The Beekeeper Of 'Honeyland' Knows All Too Well: Respect Nature, Or Get Stung

NPR Fresh Air With John Powers August 12, 2019

LISTEN ON NPR Fresh Air

Beekeeper Hatidze Muratova lives in a ruggedly mountainous area of Macedonia. She has a simple rule: When you harvest honey, you only take half — and leave the other half for the bees.  Neon

Beekeeper Hatidze Muratova lives in a ruggedly mountainous area of Macedonia. She has a simple rule: When you harvest honey, you only take half — and leave the other half for the bees. Neon

I'm not sure that any creature is more marvelous than the honeybee, with its highly evolved social organization, its ability to create honey, and, of course, the stinger that causes us to take heed whenever we hear buzzing. The pain it threatens makes it easy to think you need an almost-monastic devotion to become a beekeeper.

This idea is certainly common in books and films, where keeping bees has become a metaphor for withdrawal from the world — be it Marcello Mastroianni's disaffected ex-teacher in The Beekeeper, Peter Fonda's Vietnam-vet-turned-beekeeper in Ulee's Gold, or the hero of Michael Chabon's short novel, The Final Solution, in which a retireddetective who's surely Sherlock Holmes now inhabits what's called a "bee-crazed hermitage."

In real life, of course, keeping bees is a way of making a living — and not an easy one. This becomes clear in Honeyland, an exquisitely photographed documentary by Macedonian filmmakers Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska. Shot over three years, this elegant film — which nabbed several top prizes at Sundance — begins as the intimate portrait of a beekeeper who makes famously good honey, and then expands to become something of a parable.

The heroine is 50-something Hatidze Muratova, who lives in a tiny hut in a ruggedly mountainous area of Macedonia, 20 miles from the nearest town and seemingly hundreds of years from modernity. Hatidze spends her life looking after her argumentative mother, who can't move her legs and is going blind, and keeping bees as her family has done for generations. She works with hives high up on precarious mountain ledges and in trees hanging over the river. Her basic rule is simple: When you harvest honey, you only take half — and leave the other half for the bees.

It's a solitary, hardscrabble existence, and Hatidze doesn't enjoy being cut off from the world. Her life perks up when a migrant family moves into her barren dale along with their cattle and mobile home. Although these new neighbors are quarrelsome, she loves the companionship, especially with the kids. When the patriarch, Hussein, learns you can pick up some money from honey, she shows him the ropes of beekeeping. As you might guess, this generosity leads to trouble.

William Golding, who wrote Lord of the Flies, once said that men produce evil the way bees produce honey. And that happens here. But the evil in Honeyland is not the sort we usually see. In a Hollywood movie, Hatidze's story would be a melodrama in which her livelihood is threatened by some profit-obsessed multinational corporation involved in skullduggery.

Stefanov and Kotevska offer a more complicated truth. Hussein isn't some rich corporate thug who deliberately shatters the small, fragile ecosystem that lets Hatidze survive. He's a poor, hard-working father who struggles to support his family and is willing to cut corners producing honey to do that. Hustling and unpleasant he might be, but he's not what I'd call a bad man.

The real evil lies in the way that Hussein, like most of us, has come to see nature as a resource to be exploited. Like the impoverished farmers who burn forests in the Amazon or Indonesia, Hussein is so busy pursuing immediate gain that he doesn't understand the big picture. He doesn't care that if you don't leave behind half the honey, you wind up killing the very bees you need to keep making it.

That's why Honeyland speaks so well to our moment. Right now, the world's bees are being killed off in droves in a mysterious mass carnage known as colony collapse disorder. At the same time, huge parts of the planet are menaced by climate change. And most of the world, not least its leaders, can't be bothered to appreciate what Hatidze knows in her bones — that the ecosystems which sustain us are interconnected and surprisingly frail.

What makes her such a wonderful character isn't simply the decency and warmth revealed by her extraordinary snaggle-toothed smile. It's that Hatidze embodies a sane, respectful and engaged way of living with nature. She knows that if you want honey, you must find a way of living in harmony with the bees that create it. If you don't, you will be very badly stung.

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/12/748823769/the-beekeeper-of-honeyland-knows-all-too-well-respect-nature-or-get-stung

Read more:
https://honeyland.earth/
https://www.honeylandfilm.com/

HONEYLANDBUZZ:
https://www.npr.org/2019/08/12/748823769/the-beekeeper-of-honeyland-knows-all-too-well-respect-nature-or-get-stung
https://www.sundance.org/projects/honeyland
https://www.indiewire.com/2019/06/honeyland-trailer-beekeeping-documentary-neon-1202147645/
https://theplaylist.net/honeyland-trailer-sundance-doc-20190605/

Celebrate National Honey Bee Day at The Valley Hive Honey Competition & Recipe Contest

Celebrate National Honeybee Day
The Valley Hive's 4th Annual
HONEY COMPETITION AND RECIPE CONTEST
Sunday, August 18th from 4pm to 7pm
10538 Topanga Cyn Blvd in Chatsworth!

It's the perfect venue for celebrating NATIONAL HONEYBEE DAY.

Come on out to taste backyard honey and delectable recipes made with honey.  Meet local vendors.  Drink honey cocktails.  Learn how to make mead and how to cook with honey.  There will be kids activities. As well as a belly dance performance.

Got honey? Join dozens of other local beekeepers and show off your prize honey by entering our Honey Competition.  Submit 2 - 8oz jars of honey (1 labeled & 1 unlabeled) by Friday August 16th.

Not a beekeeper? Enter a favorite recipe that uses honey. From sweet to savory, give us your best dish!  Entries must be received by 3pm on Sunday August 18th.  Bring 3 servings for the Judges and more for the crowd to try at the event.

