Wishing You A Joyous New Year!

Wishing You A Joyous New Year !
Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History
Image: Bee Chasing Children -Trading Card from Partridges Cafe, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - 15 North 3rd Street and 19 South 8th Street
(estimate circa. 1880 to 1900)

Over a century ago, during the Victorian era, one of the favorite pastimes was collecting small, illustrated advertising cards that we now call trade cards. These trade cards evolved from cards of the late 1700s used by tradesmen to advertise their services. Although examples from the early 1800s exist, it was not until the spread of color lithography in the 1870s that trade cards became plentiful.

By the 1880s, trade cards had become a major way of advertising America's products and services, and a trip to the store usually brought back some of these attractive, brightly colored cards to be pasted into a scrapbook.

Enjoy! 
Bill's Bees

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Bill's Bees Has Bees For Sale

Bill's Bees Has Bees for SaleAt Bill's Bees you can purchase A Complete Beehive, Bees in Packages, or Nucs. We also sell VSH Italian Queens. All our bees are Italian honey bees with known gentle genetics. These bees are ideal for Backyard Beekeeping in Los Angeles as well as for Commercial Beekeepers who take their bees to pollination.

Pre-Order by December 31, 2016 and Save. The price of bees (TBD) will increase on January 1, 2017.

A Complete Hive for $315 ~ Nucleus colony (described in Bees in Nucs) that includes Italian Bees with a VSH-Italian 'unmarked' queen, a painted deep hive body, bottom board fastened to the box, and lid, plus 5 additional undrawn new frames to fill out the box. You may choose to substitute an internal frame style feeder (with cap and ladders) for 3 of the undrawn frames. Available mid-March for a Complete Hive with fall 2016 queens. Available mid-May with 2017 queens.  (A Complete Hive in March can catch the early spring and summer nectar flows.) View Details

Bees in Packages - $150 ~ 3 lbs Italian honey bees in a screened cage with VSH Italian mated 'unmarked' queen in a separate screened queen cage (with attendants). The known gentle genetics of these Italian Honey Bees make them ideal for Backyard Beekeeping in Los Angeles. Packages can be installed in any style hive. Queen Marking cost $5. Available for pick up April 2017.  View Details 

Bees in Nucs - $215 ~ 5 Frames (Deep) or 6 Frames (Medium) ~ Italian Bees with VSH-Italian 'unmarked' Queen. Queen Marking cost $5. Nucs available in May 2017. Available mid-March for Nucs with fall 2016 queens. Available mid-May with 2017 queens.  (Nucs in March can catch the early spring and summer nectar flows.)  View Details

The VSH-Italian Queen Bee - $40 is produced and mated in Northern, CA where there are no Africanized genetics ensuring gentle behaving offspring. Yes, they can still sting. Queens Available beginning mid-April for the 2017 season.  View Details

View more about our Bees for Sale.

Note: WE DO NOT SHIP OUR BEES. We will notify you of pick up dates, times, and location.

Enjoy,

Bill & Clyde
Bill's Bees

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Clyde Steese Honored with the CSBA Young Beekeeper of the Year Award

During the Awards Banquet on November 17th, 2016, the California State Beekeepers Association honored Clyde Steese with the CSBA Young Beekeeper of the Year Award at their 27th CSBA Annual Convention at the Kona Kai Resort in San Diego, CA.

As he presented the award, Awards Chairman, Alan Mikolich, had these words to share about Clyde:

"A young man he is not.  A young beekeeper whom the bees have taught many lessons he is.  He is a successful (meaning the bees are paying for themselves with a little $ left over) 1st generation beekeeper.  Honey bees found him when they swarmed into a box in his backyard about 16 years ago.  He could not find anyone to take the bees or remove them for a reasonable cost so he decided to keep them and gave them a home.  Soon the back yard was overrun with bee hives, the neighbors were starting to complain, and more importantly his wife was starting to tell him he had to do something about all the bees.

He connected with his local Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association and soon found an alternate location to pursue his new passion.  When he was up to about 30 colonies, he purchased a 24 foot flatbed truck, no forklift and no place to park a truck that size.  What do you do?  Call a friend.  Fast forward:

He has served as Vice President and President of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association and currently is on the Board of Directors.  His most notable contribution has been as coordinator for the LACBA annual fundraiser/bee display at the Los Angeles County Fair going on too many years to remember.

