Educational Program

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Mission Beelieve holds a six week virtual short course, presented by influential professors and beekeepers in the industry. The course ends with a hands on equipment day, to provide an opportunity to construct wooden ware, smoker lighting, and familiarization with different tools and equipment. 

The Instructors 

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01

Dennis vanEngelsdorp
Associate Professor

Honey bee Biology 

Dennis vanEngelsdorp is an associate professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the Chief Scientist for the Bee Informed Partnership and has been involved in a number of studies aimed at understanding colony collapse disorder.

03

Amy Vu
Extension Agent

Amy Vu is the UF/IFAS State Specialized Program Extension Agent for the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab, where she oversees all Extension activities. She runs the University of Florida Master Beekeeper Program, the University of Florida Bee Colleges, UF IFAS Honey Bee Blog, speaker requests, media inquiries, the lab's social media pages, and is the co-host of the lab’s podcast “Two Bees in a Podcast”.

05

Rebecca Masterman
UMN Bee Squad Program director

Rebecca Masterman first worked for the UMN Bee Lab as an undergraduate in 1992, and returned in 2012 as the Bee Squad’s Associate Program Director and Coordinator. Becky graduated from UMN Twin Cities with a BA (major in history, minor in biology) and then obtained a Ph.D. in Entomology studying the neuroethology of honey bee hygienic behavior under the direction of Dr. Marla Spivak.

07

Larry Truchon
EAS Master Beekeeper

Larry Truchon is the past president of the Carroll County Beekeepers, a member of three other Beekeeping Associations and serves on the Board of Directors of the Maryland State Beekeepers Association.  He was certified an EAS Master Beekeeper in 2016. Larry heads the CCBA annual Short Course and gives presentations to local bee clubs, other organizations, and the general public. In 2019, he was the recipient of the George W. Imirie Award For Excellence in Beekeeping Education from the Maryland State Beekeepers Association.

Mr. Truchon strives to keep his apiary self sustainable by rearing his own queens and overwintering nucleus colonies. Larry believes that knowing and understanding honey bee biology is a major component in being a successful beekeeper

09

Dr. Humberto Boncristiani 
Inside The Hive

Dr. Humberto Boncristiani is a honeybee husbandry applied researcher. He has a diverse background in honeybee research and the biotech industry. He is a virologist who has worked with government institutions (USDA, Army, and National Research Council), academia (UNCG, UMD, University of Florida), and private industry. Dr. Boncristiani joined Dalan Animal Health as a Director of Sales strategy and technical services to fulfill his mission as a second-generation beekeeper in his family to bring new solutions to help the beekeeping industry. He is also the founder of InsideTheHive.TV, a YouTube channel dedicated to educating people about bees and science.

11

Allen Storm USMC 
Montana Master Beekeeper

I am an avid connoisseur of honey; travelling international and tasting honey around the globe.  I keep an assortment of, plus or minus, 50 hives which include Langstroth, Slovenian AZ, Layen, and Top Bar.  I have observed beekeeping methods in Japan, Korea, Spain, Thailand, the Balkans, and Turkey - culminating with studying with the Beekeeping Academy of Slovenia where I was first introduced to Slovenian AZ hives.  Now with over 16 years of "consecutive" beekeeping, here in Maryland as well as in Belgium.  I have completed University of Montana's online Beekeeping Certificate program which consists of three university-level courses at the apprentice, journeyman, and master levels, culminating in a certificate as a "Master Beekeeper"  And as a veteran I have completed University of Michigan's "free" on-line beekeeper's course.  I belong to the Anne Arundel Beekeepers Association, Bowie/Upper Marlboro Bee Association (BUMBA), and DC's Bee Alliance (DC's association of beekeepers).  And, I am a seasonal. Maryland Apiary Inspector for Anne Arundel, Calvert, St. Mary's and St. Charles counties under the guidance of Cybil Preston, the Maryland State Apiary Inspector.  I attended the first honey sensory training course in the U.S. taught by the Italian National Register of Experts in Sensory Analysis of Honey and will hopefully finish my Maryland Honey Judge apprenticeship after the Maryland State Fair.

02

Mark Dykes
UMD Bee Squad

Mark Dykes is the extension and Bee Squad coordinator for the vanEngelsdorp Bee Lab. Previous to his position at the University of Maryland, Mark was the Chief Inspector for the Texas Apiary Inspection Service. During his tenure at TAIS Mark helped to create the Texas Master Beekeeper Program and the Texas State Honey Bee Diagnostic Lab. Mark was also a supervisor with the Florida Department of Agriculture's Apiary Inspection Service and the apiary manager for Dr. Jamie Ellis' honey bee lab at the University of Florida.  Mark has a degree in natural resource conservation from the University of Florida and is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard. 

04

Dr. Jamie Ellis
Professor

Dr. Jamie Ellis is the Gahan Endowed Professor of Entomology in the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida. At the University of Florida, Ellis has responsibilities in extension, instruction and research related to honey bees. Regarding his extension work, Ellis created the UF, South Florida, and Caribbean Bee Colleges, and the UF Master Beekeeper Program. As an instructor, Ellis supervises Ph.D. and masters students in addition to offering an online course in apiculture. Ellis and his team conduct research projects in the fields of honey bee husbandry, conservation and ecology, and integrated crop pollination. 

06

Nigel Orhum
Mission Beelieve Partner

Having moved “to the country” (2020) and begun caring for a small orchard, I tried beekeeping to provide additional pollination for my fruit trees. With the help and guidance of Carroll County Beekeeping Association (CCBA) and Mission Beelieve, I’ve successfully overwintered a pair of colonies and
harvested 75+ lbs of honey.
Now in my 2nd year, I’ve grown my apiary to three colonies and two nucs. I share my knowledge/love of beekeeping and agriculture with others looking to create an environment that supports all bees/pollinators.
“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.”.

08

Cameron Jack
Assistant Professor

Dr. Cameron Jack is an Assistant Professor in the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida. Cameron seeks to improve the beekeeping industry through both instruction and research. He teaches many courses related to beekeeping and honey health, training students to become successful beekeepers and supporting the industry. Cameron supports both graduate and undergraduate students with their research questions to enable others to contribute to the overall body of scientific knowledge. His primary research efforts are focused on honey bee toxicology and epidemiology.

10

Amanda Shaw
Beekeepers Confidential

Rebecca Masterman first worked for the UMN Bee Lab as an undergraduate in 1992, and returned in 2012 as the Bee Squad’s Associate Program Director and Coordinator. Becky graduated from UMN Twin Cities with a BA (major in history, minor in biology) and then obtained a Ph.D. in Entomology studying the neuroethology of honey bee hygienic behavior under the direction of Dr. Marla Spivak.

12

Jennifer A. Berry
Professor UGA 

For the past 18 years, Jennifer Berry has been the Apicultural Research Professional and Lab Manager for the University of Georgia Honey Bee Program. Her research objectives have focused on improving honey bee health, the sub-lethal effects of pesticides on beneficial insects, as well as, Integrated Pest Management techniques for varroa and small hive beetle control. Jennifer has been instrumental in launching the Georgia Beekeeping Prison Program by certifying inmates through the University of Georgia Master Beekeeper Program. In little over a year, 5 prisons have been added to the fold.  The prison program is striving to become as self-sustaining as possible, each prison is responsible for supplying something to the mix: queens, bees and/or woodenware.

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