Stakeholder Advisory Board

The board will pre-screen survey questions and provide feedback on outputs. Joining and complementing this team will be evolving groups of stakeholder focus groups who will be asked to prescreen survey design and beta test utility of deliverables. The stakeholder board will be invited to the annual meeting of co-PDs where program deliverables will be reported and guided criticism of past and planed activities will be invited.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKenny Haff, American Honey Producers Association

Ken Haff is the owner of Haff Apiaries in Mandan, ND. He has been a commercial beekeeper for the past 33 years. Ken is a past director for both the ND Beekeepers Association and the AHPA Executive Board. He is also Past President of the American Honey Producers Association.

christiheintz_2Christi Heintz, Project Apis m., Executive Director

Christi Heintz has been managing production research for the California almond industry for the past 12 years. She currently operates as a research consultant, managing pollination research for both the almond industry and Project Apis m. Christi also manages the environmental sustainability program for the Almond Board. Christi holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from UC Davis and has been a hobby beekeeper.

EdLevi_2Ed Levi, Apiary Inspectors of America, Secretary of the Apiary Inspectors of America

In 1984, Ed became Apiary Specialist and Inspector for the Arkansas State Plant Board and continues to work in that position. This involves bee disease detection and identification, enforcing the State’s Apiary Laws and Regulations and educating beekeepers about modern techniques and the public about the importance and protection of the honeybee. Ed teaches classes, speaks to all different types of organizations in Arkansas and for beekeeping groups in numerous states. He also writes a statewide newsletter.

GordonWardell1_2Gordy Wardell, Paramount Farming Company, Apiculturist and Native Bee Researcher

Working in commercial pollination Wardell sees a broad cross section of commercial bees from around the country.  Wardell believes that The Bee Informed Partnership will be a great way to link what we are seeing in almond pollination to bee health nationwide.  On top of that, it will give him tools and information to work with our commercial pollinators and help improve bee health and colony management.

Dave_face_shots_004_2David Mendes, American Beekeeping Federation, Chief Executive

David Mendes has been a commercial beekeeper for 35+ years. He is the owner of Headwaters Farm, of N Fort Myers, FL, which provides hives to pollinate California almonds, Maine blueberries, and Massachusetts cranberries. David has been an active proponent of bee research and extension to improve beekeeper management. He is the former President of the American Beekeeping Federation, a member of the National Honey Bee Advisory Board, a Board Member of Project Apis m, and a Trustee of the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey bees. He is also a life member of the Florida State Beekeepers Association and the Eastern Apicultural Society. When not tied up in conference calls and Board meetings, he operates 12,000+ beehives for pollination and honey production. He is very appreciative to his manager and great staff that keep the bees alive and healthy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADavid Miksa, Miska Honey Farms, Owner

David Miksa has been keeping honeybees for 55 years following in his father Andrew’s footsteps who started in 1936. He presently operates a family-owned queen rearing farm with his wife, Linda, children and grandchildren. For the past seven years, successfully shipping tens of thousands of queen cells each year via next day UPS. In the past, they have done honey production in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and still do in Florida.  Past employment includes insect researcher at Cornell University under Dr. R.A. Morse, a life- long friend and several years doing bee breeding research at the USDA Madison Bee Management Lab under Dr. Floyd Moeller and E.R. Harp

ShannonKatieLee_2 Shannon Wooten, Wootens Golden Queens




RobCurtisRobert Curtis
, Almond Board of California

Bob administers the Almond Board of California (ABC) production research program.  The ABC funds research in horticulture; entomology; plant pathology and nematology; aflatoxin and almond quality field studies; integrated pest management; and pollination and honey bee health issues.  He works to assure field implementation of research findings and that research addresses both production and production-related issues.  Hence he is involved in advancing sustainable almond growing practices and in technology transfer.  As such, Bob interacts closely with the University of California (UC) and other universities; the US Department of Agriculture; UC Cooperative Extension; ag and ag-related organizations; and state and federal agencies.

Bob rejoined the Almond Board in 2006, where he began his career 37 years ago.  He has also worked for the California Strawberry Advisory Board and Campbell Soup Company in the areas of technical and research program administration and implementation. Bob received his masters (thesis research producing peer reviewed publications) in agricultural entomology from UC Riverside and a bachelors (cum laude) in zoology from UC Los Angeles.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJim Bobb, Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild

GeorgeHansonGeorge Hansen, American Beeekeeping Federation,  Vice President



Michael AndreeUniversity of California Cooperative Extension, Field and Lab Technician, Crop Protection Agent

Based out of the Butte County Cooperative Extension in Oroville, CA  Michael Andree is a member of the “Bee Team” created by the Bee Informed Partnership as a tool to help bridge the gap between scientists and beekeepers. The team works directly with bee breeders in the field and has been coined as those with their “boots on the ground”. The team assembles field and lab data through hive inspections, surveys, and sample collection. The data and samples they accumulate are processed by the Bee Research Lab in Beltsville, MD where reports for beekeepers are generated. In Michael’s words, “our most essential duty is to report results to beekeepers empowering them to make more informed management decisions.” Read his blog here.