Who Is Clyde Steese?

Where’s Clyde? It’s hot, dry, the sun’s beating down out here in the apiary; I’ve got hours to go before I call it a day. Every few minutes I look up expecting to see Clyde. Clyde Steese is my business partner and co-owner of Bill’s Bees. But, Clyde's not here!

Clyde’s at the fair! At the fair! And I’m here, in the hot, dry sun with the bees!!! Come September, Clyde goes to the fair. Clyde’s been volunteering at the LA County Fair Bee Booth for 19 years, but since he took over the chairmanship of the Bee Booth, seven years ago, Clyde disappears from the apiary and heads off for five weeks of intense honey bee overload. It’s a monumental task to design, set up, and organize the Bee Booth. Once the fair opens, Clyde devotes all his time, energy, and resources to educating thousands of school children, teachers, parents, and fair goers about honey bees, the important role bees play in our lives, the problems facing bees today, and what can be done to help the bees.

The Bee Booth is a major highlight of the fair and the only fundraiser of the year for the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association. Profits from honey sales are used to support all our club’s educational activities throughout the year and enables the LACBA to send member representatives to the California State Beekeepers Convention. Clyde is forever grateful to his wife, Jan, for the time she puts in at the fair, and truly appreciates the enormous contribution by LACBA member, Cyndi Caldera, who organizes and manages the hundreds of volunteer hours needed to staff the booth. He gives heartfelt thanks to all the fellow beekeepers who volunteer. It's truly an effort of many worker bees working together.  

Before the Bees! Clyde grew up on a 150 acre farm in New Bedford, PA, the oldest of 6 siblings.  Clyde was blessed with the gift of hard farm work where he learned to care for the livestock, developed teamwork, and understood that safety should always be at the forefront. Instilled with a strong work ethic, Clyde was always busy. He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America and Future Farmers of America. By the time he was 17, Clyde was smitten, and in 1966, married his high school sweetheart, Janice Cook. Jan's the love of his life and this October they'll celebrate 46 years of marriage.

Clyde’s service to country: Clyde served in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War from 1965-1969. He was assigned to the 3rd US Marine Corps K-9 Scout Dog Program. A high percentage of the best handlers come from farms where they handled hunting dogs and farm stock. Clyde’s high intelligence, character and physical ability as well as his experience growing up on a farm made him an excellent Scout Dog Handler.

Clyde served 3 tours in Vietnam, fighting in the battles of Hanoi, Da Nang, and Dung Ha. He received the Bronze Star for bravery and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries during the Da Nang Tet Offensive. Clyde was honorably discharged in 1969, and is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Moving On! After the war, Jan and Clyde headed for California. Clyde attended San Francisco State and graduated with a BA in Science. They moved to Southern California and settled in Sunland. Clyde and Jan still reside in the same house where they raised their two boys, Gary & Carl. They have two grandsons, Bret and Sean. Gary and Sean, along with nephew, LeRoy, are emerging beekeepers with Bill’s Bees. 

Clyde mastered the craft of leather smithing. Take a look the next time you get a chance to see the 1985 western, 'Pale Rider.' Clyde crafted all Clint Eastwood's leather work for the film. He's also carved many leather pieces for the John Wayne family. He later went to work for the City of Burbank, and retired in 2008, after nearly twenty-five years of service.

How the bees found Clyde! About 20 years ago, a swarm of bees took up residence in an orange tree in Clyde’s backyard. He didn’t have any luck getting someone to come take the bees away or to help him remove them for a reasonable price. So, Clyde caught the bees in a cardboard box. Jan says the next night Clyde came home with a hive. (Surprise!) When she asked, “Why?” Clyde very quietly replied, “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.” And that was that! Jan says that all the years they’ve been married he never once mentioned he wanted to keep bees. Clyde soon had six more hives. 

Being retired really fired Clyde's passion for beekeeping. Before he knew it, Clyde amassed over 25 hives and his bee yard outgrew his back yard. Jan rolls her eyes and might seem a little annoyed by all this beesness, but I think she secretly feeds the frenzy. When Jan worked for the Burbank Library, she brought home all the new books on bees before they hit the shelves. Clyde consumed them. 

Clyde is another one of those who has really been sucked in by the bees and is addicted to beekeeping. He showed up at the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association one night eager for information. I was President of the club at the time and we became fast friends. Clyde continued to grow in his knowledge of beekeeping and a few yeares later, he was voted in as President. Clyde served two terms as President of the Los Angeles Beekeepers Association. 

