Bill Rathfelder - Telling the Bees

Telling the Bees
of the Passing of
Bill Rathfelder

Bill Rathfelder bee border.jpg

Long-time member and treasurer of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association, our fellow beekeeper and dear friend, Bill Rathfelder, passed away on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.


Funeral Service:

Date: Friday, April 12, 2019 Time: 11:00 am

Mt. Olive Lutheran Church
 3561 Foothill Blvd.
 La Crescenta, CA 91214
(Reception will follow the funderal service in the fellowship hall.)

Gravesite Interment (next-day):

Date: Saturday, April 13, 2019 Time: 10:00 am

Glen Haven Memorial Park
13017 Lopez Canyon Rd.
Sylmar, CA 91342

Bill ( on the left) enjoyed A magical day in the almond orchards with the bees and fellow beekeepers.

Bill ( on the left) enjoyed A magical day in the almond orchards with the bees and fellow beekeepers.

Bill’s fascination for bees went way back to childhood. He became an avid beekeeper and kept bees for over fifty years. Bill passed his interest in bees onto his sons when they were kids. He loved telling the story of how he built them a live honey bee observation hive and they kept it in their room.

Bill enjoyed a long career at Lockheed as an aeronautical engineer and retired after fifty years of service. He continued his interest in aerospace, traveled to many air shows, and kept us informed (though his many emails) as to what was happening the the starry starry sky and the universe beyond.

Bill became a member of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association in  1999. He was actively involved in our club events, volunteered at the LA County Fair Bee Booth for many years, and held the position of Treasure for over ten years - until his passing.

In 2000, the LA County Fair presented Bill Rathfelder with the Award for Best Hobbyist Beekeeper.

In 2012, Bill received the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association’s Golden Hive Tool Award. The Golden Hive Tool Award is our President’s choice of someone who has shown great dedication to the club and thereby improved people’s experience of beekeeping. 

We love you Bill, and we will miss you - especially in the springtime, when the almonds bloom and the bees are a’buzzin!

A Prayer in Spring
By Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day; 
And give us not to think so far away 
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here 
All simply in the springing of the year. 

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night; 
And make us happy in the happy bees, 
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees. 

And make us happy in the darting bird 
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill, 
And off a blossom in mid air stands still. 

For this is love and nothing else is love, 
The which it is reserved for God above 
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.