Prof. Thomas D. Seeley speaking at a Mellifera e.V. event

Prof. Thomas D. Seeley speaking at a Mellifera e.V. event

 

Conference (31 Aug & 1 Sept)

Kühlhaus Berlin
Prinzessinnengärten

DESCRIPTION

An international bee-centric conference, featuring expert scientists, beekeepers, foresters, conservationists, activists, and more. Keynote presentations, panel discussions, and audience-participatory breakout sessions address politically sensitive issues, such as rewilding bees in trees, pesticide control, ecosystem regeneration, and activism. Speed BEE Talks showcase several innovative projects, while an art exhibition and ancillary activities supplement the program.

Learning from the Bees | Berlin 2019 will be a bilingual event, with some programs in English and others in German, the majority of which will be simultaneously translated. When signing up, please indicate which language you will need interpreted.


OUTCOMES

The Natural Beekeeping Trust launched Learning from the Bees in 2018 to bring together bee advocates of different disciplines to lay the foundation for effective networking and strategic alliances to decisively move forward concerted action on behalf of the bees. Continuing in this vein, for 2019 we aim to convene radical thinkers, scientists, activists, artists, and other bee advocates to share ideas, experiences, expertise, and data so that we learn from one another and, together, shape an alternative, improved future for the bees. But it’s not enough for experts to simply share their stories; we have requested of every speaker that his/her presentation contain tangible takeaways (ideas, best practices, tools, resources), so that, when returning home, attendees are equipped with concrete action steps that they can eventually implement where they live, thus creating a ripple effect for greater impact.

 

PROGRAM

Note: This is a partial program, listing only those activities that have been confirmed; others will be added in the coming weeks. Times and speakers will be announced as they are confirmed. Check back for updates.


SATURDAY,
31 AUGUST

 

8:00–9:00

REGISTRATION

(Ground Floor)


9:00–9:30

WELCOMING REMARKS
Jonathan Powell and Heinz Risse

(Cube)


9:30–10:00

GROUP ACTIVITY: Integrating Our Human Hive
Deborah Richmond

Humans have much to learn from the honey bees. But who are they? And what is our relationship to them?

This opening activity asks us to, as a group and in pairs, inquire as to the role of the bees and what they personally represent to us. By working with one another, we can enter into the mindset of a colony as well as explore the ethos of the conference, which invites sharing, deep listening, and forming new, creative ways to work collectively to support the bees.

(Cube)


10:00–11:15

KEYNOTE LECTURE: The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild
Prof. Thomas D. Seeley

Humans have kept honey bees in hives for millennia, but only in recent decades have biologists begun to investigate how these industrious insects live in the wild. Tom Seeley will present the captivating story of what scientists are learning about the behavior, social life, and survival strategies of honey bees living outside beekeepers’ hives. He will show why it is that the wild colonies of honey bees living in forests are thriving, while the managed colonies living in beekeepers' apiaries are in crisis. This talk will offer a new vision of how beekeeping can better align with the natural habits of honey bees.

Followed by an interactive Q&A session.

(Cube)


11:15–11:45

COFFEE BREAK

(Ground Floor)


11:45–13:15

PARALLEL BREAKOUT SESSIONS

 

SESSION #1: Inner Beekeeping + World Café
Albert Muller and Dr. Johannes Wirz

Within beekeeping exists a vast spectrum of respectful practices and aspirations. In this session different examples will be presented: a Dutch project that has resulted in Varroa-tolerant colonies as well as a comparison between log hives installed in living trees and the Einraumbeute hive.

Followed by a World Café with audience-participatory discussions.

(Cube)

 

 

SESSION #2: Bees, Trees & Social Change + “Activist Archetype” Discovery Session
Jacqueline Freeman, Indigo, Deborah Richmond (moderator), Laura Williams

Three veteran activists speak about their deep connections to bees and trees, and their personal styles for affecting social change.

Followed by smaller breakout sessions to discuss how you, too, can awaken your own inner spirit for social change and environmental action.

