About Jennifer Radtke
My Bee Experience & Teaching Approach
I love bees! My bees are my best friends. I bring deep care and respect towards the bees when inspecting. I am constantly fascinated by bees and am continuously learning new things from them.
Go with the Bee Flow
I don’t top-down manage my bees to make them do things that I want them to do (e.g. make more honey). I look for clues as to what they are trying to do and help them do it. A lot of this has to do with the season of the year and the particular weather we are having. I have 19 years of beekeeping experience in the East Bay, so know the weather cycles well and what the bees do in a dry versus wet spring.
Practical Knowledge that Works
Overwhelmed by all the beekeeping info out there? I focus on beekeeping methods that have worked for me and my students to keep our hives alive multiple winters in the urban East Bay. My teaching is grounded in science. I credit Randy Oliver at scientific beekeeping.com with the foundation of what I know.
As a queer (gay) woman, my voice is not always heard or respected. It’s made me deeply commit to listen to different perspectives, especially from marginalized communities (people of color, disabled, transgender, etc.). I believe I can’t see the complexity of the world alone, but only with the help of many people with different voices and diverse experiences. I learn a lot from my students, their questions, and their observations of their bees. I encourage my students to share space & listen carefully, so they learn from each other as well. My beekeeping knowledge continues to build from my practice of listening to the bees and observing their behavior closely.
My Bee Experience
- 19 years of backyard beekeeping, first 13 years in North Oakland, Diamond District, Piedmont Ave, Alameda, Orinda, last 6 years in Minneapolis
- 14 years teaching beekeeping classes at BioFuel Oasis
- 13 years wrote BioFuel Oasis beekeeping emails about what to be doing in your hives in the East Bay
- 9 years picking up BioFuel Oasis Nucs from Randy Oliver in Grass Valley
- 8 years teaching bee apprenticeship/mentorship with 10-20 students with hives in East Bay, which has given me even more knowledge of what is going on each season in the East Bay
- 2 articles published in American Bee Journal
- 3 years Vice President of the Alameda County Beekeeping Association
- Speaker multiple times at the Alameda Co Beekeeping Association, at the Mt Diablo Beekeeping Association, and at the Stillwater (Minnesota) Beekeeping Club
Where to Buy Bee Equipment
BioFuel Oasis Cooperative
1441 Ashby Ave., Berkeley, CA 94702
I co-founded the BioFuel Oasis in 2003 and was worker-owner from 2003-2020. I work in partnership with the BioFuel Oasis now. They sell the equipment I recommend, and I teach their beekeeping classes. They not only sell beekeeping equipment, but chicken feed, local honey, strawbales, & more! Support this small, locally-owned worker cooperative!