This event has always been held as a Fundraiser for honeybees, and this year is no different. 
This year, all donations received from this event will go to Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association.

honey competition winners 2018.jpg

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 Class #7: Sunday, August 11, 2019, 9AM-Noon, Hosted by The Valley Hive

beekeeping class 101 register post.jpg

Sunday, July 14th, 2019
9AM - Noon
Topic: Robbing, Winterizing, Treatments

The Valley Hive
10538 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Chatsworth, CA 91311

Actual Location for this Class: Details will be emailed to registered participants prior to class.
Parking for Class: Details will be emailed to registered participants prior to class.
Time: Check in open @ 8:30am. Class Starts @ 9am
For more info: https://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/beekeeping-class-101/
Class SIgn Up: https://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/new-products/beekeeping-class-101-1

REGISTRATION REQUIRED

 PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

This class will take place in an apiary, therefore, protective equipment will be required.  If you do not have proper protective equipment you will NOT be able to participate in class and refunds will NOT be issued (all money collected for classes were a donation).

REMINDER:
We do not have Beekeeping Class 101 in September. LACBA members are volunteering at the Los Angeles County Fair Bee Booth! If you are an LACBA member, this is a great opportunity to share what you’ve learned in bee class with others.
Come, Join Us!

Honeyland in Theaters Now

Honeyland flyer.jpg

HONEYLAND
New Award Winning Film on Wild Beekeeper
In Theaters Now

The most awarded film of this year's Sundance Film Festival, HONEYLAND is a visually stunning documentary about one of Europe's last bee hunters, who follows an ancient golden rule, "take half, leave half for the bees." Through Haditze's story, the film explores sustainability and the delicate balance between humankind and nature. 

HONEYLAND PLAYING IN THEATERS
SHOWTIMES FOR HONEYLAND AROUND LOS ANGELES

Read more:
https://honeyland.earth/
https://www.honeylandfilm.com/

HONEYLANDBUZZ:
https://www.npr.org/2019/08/12/748823769/the-beekeeper-of-honeyland-knows-all-too-well-respect-nature-or-get-stung
https://www.sundance.org/projects/honeyland
https://www.indiewire.com/2019/06/honeyland-trailer-beekeeping-documentary-neon-1202147645/
https://theplaylist.net/honeyland-trailer-sundance-doc-20190605/

The Pollinators - Documentary (Screening)

The Pollinnators Film.jpg

The Pollinators is a cinematic journey around the United States following migratory beekeepers and their truckloads of honey bees as they pollinate the flowers that become the fruits, nuts and vegetables we all eat. 

We will talk to farmers, scientist, chefs, economists and academics along the way to give a broad perspective about the threats to honey bees and what it means to our food security.

The Pollinators
Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2019 Time: 6:30PM
Edwards Alhambra Renaissance Stadium 14 & IMAX
1 E Main Street, Alhambra, CA 91801
(See Below: This screening is based on audience demand.)

The producers of The Pollinators have partnered with Demand Film to bring The Pollinators to 100's of cities throughout the US and abroad. This is an innovative way to bring this film to your community that doesn't rely on traditional theater placements, but uses audience demand instead.

The Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association would like to thank member, Michael Pusateri, for promoting the screening of The Pollinators in Alhambra on Sept. 17th. The Pollinators can be requested for a showing in a theater, but they need 36 tickets sold to confirm it. Please reserve your ticket as soon as possible to help secure the event. This is the link to reserve tickets: https://tickets.demand.film/event/8213?ref=qzZJAgzA.

View Trailer

For information on the film: https://thepollinators.net
To reserve tickets for Alhambra Screening promoted by Michael Pusateri: https://tickets.demand.film/event/8213?ref=qzZJAgzA
You can request a screening near you.

Rescuing a Hive of Bees

The Huntington By Usha Lee McFarling July 17, 2019

One early morning, while The Huntington was closed to visitors, beekeeper Kevin Heydman extracted a hive of bees from a cycad near the Huntington Art Gallery. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

One early morning, while The Huntington was closed to visitors, beekeeper Kevin Heydman extracted a hive of bees from a cycad near the Huntington Art Gallery. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

Bees are no strangers to The Huntington. There are numerous hives in trees on the property that cause few problems and allow bees to do their valuable work of pollinating plants. But when a hive gets too close to areas frequented by visitors, the bees need to be relocated.

Earlier this spring, gardeners noticed that bees were swarming near the circular drive in front of the Huntington Art Gallery, a busy thoroughfare for visitors. Further investigation revealed that the bees had settled into a particularly special cycad: a tall, beefy specimen of Encephalartos whitelockii, a cycad that was given to The Huntington by the noted cycad expert and collector Loran Whitelock. The cycad is native to only one place: the area around Mpanga River Falls in Uganda. The species was named after Whitelock nearly 20 years ago in recognition of his contributions to cycad exploration and science.

The hive’s honeycomb is visible through a hole in the cycad’s trunk. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

The hive’s honeycomb is visible through a hole in the cycad’s trunk. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

“This plant held a special place in Loran’s garden before it came to The Huntington,” said Gary Roberson, lead project gardener for the palm and cycad collection. “Loran had chairs around it, and he loved to sit by it,” recalls Roberson, who was in charge when Whitelock’s massive cycad collection was moved to The Huntington in 2015 from Whitelock’s home in Eagle Rock. Roberson had noticed then that this particular cycad had a rotted area in its trunk. But cycads are hardy. The plant had sealed itself off from the rotting area and grown new roots. Roberson cleaned and cauterized the rotted area and packed the hole full of pumice. Over time, that pumice was removed, probably by ground squirrels or other rodents. And the cavity that remained in the cycad trunk? It made an ideal home for bees.

When bees cause problems at The Huntington, the employee who gets the call is Andrew Mitchell, the curator for material objects in the Botanical Division and a veteran beekeeper. “We don’t mind a swarm high up in a tree, but if it could potentially interact with people, we need to do something,” he said. Sometimes a branch or limb must be removed in order to relocate a hive. Mitchell knew this beloved cycad could not be treated like a common species. “This is a very, very special tree,” he said. So, he called in an expert.

Heydman fires up a smoker that he uses to encourage bees to leave their established hive. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

Heydman fires up a smoker that he uses to encourage bees to leave their established hive. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

Kevin Heydman works for an extermination business, but he has been a beekeeper for nearly 20 years. He teaches classes on beekeeping, sells raw honey, rents out bees for pollinating crops, and runs the Bee Booth at the Los Angeles County Fair each year. “Kevin’s got pest control on his truck, but he’s really a beekeeper,” Mitchell said. “He’s a secret agent.”