He is currently serving a term as a member of the Certified Farmers Market Advisory Committee that advises CDFA  on issues concerning Direct Marketing of Agricultural Products and Farmers Markets. 

He gives back with plenty of advice and lessons learned by teaching newbees at monthly Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association bee classes.  

Just a few of the lessons learned include: 

Do not buy a bunch of used equipment: You may just inherit a bad case of foul brood.                             

Do not spend a lot of $ on an untested solution to varroa and always go back and test for mites to see if your plan for surviving with mites is working: $5000 worth of Russian bees and queens that did not make it through the winter.

What to do when your truck breaks down with a full load of bees: Blown water pump on the International flatbed truck with a full load of hives.  Fortunately only 1/4 mile from the top of the grade and was able to limp to the top before all the coolant ran out of the engine.  From there a 3 mile coast with no power steering and limited amount of air for the brakes.  2 right turns another 1/4 mile and a left turn into the driveway close enough to unload the bees and run them to the drop location with the forklift.  Then call your wife at 1am to come and get you, a 2 hour drive from home.

Have a plan in place for a flat tire: Blown tire at about midnight on a Sunday night with a full truck load of bees and still a 3 hour drive ahead of you.

Always securely tie down your load even if you are only going 100 yds. so a 3000 lb. tote of sugar syrup does not fall off your truck, split open, and flow down hill through the back door of your partner’s house and into his wife’s kitchen. 

Beekeeping keeps Clyde Steese young. Stubbornness and persistence are a virtue."

Congratulations, Clyde. This is a great honor. We at Bill's Bees are so proud of you and grateful for your friendship, honesty, and integrity. Thank you for all the work you do on behalf of the honey bees, beekeeping, and the beekeeping industry.

Bill Lewis
Bill's Bees

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Bill's Bees - Protecting Our Honey Bees From Fire

Bill's Bees Protecting our Honey Bees From Fires

California's severe drought has caused devastating fire conditions throughout the state; destroying homes, wildlife, and honey bees. On Friday evening (July 22nd) we were able to rescue our bees just in time. We moved two of our apiaries (140 hives) from above Dillon Divide. This is what it looked like when we moved out of the hills before the fire went through the canyon. It was hot as a furnace. By the time we had the bees loaded that fire was halfway down the hill. The wind was blowing and it was snowing white ash when we got the truck out of there. We brought our bees home to Little Tujunga Canyon where we pray they remain safe. We hope we never have to do this again.

We would like to thank everyone for your concern, best wishes, offers of help, and prayers this weekend.

Bee safe.
Bill and Clyde
Bill's Bees

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LACBA Beekeeping Class 101: Class #1 - What You Need To Start Keeping Bees!

How exciting! Over 200  newbees (Yikes!) showed up for our first class of the 2016 season! What a gorgeous day to be up on the mountain at Bill’s Bees Bee Farm.

Bill and Clyde have hosted and taught the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101 for many years. Once upon a time, there were only a handful of “newbees” interested in becoming beekeepers. Over the past few years, interest in beekeeping and the desire to learn more about these tiny honey bees who are so important to our survival, has grown around the world.

So now you want to be a beekeeper!!! You’ve come to the right place. We offer a great series of classes for both beginners and established beekeepers. We’ll walk you through a season of beekeeping; from where to get your bees, what you’ll need in the way of protective clothing, tools and equipment, how to care for your bees, and when and how to extract honey.

With the joy of beekeeping also comes the responsibility to your bees, your neighbors, and yourself. We teach responsible beekeeping for an urban environment, adhering to best management practices for the bees, the beekeepers, and the general public. Keeping bees can be daunting and there’s a lot to learn. As the beekeeper will tell you, “Ask ten beekeepers a question, and you’ll get eleven answers.” You'll make mistakes, we all do. But you’ve entered a wonderful community whose passion is honey bees. We’re here to help you become the best beekeeper you can be.

In our first class we discussed some of the preliminary planning considerations, tools and equipment, and beekeeping resources. In April you’ll be picking up your bees (hope you’ve got your bee order in, they’re going fast!). Below are some things to consider and plan for before you pick up your bees.

