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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History of the Boy Scouts Bee Keeping Merit Badge

Boy Scouts of America Bee Keeping Merit Badges

"I would personally like to thank Historical Honeybee Articles for reminding me of those joyful moments as a child when I first learned about keeping bees. I am forever grateful to the Boy Scouts of America for introducing me to one of the most rewarding adventures of my life."
~ Bill Lewis, Bill's Bees

Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History

On This Date In History: February 8, 1910 -
The Boy Scouts of America was formed.

Scouting came to the United States from the United Kingdom in 1910, and by 1911, the BSA manufactured the first official 57 merit badges and began awarding them, among them the first beekeeping badge named 'Bee Farming.' Merit badges have been an integral part of the Scouting program since the start of the movement and are an important part of the uniform and insignia of the Boy Scouts. Among Boy Scout merit badges, the Beekeeping badge in particular has undergone a series of changes over the years.

1911 ~ Bee Farming
Image 1
The first Boy Scout merit badge for Beekeeping was issued in 1911 and was called Bee Farming, It looked something like a fly with four legs. Square patches were used from 1911 to 1933.

To obtain a merit badge for Bee Farming a scout must:

1. Have a practical knowledge of swarming, hiving, hives and general apiculture, including a knowledge of the use of artificial combs.

2. Describe the different kinds of honey and tell from what sources gathered.

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1915 ~ Bee Keeping
Image 1
In 1915 the badge was renamed Bee Keeping. It still looked something like a fly with four legs.

To obtain a merit badge for Bee Keeping, a scout must

1. Know how to 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 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 honey for the market.

In 1928 an additional requirement was added to obtain a Bee Keeping merit badge:

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.

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1934-1935 ~ Bee Keeping
Image 2

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1936-1937 ~ Bee Keeping
Image 3

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1937-1938 ~ Bee Keeping
Not Shown

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1940-1942 ~ Bee Keeping
Image 4

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1940-1942 ~ Bee Keeping
Image 5

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1947-1951 ~ Bee Keeping
Image 6

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1952-1956 ~ Bee Keeping
Image 7

In 1956 the badge was renamed Beekeeping.

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1957-1960 ~ Beekeeping
Image 8

In 1957 the badge was redesigned to look like a real live bee.

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1961-1971 ~ Beekeeping
Image 9

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1967 ~ Beekeeping
Image 10

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1972-1975 ~ Beekeeping
Image 11

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1972-1975 ~ Beekeeping
Image 12

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1976-1980 ~ Beekeeping
Image 13

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1994-1995 ~ Beekeeping
Image 14

1995 ~ The Beekeeping merit badge was discontinued.

The Beekeeping merit badge was offered from 1911 until 1995. From 1980 to 1994, the number of youth earning this merit badge ranged from 700 to 1,000 per year. That decline in interest eventually led to its demise in 1995.

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2012 ~ The Boy Scouts of America respond to demands for reinstatement of the beekeeping merit badge:

"In recent years, Scouts and Scouters have expressed a desire for the Beekeeping merit badge to be reinstated. They have been concerned about the vital role bees play in our ecosystem and that Scouts seem increasingly unaware of the problems honeybees face today. After a great deal of research and consideration, much of the old Beekeeping merit badge requirements and related activities and lessons will soon be incorporated into several existing badges. Those affected include Environmental Science, Forestry, Gardening, Insect Study, Nature, and Plant Science. As a result, more Scouts will be exposed to honeybee issues than if the merit badge were reinstated." -Advancement News June/July 2012

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1994 ~ Insect Study
Image 15

At the present state, beekeeping is a partial requirement in the merit badge; Insect Study. Much of the old Beekeeping merit badge requirements and related activities and lessons were incorporated into this badge.

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1952 ~ Nature
Image 16

At the present state, beekeeping is a partial requirement in the merit badge; Nature. Much of the old Beekeeping merit badge requirements and related activities and lessons were incorporated into this badge.