Heydman’s first step in the relocation was to remove the bees. He met Mitchell one morning at 6 a.m., while the gardens were closed to visitors, the weather was cool, and the bees would not yet be active. Since it was too early for the bees to fly, Heydman would not know until he opened the hive how feisty the bees inside might be. “The bees can fight back,” he said. “They don’t just all jump into the bee box.”

Heydman holds up a large piece of honeycomb. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

Heydman holds up a large piece of honeycomb. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

He started by firing up his smoker with old rags, leaves, and pieces of honeycomb; he believes the scent of burning honeycomb makes bees more likely to leave because they think their hive is on fire.

Peering into the hole in the trunk, the two men caught glimpses of layers of white honeycomb inside. “It’s beautiful,” Mitchell said. “They’ve been in there a while,” Heydman added.

Heydman secures pieces of honeycomb in a frame and then    slides    them into a bee box. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

Heydman secures pieces of honeycomb in a frame and then slides them into a bee box. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

Heydman, clad in a bee suit, sat by the cycad and carefully removed large pieces of comb. “They’re waking up,” he said, as the confused bees started to leave their hive. Heydman carefully strapped the comb onto wooden frames that he then inserted, one by one, into a bee box. Wearing thick, blue rubber gloves, Heydman then gently scooped the bees out of the hole and placed them on top of the box. He needed to get the queen out so her workers would not return to the cycad and get enough bees out in general to keep the brood colony warm. “If we can get another 100 bees, it’ll be better for the colony,” Heydman said, gently scooping out handful after handful.

There was not a dead bee in sight. “The bee loss from Kevin’s process is absolutely minimal,” Mitchell said. The bees, European and not Africanized, stayed calm throughout the transfer. “These are good girls,” said Mitchell, who noted that European honeybees can attack when relocated or provoked.

Bees and a piece of honeycomb on a bee box. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

Bees and a piece of honeycomb on a bee box. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

The two men then placed the bee box near the opening in the cycad while Heydman left the smoker under the hole, hoping to flush out any holdouts. The box would later be taken off Huntington grounds, far enough away so that the bees would not return “home” to the cycad. After a few weeks of adjusting to their box hive, the bees will be permanently relocated to a new home, Mitchell said.

Bees in the gardens tend to keep Mitchell busy. Bees move when they run out of space, he said. In a crowded hive, bees will make a new queen, and the old queen will then take off with part of the colony. The bees will rove around—settling temporarily onto trees, into roofs, and even underground, Mitchell said, until they can find a good location for a new hive. “Swarms are basically pioneering bees,” Mitchell said. “They travel.”

After extracting handfuls of bees and the honeycomb, Heydman uses his smoker to drive any remaining bees into the bee box for transport. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

After extracting handfuls of bees and the honeycomb, Heydman uses his smoker to drive any remaining bees into the bee box for transport. Photo by Andrew Mitchell.

Often hives will exist for years without causing problems. That was the case in the Japanese Garden, where a massive beehive thrived within the roof of the historic Japanese House for years, Mitchell said. But the bees had to be relocated last summer after temperatures spiked to more than 115 degrees, causing the honeycombs to melt and honey to drip down the iconic structure. It was a very mature hive. “The combs were more than two feet long,” Mitchell said.

The bees were relocated, honey was given to garden staff, and it took months for ants, robber bees, and other insects to clean remaining honey from the roof. Once the honey was gone, Mitchell was able to restore the roof and its sculptural elements. Today, there is no sign of any damage.

An air plant fills the hole in the cycad’s trunk; gravel and steel mesh underneath keep out bees and other creatures. Photo by Deborah Miller.

An air plant fills the hole in the cycad’s trunk; gravel and steel mesh underneath keep out bees and other creatures. Photo by Deborah Miller.

The same is true of Loran Whitelock’s favorite cycad. After the bees were removed, Roberson stuffed the hole with clean pumice and attached some stainless-steel mesh so that squirrels could not get inside. He then camouflaged the hole with a beautiful reddish Tillandsia, or air plant, which looks right at home on the cycad trunk. Said Mitchell: “That was a textbook relocation.”

Usha Lee McFarling is the senior writer and editor in the Office of Communications and Marketing at The Huntington.

https://www.huntington.org/verso/2019/07/rescuing-hive-bees

(Note: Kevin Heydman is the Vice President of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association.)

Honey Bees: A Critical Component of Our Agriculture System

EDM Digest (from American Military University) August 5, 2019

By Dr. Brian Blodgett: Faculty Member, Homeland Security, American Military University

Honey Bee EDM.jpg

To many Americans, the sound of a bee’s buzzing results in a swift swipe of the air to shoo the bee away. Finding a hive of bees in a wall of your house will usually result in a call to an exterminator, rather than to the local beekeeping club to have an apiarist safely remove the hive. 

Bee Stings Are Painful and Could Be Deadly

The fear of bees, or melissophobia, is common, often the result of having been stung as a child. However, some people are so allergic to a bee’s sting, they can have a dangerous reaction such as anaphylaxis that could cause death if not immediately treated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published data showing that hornet, wasp and bee stings were the underlying cause of death for 1,109 individuals between 2000 and 2017. That equates to an average of 62 deaths a year. The lowest number of deaths, 43, occurred in 2001 and the highest number was 89 in 2017. Male victims accounted for approximately 80% of the deaths.

A 2016 report by The Ohio State University stated that an estimated one to two million people in the U.S. are allergic to insect venom. Up to one million individuals visit emergency departments each year. The cost for an emergency room visit varies considerably depending on the severity of the reaction and the patient’s insurance plan.

While honey bee stings can be deadly, the bees will rarely attack you unless you threaten their hive or if they are seriously disturbed outside their nest.

When honey bees are threatened, they take a protective stance and extend their stinger, stinging their victim. Once the stinger punctures the skin, it pumps out venom and alarm pheromones, attracting other bees. If a bee decides to attack someone, it will be its last act because its stinger is left in the skin of its victim. In attempting to fly away, the bee disembowels itself.