For nearly ten years, side by side, Clyde and I have worked the bees together. Sometimes we begin our days early in the morning when it’s cool, checking our hives, making sure the bees are healthy and not starving, that they’re producing honey and pollen, and that the queen is going about her business of making more bees. Some days are long, hot, and dry, like today. Sometimes our days begin at dusk when we load our bees onto trucks and drive through the night so they’re ready to off load early in the morning for almond pollination 'the grandest pollination event in the universe'. 

For the past five years, Bill's Bees has hosted the Los Angeles Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101. This year we had over 100 newbees up on the mountain top of Bill's Bees Bee Farm to learn about beekeeping. We teach responsible beekeeping for an urban environment adhering to Best Management Practices for the benefit of all: humans, animals, beekeepers, and bees.  



Helping others! Clyde has lived his life working hard, staying busy, and helping others. He is always thinking of how he can help others without thinking of what he can get back. Clyde’s enthusiasm towards bees is infectious and he has inspired many young hobby beekeepers. He has gone so far as to give away enough equipment and plenty of time to get many people started with beekeeping.  

School of Hard Knocks (or Bee Stings)!  Since a boy, Clyde has believed in the rule of Safety First! But, as any experienced beekeeper knows, you never know what to expect with bees. Clyde's certainly been through the beekeeper's school of hard knocks. Have you ever been stung so many times through your bee suit because sweat was sticking your suit to your skin that you had a reaction to the venom?  Clyde has. Last summer, I rushed him to the emergency room because of an adverse reaction to too many stings. He figured that somehow the bees were getting into his bee suit. He also knew we needed to get the job done that day and didn’t say anything about it. Finally, he says, “I’ve had enough." After several hours in the hospital and numerous steroid injections he was released. The doctor determined that he was not allergic, but just reacted to too many stings. Later, we discovered a tiny hole in his veil. Clyde was back out in the bee yard the next day. 

Clyde is a member of the American Beekeeping Federation and the California State Beekeepers Association. He serves on the California State Certified Farmers Market Advisory Committee. Clyde’s love of travel takes him around the world meeting beekeepers in places like Costa Rica, Panama, St. Petersburg, and Moscow. He shares stories of beekeeping in the United States and learns how beekeepers in other countries keep their bees. 

Clyde boasts of over 70 candles on his last birthday cake (that’s because he looks twenty years younger). He told me whenever he thinks of retiring he can’t imagine what his days would be like without the buzzing of the bees. Clyde celebrates the dignity of work and the humility of service. He's spent his life working in service for others, be it human, animal, or bee. I am proud to call him my business partner and my friend. Bill's Bees' honors Clyde’s dedication at the fair, and enjoys sharing our time, energy, and enthusiasm to further the understanding of bees and appreciation of the art of beekeeping. 

Where’s Clyde in “Bill’s Bees?” We tossed around changing the name of our company but nothing seemed to fit. We figured ‘Bill’s Bees’ has worked so far; we’d let beekeepers and worker bees work, and not fiddle with what works!

As for Bill, I'm heading over to Liane's Laboratory; curious to see what my brilliant wife is brewing up with the oils and spices of nature's garden and our honey bee gifts of the hive.

Enjoy,

Bill 
Bill's Bees  

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Bill's Bees HoneyStix

  

Bill's Bees HoneyStix Floral Varieties are 100% Natural Pure Honey made by Bill's Bees honey bees when they gather nectar from California's Avocado and Orange groves, from California Buckwheat, and other native plants and wildflowers of the local San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County. Enjoy Avocado Blossom, Buckwheat, Orange Blossom, and Wildflower HoneyStix. No colors or flavors have been added. 

Bill's Bees Honeystix Natural Flavored are straws filled with 100% pure sweet clover honey from Oregon and infused with real natural fruit and spice flavors: Cinnamon, Lemon, Lime. No colors or artificial flavors have been added.

Bill's Bees Gourmet Flavored HoneyStix are bursting with flavor and come in a variety of brilliant colors. They're delightful to look at, fun to eat, and oh, so yummy! The straws are filled with pure sweet clover honey from Oregon then infused with natural and artificial flavorings and colors.

HoneyStix are a sweet, healthy, taste treat! They’re great for snacks or a quick energy pick-me-up! Pack them in your kid’s lunch, pop them in your backpack, keep a package in your car, or your drawer at work. Bill ran a marathon with a fist full of HoneyStix - 1 stix evey 2 miles. 

