Public Speaking


Please contact me if you are interested in having me speak about honey bees, beekeeping, native pollinators, plants honey bees and other pollinators use, wildlife conservation, and a variety of other topics. A list of potential speaking topics and classes can be found below. I am still expanding my class list, so please do not feel limited by what is listed.

The list of potential speaking topics should be used as a guide to the types of topics I often talk about. The class list should be seen as examples of how I have translated those broad speaking topics into actual programs. I am happy to develop new programs and often customize existing programs based on the group I will be speaking to. I view both lists as simply a starting point for conversations about the type of program that will best meet your needs.

I am available to talk to groups and organizations about a variety of topics related to honey bees, beekeeping, native pollinators, and wildlife conservation. My background in wildlife biology, beekeeping, and education provide me with a range of expertise that I am happy to share with you.

List of potential public speaking topics:

Note: This list is provided to give you an idea of the types of topics I often talk about, but I am open to discussing other topics as well. Please view this list as simply a starting point for conversations about what you want and need.

  • Basic biology of different pollinators or wildlife (you pick the species or group of animals – honey bees, native bees, butterflies, songbirds, etc.),
  • Tips for attracting pollinators or wildlife (examples: planting for honey bees, planting for other insect pollinators, attracting songbirds to your yard, etc),
  • Watching pollinators or wildlife,
  • Incorporating native plants into your landscape,
  • Issues with invasive species,
  • Basic gardening skills like starting seeds, saving seeds, etc.,
  • Botany for beekeepers,
  • Basic beekeeping and / or things to consider if you are thinking about getting into beekeeping,
  • Introduction to top bar hives and a comparison with Langstroth hives,
  • Grants and online resources for Kentucky beekeepers,
  • Developing and implementing citizen science projects

 

List of potential classes:

Note: I am still expanding the classes and programs I offer. Please do not feel limited to having to choose from this list. This list is provided as an example of how I have translated some of the broad topics above into actual programs or classes. I am happy to develop new programs and ask that you view this list as simply a starting point for conversations about what you want and need. The classes below are listed alphabetically by title.

 

5 Reasons to Plant Native Plants

Notes: This program was developed for a general audience. It is approximately 45 minutes long, including time for questions. If you want a similar program that goes into more detail and discusses specific native plants and tips for incorporating them into your landscape, please consider my program Incorporating Native Plants into Your Backyard.

Description: Native plants are growing in popularity among homeowners and gardeners. In this program we’ll discuss 5 reasons why you should consider incorporating native plants into your landscape.

 

10 Tips for Attracting Pollinators

Notes: This program was developed for a general audience. I prefer to have 1-1.25 hours, including time for questions to do this program. If necessary, I can adapt the program to fit in a 45 minute time period, but that will eliminate most of our question and discussion time. (This topic tends to generate lots of questions and if I have enough time then I like to incorporate questions as we go instead of leaving them all to the end.) Please discuss with me how much time will be available when scheduling this program.

Description: Pollinator gardens have grown in popularity in recent years. In this program, we’ll discuss tips for attracting pollinators to your garden and why it is important to keep these things in mind.

 

10 Ways to Help Save the Bees – Without Being a Beekeeper

Notes: This program was developed for a general audience. I prefer to have 1-1.25 hours, including time for questions to do this program. If necessary, I can adapt the program to fit in a 45 minute time period, but that will eliminate most of our question and discussion time. (This topic tends to generate lots of questions and if I have enough time then I like to incorporate questions as we go instead of leaving them all to the end.) Please discuss with me how much time will be available when scheduling this program.

Description: Interest in bees and ways to help them has grown tremendously in recent years. The honey bee has served as the poster child for this movement and people often think that becoming a beekeeper is the best way to “help the bees.” However, there are many ways each of us can help save the bees without becoming a beekeeper. In this program, we’ll discuss 10 relatively easy things anyone can do to help the bees.

 

Botany for Beekeepers

Notes: This program was developed for beekeepers, but a more general audience may also be interested in the topic. The program is approximately 45 minutes long, including questions.

Description: When it comes to honey bees, not all flowers are created equal. Learn why honey bees use some flowers and not others, why how much a honey bee uses a plant can vary across the plant’s range, and other basic botany related to honey bees.