The African honey bee, found in the southern areas of the United States, is no deadlier than the other six primary species of honeybees found in the United States. Instead, they are much more sensitive to the alarm pheromone, resulting in a considerably faster response to danger and their clustering in large groups. They will attack nearly anything in sight that is moving; they will pursue a person much farther than the other bee species.

Honey Bees Make a Significant Contribution to Agriculture

While the honey produced by bees is wonderfully useful and healthy, the bees’ contribution to agriculture is much more significant. A single bee in one flight can visit up to 50 or more flowers, pollinating each as it flies along.

If you enjoy fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, grapefruit and apples, thank the honey bee. If you like broccoli, nuts, cucumbers, onions and asparagus,  thank the honey bee again. While honey bees are not the only pollinators, they are the most well-known and among the most prolific. Honey bees are estimated to support about $20 billion worth of American crop production annually.

Also, consider the importance to wildlife of our flowering plants and fruit trees. Without the bees, our herbivores and frugivores (animals that feed on fruit) would have a much harder time finding food. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), pollinators are responsible for one of every three bites of food we eat and they increase our nation’s crop value by more than $15 billion a year.

In fact, honey bees are so important to agriculture, they are often trucked around the country during pollination season to help farmers grow their crops.

Each winter, beekeepers send their hives to California to pollinate the almond trees. Growers rent nearly two million colonies, over 60% of the nation’s domestic bees. The annual cost for renting the bees is about $300 million, but the California almond economy is worth around $11 billion.

Colony Collapse Disorder and the Plight of Domestic Honey Bees

However, bee colonies are dying in large numbers. According to the June 2019 Bee Informed Partnership's survey, “U.S. beekeepers lost nearly 40% of their honeybee colonies last winter — the greatest reported winter hive loss since the partnership started its surveys 13 years ago. The total annual loss was slightly above average.”

According to the survey, there are multiple causes for what has been called “colony collapse disorder.” Those causes include the Varroa destructor mite, decreasing crop diversity, poor beekeeping practices, loss of habitat, the use of certain pesticides on plants and stress.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), colony collapse disorder (CCD) occurs when most of the worker bees in a hive disappear for any of several reasons. That leaves the queen with plenty of food for the unhatched bees, but only a few bees to take care of them.

Since hives cannot sustain themselves without worker bees, the entire colony dies. CCD occurrences have diminished considerably since the winter of 2006-2007 when beekeepers reported losses of 30 to 90 percent of their hives. Nevertheless, the EPA states CCD remains a concern, and scientists are working on several theories for the phenomenon:

Honey bees are being attacked by the small invasive Varroa destructor mites that can destroy an entire colony. Since the introduction of the Varroa destructor in Florida in the mid-1980s, they had spread northward to almost every state by 2017. A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) stated that the “Varroa destructor is the greatest single driver of the global honey bee health decline.”

The use of pesticides is also a concern. The EPA took steps in 2016 to limit the use of sulfoxafor, an insecticide that is highly toxic to bees and other pollination insects. However, just last month the EPA removed many of the restrictions on the use of sulfoxafor.

Farmers can now use the insecticide on about 190 million acres of arable land, nearly twice the size of California. The crops that can be sprayed with sulfoxaor include soybeans, cotton, alfalfa, millet, oats, pineapple, sorghum, tree plantations, citrus, squash and strawberries.

According to an article in Mother Jones, the transportation of honey bees around the nation, their attacks by parasites, the use of insecticides and the vast number of single-crop areas needing pollination are causing stress to the honey bee.

Just as data continue to show the decline of domestic honey bees, the USDA, citing budgetary shortfalls, announced in July that it would no longer fund its National Agriculture Statistics Service to collect data on honey bee colonies. The report helped scientists and farmers determine if honey bee populations were declining and by how much.

Honey Bees and Our Food and Agriculture Sector

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), under Presidential Policy Directive 21, is responsible for ensuring that our critical infrastructure “must be secure and able to withstand and rapidly recover from all hazards.”

In the 2015 Food and Agriculture Sector-Specific Plan, facilities primary engaged in raising insects, such as bees, fall under DHS purview in the animal production category. A decrease in the number of domestic honey bees can be costly not only for farmers to “rent” them, but also for all Americans because the loss of bees could lead to steeper food prices.

Our nation’s honey bees are not thought of as a target of violent extremists or terrorists. Nevertheless, individuals are attacking them in their hives. In April, someone deliberately set fire to a large number of beehives in Alvin, Texas, just south of Houston. Each hive contained around 30,000 bees. The destruction of the hives resulted in the loss of 500,000 to 600,000 bees.

In January 2018, outside Prunedale, California, over 100 beehives were destroyed when someone knocked over the hives and then sprayed gasoline on them, killing over 200,000 bees. On December 28, 2017, 50 beehives outside Sioux City, Iowa, were destroyed, resulting in approximately 500,000 dead, frozen bees.

DHS needs to recognize the importance and criticality of our nation’s bees and the role they play as a primary contributor to our ecosystem. An attack against bees is an attack against Americans’ wellbeing in general.

Due to our nation’s extreme dependence on honey bees, action is needed to ensure we have enough bees to sustain our crops. There are several steps that we can take to ensure our bee population is not decimated:

  • Ban the use of pesticides that are harmful to bees is a main step

  • Providing shallow sources of water and providing the bees with plenty of bee-friendly flowers, plants and trees

  • Allow leafy vegetables to go to seed after harvest

  • Support local beekeepers by buying their honey

  • Teach children about the importance of bees and the interdependence of living animals

About the Author 

Dr. Brian Blodgett is an alumnus of American Military University who graduated in 2000 with a master of arts in military studies and a concentration in land warfare. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2006 as a Chief Warrant Officer after serving over 20 years, first as an infantryman and then as an intelligence analyst. He is a 2003 graduate of the Joint Military Intelligence College where he earned a master of science in strategic intelligence with a concentration in South Asia. He graduated from Northcentral University in 2008, earning a doctorate in philosophy in business administration with a specialization in homeland security.