Location, Location, Location:

  • A location in the open, preferably with a southern or easterly exposure, for maximum sunshine throughout the day.
  • Away from animals and children, not along a foot path, or where there is direct traffic. 
  • Protected by a barrier (approx. 2 feet from - and facing a hill or wall) from wind, streets, etc. This will also force the bees to fly up and over cars, people, etc., thus causing them to be less of a nuisance and helping them to stay alive.
  • Ease of access (you don’t want to be lifting heavy supers of honey up and down stairs or across rocky fields).

What the bees will need:

  • A safe, natural habitat with a source for nectar and pollen. A typical honey bee colony forages more than 80,000 square yards to find plants and flowers with sufficient nectar (honey) the bees' source for energy and pollen (essential in brood rearing) the bees' source of carbohydrates. 
  • A nearby source of fresh water (within ¼ mile) so they don’t use the neighbor’s swimming pool. This can be a tank or barrel of water with rocks or floating boards or cork for the bees to land on. 
  • A safe, comfortable, home to live in. 

We suggest you buy a couple of good beekeeping books and read them all the way through, twice. Here’s some suggestions:

  • Beekeeper’s Handbook 
  • Keeping Bees in Towns & Cities
  • How to Keep Bees & Sell Honey
  • Beekeeping for Dummies
Beekeeping Supplies & Equipment (What You Need and What You Don't!)


Basic Essentials List for Beginning Beekeepers:

The Hive - Langstroth (from the bottom up):

Hive Stand - This is a platform to keep the hive off the ground. It improves circulation, reduces dampness in the hive, and helps keep ants, bugs, leaves, and debris from getting into the hive. It can be made of anything solid enough to support the weight of a full beehive. Wooden hive stands are available for sale but bricks, concrete blocks, pallets, and found lumber are just as good. It’s helpful to place the legs of the stand in cans filled with used motor oil to deter ants from climbing up the legs and into the hive. The stand should be strong enough to support one hive or a number of colonies. What is important to remember is that the hive needs to be at least 6 inches off the ground.

Bottom Board - Is placed on top of the hive stand and is the floor of the hive. Bees use it as a landing board and a place to take off from.

Entrance Reducer - Is basically a stick of wood used to reduce the size of the entrance to the hive. It helps deter robbing.

Hive Boxes/Supers - Come in three sizes: deep, medium and shallow. Traditionally, 2 deep boxes have been used as brood chambers with 3 or 4 or more boxes (medium or shallow) on top as needed for honey storage. Many beekeepers use all medium boxes throughout the hive. This helps reduce the weight of each box for lifting. If you have back problems or are concerned about heavy lifting, you could even use shallow boxes all throughout the hive. So, 6 boxes as a minimum for deep and medium. More if you wanted to use only shallow boxes. You will only need two boxes to start out, adding boxes as needed for extra room and honey storage.

Frames and Foundation - For each box you have for your hive, you will need 10 frames that fit that box. Frames can be wooden with beeswax foundation or all plastic with a light coating of beeswax. The bees don't care and will use both equally well. Foundation is intended to give the bees a head start on their comb building and helps minimize cross comb building that makes it difficult to remove and inspect. You can buy all beeswax foundation or plastic foundation with a thin coat of beeswax applied to it. Alternatively, you can provide empty frames and let the bees build their comb from scratch but that can be a bit tricky and it takes the bees longer to get established. 

Top Cover: The top cover can be as simple as a flat sheet of plywood. We prefer the top covers made with laminated pieces to make a flat board and extra cross bracing to help hold the board flat for years. Plywood tends to warp over time. You can also use a telescoping cover, but they require an additional inner cover. 

Paint - All parts of your hive that are exposed to the weather should be painted with (2 coats) of a non-toxic paint. Do not paint the inside of the hive or the entrance reducer. Most hives are painted white to reflect the sun, but you can use any light colors. Painting your hives different colors may help reduce drift between the colonies. If your hive will not be in your own bee yard, you may want to paint your name and phone number on the side of the hive.