 

Botany for Butterfly Enthusiasts

Notes: This program was developed for butterfly lovers. The program is approximately 45 minutes long, including questions.

Description: When it comes to butterflies, not all flowers are created equal. Learn why butterflies use some flowers and not others, some of the amazing ways butterflies pollinate flowers, and other basic botany related to butterflies.

 

Butterfly Biology

Notes: This program was developed for a general audience who is interested in butterflies. The program is approximately 45 minutes long, including questions.

Description: Butterflies are amazing creatures. Learn about their life cycle, the foods they feed on (no, not all butterflies are attracted to flowers), what happens to them during the winter, and many other fascinating details about butterflies.

 

Creating Space for Native Bees

Notes: This program was developed for a general audience; however, beekeepers also enjoy it. In order to allow plenty of time for questions and conversations, I prefer to have 1 – 1.25 hours for this program. I can do it in 45 minutes if necessary, but that will limit time for questions. Please discuss with me how much time will be available when scheduling this program.

Description: There are over 4,000 species of bees native to the U.S., all with diverse and fascinating life histories. Researchers are only just beginning to realize how important our native bees are to both the environment and agriculture, especially small-scale agriculture. Unlike honey bees which live in huge colonies that can have 30,000 – 60,000 individuals, our native bees are either solitary or live in small colonies of only a few hundred individuals. This makes them ideal for people who want to “help the bees” or increase pollination on their property, but aren’t interested in becoming a beekeeper. We’ll discuss multiple ways that you can encourage native bees and create a bee-friendly space around your home or landscape.

 

Honey Bee Biology

Notes: This program was developed for beekeepers, but a more general audience may also be interested in the topic. The program is approximately 45 minutes long, including questions.

Description: Learn about some of the important basic biology related to honey bees. Topics covered will include bee anatomy, the life cycle of a honey bee, types of bees in a hive, honey bee behavior, and the role of the colony as a superorganism.

 

Honey Bees, Native Bees, and Creating a Bee-Friendly Landscape

Notes: This program was developed for a general audience; however, beekeepers also enjoy it. In some cases, local beekeeping and master gardening groups have had a joint meeting for me to present this program to both groups. This program is one that often gets lots of questions. In order to allow plenty of time for questions and conversations, I prefer to have 1.25 – 1.5 hours for this program. I can do it in an hour if necessary, but that leaves no time for questions. Please discuss with me how much time will be available when scheduling this program.

Description: Bees are fascinating and widely diverse creatures with many different behaviors and life histories. Our most widely recognized bee, the honey bee, is native to Europe. However, there are over 4,000 species of bees native to the U.S., most of which are not nearly as familiar as the honey bee, nor as well studied. Researchers are only just beginning to realize how important our native bees are to both the environment and agriculture, especially small-scale agriculture. Join us to learn about honey bees, some of our local native bees, and ways that you can encourage bee populations on your property by creating a bee-friendly landscape.

 

Incorporating Native Plants into Your Backyard

Notes: This program was developed for a general audience. I prefer to have 1.25-1.5 hours, including time for questions to do this program. If you want a similar, but shorter program, please consider my program 5 Reasons to Plant Native Plants. Please discuss with me how much time will be available when scheduling this program.

Description: Native plants are growing in popularity among homeowners and gardeners. Not only are native plants adapted to our crazy weather and soils, they also provide valuable food and resources for pollinators and songbirds. In this class we’ll discuss why native plants can be important additions to your garden, things to consider when purchasing and planting native plants, some native plants you might want to consider for your yard, and the pollinators or other wildlife that use those plants.

 

Introduction to Top Bar Hives

Notes: This talk was designed for beekeepers. It includes a lot of conversation and show-and-tell, so is best for group sizes of 10-15 or smaller. This program is approximately 45 minutes, including questions.

Description: A beginner’s guide to top bar hives, including a discussion of the pros and cons of top bars compared to Langstroth hives by someone who started out with top bar hives and now runs both types of hives for different purposes. This talk is designed to be very interactive with lots of time for questions and answers.

 

Native Bee Diversity

Notes: This program was developed for a general audience; however, beekeepers also enjoy it. This program is approximately 45 minutes long, including time for questions. Please discuss with me how much time will be available when scheduling this program.