Dr. Blodgett has been a part-time faculty member, a full-time faculty member and a program director. He is currently a full-time faculty member in the School of Security and Global Studies and teaches homeland security and security management courses.

https://edmdigest.com/resources/education/honey-bees-critical-agriculture-system/?utm_source=inhomelandsecurity&utm_medium=blog&utm_content=IHS-article-link&utm_campaign=Blog%20-%20In%20Homeland%20Security%20-%20BT%20-%20AMU

A Common Honey Bee Disease is Spread Through Flowers

PHYS.ORG By James Cook University August 7, 2019

Australian native stingless bees. Credit: Dr Peter Yeeles

Australian native stingless bees. Credit: Dr Peter Yeeles

James Cook University scientists have discovered a common honey bee disease can be deadly to native Australian wild bees and can be transmitted by flowers—the first time this link has been made.

JCU's Associate Professor Lori Lach oversaw the study investigating the susceptibility of Australian stingless or "sugar bag" bees to Nosema ceranae—a parasite that causes European honey bees to become less active, develop an increase in appetite, and die prematurely.

"Pathogen spillover from bees kept by bee keepers to wild bee populations is increasingly considered as a possible cause of wild pollinator decline. Spillover has been frequently documented, but not much is known about the pathogen's virulence in wild bees or how long pathogens can survive on a flower," said Terence Purkiss, the honors student who conducted the study.

The scientists found that just over two thirds of the wild bees exposed to the disease caught it, and those that did died at nearly three times the rate of those without it. Most European beehives have been found to contain the disease to some extent.

The scientists also found that flowers can transmit the disease.

"About two thirds of the flowers exposed to infected European honey bees were found to be carrying Nosema ceranae spores. In every case, at least one stingless bee that foraged on the flowers contracted the pathogen. What this means is that wild bees can be infected with the disease by sharing a flower with an infected European bee ," said Dr. Lach.

Five out of the six stingless bee hives the researchers monitored over five months tested positive for the pathogen at least once.

Dr. Lach said species' geographic distributions are changing rapidly due to habitat loss, climate change, and through new species being introduced by humans.

"This leads to novel combinations of interacting species that share no evolutionary history. Introduced species may bring with them their pathogens and parasites and provide an opportunity for these to spread to new species," Dr. Lach said.

Dr. Lach said more work had to be done outside the laboratory setting and within different seasons to get a clearer picture of how dangerous the pathogen is to wild bees.

"We know that new hosts will not have had the opportunity to develop defenses against new pathogens and may be particularly susceptible. For example, human immunodeficiency virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome jumped from chimpanzees and bats, respectively, to humans and have resulted in millions of deaths," she said.

Dr. Lach said it was the first study to find a spillover of the pathogen from European bees to Australia's stingless bees.

"Reducing risk of pathogen transmission from managed to wild bees presents multiple challenges and must involve the beekeeping community for any real change to occur. Development of rapid effective diagnostic tools and reliable means of preventing and treating infection will be important advances too," she said.

The work was published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

https://phys.org/news/2019-08-common-honey-bee-disease.html

There’s A Direct Correlation Between Gut Bacterial Numbers In Honey Bees And The Overall Health Of Hives

Catch the Buzz By Alan Harman August 7, 2019

bees and gut bacteria.jpg

Preliminary trials in Australia have shown there to be a direct correlation between gut bacterial numbers in honey bees and the overall health of hives.

The University of Canberra research found high levels of gut bacteria in honeybees could mean healthier and more productive hives.

While further testing needs to be carried out, the new methodology shows promise in preventing and minimizing the impact of chalkbrood, a fungal disease that affects hive health and honey yields.

The research project aims to develop a probiotic product from Australian bee gut bacteria for the apiary industry.

University of Canberra’s Adjunct Associate Professor Murali Nayudu says the latest results build on their previous research, a groundbreaking study that found bacteria could be reintroduced into the gut of diseased bees through probiotics.

“As a first step to assess the use of probiotics in bees, we needed to obtain more data on the natural variation of bee gut bacteria numbers in healthy bees over the four seasons,” Nayudu says.

“Our team set up two apiaries ….in New South Wales, with six hives in total. We consistently monitor these healthy hives for bacterial numbers.”

Nayudu says the team has developed specific methodologies for the project, which involves sampling multiple bees from each hive per time point, isolating bacteria from the bee gut and conducting analysing bacterial numbers for individual bees. From this information, the health state of the beehive can be determined.

“This particular method has meant that we could determine whether bees had healthy bacterial numbers or low bacterial numbers, with the latter seen in bees from diseased chalkbrood-infected hives,” Nayudu says.

“Sampling the gut bacteria of bees from a higher number of hives has enabled us to determine the overall health of an apiary, which could help predicting disease before any visual symptoms appear.”

With more sampling to be done over the southern winter, the recent, positive results mean the research team now will start the second part of the project ahead of time – experiments involving chalkbrood control using probiotics.

“In our previous Australia-wide survey, we isolated a number of bacterial strains that showed strong anti-fungal activity against chalkbrood,” Nayudu says.

“In this project, we will isolate additional bee gut bacterial strains to enlarge our collection, and determine which strains are the most potent in inhibiting Ascosphaera api, the chalkbrood pathogen.

“We are currently gathering a large number of chalkbrood-infected hives to set up different probiotic treatment groups, with the experiments to hopefully commence this (southern) spring.”

https://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-theres-a-direct-correlation-between-gut-bacterial-numbers-in-honey-bees-and-the-overall-health-of-hives/

Celebrate National Honey Bee Day at The Valley Hive Honey Competition & Recipe Contest

Celebrate National Honeybee Day
The Valley Hive's 4th Annual
HONEY COMPETITION AND RECIPE CONTEST
Sunday, August 18th from 4pm to 7pm
10538 Topanga Cyn Blvd in Chatsworth!


It's the perfect venue for celebrating NATIONAL HONEYBEE DAY.

Come on out to taste backyard honey and delectable recipes made with honey.  Meet local vendors.  Drink honey cocktails.  Learn how to make mead and how to cook with honey.  There will be kids activities. As well as a belly dance performance.

