Project Apis m. Board Chairman, Zac Browning is a fourth-Generation Commercial Beekeeper from Jamestown, North Dakota. Zac currently serves the beekeeping industry in several capacities as a former President and a current Legislative Advisor of the American Beekeeping Federation, a NAPPC Steering Committee Member, A Steering Committee Member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition, a director for the Pollinator Stewardship Council. With his focus on honey bee forage and habitat issues for many years, he co-founded PAm's Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund, and has been working to build alliances among stakeholders interested in establishing honey bee habitat.
Brent Barkman is a third generation beekeeper and honey packer and has been a part of the industry all his adult life. He oversees the operations of two separate bee operations that own 16000 colonies of bees producing and pollinating in eight states. Artesian Honey Producers has 8500 colonies based in South Dakota, wintering in Oklahoma and Texas and pollinating in California. Barkman Apiaries is based in Florida and operates bees in Michigan and New York as well as pollination in California. Barkman Honey is the family owned business that packages honey based out of Kansas supplying millions of pounds of quality honey to consumers all over the world. In addition to serving as the vice chairman of Project Apis, has served the industry in many capacities including serving as chairman of the National Honey Board, once while it was a producer board and again more recently after it was changed to a packer board. He is also a member of multiple state beekeeper organizations and both the American Honey Producers Association and American Beekeeping Federation. His memberships also include the National Honey Packers and Dealers Association and the Western States Packers and Dealers Association. He was one of the founders of True Source Honey and is a proponent of high quality traceable honey for the enjoyment of the consumer.
Dr. Gordon Wardell is the former Director of Pollination Operations at Wonderful Orchards. Gordon has been a professional apiculturist for over 30 years and has worked with bees on three continents. Previously he was the extension apiculturist for the State of Maryland and he owned and directed S.A.F.E. Research and Development in Tucson, Arizona, a company dedicated to developing products for the bee industry. Gordon’s accomplishments include Mega-Bee, the honey bee nutritional supplement and years of research in the area of Varroa mite control, honey bee nutrition, fire ant monitoring, small hive beetle, Africanized Honey Bees, and many other topics. In addition, he has authored numerous scientific publications on honey bees.
John Miller is a retired, but active fourth-generation beekeeper. He now devotes his life to bee research and forage initiatives. The fifth generation of Miller’s now majority owns and operates Miller Honey Farms, based in Gackle, N.D. & Newcastle, CA. The Newcastle property also grows Owari Satsuma Mandarin Oranges, marketed locally in November and December. John is a former two-term Chair of the National Honey Board, and President of the California State Beekeepers Assn. John has lived the American migratory beekeeping experience as profiled in The Beekeepers Lament, by Hannah Nordhaus. He authors a monthly article in Bee Culture Magazine. He is Poppa to 11 grandchildren
David Mendes, now retired, operated 20,000+ hives for crop pollination and honey production. With a home base in Ft Myers, Florida, he brought bees to Maine for blueberry pollination and Massachusetts for cranberry pollination each summer and to California for almond pollination in the winter. In the Spring and Fall the bees make honey in Florida. Dave has been a full time commercial beekeeper since 1977. He is past president of the American Beekeeping Federation.
Dr. Gary Shilling is President of A. Gary Shilling & Co., Inc., economic consultants and publisher of INSIGHT, a monthly report of economic forecasts and investment strategy. He is also an Investment Adviser Representative. He has been a Forbes magazine columnist since 1983. He is a columnist for Bloomberg View and is on Investment Advisor magazine’s panel of investment strategists. He appears frequently on radio and television. He graduated from Amherst College with an AB in Physics, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi, and earned his MA and PhD in economics at Stanford University. He served on the staffs of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Bank of America. Before establishing his own firm in 1978, Dr. Shilling was Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of White, Weld & Co. Earlier he set up the Economics Department at Merrill Lynch, at age 29, and served as the firm’s first chief economist. Prior to Merrill Lynch, he was with Standard Oil Co. in NJ (now ExxonMobil). He has been an avid beekeeper since 1990 and lives in Short Hills, New Jersey.
