We're happy to introduce you to our all-volunteer group of workers and vision-keepers:

Jacqueline Freeman -- Co-Founder

Jacqueline Freeman -- Co-Founder

Author of the bestselling bee book, "The Song of Increase", Jacqueline has kept bees on her biodynamic farm for 14 years. Each colony from a wild swarm has been cared for without treatments and is fed by the farm's organic flower forage. Her bees live in top-bar and warre hives, a modified lang, and in large logs. A wild swarm moved into the wall where she hears them humming every time she walks up and down the stairs. Jacqueline appeared in the honeybee documentary "Queen of the Sun" as the swarm-catcher. She and Michael Thiele were hired by the USDA to work in Dominican Republic with rural beekeepers using kind and historical methods.

Susan Chernak McElroy — Co-Founder

Author of NYT bestseller “Animals as Teachers and Healers", Susan has been a student and friend of Jacqueline’s since 2012. She learned beekeeping by taking all of Jacqueline’s classes multiple times, and then by becoming editor/project manager for Jacqueline’s book. Now, she teaches all the beginning beekeeping classes for Preservation Beekeeping, including classes on her personal passion: historic straw skep weaving.

Susan and Jacqueline imagined creating a bee-centered bee club, a nonprofit that educates new beekeepers and the public about bees--what they need and how to help them survive and thrive. And so Preservation Beekeeping Council was born. Here are the remarkable and devoted volunteers who do all the footwork that makes PBC a reality.

Susan Chernak McElroy — Co-Founder
Michael Joshin Thiele -- Founder of Gaia Bees

Michael Joshin Thiele -- Founder of Gaia Bees, PB Board Member

Michael is a sensitive and thoughtful innovator in bee-centric apiculture. His biodynamic approach to honey bees is centered around the essentials of nest integrity and the understanding of the hive as a singular, sentient being. He has been creating honeybee sanctuaries since 2007. In 2013, he worked as a biodynamic consultant for the USDA in the Dominican Republic and in 2016 he presented his work at Harvard University. In 2017 he created Apis Arborea, a non-profit dedicated to rewilding honeybees and an innovative, holistic apian paradigm. GaiaBees.com

Trees Brodie–Membership coordinator

Trees Brodie began attending meetings in 2017, knowing nothing about bees, with a willingness to listen and learn. After the first year, made the step forward to continue the process and incorporate bees into a lifestyle that recognizes a more natural and enduring reality. I am hoping to participate in advancing our awareness of interdependence, unity and support of nature, each other, the bees, and of course trees.”Trees manifest in their songs, tell of life’s community, a net of relations. We humans belong within this conversation, as blood kin and incarnate members. To listen is therefore to hear our voices and those of our family.”(Haskell). Bees sing the harmony of that song.

Debby Cochran - Boardmember

Debby is a farmer, beekeeper, and organizer. She keeps our swarm list up and running, matching bee-tenders with bee swarms in Washington and Oregon. Her farm is a place of mentorship, and Debby works with both bee and farm interns regularly. She has also taken charge of growing and preparing grass for our skep workshops.

Jennifer Bargar – Log Hives & Swarm/Cutout Services

Jennifer graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Syracuse University and spent many years in the veterinary industry. She became a professional helicopter pilot in 2007. Jennifer is a Master Composter/Recycler, avid gardener and devoted student of bees. She is turning her property into a certified wildlife habitat and bee sanctuary with multiple hive styles.

Thea Weiss Hayes

Thea Weiss Hayes– Managing Director and Resource Development

Thea has spent 40 years in environmental stewardship and the non-profit world. A botanical researcher who attended North Carolina State University and Yale Forestry, she also developed curriculum with OSU’s Sea Grant Extension and collaborated with scientists worldwide through Willamette Water 2100, Oregon Invasive Species Council, and the Colorado State Mountain Sentinels program. Thea’s developed resources and written successful grant proposals with Portland School Foundation, Portland METRO, Donors Choose, National Gardening Association, OHSU Teacher Institute for the Experience of Science, and Multnomah County Take the Time student grant program.  She is currently focusing on beekeeping & bee-centric gardening and her work for pollinators, as well as for the Portland Heritage Tree Committee, Oregon Alpha Delta Kappa and family matters.

Pixie LaPlante– Master Gardener, Educator

Pixie has spent 40 years in 15 states sharing her passion for herbs and wild plants. She designed and planted the extraordinary herbal gardens at Fort Vancouver, and teaches pollinator gardening in the Pacific Northwest. Pixie is a certified Master Gardener in Washington and Delaware. She consults and creates pollinator-friendly gardens for schools, businesses, and private residences.

Barry Malmanger – Research & Design Facilitator

Barry's involvement with bees brought together several aspects of his life. 25 years in environmental, medical, and scientific research; and a naturally curious nature, gave him the observation skills to understand bees' habitat needs. A creative woodworker, he began designing more 'natural' hives focused on the bees' well-being. He lives on a small acreage with habitat for many kinds of pollinators.

Debbie Nagano - Legal Advisor

A 40-year member of the California State Bar, Deborah has served on several corporate boards and done volunteer work for nonprofits including Triumph Cancer Foundation, Alpha K9, Reading Partners, and Clayville of California. Debbie drafts and reviews all our legal documents and handles general legal matters.

Debbie Nagano

Ginger Reynolds - Videographer

Ginger has been an animal advocate and insect lover all her life. She has her degree and license in Veterinary Technology and runs a pet-sitting business, Pet Services Pro, in southwest Washington. Ginger has a wonderful menagerie of well-tended pets and is working toward opening an animal sanctuary.

Click Here To Read How Our Founders Fell In Love With Bees


Join our club and attend meetings in person, or on our live-streaming video station where we invite bee-folk from all over the country to join our meetings!

bee on flower, collecting pollen
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