Got honey? Join dozens of other local beekeepers and show off your prize honey by entering our Honey Competition.  Submit 2 - 8oz jars of honey (1 labeled & 1 unlabeled) by Friday August 16th.

Not a beekeeper? Enter a favorite recipe that uses honey. From sweet to savory, give us your best dish!  Entries must be received by 3pm on Sunday August 18th.  Bring 3 servings for the Judges and more for the crowd to try at the event.

This event has always been held as a Fundraiser for honeybees, and this year is no different. 
This year, all donations received from this event will go to Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association.

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Honey Bee Veterinary Consortium

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2019 Convention Sept 21 to 22 in Raleigh NC Register Now!

The HBVC is made up of students and professionals from all segments of veterinary medicine and animal science who care about bees and beekeeping.

Since when did a beekeeper need to find a veterinarian?  Are bees even animals? 

The US FDA considers honey bees a food producing animal.  Honey is food afterall.

Starting in January 2017, if a beekeeper needs to give their honey bees antibiotics then they will need to have a prescription or feed directive from a veterinarian. 

How does a beekeeper find a veterinarian that will work with bees? You are in the right spot!
Veterinarians, meet beekeepers, and Beekeepers, meet veterinarians. 

If you are a beekeeper looking for a veterinarian, there is a "Find a Vet"  menu button above to take you to a searchable listing of veterinarians that have said they are interested in working with beekeepers.  

If you are a veterinarian interested in working with beekeepers, there is a "Join" menu button to take you to where you can sign up to be on the list as a veterinarian interested in bees.  You will also receive a newsletter and have access to specialized content.

https://hbvc.org/content.aspx?sl=1354600021
https://m.facebook.com/honeybeevets/

Pesticides Deliver a One-Two Punch to Honey Bees

Phys.Org By Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry August 5, 2019

Researchers conduct semi-field experiments on honey bees. Credit: Lang Chen

Researchers conduct semi-field experiments on honey bees. Credit: Lang Chen

Adjuvants are chemicals that are commonly added to plant protection products, such as pesticides, to help them spread, adhere to targets, disperse appropriately, or prevent drift, among other things. There was a widespread assumption that these additives would not cause a biological reaction after exposure, but a number of recent studies show that adjuvants can be toxic to ecosystems, and specific to this study, honey bees.

Jinzhen Zhang and colleagues studied the effects on honey bees when adjuvants were co-applied at "normal concentration levels" with neonicotinoids. Their research, recently published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, found that the mixture of the pesticide and the adjuvant increased the mortality rate of honey bees in the lab and in semi-field conditions, where it also reduced colony size and brooding.

When applied alone, the three pesticide adjuvants caused no significant, immediate toxicity to honeybees. However, when the pesticide acetamiprid was mixed with adjuvants and applied to honeybees in the laboratory, the toxicity was quite significant and immediate. In groups treated with combined pesticide-adjuvant concentrates, mortality was significantly higher than the control groups, which included a blank control (no pesticide, no adjuvant, only water) and a control with only pesticide (no adjuvant). Further, flight intensity, colony intensity and pupae development continued to deteriorate long after the application comparative to the control groups.

Zhang noted that this study, "contributed to the understanding of the complex relationships between the composition of pesticide formulations and bee harm," and stressed that "further research is required on the environmental safety assessment of adjuvants and their interactions with active ingredients on non-target species."

https://phys.org/news/2019-08-pesticides-one-two-honey-bees.html

LACBA Meeting: Monday, August 5, 2019

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Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association
Next LACBA Meeting: Monday, August 5, 2019
Doors Open: 6:30PM (Club Discussion)
Meeting Starts: 7:00PM
All are Welcome!

Mt. Olive Lutheran Church 
3561 Foothill Boulevard 
La Crescenta, CA  91214


Agenda:

August 5, 2019:
 
Meet and greet 6:30

                  Queen Stickers getting 2 types

                  Volunteer limit of 5 packages as per state employee definition

Monthly meeting 7:00               

a.      Welcome

b.     Flag Salute

c.      Introduce Members of the Board: Kevin Vice President, Merrill Secretary, Danny treasurer, El Rey Member at large, and I your President.  

d.     Select Raffle ticket seller, index cards for questions

e.      New Members and/or guests

f.       Thank Doug Noland for the treat du jour

First/Second year beekeeping - 7-minute Speaker

 Topic Speaker

 The unknown beekeeper vacationed in Argentina and got roped into helping a beekeeper there. 

 Packages

Been 14 weeks near 5 brood cycles. How do they look? How many bees do you see in the hive?  When you open, how many frames are covered with bees.  8 frames? Is when you’ll add another box?   What’s your plan?  Swarm control?   Treatments? 

Meeting minutes: Mary Ann

Secretary Report: Merrill

Treasurer's Report:   Danny

Membership:  Cheryl

Website: Eva

Education:  Mary – opportunities to educate.   

Beekeeping 101: Keith - How did bee class go and what’s in the next class     

Upcoming events

 Cindy. LA County Fair. We need to gather literature, seeds, posters, bags, volunteers.

 What’s blooming?

Index cards Q&A

Next month:  Splits

Raffle!!!
(Please remember to bring something for the raffle.)

2019 North American Mite-A-Thon

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2019 North American Mite-A-Thon

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 TO SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2019

Mite-A-Thon is a tri-national effort to collect mite infestation data and to visualize Varroa infestations in honey bee colonies across North America within a one week window. All beekeepers can participate, creating a rich distribution of sampling sites in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Their Varroa monitoring data will be uploaded to www.mitecheck.com

The parasitic mite, Varroa destructor (Varroa), and the viruses it vectors is a significant driver of this honey bee colony mortality. Yet, indicators suggest that many beekeepers are not monitoring honey bee colony Varroa infestations and therefore not able to connect infestation to colony loss. 

OBJECTIVE: 1) To raise awareness about honey bee colony Varroa infestations in North America through effective monitoring methods. 2) Management strategies will be made available for discussion within bee organizations utilizing Mite-A-Thon partner developed information and outreach materials.

DATE: The week of September 7, 2019, with a practice test during summer 2019

PARTICIPANTS: All beekeepers in North America are encouraged to participate

COST: There is no cost. You can create your own test materials or kits can be purchased online and at your local bee supply store.

