The Late Bloomer By Kaye Kittrell November 22, 2014
“We need all the bees we can get,” a commercial beekeeper told me at the California State Beekeepers Association annual convention this week in Valencia, California. I had been invited by CSBA Ladies Auxiliary president Melinda Nelson, a beekeeper I’d met when I spoke at the Orange County Organic Gardening Club in May, to be the guest speaker at the auxiliary luncheon. My charge was to inspire attendees on organic food gardening, which goes hand-in-hand with beekeeping. Since I arrived the night before, I had a chance to learn a lot more about bees.
The convention welcomes commercial beekeepers with thousands of hives, to the hobbyist beekeeper with only a handful. I asked a beekeeper in passing if the hobbyist beekeepers were treated equally, and that’s when he said, “Yes, we need all the bees we can get.” I heard that more than once! Bees are imperiled and though beekeepers are a very friendly bunch, there was an air of concern about what the future holds, for the almond and fruit growers who depend upon bees, to the beekeepers and their ladies...
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