Bill’s Bees HoneyStix are filled with pure honey. Enjoy our Floral Honey Varieties, Natural Flavored HoneyStix, and Gourmet Flavored HoneyStix.


Honey is an excellent source of healthy energy and are rich in amino acids, antioxidents, vitamins, and minerals. Sweeten your tea, drizzle over cereal, yogurt, or baked good. Squeeze the delicious honey straight from the straw into your mouth!

To open: Just snip one end of the straw, or, pinch one end of the straw between your thumb and pointer, hold the honeystix so the edge is vertical, and bite down with your back teeth. Then squeeze the honey out and – enjoy! 

HoneyStix are great as party and wedding favors, Halloween Treats, and Stocking Stuffers.

Now Available for purchase online Bill's Bees HoneyStix. You can also find Bill's Bees at LA County Farmers Markets.

We sell packs of 20 Stix for $4.00 (5 oz), (single variety) or packs of 100 Stix for $17.50 (24 oz), (single variety). This works out to the same price we sell them at farmers markets.

All Bill's Bees HoneyStix are made with US Grade "A" Honey and are a product of USA. 

Enjoy!
Bill & Clyde
Bill's Bees

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What's Up at Bill's Bees?


What are they doing with that mannequin? 

Come on out to the Bee Booth at the Los Angeles County Fair and see what Bill and Clyde have been up to.

Pomona Fairgrounds
1101 West McKinley Ave., 
Pomona, CA 91768
http://www.lacountyfair.com/ 
(Bee Booth is across from the 'Big Red Barn')


September 4-27, 2015

(Wed-Sun/except for Labor Day Weekend when we're open on Monday)

As if they didn't have enough to do with bees, beekeeping, honey, and sharing their experience with others about bees and beekeeping and honey, each year you'll find these two illustrious beekeepers up on the roof hanging out with Beekeeper Bob. Or perhaps we should say trying to get Beekeeper Bob up on the roof! 


  

Bill and Clyde join other members of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association and the Beekeepers of Southern California the weekend before Labor Day getting the Bee Booth ready for the Los Angeles County Fair. They bring in a large observation hive where thousands of school children and fair goers will have a chance to see honey bees up close, to find the honey bee queen, learn about honey bees, their importance in our lives, and what they can do to help honey bees. Clyde will take a break from his beekeeping duties the entire month of September to meet with the general public and share his experience and knowledge about honey bees.  

 

 




After his hard work helping to get the Bee Booth in order, Bill will return to Bill's Bees Bee Farm to work with the bees, without Clyde, oh my!

Here's Bill at last year's fair trying to catch a wayward bee with his itty bitty butterfly net! 

We do take time out for fun!  Join us!

Beekeeper Bob is ready to Welcome You!  

 

http://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/bee-booth-la-county-fair/

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What Are You Doing For National Farmers Market Week?


Bill's Bees joins the nation in celebrating National Farmers Market Week. The week of August 2 through 8, 2015 was declared “National Farmers Market Week” by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Come celebrate your local farmers market. If you've never been to a farmers market - or you haven't been in a while, National Farmers Market Week is a perfect time to take a leisurely stroll through one of our Los Angeles County Farmers Markets.  

You'll find an abundance of the freshest California fruits, herbs, nuts, and vegetables locally grown and brought to market by farmers who care about their product. Take the opportunity to talk to some of the vendors and find out where and how their produce is grown. Perhaps they'll share with you some of their health benefits, cooking tips, or recipes.

Check out the homemade baked goods, jams, jellies, oils and vinegars, fresh eggs and cheeses, nursery plants and flowers.  

Buzz by Bill's Bees at these Los Angeles County Farmers Markets and pick up California's finest honey. Bill's Bees honey is 100% pure raw local honey; unfiltered, unprocessed. We harvest, extract, and bottle our honey right here on Bill's Bees Bee Farm. Our honey varietals: Alfalfa, Avocado, Buckwheat, Orange Blossom, and Wildflower are Just the Way the Bees Made It! Honey- Direct from the Beekeeper to You! Be sure to try Bill's Bees Caramelized Honey. And the Wildflower Honeycomb, ummm, is out of this world delicious. Pick up sticks - Bill's Bees honeystix, that is! If you're in a hurry, you can order Bill's Bees honey online and pick up at these Farmers Market

As you explore the market, see if you can identify the many ways honey bees are responsible for most of what you see. 

