As National Pollinator Outreach Coordinator at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Eric Mader works to raise awareness of native pollinator conservation techniques among growers and government agencies. He is also an Assistant Professor of Extension at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Entomology. His previous work includes commercial beekeeping and crop consulting for the native seed industry. Eric maintains a unique menagerie of bees, including honey bees and several species of leafcutter and mason bees. His beekeeping interests include alternative hive and nest systems, urban beekeeping, and selective breeding.
Marla Spivak is Professor and Extension Entomologist at the University of Minnesota. Her interest in bees and beekeeping was kindled while working for a commercial beekeeper when she was 18. Her PhD, obtained at the University of Kansas, involved a two-year study of the ecology of Africanized bees in Costa Rica. Her current research goals are to protect the health of bee pollinators and to promote sustainable beekeeping practices. Her combined research, teaching, and extension appointment allows her to explore basic questions related to honey bee behavioral ecology, neuroethology, and mechanisms of disease resistance and to translate results directly to students, beekeepers, and the public. Her current research focuses on the antimicrobial activity and benefits of propolis (plant-derived resins that bees collect and apply as caulk within their nest cavities) on diseases and the immune systems of honey bees. She is grateful to her graduate students, who encouraged her to promote studies of native bee pollinators, and in so doing, to promote the ecology, health, and aesthetics of urban and rural landscapes.
Elaine Evans is a bee biologist and conservationist working to promote healthy native bee populations. She completed her MS in entomology at the University of Minnesota, where she studied the impact of floral resource competition between honey bees and bumble bees. She also studied tomato and cranberry pollination and established a bumble bee-rearing program at the University of Minnesota’s Bee Lab. Elaine is the co-author of Befriending Bumble Bees: A Guide to Raising Local Bumble Bees. She currently works as a Conservation Consultant with The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, where she has created field guides for threatened bumble bees and co-authored a review of the population status of three species of imperiled North American bumble bees.