Tools & Supplies:

bee brushBee Brush - A beekeeper needs a brush to gently move the bees from an area of observation when looking for a queen and when harvesting frames of honey. Use a brush that has long, soft, flexible, yellow bristles. Don’t use a dark, stiff brush with animal hair, or a paint brush.

duct tapeDuct Tape - You’ll have lots of uses for duct tape, might want to keep it handy.                                                                                                                                                             




hive toolHive Tool - A hive tool is the most useful piece of beekeeping equipment. It can be used to pry up the inner cover, pry apart frames, scrape and clean hive parts, scrape wax and propolis out of the hive, nail the lid shut, pull nails, and scrape bee stingers off skin. The hive tool has two parts: the wedge or blade and the handle. Hive tools are often fitted with brightly-colored, plastic-coated handles which helps the beekeeper locate the hive tool while working. 

FeederFeeder - You may want to have a feeder with sugar syrup to give your new bees a boost in their new home. Its the helping hand they need to get started building comb.

SmokerSmoker - Examining a hive is much easier when you use a smoker. Use it to puff smoke into the entrance before opening the hive and to blow smoke over the frames once the hive is opened. This helps the beekeeper to manage the bees. Cool smoke helps to settle the bees. Smoking the bees initiates a feeding response causing preparation to possibly leave the hive due to a fire. The smoke also masks the alarm pheromone released by the colony’s guard bees when the hive is opened and manipulated. Smoke must be used carefully. Too much can drive bees from the hive. A smoker is basically a metal can with a bellows and a spout attached to it. We prefer to use a smoker with a wire cage around it. A large smoker is best as it keeps the smoke going longer. It can be difficult to keep a smoker lit (especially for new beekeepers). Practice lighting and maintaining the smoker. Burlap, rotted wood shavings, pine needles, eucalyptus, cardboard, and cotton rags are good smoker fuels.

Protective Clothing:

Bee suitBee Suit - For the best protection, full bee suits are recommended. But whether or not a suit is used, a beekeeper's clothing should be white or light in color (bees generally do not like dark colors and will attack dark objects). Avoid woolen and knit material. You will want to wear clothing both that will protect you and you don’t mind getting stained (bees produce waste that shows up as yellowish marks on your clothing). You’ll want to close off all potential to getting stung by wearing high top boots or tucking your pants into your socks and securing your cuffs with rubber bands or duct tape.

Bee Gloves - Long, leather, ventilated gloves with elastic on the sleeves help protect the hands and arms from stings.

 Hat and Veil - Even the most experienced beekeepers wear a hat and veil to protect their head, face, and eyes from bee stings. Wire veils keep bees farther away from the face than those made of cloth. Black veiling is generally easier to see through. Make sure the veil extends down below and away from your neck.

That’s it!

Once you have all you need, expenses can be kept to a minimum. With the right care, equipment, tools, and clothing will last a long time. If your hive becomes overcrowded, just add another box or two. Or, you may find you’ll want to split your hive – then you’ll have two! If honey is overflowing, just add another box or two. And, great! – You’ll have lots of yummy honey!!

A note on protective clothing: There was a time when we could safely visit our bees wearing little protective clothing. With the arrival of Africanized bees into the Southern states we've come to realize the potential danger of an aggressive hive and have learned to exercise caution when approaching our bees. A once gentle hive could be invaded and taken over by a small aggressive swarm in a few days. These bees are unpredictable and vigorously defend their hives. Protective clothing such as a bee suit, veil and gloves will help keep stings to a minimum in the bee yard if worn correctly. As beekeepers, it is our responsibility to help curtail the danger to our bees, ourselves, and others.

Here’s a list of suppliers:

The Valley Hive
Los Angeles Honey Company
Dadant & Sons
Mann Lake Ltd.
Walter T. Kelley Co.

We primarily work with the Langstroth hive but you can also use the Top Bar Hive or the Warre Hive. We'll be happy to share our experience with these two styles of hives, as well. 

The 2nd Class on March 20th will be held at The Valley Hive (9633 Baden Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311 tel: 818-280-6500). The topic is: Woodworking, Building Your Own Hive and Frames. You'll also learn how to care for your hives and equipment. 

The April 17th class will be back at Bill's Bees Bee Yard for a grand adventure.  We'll be taking a peek at what goes on inside the bee hive. This class is so exciting. You'll learn all about the worker bees and their 'jobs,' the drones and their 'job,' and you'll learn to find 'your queen'!  BEE SUITS ARE REQUIRED for this class and all the rest of the beekeeping classes. Any and all information, changes, scheduling, etc. is posted on the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101 page and on the LACBA Facebook page.