Did you know:
  • Bees pollinate 80% of the world's plants including 90 different food crops.
  • 1 out of every 3 or 4 bites of food you eat is thanks to bees.
  • The honey bee is responsible for $15 billion in U.S. agricultural crops each year.
  • Honey is the only food that does not spoil (bacteria can’t grow in it, and because of it’s low moisture content and low pH – honey can last indefinitely).
  • Bees maintain a temperature of 92-93 degrees Fahrenheit in their central brood nest regardless of whether the outside temperature is 110 or -40 degrees.
  • The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man.
  • Man’s first alcoholic beverage, mead, is a wine made with honey.
By shopping at local farmers markets you'll get to support local farmers, you'll get to know the people who produce your food, you'll get to enjoy food that's truly fresh and delicious. You'll maybe get to dance a jig with one of the local bands. Our Los Angeles County Farmers Markets are truly fun for the whole family. Enjoy!

Thanks,
Bill & Clyde
Bill's Bees
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/cfm.html

Bill Lewis previously served two terms and Clyde Steese is currently on the California State Certified Farmers Market Advisory Committee. Bill Lewis is on the board of the Ventura County Certified Farmers Market Association.  Bill Lewis and Clyde Steese are long-time members and past presidents of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association. They are long time members of the California State Beekeepers Association. Bill Lewis was the 2014 President and is currently on the board of the California State Beekeepers Association. Bill and Clyde are both members of the American Beekeeping Federation.

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Soap The Way Nature Intended It!

Hello,

Did you know a bar of soap from the store may not be what you think it is? Most are actually detergents, and the ones that have the word “soap” on the label contain many chemical and artificial compounds. Look at the ingredients the next time you pick up a bar, you may be surprised.

Bill’s Bees Handmade Beeswax Soap Bars are just what they say they are. Our soaps are hand made in small batches of approximately 30 bars each, and they are made from scratch (from oils, sodium hydroxide, and natural spring water). Our soaps only use emollients from vegetable products, such as olive, palm, coconut, soybean, and walnut oils, which yield rich lathering and mild soaps that tend to make the skin feel soft and smooth while helping to retain natural moisture. Beeswax is also a fat which can be saponified. However, it is an expensive ingredient and isn’t often used in soapmaking. Beeswax makes a soap which is gentle to the skin, while making the soap last longer and have a finer texture. The beautiful range of colors seen in our soap bars is the result of different oils used in each recipe and other natural ingredients such as herbs and spices.

Bill's Bees Handmade Beeswax Lotion Bars do not have any artificial preservatives or antibacterial agents - many people are very sensitive to those artificial ingredients and find that Bill's Bees Handmade Beeswax Lotion Bars are extremely soothing and non-irritating. They are molded by hand in small 18 bar batches with only four main ingredients: beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter, and sweet almond oil. Vitamin E oil is added for extra skin nourishment, and also acts as a natural preservative. Our lotion bars retain the warm color of natural beeswax.

Bill’s Bees Honey (Unscented) Handmade Beeswax Soap Bars and Unscented Beeswax Lotion Bars are truly fragrance free, scented only by the sweet fragrance of Bill’s Bees Honey. They are excellent for anyone who is sensitive to scents, has allergies, or very sensitive skin. 


We do not use animal products in our soaps and lotions, and we don’t do any animal testing. No artificial colors are added. Fragrance is provided by either pure essential or fragrance oils. We use only the beeswax from Bill’s Bees beehives and only 100% pure raw honey from Bill’s Bees honey bees.

All Bill’s Bees Handmade Beeswax Soap and Lotion Bars are personally hand crafted, labeled, and packaged right here at Bill’s Bees Bee Farm by Bill’s wife, Liane. 

So now that you know a bit more about and the benefits of handmade, vegetable oil based soaps, we hope you’ll try Bill’s Bees Handmade Soaps and enjoy the luxury of “soap the way nature intended it!” As for Bill's Bees Homemade Beeswax Lotion Bars - 'They're sheer bliss!"

Check out this Customer Feedback from Mary. It makes me smile!

Thank you, 
Bill

 

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Best Honey Recipes for the 4th of July

American Flag 4th of July Independence Day
Independence Day
of the United States, also referred to as Fourth of July or July Fourth in the USA, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which was when independence was declared from the tyranny of Great Britain[1]. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworksparades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States. Independence Day itself has nothing to do with the military, or soldiers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_Day_(United_States) 
The Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence: A History

In addition to Independence Day, July is a month for celebrations: Designated Grilling Month, National Baked Beans Month, National Ice Cream Month, National Postal Worker Day, National Country Music Day, National Hillbilly Day, National Chocolate With Almonds Day, National Hammock Day, and many more fun days for celebration. May you enjoy each and every one. 

