About

History

In the spring of 2011, Paul Cronshaw began teaching beekeeping classes at Fairview Gardens in Goleta. Through the efforts of Paul and other passionate beekeepers, a group was formed and began its journey to a more formal organization. Now an established California non-profit, the SBBA is bringing education, awareness and honey bee preservation to a new level. We are fortunate to have exceptionally knowledgeable and experienced beekeepers living right here in Santa Barbara who are willing to share their bee wisdom with us. The more we learn to take care of the honey bee, the greater the chance that honey bees will continue taking care of us.

Mission

The mission of the Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association is “Helping People Help Bees.” We provide our community with mentoring resources and a variety of educational opportunities about bees and beekeeping best practices, as well as increasing public awareness of environmental concerns affecting bees.

Programs

Today, bees face an unprecedented set of challenges, from pesticides and parasites to pathogens and poor nutrition. We help influence local decision making to ensure that the interests of bee health are holistically aligned with the mutual interests of human health. And the best way to achieve this is through continuous community outreach and education.

Beginning Backyard Beekeeping (B3) Classes

SBBA B3 classes are taught twice a year (Spring and Fall) for six consecutive weeks to teach adults about the biology of honey bees, colony dynamics, hive styles and best beekeeping practices within the California Central Coast.

Apiary Meetups

Four to six times a year, members meet for two hours at an educational apiary to get hands-on beekeeping experience centered around the seasonal changes and needs of a honey bee colony. Due to COVID-19, these meetups are currently being held virtually, via Zoom.

Sweet Start

The vision of Sweet Start is to provide students with quality education about honey bees. Students that are selected to participate in this program are matched with a mentor to learn all the ins and outs of beekeeping.

Leadership

We are fortunate to have some of the most knowledgable and experienced beekeepers living right here in Santa Barbara , willing to share this knowledge and experience with us.

Paul Cronshaw

Founder

Paul “The Beeman” Cronshaw has been keeping honey bees in Santa Barbara County since graduating from SBHS in 1971. He set up his first hive on the roof of his parent’s house, purchased his first hive equipment from Sears Catalog, and ordered a package of bees from Mississippi. Since then he has been following his passion for honey bees by teaching beekeeping classes, maintaining apiaries, humanely removing and relocating bees when needed, and promoting the urban beekeeping movement.

Paul “The Beeman” Crenshaw has been keeping honey bees in Santa Barbara County since graduating from SBHS in 1971.

Dennis Hardy

Managing Director

Dennis is a 43-year resident of Santa Barbara, a hobbyist beekeeper since 2011 and an active member of the SBBA since shortly after its inception. He has served on the SBBA’s Board of Directors since 2017 and stepped into the Managing Director role in early 2020. As President/CEO of local marketing firm EvansHardy+Young, Dennis brings substantial management experience to his duties with SBBA.

Dennis has been active in the SBBA since shortly after its inception, and brings substantial managerment experience to his role as Managing Director.

Julia Walther

Chief Financial Officer

Julia Walther received her bachelor’s degree from UCSB in Global Studies and holds a master’s degree in Business Taxation from USC. While a student Julia founded Bee Conscious, a student organization dedicated to teaching students about bees, issuing beekeeping licenses and organizing talks, seminars and local plant life tours.

Julia founded bee conscious, a UCSB student organization dedicated to teaching students about bees, issuing beekeeping licenses and organizing local plant life tours.

Kelton Temby

Board Member

A third-generation beekeeper and TEDx Speaker, Kelton Temby left rural Australia to become a medical robotics engineer that would design systems to help doctors treat patients remotely. When he’s not developing a new algorithm, prototyping a robot, or sharing the buzz about EyesonHives, Kelton can be found tending to his organic garden, checking on his bee hives or volunteering with the Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association.

Kelton is the founder of Eyesonhives, a computer vision based bee hive health monitoring system comprised of a camera and data platform for beekeepers, researchers & citizen scientists.

Melissa Cronshaw

Manager of Apiary Operations

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Melissa grew up following behind her father as he kept bees. Melissa after all does mean honey bee in Greek! Melissa graduated from Antioch University with a Master’s in Education, focusing on the importance of outdoor education in schools. She has multiple hives that are handmade and unique. She presents honey bees and beekeeping to all ages. It is never too early or too late to learn about these magnificent creatures.

With a masters degree from Antioch University, Melissa focuses on the importance of outdoor education in schools. She also manages several unique, handmade hives.