Source:

Advancement News June/July 2012
http://www.scouting.org/…/advancement…/512-075_June_July.pdf

Boy Scouts of America: The Official Handbook for Boys By Boy Scouts of America, 1911, page 41

Boy Scouts of America: The Official Handbook for Boys By Boy Scouts of America, 1915, page 36

Beekeeping Merit Badge
http://scouteradam.com/2013/10/04/beekeeping-merit-badge/

Handbook for Boys
By Boy Scouts of America 1915 page 36

Insect Study
http://www.usscouts.org/mb/mb065.asp

Nature
http://www.usscouts.org/usscouts/mb/mb078.asp

Collecting Merit Badges
http://www.scouttrader.org/collecting/meritbadge.pdf

Scouting.org - insect study
http://www.scouting.org/filest…/boyscouts/…/insect_study.htm

Nature Merit Badge
http://bsaseabase.org/…/advancemen…/meritbadges/mb-natu.aspx

Boy Scout Insignia Virtual Museum
http://boyscoutimages.com/search

The Future of Beekeeping and the BSA
http://www.threefirescouncil.org/…/a…/additional-recognition

Boy Scout Merit Badges
http://www.boyscoutstore.com/…/national-bsa-i…/merit-badges/

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Research in progress:
Number of beekeeping merit badges issued by year:
Can you help fill in the missing dates?

1911 - 0
1912 - 25
1913 - 62
1914 - 214
1915 - 39
1916 - 19

Annual Report of the Boy Scouts of America: 1917 page 55
https://books.google.com/books…

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1917 - 19
1918 - 51
1919 - 97
1920 - 66
1921 - 147
1922 - 199
1923 - 207
1924 - 190

1927 - 407?
1941 - 5,027?
1928 - 1,154?

Annual Report of the Boy Scouts of America. 1924 page 49
Comparative merit-badge table for eight years.

https://books.google.com/books?id=P3szAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA4-PA49#v=onepage&q&f=false

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Boy Scouts Bee Keeping Merit Badge

Boy Scouts Bee Keeping Merit BadgeDid you know that Bill's Bees got its start over 40 years ago when Bill Lewis took on a few colonies of honeybees to complete the requirements for the Boy Scouts Bee Keeping Merit Badge? Bill was not only bitten by the bug, but also received the Merit Badge as well as his Eagle Scout level, and then promptly... Read more about it: http://billsbees.com/pages/about-us

The following is reposted from:

Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History

circa. 1926~ Bee Keeping Merit Badge Pamphlet

On February 8, we will celebrate 106 years since the founding of the Boy Scouts of America on February 8, 1910. On the 8th, I will publish The History of the Beekeeping Merit Badge

Invite your friends to participate:
Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History

To obtain a merit badge for Bee Keeping in 1928, a scout must

1. Know how to 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 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 honey for the market.

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One Little Bee

A honey bee casting a shadow on a windshield. Photo Kathy Keatley Garvey

In a few weeks, Clyde and I will be heading off to almond pollination with millions of Bill's Bees. It all begins with One Little Bee. This is a very nice post from Kathy Keatley Garvey. We love adding it to our blog.  I am most amazed that Kathy can get such clear focus on the whole bee so close. Thank you, Kathy, for permission to post One Little Bee in its entirety. Enjoy! ~Bill Lewis, Bill's Bees

Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World  
Published January 22, 2016
Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey

It was a bee. One little bee.

What are the odds of a honey bee landing on the window of a  UC Davis vehicle parked outside the California Bee Breeders' Association meeting on a cool January day--Wednesday, Jan. 20--at the Ord Bend Community Center, Glenn County?

Inside, it was a gathering of bee breeders talking about industry issues. Outside, it was a gathering of clouds, as the sun struggled to cast shadows where it could. The clouds would darken tomorrow, but it would not rain today.

There were no pollinators in sight.

Except for this one little bee, which landed on the windshield. Was it looking for those scarce floral resources? Or soaking in the warmth of the sun? Or waiting to be photographed?

Surely it will be involved in the almond pollination season which begins around Feb. 14.

"There are now 890,000 bearing acres of almonds!" bee breeder Jackie Park-Burris of Jackie Park-Burris Queens, Palo Cedro, and a past chairman of the California Sate Apiary Board, told us last week. "They're needing approximately 1,780,000 hives! That is probably close to 85 percent of the commercial hives in the U.S. It is definitely 100 percent of the quality commercial hives in the United States."

"Beekeepers are very thankful for the job," she added. "The pollen from the almonds is one of the healthiest pollens my bees get all year, they love it!The largest pollinating event in the world happens in California during the almond bloom. It is a $5.8 billion crop for growers and the economy of California."

And it all starts with the bees. One. Little. Bee. 

A honey bee casting a shadow on a windshield. Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey

A honey bee casting a shadow on a windshield. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Visit Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World by Kathy Keatley Garvey

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Bill's Bees Has Bees For Sale!!!

