A Celebration of the Bees

Savory Thymes invites you and your family to join us in
Celebrating the Bees

A community gathering to benefit the beekeeping projects of SuperOrganism:
the Marin Pollen Project and the Marin Survivor Stock Queen Bee Project.

Saturday, June 18, 2011
1:00 - 4:00
at Hillside Gardens, in Mill Valley

A Celebration of the Bees
The afternoon will include:
Honey bee talk by Mea McNeil, Master Beekeeper
Native bee talk and demonstration by Robbin Thorp, Professor Emeritus, Department of Entomology, UC Davis.
Demonstration and learning stations presented by the Marin Beekeepers Association
Honey tasting featuring local varieties of honey
Tasting of local Meads
Live Celtic and sunny afternoon music

Savory and Sweet afternoon hors d'oeuvres and drink will be served.

This is a kid friendly event so please bring your children.

Tickets are $35 per person (kids are free; 2 per adult please)

We encourage you to dress comfortably and casually.

RSVP to Jerry Draper at beecele@superorg.org (reservations for kids are required)
To purchase tickets please click here


Why are the honey bees failing? Swirling speculation has settled on the theory that they have been made vulnerable to pathogens by a convergence of hazards, including agricultural chemicals. Some of those are chemicals used in the hives by beekeepers, resulting in weakened bees and super mites.
To abandon these treatments means heavy losses of bees that do not have disease or mite resistance. That poses too great a financial risk for commercial beekeepers, with the possibility of stronger bees at less expense too remote. Now, across the country, a few groups of small scale beekeepers, whose livelihood does not depend on the survival of their hives, can afford to take on a grand project: the husbanding of sustainable populations of untreated bees.
Resistance involves a variety of genetic traits. One, hygienic behavior, is an olfactory ability to locate mites or disease within a sealed brood cell and clean it out before the pathogen can spread. The bees that do not carry the genes will undo this work, recapping the opened infected cells and prolonging the presence of the pathogens in the hive. This sensing trait is recessive, and because queens mate in the air with non-related drones, most colonies in an area need to carry the genetics.
Beekeepers are known for being independent individuals, but some local Marin County beekeepers have joined in a cooperative effort. Knowing they can expect high loss, they are leaving their bee colonies untreated in order to select strong surviving queens for the propagation of local stock. They are coordinating test equipment, reference materials, seminars, connections with other groups, forage plantings and a program to distribute queen cells. They are looking beyond mere survival to a gentle, productive, local resistant strain of honey bee.
What's more, the bees will be sentinels for all creatures. A sampling of pollen from hives across Marin County will be analyzed for pesticide and fungicide content in a toxicology study in cooperation with Pennsylvania State University. These bees will pollinate garden and orchard, providing the sweetener with the smallest carbon footprint of all. Perhaps their greatest contribution is that they will be a prototype for what can happen everywhere for our ailing bees.
M.E.A. McNeil

About SuperOrganism:
SuperOrganism is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering sustainable agricultural practices through research, events, publications, lectures, demonstrations, and other means. SuperOrganism takes its name and purpose from the model of a honey bee (Apis Mellifera) colony where individuals work selflessly and mindfully towards the common good of the whole.
visit the SuperOrganism web site


About Savory Thymes:
The mission of Savory Thymes is to convene artists, grassroots organizations and activists in order to cross pollinate ideas, build relationships and alliances, and provide a space to galvanize support for a wide variety of social and environmental initiatives. Established in 2005, by Alison Ghiorse and Hans Schoepflin, Savory Thymes supports and educates the public about local and sustainable systems within the context of grassroots movements and the arts, through events that celebrate the beauty, the tastes, and the textures of the Earth.
Savory Thymes events are sponsored by Hans Schoepflin.
visit the Savory Thymes web site

Shuttle instructions: vans will be running from the Mill Valley Middle School starting at 12:45 There will be a shuttle running from the parking lot of the Mill Valley Middle School to Hillside Gardens beginning at 12:45pm. The directions below will take you to the pick-up point for the shuttle. Savory Thymes kindly requests that ALL guests take the shuttle - parking at the event location is very limited.

From the East Bay or From Santa Rosa (North):

Take 101 South and exit at East Blithedale
Right onto East Blithedale
Take East Blithedale to the 2nd light at Camino Alto
Turn Left on Camino Alto. Proceed to first light (Sycamore)
Turn Left on Sycamore. The Middle School is on the left. The parking lot is at the rear. If necessary, there is additional parking across the street at the Mill Valley Sewer Department


From San Francisco:

Take 101 North and exit at the East Blithedale Exit
Left onto East Blithedale
Take East Blithedale to the 2nd light at Camino Alto
Turn Left on Camino Alto. Proceed to first light (Sycamore)
Turn Left on Sycamore. The Middle School is on the left. The parking lot is at the rear. If necessary, there is additional parking across the street at the Mill Valley Sewer Department.