Mathias and I participated in the 1st BeeSymposium held at University of California at Davis. The lectures focused on the importance of nutrition - natural diverse pollen and nectar nutrition - on Apis and wild bees. Several projects to promote "wild" and diverse local flowers instead of laws or waste land show that the importance to conserve bees their habitat. Of course the importance of varroa control was explained and Elina Lastro Niño, new Extension and Research Apiculturist at UCDavis, gave a presentation explaining the importance of not only mite control but the need to work proper and clean with bees and to be very cautious with shared or used equipment. Amy L. Toth, Assistant Professor at Iowa State University, was investigating the effect of the presence or absence of pollen in bees' diet respectively what kind of pollen would benefit bees most with their development. Initially as a side effect she found out that pollen is beneficial for the brood BUT this effect is rendered and even becomes a negative factor when pollen is pesticide contaminated. It shows us again that we really need to be much more cautious with pesticide use.
Finally UCDavis has created a beautiful bee garden that is not just attracting bees with its beautiful flowers but Homo Sapiens as well ;)