • 10am-11am Shelley Rice

  • 11am-12pm Mark De Kiewiet

  • 12pm-01pm Tara Chapman

  • 01pm-02pm Ryan Giesecke

  • 02pm-03pm Nathalie Biggie


  • The video conference will be hosted via Zoom

  • Once you receive the meeting link, you will need to register your information ahead of the meeting by clicking on the meeting link prior to gaining access so we can validate your ticket

  • During the live event, participants will be muted but will be able to interact and ask questions via the public Chat Window

  • Proceeds will go toward paying our speaker fees and meeting costs.

  • We are not responsible for any technical difficulties on participants' end or on Zoom's end

  • Participants will be able to access the video content and Chat Window from a computer, a tablet or a phone. In addition, they will be able to dial into a regular phone connection if need be.

  • All ticket sales are final and non-refundable. 

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