(4th Floor)


13:15–14:30

LUNCH

(Ground Floor)


14:30–15:00

REGROUPING: Let’s Waggle! (Sessions #1 & #2)

After each of the parallel breakout sessions, we’ll regroup to share what we’ve heard, what our top takeaways were, and what highlights most impressed the speakers themselves. Attendees will separate into groups of four based on proximity, language, and which sessions they attended.

(Cube)


15:00–15:45

KEYNOTE LECTURE: Return of Tree Beekeeping. Searching for a New Place for Honey Bees in Forests
Dr. Przemysław Nawrocki

Tree beekeeping has survived in many Eastern Europe countries, and now, after a 100-year break, it returns to Poland, Germany, and other countries in Central and Western Europe. The number of tree-beekeeping enthusiasts grows, thus, it is justified to ask a few important questions concerning the future of this craft: “Can modern forests offer honey bees favorable living conditions similar to those existing in the 19th Century?” “Can tree beekeeping help prevent the local extinction of honey bees?” “What can be the role of tree beekeeping in the protection of biodiversity within forest ecosystems?” Ten years’ experience restoring tree beekeeping in Poland give Dr. Nawrocki at least some preliminary answers to these questions.

Followed by an interactive Q&A session.

(Cube)


15:45–17:15

PARALLEL BREAKOUT SESSIONS

 

SESSION #3: Meet the German Zeidlers + Q&A Session
Sabine Bergmann, Antonio Gurliaccio, Heidi Herrmann (moderator), Norbert Poeplau

Three German Zeidlers introduce their centers for tree beekeeping as well as discuss some of the issues one may face when rewilding bees in trees.

Followed by a panel discussion and then audience-participatory discussion.

(Cube)

 

 

SESSION #4: Live demonstration of Polish Zeidlerei techniques by leading experts
Jacek Adamczewski, Tomasz Dzierżanowski, Dr. Przemysław Nawrocki (moderator), Andrzej Pazura, Piotr Piłasiewicz

If you missed the Zeidlerei workshop, you can still witness aspects of traditional tree beekeeping, when Polish experts demonstrate how to make initial cuts in a tree trunk using a chainsaw, what hand-crafted tools are used to carve out cavities, as well as other techniques and skills.

(Backyard)


17:15–17:45

REGROUPING: Let’s Waggle! (Sessions #3 & #4)

After each of the parallel breakout sessions, we’ll regroup to share what we’ve heard, what our top takeaways were, and what highlights most impressed the speakers themselves. Attendees will separate into groups of four based on proximity, language, and which sessions they attended.

(Cube)


17:45–18:15

BOOK SIGNING / COFFEE BREAK

During this coffee break, Jacqueline Freeman and Prof. Thomas Seeley will sign copies of their books, Song of Increase and The Lives of Bees, respectively.

(Ground Floor)


18:15–19:30

Speed BEE Talks

5 slides in 5 minutes. From the main stage, invited guests and a handful of chosen applicants from conference attendees will present innovative projects, intriguing trends, and new bee-related news. In this series of rapid-fire talks (inspired by TED Talks), we’ll hear from innovators, inventors, scientists, activists, and more.

We are still accepting applications for Speed BEE Talks.

(Cube)


20:00–23:00

** DINNER & GARDEN/APIARY TOURS (optional)

Weather permitting, we’ll gather in one of Berlin’s most cherished community gardens in the heart of Kreuzberg, where Mellifera Berlin’s primary apiary is situated. Garden and apiary tours will be offered, and guests can buy dinner and drinks in the garden (at their own expense).

(Prinzessinnengärten)


SUNDAY,
1 SEPTEMBER

 

8:00–9:00

COFFEE & NETWORKING

(Ground Floor)


9:00–9:15

WELCOMING REMARKS
Heinz Risse

(Cube)


9:15–9:45

GROUP ACTIVITY: Human Hive Intelligence
Deborah Richmond

How as a human collective can we transform the challenges facing the honey bee?

The increase of hard-hitting Climate Crisis statistics, coupled with shocking figures of widespread species loss, could paralyze one with fear. But if we look through the eyes of a bee, reflect on human potential, and work together to affect great change, we can manifest a different outcome. In this session we aim to form closer connections with one another to support a new dream, to become more resilient, more innovative, and more inspired to act. In groups of four we will problem-solve and welcome new possibilities.

