We're happy to introduce you to our all-volunteer group of workers and vision-keepers:
Jacqueline Freeman Co-Founder
Author of the bestselling book, "The Song of Increase: Listening to the Wisdom of Honeybees for Kinder Beekeeping and a Better World", Jacqueline started caring for honeybees on her biodynamic chemical-free farm in 2003. All her bees originated from wild swarms. The bees and many wild pollinators are nourished by extensive flower fields and orchards on the farm. Her bees live in hives made from wood, straw, mud and hollow logs. A wild swarm found a tiny opening under an eave and moved themselves into her upstairs studio wall where they live a few feet from her desk. Jacqueline appeared in the honeybee documentary "Queen of the Sun" as the swarm-catcher. She has presented at conferences and given workshops throughout the US, Dominican Republic, England, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Her book is published in English, French, Dutch, Spanish and a spoken version is on Audible. Her website has lots of video and recorded interviews of her bee-centric approach.
Susan Knilans 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.
DEBBY COCHRAN Board Member
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.
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.
Pixie LaPlante Master Gardner, 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.
Thea Weiss Hayes Managing Director
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.
Debbie Nagano Art Curator
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.
James Landreth Food Forest Coordinator
James Landreth is a translator, teacher, and farmer. His focus is on organizing communities to plant and provide habitat for bees. He specializes in gardening and food forestry, and works with faith and community organizations to plant food forests. He has also been building log hives and native pollinator houses for community spaces. James has been growing food since he was young, and is a former apprentice of Jacqueline's.
Onyx is an artist and honeybee conservationist based in Portland, OR with a scientific background in wildlife disease. The bees came into her life in 2017 when she embarked upon a photojournalism project documenting the sacred relationship that is possible through bee-tending. Since then she has worked with bee-centric beekeepers in Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, California, Germany, Portugal, UK & Slovenia. Her current interests are creating habitat that support pollinator health & well being, and creating educational opportunities that engage humans and bees in a sacred, harmonious way. Within the Preservation Beekeeping Club she helps run monthly meetings, education outreach, and social media.
Michael Joshin Thiele Founder of Gaia Bees, Advisor
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
TORBEN SCHIFFER Advisor
Torben is a biologist who specializes in documenting the behavior of bees who live natural surroundings. Since 2016, he has been doing research with the Hobos team at the University of Würzburg in Germany. In the "Honey Bee Online Studies" (Hobos), Torben examines the climatic differences of tree hollows and prey and their consequences on bee health. He is currently preparing for his doctorate on pseudoscorpions as a symbiote of bees. Schiffer is committed to keeping bees in a species-appropriate manner and regularly publishes research results on this topic.