Tammy Horn Potter
Dr. Tammy Horn Potter became interested in beekeeping in 1997, after assisting her grandfather in his apiaries. An English professor, she wrote Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation (2005). Building on the interest, Tammy went to Hawai'i to work in the queen bee production industry, which also served as a foundation for Beeconomy: What Women and Bees teach us about Local Trade and Global Markets (2012). Tammy returned to Kentucky to focus on building a forest-based beekeeping industry, with Coal Country Beeworks. From 2007-2014, Tammy worked with surface mine companies to increase pollinator habitat on surface mine sites and provide apiculture education in Eastern Kentucky. In 2014, Tammy Potter became the Kentucky State Apiarist and continues to serve in that role. She is working on her third book about forest-based beekeeping.
Mike Andree is a commercial beekeeper operating out of Salida, CO where he and his wife Jamie run 800 colonies for honey production. In the winter Mike works for Lyle Johnston, helping to place more than 60,000 colonies for almond pollination. In 2006, Mike began work at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Penn State University as a Research Technician under the direction of Dennis vanEngelsdorp during the onslaught of Colony Collapse Disorder. There he assisted in the execution of various honey bee health surveillance projects in conjunction with the USDA Bee Research Lab in Beltsville, MD. In 2011, Mike joined Northern California queen breeders participating in the newly formed Bee Informed Partnership, as the first 'Tech Transfer Team' member. The project was developed to help bridge the gap between scientists and beekeepers. During Mike’s seven years in research his main duties were to assemble field and lab data through hive inspections, surveys, and sample collections. He was also responsible for processing and distributing samples as well as reporting results to beekeepers. It was the enjoyment of working in the field and alongside beekeepers that led to his love for the industry.
After a short six years long career as a public-school teacher, George transformed a hobby beekeeping operation into a commercial endeavor. Starting from a few swarms and a collection of retrieved nuisance hives, the company now runs 7000 colonies in three states.
George is an active member of the beekeeping community, promoting the industry's interests as past president of the American Beekeeping Federation and formerly as a long- time producer representative on the National Honey Board. He hosts an annual Bee Day workshop and orientation at the Foothills Honey Company home site. Currently, George represents the ABF on the Honey Bee Health Coalition, participating on the steering committee as well as work groups tackling forage, nutrition, crop pest control and beekeeping management issues. He serves on the board of the Bee Informed Partnership, as well as the steering committee for the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund. George and his wife Susan maintain an overlarge garden, both vegetable and landscape and enjoy developing and crafting theme spaces in the gardens. Both George and Susan have painting studios.
Christine Gemperle has been farming almonds since 1998 although she was raised in an almond and poultry farming family in the Central Valley of California. Her educational background is in biology (BA, UC Santa Cruz) and fisheries (MS, Utah State University) with the scientific process and research having been the main attractant. Currently she and her brother, Erich, manage and operate 135 acres with no employees which places them in the unique position of intimately knowing every facet of their operation, from the mundane to the technologically advanced. Practical knowledge and feasibility combined with scientific advances and discovery are essential to solving problems in agriculture. Over the years Gemperle Orchards has hosted numerous studies related to almond growing, whether it be deficit irrigation strategies, root stock trials or the benefits of cover crops. Christine serves as an alternate on the Almond Board of California, additionally participating on the Biomass Task Force and the Nutritional Research Committee. She has been a member of the Blue Diamond Growers Cooperative for almost 25 years where she serves as a grower liaison. Formerly she was a small scale beekeeper and acted as secretary for the Delta Bee Club for 7 years. Most of all Christine enjoys being active and vocal in the agricultural community especially when it comes to promoting and sharing what she has learned about sustainable agricultural practices.