We'd like to thank the National Honey Board for creating a fabulous menu filled with honey recipes for your fun-filled days of celebration: http://goo.gl/WWN8OM.

You can find all the honeys for these wonderful recipes online at: http://billsbees.com/collections/honey, and at our local LA County Farmers Markets, Restaurants, and Specialty Shops: http://billsbees.com/pages/farmers-markets

Enjoy!

Bill & Clyde
Bill's Bees

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Beekeeping Class 101 - Class #5: Hive Management and Care of My Honey Bees

Get ready for Class #5! Join us June 14th (9am-noon) at Bill’s Bees Bee Yard for Class #5 
of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101. (Bee Suits Required)

Honey Bee FrameJune bee class is traditionally our class for hunting mites, but every class from now on out will have a segment on testing for mites, monitoring mite levels, and safe mite treatments for honey bees.

We will continue to follow the progress of packages installed in April.

Also, a beekeeper from Long Beach is supposed to be bringing a hive with a problem. We plan to diagnose the problem and fix it.

We may get a chance to take a look at an Africanized hive going through the re-queening process. For those of you who stayed very late last month, you may remember that the queen was introduced in a cage after removing the old queen. We now need to verify that she was accepted 'or not.'

With good mentoring, monitoring, and continued learning of beekeeping skills, you're off to a good start. Enjoy!

Happy Bee-ing!
Bill & Clyde
Bill’s Bees
http://billsbees.com/
http://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/beekeeping-classes-losangeles/

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Good Mythical Morning at Bill's Bees Farm

10,000 Bees Beard With Rhett & Link!

"A guy named Bill put 10,000 bees on my face." Rhett & Link, hosts of Good Mythical Morning, the daily morning comedy talk show, head off to Bill's Bees Bee Yard to see if they'd be good candidates as beekeepers.

"Two crazy guys came to visit one day and wanted me to put bees on their face,” says Bill Lewis of Bill’s Bees. “Okay!!!” Bill's Bees does most anything to help the bees!

Also on board was Rob McFarland of HoneyLove http://www.HoneyLove.org

For colonies, honey and other bee products check out our website http://www.BillsBees.com

Check out Good Mythical Morning’s YouTube Channel for daily episodes: http://bit.ly/subrl2

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Italian Queen Bees For Sale

Italian Queen Bees For SaleOur Italian Queen Bees are mated with known gentle genetics and are ready to lay eggs. They are ideal for the hobby beekeeper or the commercial beekeeper needing to re-queen. 

Italian honey bees have been a favorite among beekeepers since they were first introduced to the New World in the 1850’s. They came to Los Angeles County in the mid-1850's and became the 'bee of choice' for local beekeepers. They are favored around the world.

Italian honey bees are known to be gentle of temperament and easy to work with. They readily build comb and are very prolific. They are diligent housekeepers, continually working to keep their hives clean and hygienic. Italian honey bees have less tendency to swarm. They are wonderful foragers, excellent honey producers, and are highly valued for their pollination services in many of the fruits, nuts, and vegetables that grace our table. 

Our Italian Queens come in a screened cage with attendants. Unmarked queens are $35. Queens can be marked for an additional $5. Just make sure you also order the 'Marked' Queen

You can place your order for Italian Queen Bees and pick up at Bill's Bees Bee Yard. 

Thank you!
Bill & Clyde
Bill's Bees

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New Harvest - California Orange Blossom Honey

Bill's Bees Orange Blossom HoneyBill's Bees New Harvest of California's finest Orange Blossom Honey is available now! Simply the sweetest, most heavenly honey you can buy. Tastes like your in the middle of an orange grove in springtime.  

Orange Blossom honey is considered one of the best honey's in the world.  In the spring we take our honey bees to the citrus groves of sunny Southern California where all you can see for miles is oranges trees, all you can smell is the heavenly aroma of waxy white orange blossoms, and all you can hear is the buzz of happy bees.

We bring our bees home six week later with hives bursting with sweet 100% pure raw, Orange Blossom honey. Our honey is unprocessed, unfiltered - Just the Way the Bees Made It! We extract, bottle, and distribute our honey direct from Bill's Bees Bee Yard. 

Bill's Bees Orange Blossom honey is lovely in tea.  You can drizzle it over berries and melon, pour it over pancakes, it's great for baking, and can be used in just about any recipe. 

Buy in our online Shop or at our local LA County Farmers Markets.   

Enjoy!
Bill & Clyde
Bill's Bees

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