We're always thrilled to help beekeepers and potential beekeepers improve their understanding of bee biology, increase the survival of their colonies, boost the productivity of their hives, and realize the importance of bees in agricultural and natural environments.

Contact us at education@betterbee.com to inquire about having a speaker from Betterbee deliver a lecture, class, workshop, Q&A, or another program to your group.

We are happy to deliver presentations online, and can also travel to speak at your in-person event. 

Samples of presentation titles and themes offered:

  • Varroa Mite History, Biology, and Year-round Management
  • The Changing Legal Status of Oxalic Acid (Including Extended-release OA Pads for Varroa Control)
  • Oops! Mistakes we've all made (or will, given enough time)
  • Work Smarter, Not Harder - Ergonomic Beekeeping
  • All About Queens 
  • Locally Adapted Queens: Marketing Myth or Cornerstone of Bee Stock Improvement?
  • Collective Intelligence in Honey Bees, and the Honey Bee Dance Language
  • Bait Hives for Honey Bees - Understanding (and Catching) Swarms
  • Small Hive Beetle Biology
  • So, you think you want to do a cut-out...
  • Making Comb Honey: An old product with a growing market
  • Your Bees in Winter - What they're doing and what comes next
  • Honey Bee Nutrition: Understanding Nutrition by Studying Digestion
  • Sustainable beekeeping with overwintered nucs
  • Go With The Flow: Nectar Flows, Bloom Dates, and How They Help You
  • Cultivating a Veterinarian-Beekeeper Disease-management Relationship
  • Will we get a mite-proof honey bee?
  • Virulence Evolution: Never Underestimate a Parasite
  • Things to Expect and Avoid when Setting Up an Observation Hive
  • Mind your Beeswax: Introduction to Wax
  • Beginner Candle Making
  • Advanced Candle Artistry
  • Getting Started with Bees and Beekeeping Equipment
  • Youth presentations on bee biology and beekeeping
  • Basic Bee Biology and Pollinator Gardening for Non-Beekeepers


David T. Peck, Ph.D.

David T. Peck, Ph.D.

Dr. Peck is the Director of Research and Education at Betterbee in Greenwich, NY, where he assists in product development and research, and also teaches classes and develops scientifically-sound educational materials. His doctoral work in Cornell University's Department of Neurobiology and Behavior was supervised by Professor Tom Seeley. His dissertation research focused on the transmission of mites between bee colonies, as well as the mite-resistance traits of the untreated honey bees living in Cornell's Arnot Forest.

After earning his degree, he has continued to research varroa/bee interactions, including fieldwork in Newfoundland, Canada (where varroa still have not arrived) and Anosy Madagascar (where varroa arrived only in 2010 or 2011). He has served as a teaching postdoctoral fellow in Cornell's Department of Entomology, and is still affiliated with Cornell through the Honey Bee Health program in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Peck has kept bees for more than a decade, though his home apiary is often full of mite-riddled research colonies so he doesn't usually produce much honey. 


Anne Frey

Anne Frey working bees

Anne lives in Greenwich, NY, and works as Betterbee's Head Beekeeper, teacher, and videographer (catch her on Betterbee's YouTube channel!). She first got bees in 1989 while getting a Biology degree, and like most of us, she was a "bee-haver" for just a few years, until she became a member of the local beekeeping club (the Southern Adirondack Beekeepers Association, or SABA), where she learned a lot from the other members and through club activities.

Anne worked her way up through the Club, becoming invaluable to its operation and leading the Annual Seminar and Bee School for many years. Beekeeping associations are so valuable to us because of the arranged speakers and events, but also because of the networking, support, and mentoring that comes about when people find a group near them. Anne became an EAS Master Beekeeper in 2002 and is still learning to this day. In her limited spare time, she reads sci-fi and rides her bike long distances.


Melaney Sandbrook

Mel Sandbrook teaching a lip balm class

Mel grew up in Greenwich, NY, right alongside Betterbee. She earned a degree in commercial art from Russell Sage College in Albany, NY.

Mel has lived many creative lives, as a dollmaker in Pittsburgh, PA, an interior design seamstress in Jacksonville, FL, a painter and Santa Claus sculptor in Bear, DE, a muralist and designer in Parkersburg, WV, and now is the resident candlemaker and wax artist at Betterbee, back in her hometown.




Jack Rath, DVM

Dr. Jack Rath of Betterbee

Jack started keeping bees in high school, purchasing his first hive by mail order from Montgomery Ward in 1968. He graduated in 1974 from St Lawrence University with a BS in Chemistry and continued at Cornell, getting his veterinary degree in 1978. His first career was as a large animal veterinarian in Granville, NY where he worked primarily with dairy cattle and horses.

After selling his veterinary practice, he embarked on a second career as an owner at Betterbee. He started raising honey bee queens about 15 years ago and continues raising queens. Jack's goal is selection of productive stock and his dream is to produce queens that can manage mites without chemical treatment. He is very interested in testing and selecting colonies that show the ability to detect and remove mites from their colonies. He has been using artificial insemination of queens in an attempt to concentrate the most desirable genetics for the next generation. Jack lives in West Pawlet, VT.



John Rath

John Rath teaching bees in the apiary

John is a co-owner of Betterbee, and leads product development and fulfillment operations. He is also very involved in beekeeping and sales operations. John is a mechanical engineer and previously worked in the power industry where he developed improvements to combustion and environmental systems for power plants. He applies his engineering skills to various aspects of the business and beekeeping, including woodenware manufacturing, honey processing, and warehouse systems.





Neal Kober

John Rath teaching bees in the apiary

Neal Kober was introduced to beekeeping as a teenager while living on the family dairy farm. He began beekeeping regularly in 2001 and managed about 50 hives as a sideline business, selling comb and extracted honey both retail and wholesale. Currently, Neal is a co-owner of Betterbee and Humble Abodes in Windsor, Maine. He has helped manage the Betterbee Apiary, including the northern queen rearing program, the overwintered nuc program, and honey production.





Christopher J. Cripps, DVM

Chris Cripps removing cutout

Dr. Cripps has been a co-owner of Betterbee since 2012. He grew up in New Hampshire and attended Cornell University before going to The Ohio State University for veterinary school. After graduating in 1995, he started working at Battenkill Veterinary Bovine, PC in Greenwich as a dairy and farm animal veterinarian. 



Please note: Any course or lecture may also include instructional assistance from other members of the Betterbee team.