Bees for Sale for beginning beekeepersSo you think you’d like to keep bees! Whether you’re a new or experienced beekeeper, you’ve come to the right place to buy your bees and to learn about beekeeping. In future blogs, we’ll discuss bees, beekeeping, honey and bee products. The best time to begin keeping bees is in the spring; when flowers are blooming, nectar is flowing, and pollen is gathered. Now is the time to prepare the hive and order your bees. Honey bees are in short supply; we suggest you order them now. By the time spring rolls around, honey bees will be in high demand and they will sell out. You don't want to end up bee-less in bee-season!

We offer three ways you can obtain your honey bees:

Package Bees for Sale in CaliforniaPackaged Bees ($125): One good way of starting a new beehive is by purchasing a package of bees with a queen. Our packages have 3 pounds of bees (approximately 10,000 worker bees) in a screened cage. The bees are taken from an existing, gentle, working hive from Northern California. Our VSH Italian Queens are produced and mated in Northern California where there are no Africanized genetics ensuring gentle behaving offspring. Yes, they can still sting! The queen is in a small separate screened cage. Sugar syrup is included so the bees have something to feed on until they are installed in their new hive. You will need to have an empty hive body ready to install your bees. (Available April 2016)

Bill's Bees Nuc ColonyA Nuc or Nucleus Colony ($190): Another way to establish a hive that is gentle, hearty, and productive is with a starter nuc. A nuc is a very small colony of honey bees and a VSH Italian Queen. A nuc (pronounced nuke) is created from a larger working colony. The term ‘nuc’ is short for nucleus colony and refers both to the smaller size box and the colony of honey bees within it. The name is derived from the fact that a nuc hive is centered on a queen, the nucleus of the honey bee colony. Our nucs will have a minimum of 3 frames with brood in all stages of development, from egg to hatching bees, and 2 more frames with honey and pollen (bee food) to sustain the colony while it grows. All our nucs contain ‘Italian’ queens with the same genetics as our packages. Nucs take the guess work out of introducing a queen to a package of bees and ensures a queen with proven egg laying performance. We suggest you order a ‘marked’ queen. Then, if you observe an unmarked queen you will know if your hive has swarmed. Colonies that swarm, produce a new queen that will mate with local drones, some of which will be Africanized. Resulting offspring will be more aggressive. Bring your deep or medium box to us with attached bottom board and lid and extra frames to fill out the box. We will place the nucleus colony in your box, reduce the entrance, and screen the remaining opening so you can easily transport the whole hive home in your vehicle. (Available May 2016)

BIll's Bees Complete HiveA Complete Hive ($290): is the Nucleus colony described above that includes 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 May 2016)

VSH-Italian Queen Bees ($35):  VSH-Italian Queen Bees (VSH-Varroa Sensitive Hygine), mated, with known gentle genetics (unmarked). Queen Marking Cost $5.

Queen Marking Cost $5: When you purchase one of our VSH-Italian mated queens, you can have your queen 'marked' for an additional $5.

Availability: We will contact you near the latter part of March for a firm date of pick up for packages and the latter part of April for a pick-up date for nucs. You will need to pick up your bees at our Bill's Bees Location: 12640 Little Tujunga Canyon Road, Lakeview Terrace, CA 91342.

The honey bees we have for sale are limited, so we suggest you 'Buy Now' to avoid bee-ing disappointed. You can purchase online, right here at our Bill’s Bees website. Or, you may place your order by contacting us through our Contact Us Form, email: billsbees@wildblue.net, or (818) 312-1691.

If you are new to beekeeping, aspire to being a backyard beekeeper, or already an experienced beekeeper who would like to continue learning about bees and beekeeping, come to our Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101. For over ten years, we have hosted the LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 at Bill's Bees Bee Farm. We teach responsible beekeeping for an urban environment, adhering to Best Management Practices for the bees, beekeepers, and the general public. Our classes are ideal for Backyard Beekeeping in Los Angeles.

Welcome to the grand adventure of keeping bees! 

Enjoy!

Bill & Clyde
Bill's Bees

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LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 at Bill's Bees Bee Farm

Beekeeping Class 101 at Bill's Bees Bee FarmThe 2016 Season of  the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101 begins Sunday, February 21, 9AM-Noon, at Bill's Bees Bee Farm. Classes are held on the third Sunday of February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and October. In September, we share our beekeeping knowledge and experience volunteering at the Bee Booth at the Los Angeles County Fair.


We teach responsible beekeeping for an urban environment, adhering to Best Management Practices for the bees, beekeepers, and general public. These classes are ideal for Backyard Beekeeping in Los Angeles. All are Welcome! 