OUTREACH: Promotion of Mite-A-Thon will be through local bee clubs, state beekeeping organizations, and national associations (see partners for examples)

DATA COLLECTION: Participants will monitor the level of mites (number of mites per 100 bees) using a standardized protocol utilizing two common methods of assessment (alcohol wash or powdered sugar roll) and then enter data, including location, total number of hives, number of hives tested, local habitat, and the number of Varroa mites counted from each hive. The published information will not identify individual participants.

SPONSORS: Sponsorships are being solicited to underwrite costs and grants, as necessary.

CONTACT: Miteathon@pollinator.org or 415-362-1137

TO DO: Determine your preferred method of testing for mites and commit to a day for testing, either individually or through beekeeping organizations, and report your data (see above).

SUBMIT YOUR DATA

https://www.pollinator.org/miteathon

CLICK HERE for the 2017 and 2018 Mite-A-Thon Analysis Report.

Email miteathon@pollinator.org with any questions.

Beekeeping Truck For Sale

C7000 1980 Ford Diesel Truck Cab Rollover with Payne loader ~ AG Road 2023 permitted (so five years)/ new re-manufactured CAT 250HP engine with less than 10K miles / new bench seat cab interior / 16 foot bed / gross weight 26,000 /5 speed transmission / 5 speed rear end = ten speed / new spring hangers (front and back) / 900-20 tyres ~ asking $6K - OPEN TO BEST - ready to drive away. Klausesbees no longer does pollination hence no further need ~ Please contact: klausesbees@yahoo.com

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HONEYLAND - New Award Winning Film on Wild Beekeeper Opens in Los Angeles

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The most awarded film of this year's Sundance Film Festival, HONEYLAND is a visually stunning documentary about one of Europe's last bee hunters, who follows an ancient golden rule, "take half, leave half for the bees." Through Haditze's story, the film explores sustainability and the delicate balance between humankind and nature. 

The film opens in theaters in New York and Los Angeles starting Friday, July 26th and will expand to more theaters throughout the summer.
We would love for the LA beekeeping community to join us at the theater next week.

WHEN:
Opens Friday, August 26th.
*Filmmakers will be at Q&As in NY on 7/26 & 7/27

WHERE:
Quad Theater (34 West 13th Street, New York, NY)
Laemmle's Royal Theatre (11523 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles)

GET TICKETS:
www.honeylandfilm.com/tickets

Read more:
https://honeyland.earth/

HONEYLANDBUZZ:
https://www.sundance.org/projects/honeyland
https://www.indiewire.com/2019/06/honeyland-trailer-beekeeping-documentary-neon-1202147645/
https://theplaylist.net/honeyland-trailer-sundance-doc-20190605/

Scientists Say Agriculture is Good for Honey Bees, at Least in Tennessee

CATCH THE BUZZ By: Ginger Rowsey, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture July 11, 2017

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In a recent study, researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture found the overall health of honey bees improved in the presence of agricultural production, despite the increased exposure to agricultural pesticides. – Credit: Scott Stewart

While recent media reports have condemned a commonly used agricultural pesticide as detrimental to honey bee health, scientists with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have found that the overall health of honey bee hives actually improves in the presence of agricultural production.

The study, “Agricultural Landscape and Pesticide Effects on Honey Bee Biological Traits” which was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Economic Entomology, evaluated the impacts of row-crop agriculture, including the traditional use of pesticides, on honey bee health. Results indicated that hive health was positively correlated to the presence of agriculture. According to the study, colonies in a non-agricultural area struggled to find adequate food resources and produced fewer offspring.

“We’re not saying that pesticides are not a factor in honey bee health. There were a few events during the season where insecticide applications caused the death of some foraging bees,” says Mohamed Alburaki, lead author and post-doctoral fellow with the University of Tennessee Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology (EPP). “However, our study suggests that the benefits of better nutrition sources and nectar yields found in agricultural areas outweigh the risks of exposure to agricultural pesticides.”

Alburaki and fellow researchers established experimental apiaries in multiple locations in western Tennessee ranging from non-agricultural to intense agricultural production. Over the course of a year, colonies were monitored for performance and productivity by measuring colony weight, brood production and colony thermoregulation. Colony thermoregulation, or the ability to maintain an optimal temperature within a hive, is an important factor in brood development and the health of the resulting adult bees.

According to the study, hives located in areas with high to moderate agricultural vegetation grew faster and larger than those in low or non-agricultural areas. Researchers suggest the greater population sizes enabled better colony thermoregulation in these hives, as well.

Meanwhile, bees located in a non-agricultural environment were challenged to find food. Although fewer pesticide contaminants were reported in these areas, the landscape did not provide sustainable forage. In fact, during the observations, two colonies in the non-agricultural areas collapsed due to starvation.

Disruptions and fluctuations in brood rearing were also more notable in a non-agricultural environment. Interestingly, brood production was highest in the location that exhibited a more evenly distributed mix of agricultural production, forests and urban activity.

“One possible explanation for this finding could be the elevated urban activity in this location,” says Alburaki. “Ornamental plantings around homes or businesses, or backyard gardens are examples of urban activity that increase the diversity of pollen in an area. Greater pollen diversity has been credited with enhancing colony development.”

Researchers also evaluated trapped pollen from each colony for pesticide residues. Low concentrations of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides were identified, but at levels well below the lethal dose for honey bees. Imidacloprid was the only neonicotinoid detected, also at sub-lethal levels.

Agricultural pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids, are considered by some to be a key factor in declining honeybee populations. The UTIA study found that higher exposure to pesticides in agricultural environments did not result in measurable impacts on colony productivity.

