Welcome to MDBA
MDBA is an all-volunteer 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization working to promote beekeeping and educate the public about the vital role of bees in our environment. MDBA is one of the largest beekeeping clubs in California with over 400 members. MDBA meets monthly and meetings are free and open to the public.
The MDBA Mission
To promote beekeeping and educate the public about the vital role of bees in our environment.
MDBA provides education to members regarding best practices in beekeeping and has an active Community Education Program. Through meetings, workshops, and a Mentorship Program, members are able to learn and build upon their beekeeping skills and participate in a vibrant beekeeping community.
MDBA Community Education
MDBA volunteers provide education about bees and beekeeping to schools and other community organizations throughout the year. MDBA is committed to expanding the public’s awareness about the wonders of honey bees, the importance of their role in our environment, the dangers they face, and what individuals and communities can do to promote the health and well-being of honey bees.
MDBA Board of Directors and Committee Leaders
BYLAWS OF THE MOUNT DIABLO BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION
Article 1 – Offices
Section 1. Principal Office. The principal office of the Mount Diablo Beekeepers Association (hereinafter referred to as the Corporation) shall be in the City of Walnut Creek, California, or such other place as designated by resolution of the Board of Directors of the Corporation.
In 1979, a handful of East Bay beekeepers got together for the purpose of buying beekeeping supplies and bee packages in bulk. So began the Mount Diablo Beekeepers Association (MDBA), now one of the largest beekeeping clubs in California. The group started calling itself a club in 1982 and held meetings twice a year. With around 20 members, the club organized a barbeque, grilling T-bone steaks on a Weber grill, and sharing the camaraderie built around a common interest. Everyone had a good time so they made the barbeque an annual tradition. To attract more members, Steve Gentry placed an ad in the Classifieds—under the pet section—in a Berkeley newspaper. Beekeeping was still an unusual hobby.
In the 1990s, the club met in a small meeting room at Larkey Park. Club members began a lending library, a newsletter, and a swarm list. One member, Stan Umlauft, designed a logo with the MDBA letters inside a hexagon, incorporating the symbols of a mountain and honeycomb. During this time, the MDBA stepped up its work in public service with members volunteering at county fairs, schools, and community events to try to educate people about honey bees and beekeeping. The varroa mite had arrived and changes in agricultural practices were contributing to a worldwide decline in the honey bee population.
Today MDBA is an established institution with an active membership of 300 to 500 members of mostly hobbyist and small commercial beekeepers from the Bay Area. The club includes members of all ages, including students, whose participation helps ensure the continuation of this historic craft. From its initial start as a buyers club, the MDBA’s purpose today is to promote beekeeping though education, workshops, and mentoring, and to enhance the public’s understanding of honey bees, including their importance as pollinators. A primary objective of MDBA continues to be to encourage fellowship and goodwill among all people engaged in apiculture.
The MDBA recognizes these early members of MDBA and thanks them for restoring and promoting beekeeping in American culture.
- Steve Gentry
- Major Branzel
- Virgil Philipps
- Stan Umlauft
- Marilyn Mangle
- Kris Moline
- Ralph Swanson
- Dan Perinton
- Lonnie Reynolds
- Mike Mascaro
- Stan Thomas
- Rick Kautsch
- Ray Hicks
- Judy Welldon
- Mary Andre
- Gary Lawrence