Beekeeping 101 is the entire session of beekeeping classes: from February through October 2016. We highly suggest you begin in February and continue through all the classes. Although you are welcome to come in the middle of the season, you will have missed out on valuable information. We currently do not offer advanced beekeeping classes. REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR BEE SUITS FOR ALL CLASSES EXCEPT THE FEBRUARY AND MARCH CLASSES. 

Location: All classes will be held at Bill's Bees Bee Farm12640 Little Tujunga Blvd., Lake View Terrace, CA 91342 Tel: 818-312-1691. (MAP http://goo.gl/maps/Hz7NS) EXCEPT the March 20 class which will be held at The Valley Hive: 9633 Baden Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311 Tel: 818-280-6500.

Dates:  Classes are held on Sundays only: February - October.  (No class in September - we'll be sharing our knowledge at the Bee Booth at the Los Angeles County Fair.) 

Time: Classes held 9am-noon.  

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

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. If you missed the first class you can still attend, just show up. 

What You'll Need: Bee suits not required for the first or second class (February & March). We suggest you wait until after the first beekeeping class (the February class) before you purchase bee suits and equipment. That way you won't purchase what you don't need. You may also want to bring materials for taking notes.  

ALL OTHER CLASSES (REGARDLESS OF WHEN YOU START COMING) REQUIRE FULL BEE SUITS (HAT, VEIL, GLOVES, FULL COVERING - JACKET & PANTS, HEAVY SHOES THAT THE BEES WON'T STING THROUGH, PANTS TAPED AROUND THE BOTTOM SO THE BEES CAN'T GET UP YOUR LEGS). IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE PROTECTIVE ATTIRE YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ATTEND THE CLASS. 

Our goal: To walk you through a season of keeping bees.  

The first class will be about equipment and materials; what you need and what you don't need. If you haven't bought anything yet, WAIT until after class so you don't spend money on things you don't need.   

Some of the topics we'll cover are:

  • Care of ourselves and others as we learn responsible beekeeping in an urban environment
  • Protective clothing (bee suit, hat, veil, gloves, etc.)
  • Apiary Rules and Regulations in LA County
  • How to approach a hive
  • What to do if you come in contact with an aggressive hive
  • Bee stings
  • Construction of a hive
  • Safe placement of a hive
  • General maintenance
  • Stages of life cycle within a colony
  • Troubleshooting in the hive
  • Diseases, mites, moths, and their treatment 

Schedule of Classes for 2016:

Class #1: Sun., February 21, 9am-noon, Bill's Bees Bee Farm. Topic:  Introduction to Beekeeping Equipment, Locating a Hive, Rules and Regulations in LA County. (No bee suit required).

Class #2: *Sun., March 20, 9am-noon, The Valley Hive. Topic: Woodworking, wiring frames. (NO BEE SUIT REQUIRED).

Class #3: Sun., April 17, 9am-noon, Bill's Bees Bee Farm:  Package Installation and what goes on inside the Bee Hive. (BEE SUIT REQUIRED)

Class #4: Sun., May 15, 9am-noon, Bill's Bees Bee Farm: Hive Management. (BEE SUIT REQUIRED)

Class #5: Sun., June 19, 9am-noon, Bill's Bees Bee Farm:  Lessons in Pest Management. (BEE SUIT REQUIRED)

Class #6: Sun., July 17, 9am-noon, Bill's Bees Bee Farm: Harvesting and Extracting Honey. (BEE SUIT REQUIRED)

Class #7: Sun., Aug. 15, 9am-noon, Bill's Bees Bee Farm: Finding and Treating for Mites, Lessons in Pest Management/Hive Health. (BEE SUIT REQUIRED)

September: Various dates at the Los Angeles County Fair: Using our knowledge to educate others.

Class #8: Sun., Oct. 16, 9am-noon, Bill's Bees Bee Farm: Keeping Bees Alive Through the Dearth. (BEE SUIT REQUIRED)  

All classes will be held at Bill's Bees Bee Farm except the March 20 class which will be at The Valley Hive 9633 Baden Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311 818-280-6500.

Location & Directions to:
Bill's Bees Bee Farm 
12640 Little Tujunga Blvd.
Lake View Terrace, CA 91342
Tel: 818-312-1691
Map:
http://goo.gl/maps/Hz7NS

Note:  Access to Bill's Bees requires crossing a stream bed (crossable by car) but be prepared for dirt roads. Arrive 15 minutes early to check-in so we can get started on time.  

Directions to Bill's Bee Farm:

Exit the 210 Freeway at Osborne:

If you're heading East on the 210 turn Left on Foothill, go under the overpass. Turn Left on Osborne. 

