WCBA Event Calendar

*SOLD OUT! NO WALK-INS ACCEPTED!* WCBA Presents: Dr. Marla Spivak and Dr. Tom Seeley


Mar 02 2024


8:00 am - 3:30 pm


LifeSong Church Hall
65 Gilmore Dr, Sutton, MA 01590


You’d be hard-pressed to find a beekeeper who doesn’t consider Dr. Marla Spivak and Dr. Tom Seeley two of the top honeybee research scientists in the world. In 25+ years creating programs for the club, having these two speakers at the same conference was a far-off dream, and now it’s happening. On March 2nd, 2024, these two blockbuster speakers will each give two talks on some of the fascinating mysteries happening in our hives. Not only that, but Dr. Spivak and Dr. Seely are both either already retired or very close to it, so this very well may be your last chance to see them speak at all, let alone together. I strongly urge everyone to clear their calendars for this once-in-a-lifetime lineup.

Hourly Schedule

Saturday, March 2

8am - 9am
Coffee, registration, & socialization
9am - 9:15am
Welcome & introductions
WCBA President Doug Partridge will welcome attendees and Program Director Ken Warchol will introduce our speakers
Doug Partridge, Ken Warchol
9:15am - 10:45am
Social Immunity in Honeybees
The latest and greatest in our knowledge and research about two honey bee health care systems, propolis collection and hygienic behavior in honey bees
Dr. Marla Spivak
10:45am - 12pm
The Honey Bee Colony as an Information Center
Whenever foraging is possible, a honeybee colony must solve the problem of keeping the foragers optimally allocated among the flower patches that its scouts have found. Flower patches that are large and highly profitable will be allocated among many foragers, while those that are small or less profitable should be allocated among relatively few foragers. We will look at how a honeybee colony solves this highly dynamic problem and we will see that the logic of the solution that they have evolved (the so-called ”Honey Bee Algorithm”) is extremely important to human beings as well, for we use the same logic for allocating server computers (analogous to worker bees) among web sites (analogous to flower patches) around the world.
Dr. Tom Seeley
12pm - 1pm
1pm - 2:15pm
Selection and Survival: Progress and Perseverance
We are evaluating stocks of honeybees for the ability to resist varroa mites naturally without treatment. Based on inspiration from some commercial beekeeping operations, we are developing methods that queen producers can use to increase the level of mite resistance in their honeybee colonies.
Dr. Marla Spivak
2:15pm - 3:30pm
Five Wondrous Behaviors of Honeybees
The honeybee is a fascinating insect, and I have studied their behavior for some 50 years. My goal has been to understand how the 30,000 or so workers in a honeybee colony work together so skillfully. In this talk, I will present five “short stories” about the behavior of these bees. We will look at how worker honeybees 1) Prevent mass asphyxiation inside their nest, 2)Provide directions to important places outside their nests, 3) Call on more nectar storers at the start of a honey flow, 4 )Rouse sleepy hive mates in the morning, and 5) Request help in grooming their bodies.
Dr. Tom Seeley
Doug Partridge
Ken Warchol
Ken Warchol
Dr. Marla Spivak
Dr. Tom Seeley

Conference T shirts are available for pre-order with pickup at the event! Sizes will be guaranteed, but colors will not. Colors will be given out based on inventory on a first-come, first-serve basis. These are Fruit of the Loom men’s style T shirts. You can add T shirts to your registration on the next page!

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