We are pleased to advise our speakers to conference below, please check back for updates.

International Speaker - Randy Oliver owns and operates a small commercial beekeeping enterprise in the foothills of Grass Valley in Northern California. He and his two sons manage about 1000 colonies for migratory pollination, and produce queens, nucs, and honey.  He has over 40 years of practical beekeeping experience, plus holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biological Sciences.  Randy researches, analyzes, and digests beekeeping information from all over the world in order to not only broaden his own depth of understanding and knowledge, but to develop practical solutions to many of today's beekeeping problems, which he then shares with other beekeepers through his various articles in bee magazines, his speaking engagements worldwide, and on his website: www.ScientificBeekeeping.com.

International Speaker - Dr Yves Le Conte is currently the Director of the French National Bee Lab (l’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, INRA) at Avignon. He has been a keen observer of honeybees throughout his life.  The INRA lab is one of the top honey bee research groups in the world, and foremost in Europe for combining basic and applied research.  His lab has collaborated with others to define the natural resistance of bees to pathogens and mites, especially varroa.  Studies have included in-depth analyses of the chemical ecology within the hive including the interactions between bees and the varroa mite.  Dr Le Conte has also contributed greatly to the development of COLOSS (prevention of honey bee Colony Losses), an international, non-profit association headquartered in Bern, Switzerland that is focussed on improving the well-being of bees at a global level.

International Speaker - Simon Williams.  PhD candidate, University of the Sunshine Coast Simon began working with Mānuka honey as an undergraduate student with Associate Professor Merilyn Manley-Harris at the University of Waikato. Simon gained a Masters degree with First Class Honours after conducting the first survey of the Mānuka honey activity precursor Dihyrdoxyacetone in the nectar of Mānuka trees around New Zealand. He found that there was significant variation between areas in New Zealand and also between individual trees within a sample site. The work also indicated the ability to predict honey activity based off the sampled nectar. After a brief hiatus as a Visiting Scholar in America and in commercial analytical testing, Simon has returned to the world of honey. He is currently working on his PhD as part of the Oz honey project at the University of the Sunshine Coast. His thesis involves measuring the activity of the different leptospermum species of Australia and how they compare to the honey that is produced.

Tony Wright – General Manager Technical, Comvita NZ Ltd. Tony Wright has worked for Comvita for nearly eleven years in many roles across the business, including; Quality, Regulatory, Product Development, Research and Marketing. His exposure to many of our key markets has given him good insights into meeting the expectations of consumers and international regulators. Tony has worked within apiculture industry groups for many years, and is currently the Chair of the Apiculture NZ Standards Focus Group.

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