If you're heading West on the 210 turn Right on Foothill. Turn Left on Osborne.

Stay on Osborne, it becomes North Little Tujunga. You'll pass Middle Ranch on your right. Continue for 1.4 mi. past Middle Ranch. You'll pass US Forest Service Ranger Station on your left. Then you'll come to a sign on your right: Angeles National Forest. (Three roads meet: Little Tujunga Road, Marek Mtwy, and Ebey Herreras Truck Trail.)

Turn right and enter through the Big Yellow Gate. You'll be on a dirt road. (This is Ebey Herreras Truck Trail.) Cross over the stream bed and continue up the trail (approx. 1 mi). Once you pass the sheep, it's only a little further. 

(NOTE: ALL INFORMATION REGARDING BEEKEEPING CLASS 101 WILL BE POSTED (AS SOON AS WE HAVE IT) ON THE LACBA Facebook Page and on the LACBA Website. Thank you!) 

We look forward to seeing you at LACBA Beekeeping Class 101!

Enjoy!
Bill & Clyde
Bill's Bees

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Introducing Bill's Bees 100% Pure Beeswax Candles

Bill's Bees 100% Beeswax Candles 

Bill’s Bees 100% Pure Beeswax Candles are hand made at Bill’s Bees Bee Farm. 
We use only beeswax from Bill's Bees honey bees so we know it's natural, 100% pure beeswax.
~ Just the way our bees made it!

Where the bees forage and the nectar they collect determines the color of the wax and the scent of the candle. Our honey bees forage in the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California on a variety of native plants and wildflowers. Bill’s Bees 100% pure beeswax candles have a soft golden yellow beeswax color with the pleasant, subtly sweet, aroma of honey, and a slow burning, warmer, more yellow color flame.

Beeswax candles burn longer and burn pure without producing a smoky flame. Beeswax emits an abundance of negative ions into the air when burning which, like after a rain, washes the air clean.

Get cozy on these rainy days and nights with the warm and lovely glow of a slow burning pure beeswax candle from Bill's Bees Bee Farm. 

You can purchase Bill's Bees lovely 100% Pure Beeswax Candles at: http://billsbees.com/collections/beeswax-candles.

For more information on Bill's Bees 100% Pure Beeswax Candles, please see: 
Product Info - Beeswax & Candles.

Enjoy the warmth!
Bill & Clyde
Bill's Bees

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LACBA Honors Clyde Steese With Golden Hive Tool Award


Clyde Steese Honored with Golden Hive Tool AwardClyde Steese was honored with the Golden Hive Tool Award by the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association during their annual Holiday Banquet on December 7, 2015.

 
The Golden Hive Tool Award is the LACBA President’s choice of someone who has shown great dedication to the club and thereby improved people’s experience of beekeeping.

Keith Roberts, LACBA President, says he chose Clyde Steese to receive this award for Clyde's many years of service to the LACBA. For the past 19 years, Clyde has volunteered countless hours at the Bee Booth at the LA County Fair. For the past seven years, he has been the Chairman of the Bee Booth. Each year, Clyde takes time time off from his work as co-owner of Bill's Bees, and heads off to the fair for five weeks on the momentous task of organizing, setting up, and overseeing the Bee Booth. The Bee Booth is a major highlight of the fair where thousands of fair attendees are educated about bees and the importance they play in our lives. The fair is also the only fundraiser of the year for the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association. Through the efforts of Clyde and other LACBA members who volunteer at the Bee Booth, funds are raised from the profits of honey sales to support all the LACBA’s educational activities throughout the year. These funds also enable the LACBA to send member representatives to the California State Beekeepers Convention. This year, the LACBA was able to donate support for ongoing research and other activities for the benefit of honey bees to the following organizations:

American Beekeeping Federation - American Honey Queen Program
Bee-Girl Organization
Bee Informed Partnership
California State Beekeepers Association Research Fund
California State Beekeepers Association - Right to Farm Act
E.L. Nino Bee Lab - UC Davis
Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility
Pollinator Partnership 
Project Apis m. 

Clyde, along with his business partner, Bill Lewis, host the LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 on Bill's Bees Bee Farm. Over the course of nine months, they take new and seasoned beekeepers through an entire season of beekeeping sharing their experience, knowledge and love of the art and craft of keeping bees.

Clyde Steese is a past president of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association.  

We would like to congratulate Clyde for receiving the Golden Hive Tool Award thank him for his many years of service to beekeeping, beekeepers, and honey bees. We are grateful he is part of Bill's Bees.

Bill's Bees

 

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