Celebrating World Bee Day with the California Master Beekeeper Program

It's World Bee Day

How did that come about?

One word: Slovenia.

The Republic of Slovenia, rich in beekeeping history, asked the United Nations to proclaim an annual World Bee Day, and following a three-year international effort, the United Nations agreed to do so in December 2017.  

So May 20 is the annual World Bee Day.

"Slovenia LOVES bees and beekeeping and it seems like California does, too!" says Wendy Mather, program manager of the UC Davis-based California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP). "There are 72 Apprentice Assistant and 93 Apprentice level candidates vying for their CAMBP certification this year!  The '22 season is buzzing."

Mather points out: "World Bee Day is a confirmation that we humans respect and appreciate our dependence on one of our favorite generalist pollinators, the honey bee, for a healthy, diverse diet. Bee health equals human health and we thank all our CAMBP volunteers for their service to humanity in helping to raise awareness of the importance of bee health and science-based beekeeping. Our members are honey bee ambassadors and are committed to environmental stewardship."

Cooperative Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, is the founding director of CAMBP. The organization has disseminated science-based beekeeping information through a network of trained volunteers since 2016.

CAMBP's vision is "to train Apprentice, Journey and Master level beekeepers so they can effectively communicate the importance of honey bees and other pollinators within their communities, serve as mentors for other beekeepers, and become the informational conduit between the beekeeping communities throughout the state and UCCE staff," according to its website.

Beekeepers and prospective beekeepers can sign up for classes, which run from February through October. Upcoming classes (many online but some in person)

  • Honey Bee Health, May 21
  • All About Varroa, June 4
  • Queen Rearing Basics, June 11
  • Pesticides, Colony Collapse Disorder, Research and Hope, June 18
  • Wax Working, Honey and Hive Products, July 9
  • Advanced Anatomy and Physiology of the Honey Bee, Aug. 13
  • Seasonal Honey Bee Colony Management in Southern California, Sept. 17
  • Broodminder: Apiary Technology and Honey Bee Health, Oct. 15
  • Exploring Beekeeping in Person at the South Coast Research and Extension Center, Irvine, Oct. 22

That's it for the 2022 classes. In addition, there's an "Introduction to Mead" class offered Nov. 5. Mead or honey wine, is the world's oldest alcoholic beverage.

Let's hear it for the bees!