Happy bee-ing!

Thank you, 
Bill & Clyde
Bill's Bees

http://billsbees.com/
http://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/ 
http://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/beekeeping-classes-losangeles/ 
https://www.facebook.com/losangelesbeekeeping

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Bees in Boxes: How Did They Get In There?

Bill's Bees A three-pound package of bees"In a little over a month from now you'll be picking up your bees. Here's some helpful tips from the American Honey Queen - Buzzing Across America blog on what to do when you get YOUR BEES home! ~ Bill Lewis, Bill's Bees 

You may have seen beehives near orchards or along fields in your area, but how did the honeybees get in there? Let’s take a look at how bees arrive in the spring and how they are transferred into the hive. 

After a beekeeper has pre-ordered their honeybees for the year, they will get a phone call in spring saying the bees have arrived. They drive to the bee supply store to pick up their packages of honeybees. The packages are small wooden boxes with wire mesh on the sides and a can of sugar syrup hanging from the top. Depending on what size package the beekeeper ordered, there are either two pounds or three pounds of bees in the package. There are approximately 10,000 bees in a three-pound package, plus one queen bee in her own cage. This queen has recently been introduced to the bees in the package, which means they all need a few days to get to know each other. By the time the package arrives, all the bees have become accustomed to one another.



When the beekeeper gets the package of bees home, it is time to install it in the hive they have prepared. This is usually one deep hive body with frames inside. A deep hive body is the biggest box we can use for a hive. Frames are wooden frames with a sheet of beeswax or plastic with the honeycomb pattern molded into it, which offers a building guide for the bees to create wax honeycomb. Just like other types of farmers, different beekeepers might have different ways they take care of their animals. Here is one method to install the package of bees in the hive.

 Bill's Bees Deep Hive BodyBill's Bees shaking bees into the hive

First, remove a few frames from the middle of the hive and set them aside. Remove the can of sugar syrup from the package. This can is usually empty because the bees were hungry on their truck ride to their destination! Slide the queen’s cage out of the package, make sure she is alive, and tuck her in your pocket for now. Pick up the package of honeybees, flip it over quickly, and start shaking the bees out into the middle of the box. The package can be tilted from side to side to help the bees shake out through the circular hole. Once almost all of them are out, set the package down near the hive. If there are still a few bees left inside, the package can be left near the hive until they find their way out.

Bill's Bees queen in a her cageNext, gently return the frames to the hive. Be careful as you lower them into the box, making sure you are softly spreading the bees out and not squishing them. Once all the frames are back in the box, it’s time to release our queen! One way to release the queen is called direct release, meaning she will leave her cage immediately. Using the hive tool, the staple holding the wire mesh on the queen’s cage is removed. The wire mesh is held down with a finger until we are ready to release her. Lower the queen cage as deep as possible in the hive between two frames, then pull back the wire mesh from the front of the cage. Keep a close eye on the queen to make sure she walks out onto the frame and does not try to escape!

Put the inner cover on the hive. Many beekeepers will offer the bees sugar syrup after they first arrive to ensure they have a close source of food, especially if not many flowers are blooming and producing nectar. This is simply one part water and one part sugar mixed in a bucket. The bucket has tiny holes drilled in the lid, so when it is flipped upside-down the bucket will not leak continuously. This bucket feeder is placed partially over the hole in the inner cover. A medium box is placed around the feeder to protect it from weather, and the outer cover is placed on top of that.

Bill's Bees started building comb 

At this point, our bees have been removed from their package and transferred to their new home. Once they find the food and are comfortable with their surroundings, they will get to work!

Thank you to 

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Bill's Bees Hosts LACBA Beekeeping Class 101

The Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101 - 2016 Season begins Sunday, February 21, 9:00AM-Noon, at Bill's Bees Bee Yard - http://goo.gl/maps/Hz7NS

We teach responsible beekeeping for an urban environment, adhering to Best Management Practices for the bees, beekeepers, and general public. All are Welcome!

Dates
: Classes are held the 3rd Sunday of each month: February 21, March 20, April 17, May 15, June 19, July 17, August 15, No class in September, we're sharing our experience and knowledge at the LA County Fair Bee Booth), October 16.