“We train agricultural producers on careful selection and conscientious application of pesticides to reduce bee exposure,” says Scott Stewart, Integrated Pest Management Specialist with UT Extension, “but it’s becoming more clear that the influences of varroa mite and food availability are more important factors in honey bee health than agricultural pesticides.”

https://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-scientists-say-agriculture-is-good-for-honey-bees-at-least-in-tennessee/?utm_source=Catch+The+Buzz&utm_campaign=76d491d752-Catch_The_Buzz_4_29_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0272f190ab-76d491d752-256252085

Sulfoxaflor Continues to be a Killer

CATCH THE BUZZ Michele Colopy, Program Director, Pollinator Stewardship Council, Inc. July 16, 2019

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EPA’s announcement1 to expand the use of Sulfoxaflor means expanded loss of managed and native pollinators.  Beekeepers, whose honey bees provide the essential agriculture pollination service for our food supply, have suffered colony losses of 40-90% annually the past ten years.  A horizon scan of future threats and opportunities for pollinators and pollination placed the chemical Sulfoxomine (sulfoxaflor) in the top six priority issues that globally threaten the agricultural and ecological essential service of pollination.

Six high priority issues 
1: corporate control of agriculture at the global scale
2: sulfoximine, a novel systemic class of insecticides (which is sulfoxaflor)
3: new emerging RNA viruses
4: increased diversity of managed pollinator species
5: effects of extreme weather events under climate change
6: positive effects of reduced chemical use on pollinators in non-agricultural settings2

The Pollinator Stewardship Council has expressed our concerns about the registration of Sulfoxaflor for reduced use, and for emergency exemptions. In our legal action about the registration of Sulfoxaflor, the Ninth Circuit Court found in their review that important data concerning the effect upon honey bees from Sulfoxaflor was incomplete.  EPA adjusted the pesticide label, reducing the bee attractive crops on which the chemical could be applied.  However, let’s be concise: the active ingredient, Sulfoxaflor, is toxic to chewing and sucking insects.  Honey bees and other pollinators are chewing and sucking insects.

With over one billion pounds of pesticides used in the U.S. annually,3 the EPA claims there are “few viable alternatives for sulfoxaflor.”   Research is showing the “viable alternatives” are to restore the health of agricultural soils so the beneficial insects and fungi can return and protect the crops.  “Regenerative Agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances ecosystem services.”4 By restoring the health of soils, we restore the health of plants, and we restore the health of beneficial insects like pollinators.

In a study conducted from 2004-2009 by the University of Idaho on various methods of control for lygus bugs in alfalfa  it was observed the Peristenus howardi  (and similar species) parasitized lygus bugs ranging from 5% to 80%.   The primary goal of that research was “to conduct studies investigating the feasibility of enhancing lygus bug management in alfalfa seed through several complementary approaches. The individually low levels of lygus bug management provided by newer, more selective alternative compounds and that provided by natural enemies of lygus bugs will be combined in an attempt to provide acceptable levels of lygus management in large plots of alfalfa grown for seed. We will attempt to further enhance natural enemy numbers in these studies through modification of crop habitat (border treatments).”5

These very “border treatments” will now be under threat of contamination from Sulfoxaflor applications, degrading their prospective evidence-based solution of providing habitat for natural predators of crop pests.  Similar border treatments in other crops would be as beneficial.  But the 12-49 feet of blooming crop border could be contaminated with the bee toxic pesticide, Sulfoxaflor.  Blooming field borders support true IPM (Integrated Pest Management), providing costs savings to the farmer in reduced chemical inputs, and conserving crop losses through the pest management of beneficial insects.

While Pollinator Stewardship Council appreciated the initial revised Sulfoxaflor label as an improvement over the previous label, limiting the use of the pesticide after bloom on mostly non-bee attractive crops,  Sulfoxaflor is still a bee toxic pesticide with unknown synergisms when tank-mixed.  With little to no data on the degradates of Sulfoxaflor, and no research of tank mixes with Sulfoxaflor, it remains a bee toxic pesticide contaminating bee forage through drift and residue.  With the expansion of the use of Sulfoxaflor EPA is ignoring the threats to essential agricultural and ecological pollination services, and to the very livelihood of beekeepers tasked with providing the managed honey bees to pollinate our crops.

1 EPA Registers Long-Term Uses of Sulfoxaflor While Ensuring Strong Pollinator Protection,

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-registers-long-term-uses-sulfoxaflor-while-ensuring-strong-pollinator-protection

2 Brown MJF, Dicks LV, Paxton RJ, Baldock KCR, Barron AB, Chauzat M, Freitas BM, Goulson D, Jepsen S, Kremen C, Li J, Neumann P, Pattemore DE, Potts SG, Schweiger O, Seymour CL, Stout JC. 2016. A horizon scan of future threats and opportunities for pollinators and pollination. PeerJ 4:e2249 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2249https://peerj.com/articles/2249/?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_campaign=PeerJ_TrendMD_1&utm_medium=TrendMD

3 Pesticides Use and Exposure Extensive Worldwide, Michael C.R. Alavanja, Dr.P.H., Rev Environ Health. 2009 Oct–Dec; 24(4): 303–309. ,  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2946087/

http://www.regenerativeagriculturedefinition.com/

5 MANAGEMENT OF LYGUS SPP. (HEMIPTERA: MIRIDAE) IN ALFALFA SEED, University of Idaho,  National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 2004-2009, http://reeis.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/0202036-management-of-lygus-spp-hemiptera-miridae-in-alfalfa-seed.html

https://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-sulfoxaflor-continues-to-be-a-bee-killer/?utm_source=Catch+The+Buzz&utm_campaign=22e73f1b43-Catch_The_Buzz_4_29_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0272f190ab-22e73f1b43-256252085

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 Class #6: Sunday, July 14, 2019, 9AM-Noon, Hosted by The Valley Hive

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Sunday, July 14th, 2019
9AM - Noon

The Valley Hive
10538 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Chatsworth, CA 91311

Actual Location for this Class: Details will be emailed to registered participants prior to class.
Parking for Class: Details will be emailed to registered participants prior to class.
Time: Check in open @ 8:30am. Class Starts @ 9am
For more info: https://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/beekeeping-class-101/
Class SIgn Up: https://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/new-products/beekeeping-class-101-1

REGISTRATION REQUIRED

 PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

This class will take place in an apiary, therefore, protective equipment will be required.  If you do not have proper protective equipment you will NOT be able to participate in class and refunds will NOT be issued (all money collected for classes were a donation).