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Randy Oliver talks about Scientific Beekeeping – KM061


This week we are talking to Randy Oliver from California in North America. This is Episode Sixty One of our beekeeping podcast,

You can download the podcast directly HERE, or click on the play button above. Feel free to share it with your friends.

As we all our interviews the views expressed by our guests are the views of our guests, and don’t necessary revert the views of kiwimana.

We also have a full text transcription of this interview available here:-
Randy Oliver – Transcription


Randy started as a hobbyist beekeeper in 1967. Then went to study biological sciences, specializing in entomology at University.

He uses his Scientific background to investigate current issues facing bees and beekeepers. Randy also writes for the American Bee Journal since 2006

Randy has around 1000 hives that he runs with his two sons in the Grass Valley area of northern California.

Randy also runs the popular website Scientific Beekeeping

Photo courtesy of Randy Oliver
Photo courtesy of Randy Oliver

Here's What You Will Learn

  • Randy Oliver does a lot of field trials for companies. He is supported by donations from beekeepers and business’s.
  • How Randy got started in Beekeeping with a Diving Mask.
  • What does Randy enjoy about beekeeping
  • The Internet doesn’t have any editors
  • Don’t give up on a new treatment that you have only use once. Check that you are using it correctly for your conditions.
  • What are Randy’s Top three ways to control varroa mites
  • Stay away from the CheckMite treatment, it’s nasty stuff.
  • Does America have a true Varroa resistant bee yet?
  • How Randy keeps his combs fresh
  • Randy’s thoughts on what causes ‘CCD’
  • Randy’s thoughts about neonicotinoid pesticides
  • According to Randy, Why is the Anti-GMO movement misguided
  • Randy’s plans for next season

What Was Mentioned

  • Randy’s Favorite book “Beekeeping Tips and Topics by Elbert R. Jaycox”
  • Francis Saucy: Study small cell beekeeping incorrectly in the Journal of Apiculture Research 2014, can be found HERE
  • UC Davis report on GMO Livestock can be found HERE
  • New Zealand story about Cow Deaths Linked to Swedes
  • Working group has since been setup to investigate cow deaths, more info HERE

Further Listening

In January The organic view hosted a discussion between Randy Oliver and Walter Haefeker “President of the European Professional Beekeepers Association” on the topic of Neonicotinoids. This is well worth a listen:-
A Discussion About Neonicotinoids And Bee Losses

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Gary Fawcett

Gary enjoys designing new kiwimana products which we sell through our on-line shop.He is passionate about saving the Bees and encouraging urban beekeeping.Gary loves to write about issues that affect the Bees and our environment.He is also into tramping/walking in the beautiful New Zealand bush.

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9 thoughts on “Randy Oliver talks about Scientific Beekeeping – KM061

  1. Randy Oliver has disqualified my widely cited publications on the dose-response characteristics of neonics in arthropods (which include bees) as “fear-mongering”. I challenge Mr. Oliver to debate my data in your programme.

  2. It sure was controversial and raises many issues, I am no expert but the body of evidence from many experts leads me to believe that the precautionary principle is sensible for these pesticides. The chemical companies have been found not to conduct robust tests and are not 100 percent transparent in allowing the results to be made public. In addition high level ties in government and their agencies to pesticide companies and the money involved only adds to the concern that we are not being told the whole truth. I think it’s only fair that the personal statement made in regards to hank’s and others work in this area was unfortunate and warrants further balanced debate with both sides getting equal opportunity to present substantiated data. It’s not a one sided argument by any means in this complex and emerging area of science.

  3. Excellent interview Gary. Great to see that Randy is sticking to the scientific method as this basis for his argument and is prepared to debate from this viewpoint.
    Happy New Year to you and Margaret

    1. Thanks Don, great to hear some positive feedback about the interview.

      I think he brought up some valid points about other pesticides other than NeoNics, I tend to agree I think all pesticides should be monitored and controlled. We shouldn’t just focus on one class.

      I think the answer is in government regulators having the ability to do long term studies on the impact on pesticides on the environment.

      Gary Fawcett

  4. Thanks for posting this, it’s always good to have a good look at all the arguments. Another great episode.

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Randy, I hope you will get another interview with him sometime in the future.

    1. Thanks Roderick for listening to the show, yes that would be great. Interview with Doug Purdie from Sydney this week.

    2. Hey, thats my area, he’s a nice bloke. Love to know how he manages to convince people to hand over there space for his hives, must be in the honey bribe.

  6. he is a puppet for the industry, no more no less.

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