Time: Classes held from 9am-noon. Please arrive 15 min. early so we can start on time.

Cost: Beekeeping Class 101 is free to LACBA members. Membership is $10/year, per household. New members are welcome to join at the classes. Non members $10/class.

Registration: You do not need to call, email, Facebook, or contact us in advance to register for class. Just show up. It is not required that you attend all the classes but it is suggested you do in order to get the most benefit out of learning to work with bees. 

All the information you need including the 2016 Schedule, Location, Directions, etc. in order to attend the LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 is posted on the LACBA website:
http://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/beekeeping-classes-losangeles/.

What an awesome experience to be standing on a mountain top, blue skies above, thousands of tiny honeybees buzzing all around us, and our 'heads in a beehive.' As we learned; focus, presence of mind, slow movement, and a profound love of the honeybee became a new experience in our lives. It is one of our greatest gifts as beekeepers. With experience, perseverence, and passion may we all become bee keepers rather than bee havers. The bee keeper is truly blessed. May we be forever grateful for the 'Gift of the Bees'.

It's a great class! Hope to see you there!

Bill & Clyde
Bill's Bees

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Bill's Bees Go to the Almonds

 

It's another warm, sunny day here in Southern California, and early this morning Bill and Clyde headed north to almond country. Every year about this time, Bill's Bees takes part in the greatest pollination event in the universe - almond pollination. Last year, Tracy Samuelson featured Bill's Bees in her piece for Marketplace, (it's reposted below in its entirety). Enjoy!

By Tracey Samuelson, Featured on Marketplace, March 2, 2015 (Click here for Radio Interview) 17:15

"Commercial Beekeepers - the Unsung Heroes of the Nut Business" 

Bill Lewis is waiting for the sun to set, the time of day when his bees crawl back inside the short white boxes that house their colonies. As the sky turns pink behind the San Gabriel mountains, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, Lewis climbs into the seat of a forklift and starts moving the hives onto the back of a flatbed truck. These bees are on the move.

Marketplace Bees return to their hive for the night

 

                                                                                            
"As soon as you get on the freeway and there’s air flowing past the entrances, all the bees run back inside,” says Lewis, of any stragglers.

Lewis, who runs Bill’s Bees, is taking about 700 of his hives on a road trip to the California’s Central Valley, where he’ll unload them across acres of almond orchards, working until 1 or 2 a.m. under the light of full moon.

All across the country, more than a million-and-a-half colonies are making a similar journey – traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles to pollinate California’s almonds. Farmers rent hives for few weeks because in order for almond trees to produce nuts, bees need to move pollen from one tree to another. 

No bees, no almonds.

“This pollination season there will be [some] 800,000 acres of almonds that need to be pollinated,” says Eric Mussen, a honey bee specialist at the University of California Davis. He says more than 100 different kinds of crops need these rent-a-bees, but almonds are significant for the number of acres that require pollination all at the same time. About 85 percent of the commercial bees in United States – which Mussen calls “bees on wheels” – travel to California for almonds.

The state supplies roughly 80 percent of the world’s almonds, worth $6.4 billion during the 2013-2014 season, according to the Almond Board of California.

“It’s a matter of numbers,” he says. “You’re trying to provide enough bees to be moving the pollen around between the varieties and whatnot. It’s just a huge, huge number of bees. The only way we can get a huge number of bees in one place at one time is to bring them in on trucks.”

In fact, bees are such an important part of the almond business that Paramount Farms, one of the biggest almond growers in the world, has decided they need to be in the bee business, too. The company just bought one of the largest beekeepers in the United States, based in Florida.

“Bees are so essential for the process of growing almonds,” says Joe Joe MacIlvane, Paramount’s president. “If we don’t have a reliable supply of good strong colonies, we simply won’t be a viable almond grower, so that’s our primary motivation for getting into the business.”

Renting bees is about 10 to 15 percent of Paramount’s production costs, but the motivation to keep their own bees isn’t simply economic.

“Many bee keepers are individual or family business and many people are getting on in years and we don’t see a lot of young people coming into the business,” says MacIlvane.

Additionally, bee populations are struggling. A significant number having been dying each year for the past decade or so, thanks to a mix of factors, from pesticides to lost habitat for feeding. Sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly what’s killing them.