Description: There are over 4,000 species of bees native to the U.S., most of which are not nearly as familiar as the honey bee, nor as well studied. Researchers are only just beginning to realize how important our native bees are to both the environment and agriculture, especially small-scale agriculture. Join us as we learn about some of the bees native to this region and their fascinating life histories.

 

Native, Exotic, Invasive, and Aggressive Plants: What are they and why does it matter?

Notes: This program was developed for a general audience. It is approximately 45 minutes long, including time for questions.

Description: The terms native, exotic, invasive, and aggressive are often used to describe different types of plants, but what do the terms really mean? We’ll dig into the definitions of each type of plant and discuss their different ecological impacts.

 

Native Plants for Attracting Butterflies

Notes: This program was developed for a general audience. It typically takes between 45 minutes and 1.25 hours depending on the number of questions asked and how in-depth those questions are. Please discuss with me how much time will be available when scheduling this program.

Description: We’ll learn how to use native plants to attract butterflies to your garden, including which plants are important hosts for caterpillars. We will also discuss some native plants that you might want to consider planting.

 

Nectar Flows: What are they and when do they occur?

Notes: This program was developed for beekeepers. It typically takes between 45 minutes and 1.25 hours depending on the number of questions asked and how in-depth those questions are. Please discuss with me how much time will be available when scheduling this program.

Description: Nectar production can vary greatly from one location to the next or even one year to the next within the same location. We’ll begin by discussing the many different factors that can influence nectar production. Then we’ll discuss the different types of nectar flows, when the nectar flows typically occur in this region, and how you can tell whether a nectar flow is happening in your area.

 

Planting for Honey Bees

Notes: This presentation has multiple variations. One variation is for beekeepers and a second variation is for gardeners or others who want to plant specifically for honey bees. The beekeeper variation can be tailored towards people who want to plant a “typical” yard or towards people who have a few acres to plant for honey bees. This talk usually takes between 45 minutes and 1.25 hours depending on the number of questions asked and how in-depth those questions are. When scheduling this program, please discuss with me which variation you are interested in having presented and how much time will be available.

Description: The specific plants honey bees use and how much they use those plants can vary greatly depending on location and what else is blooming at the same time. We will begin by covering some basic concepts to consider when planting for honey bees and how to apply those concepts to your own property. We will end by discussing some of the plants that I might choose to plant and why I might consider those plants.

 

Planting for Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

Notes: This presentation was developed for a general audience. It typically takes between 45 minutes and 1.25 hours depending on the number of questions asked and how in-depth those questions are. When scheduling this program, please discuss with me how much time will be available.

Description: Different types of pollinators have different habitat requirements, and not all plants attract all pollinators equally. We will discuss the many different types of pollinators that you can attract to your gardens and some of the things to keep in mind when planting for pollinators, especially bees and butterflies. We will also discuss some native plants that you might want to consider planting for pollinators.

 

Plants Honey Bees Use

Notes: Both beekeepers and non-beekeepers who are interested in knowing what plants honey bees use may be interested in this presentation. This talk typically takes between 45 minutes and 1.25 hours depending on the number of questions asked and how in-depth those questions are. When scheduling this program, please discuss with me how much time will be available.

Description: This presentation is based off my book, Plants Honey Bees Use in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. We will begin with a brief overview of honey bee foraging behavior before discussing some of the factors that affect how much honey bees use certain flowers. We will end by discussing some of the important minor honey plants in this region.

 

To be or not to be a Beekeeper

Notes: This class was developed for people thinking about becoming a beekeeper. It includes a lot of show-and-tell, so is best for group sizes of 10-15 or smaller. Because of the conversational nature of the class, it typically takes 1.5-2 hours, including questions and conversations.

Description: With the growing interest in bees and various social media campaigns encouraging people to “save the bees,” the number of people who become beekeepers each year is rising. However, beekeeping is not easy, nor is it cheap. Many first-time beekeepers become frustrated, overwhelmed, and don’t make it through their first year. This class is designed to help you decide whether beekeeping is really for you and will help set you up for success if you decide to pursue beekeeping. We will discuss challenges and rewards associated with beekeeping, as well as, alternatives that may be a better fit for your personal needs and goals. We will also discuss basic beekeeping-related information such as important beekeeping terms, different types of equipment, and valuable resources that will help you be successful on your beekeeping journey.