(Cube)


9:45–11:15

PARALLEL BREAKOUT SESSIONS

 

SESSION #5: Where Are We Now? Where Are We Going? + World Café
Markus Imhoof, Prof. Dr. Dr. Randolf Menzel, Thomas Radetzki, Heinz Risse (moderator)

In this session, three bee champions engage in an enlightening cross-disciplinary dialogue that intersects science, art, and politics. Combined, their lifetime achievements in the research, creative, and cultural sectors have effectively highlighted and improved the bee’s cause, impacting mainstream society and even making this conference itself possible.

With Markus Imhoof we take a behind-the-scenes look at the internationally award-winning documentary More than Honey, during which he investigated and documented the drama of intensive beekeeping and agriculture worldwide. He carried the message of the bees, which had hardly been heard previously, to the general public.

As a bee ambassador and advocate, Thomas Radetzki stands for political effectiveness through his numerous projects and collaborations. He draws energy and inspiration from a positive and concrete vision of beekeeping and fertile landscapes, in which all species thrive.

Through his neurobiological research, Prof. Randolf Menzel has gained deep insights into the sensory activity and consciousness of bees, from which he was able to identify and prove the effects of sub-lethal exposure to neonicotinoids on bees and bumble bees. He shares insights on the problem of recently banned pesticides, which form part of an agricultural production system that we must put an end to for the sake of bees, biodiversity, and a future we all want.

A World Café with public conversation follows this panel discussion.

(Cube)

 

 

SESSION #6: The Beehive as a Biotope. How the Physics, Chemistry, and Geometry of our Beehives Influence the Biology of Bees
Jonathan Powell and Torben Schiffer

Like humans, honey bees can live in very different habitats. Often beekeepers overlook the fact that housing has an enormous influence on a colony’s life processes. We are rarely cognizant of the fact that many basic conditions that have historically developed from beekeeping practices challenge the resilience of bees instead of promoting them. In conversation with Powell, Schiffer will report his latest research and experience on how the indoor climate and geometry of hives affect the health of bees, the development of brood, and basic colony processes. 

With the speakers, attendees will discuss some quick-and-easy improvements to beekeeping, relative to potential tensions between Nature and culture.

(4th Floor)


11:15–11:45

REGROUPING: Let’s Waggle! (Sessions #5 & #6)

After each of the parallel breakout sessions, we’ll regroup to share what we’ve heard, what our top takeaways were, and what highlights most impressed the speakers themselves. Attendees will separate into groups of four based on proximity, language, and which sessions they attended.

(Cube)


11:45–12:15

BOOK SIGNING / COFFEE BREAK

During this coffee break, Markus Imhoof and Prof. Dr. Randolf Menzel will sign copies of their books, More Than Honey and Die Intelligenz Der Bienen, respectively.

(Ground Floor)


12:15–13:30

CROSS-TALK POLLINATION

Here’s your chance to dive deeper into a theme or catch snippets of what you may have missed during one of the parallel breakout sessions that you couldn’t attend, when speakers and attendees converse in small groups.

(Multiple locations)


13:30–14:45

LUNCH

(Ground Floor)


14:45–15:45

PANEL DISCUSSION: Are We Ready to Swarm?

During the conference, Heidi Herrmann will curate and then moderate this closing panel discussion, focusing on what we’ve learned and including conference reflections, trends, highlights, topline takeaways, and more. Panelists will be announced onsite.

(Cube)


15:45–16:00

CONCLUDING REMARKS

(Cube)


16:00–16:30

** CLOSING CEREMONY: CONFERENCE INTEGRATION (optional)

To help conference attendees integrate the Learning from the Bees | Berlin 2019 experience and to anchor our collective intention for a healthier future for the bees, Lavender Grace Cinnamon leads the group
in a closing ceremony through sacred song.

Musicians, singers, and frame drummers are invited to bring their instruments and join in on the celebration.

(Cube)


** Indicates optional activity. Note: Program is subject to change.