“We had a large problem last year with bees dying in the orchard because of something that was going on during bloom,” says Bill Lewis. He thinks a pesticide or fungicide may have been to blame.

This year, Lewis and his bee broker are being pickier about the farms they’re working with, vetting them more carefully because those lost bees had big economic consequences – about $300,000 in lost income for Lewis.

Featured in: Marketplace for Monday March 2, 2015 (Click here for Radio Interview

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A Sweet Story at Moby's Coffee & Tea Co

Moby's Coffee & Tea CoLove, love, love – can you find love in a coffee cup? Absolutely!  Just ask Jennifer and Patrick. They met while working at Starbucks, quickly fell in love, built a life together, and set out to follow their dreams. Their love affair with coffee and the coffee culture led them to open their own coffee shop. Today, Jennifer and Patrick work side by side as caffeine artisans creating delicious classic and original  house blends of coffees and teas in their own Moby's Coffee & Tea Company.  


A warm and friendly atmosphere greets you when you step through the door. Moby's Coffee and Tea Co is the heart of their neighborhood sourcing as much as they can locally from the art on the walls, the coffee they brew, and the hand made mugs bought straight from the artist. To top it off their popular teas they blend in house can be sweetened with 100% raw, local honey from Bill's Bees.
 
For a number of years, Moby's has carried Bill's Bees 100% raw, local honey (from the San Gabrtiel Mountains of the Angeles National Forest). Yes, like other fine beekeepers, Bill sweetens his coffee with honey! "Nice young couple runs the place. Nice place for a cup of coffee and to hang out." ~ Bill Lewis, Bill's Bees

Moby's offers a wide selection of 100% organic coffees and loose teas. Whether you choose classic or house brews, you can trust Moby's baristas to create amazing taste treats. Moby's makes healthy - delicious! 

Moby's is quaint, quirky, and rich in spirit of the local community. Read up on local news and events. Enjoy board games, books, puzzles, and free wifi. Great music plays softly in the background. Join in quiet conversation or find a relaxing corner to study, write, or get some work done. If you choose, enjoy a cuppa at an outdoor table. Truly a friendly home away from home. “How many, think ye, have likewise fallen into Plato's honey head, and sweetly perished there?" ~ Moby Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville

Located in a strip mall in NoHo you'll find the best coffee and tea in town. Look for the whale holding a coffee cup, and come on in.

Moby's Coffee & Tea Company
5668 Cahuenga Boulevard
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(818) 579-4761 
https://www.facebook.com/mobyscoffeeco
Get Directions

Reviews:  
http://www.yelp.com/biz/mobys-coffee-and-tea-co-north-hollywood

 

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Boy Scouts Bee Keeping Merit Badge Handbook

Boy Scouts Bee Keeping Merit Badge Handbook"As I read through the requirements to obtain a beekeeping merit badge, I realize the solid education we received from the Boy Scouts of America. These hold true today in the care of our bees, the best management practices in keeping bees, and in our business."
~ Bill Lewis, Bill's Bees 

Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History

Requirements to obtain a beekeeping merit badge
from January 1928 until June 1948.

1. Examine a colony of bees, remove the combs, find the queen, and determine the amount of the brood, number of queen cells, and the amount of honey in the hive.

2. Distinguish between the drones, workers, eggs, larvae, pupae, honey, wax, pollen, and propolis; tell how the bees make the honey, and where the wax comes from; and explain the part played in the life of the colony by the queen, the drones, and the workers.

3. Have had experience in hiving or artificially dividing at least one swarm. Explain the construction of the modern hive, especially in regard to the “Bee Spaces.”

4. Put foundations in sections and fill supers with sections; and also remove filled supers from the hive and prepare the honey for market.

5. Write an acceptable article of not more than two hundred words on the differences in honeys according to the flowers from which the nectar is obtained.

OR

Comply with the 4H Club or home Project Requirements in Bee Keeping as follows:

1. Own a hive of bees.

2. Do all work in care and management of the hive of bees.

3. Keep accurate cost account record of Bee Keeping during the season or year.

4. Exhibit honey samples as required by leaders in charge of 4H Club work.

5. Make complete report at the end of season or year as required by leaders showing profit or loss.

Photo: circa. 1944 Boy Scouts of America,
Beekeeping Merit Badge Handbook.

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