Latest News from Project Apis mOctober 2012
PAmCC with UrL 


CDFA Awards PAm 2 Specialty Crop Block Grants

Today, Oct. 1st, PAm received a 'Congratulations' letter from CDFA's Federal Funds Management Office with news that 2 grant proposals have been selected to receive funding!  "Building Bees for California Specialty Crops" - $344,124 and "Honey Bee Best Management Practices Outreach Program" - $56,325.  To date, PAm has been the recipient of 6 grants to improve honey bee health. 

Additional Watering Systems at Border Stations
Out-of-state honey bee colonies will be able to quench their thirst and keep cool as they wait to be inspected and cleared for entry into California for the 2013 pollination season.  CDFA announced on Sept. 28th that with joint funding from the CA State Beekeeper's Association (CSBA), Project Apis m. (PAm), Almond Board of CA and the CA State Apiary Board, the upgrading and installation of hose bibs at those stations that see the bulk of truckloads coming through is underway.  The watering system is already in place in Blythe (along I-10) and Yermo (I-15).  CDFA is currently working on:  Vidal (CA Hwy 62), Needles (I-40), Benton (US Hwy 6), and Truckee (I-80).  'Planting Seeds', the Food & Farming News from CDFA, states that while the ag border stations don't want pathogens and pests entering, 'there are some things that we want to welcome in, though - and bees are right at the top of that list.Good news for the over 2,700 (2010) truckloads that will begin to migrate this month to California to pollinate the almond.

Preparing Honeybee Colonies for CA Border Inspection Stations

PAm, in conjuction with CSBA, initiated a meeting with CDFA last year to help alleviate the stress caused by heat and dehydration that honeybee colonies suffer during the transportation of colonies to pollinate almonds and other crops. Out-of-state beekeepers are encouraged to:  1. Outfit trucks with soaker hoses and carry additional hoses and sprinklers click here; 2. Remove skirts from semi's 3. Obtain "Ant Free" Certification and; 4. Keep pallets as clean as possible - free from soil, weeds and plant debris To assist beekeepers, PAm has a PDF which can be downloaded by clicking here and a BMP video on YouTube narrated by  PAm scientific advisor, Dr. Gordon Wardell.  This 5-6 minute video covers the topic of honeybee colonies entering California to pollinate almonds and other crops. Border inspection stations and how to prepare for mandatory inspections are some of the issues addressed.  To view the Transportation video click here



 Seeds for Bees Project

Project Apis m. is working to build a sustainable honeybee supply for pollination services in California.  This can be done through floral diversity.  Would you like to help us develop bee forage?  Are you interested in providing nutrition for over-wintering bees in California?  PAm will provide the seed, if you plant it.  We provide seed mixes that have a low-moisture requirement.  Sow seeds in early Fall to take advantage of the winter rains.  If you are a CA grower or landowner/manager desiring to participate, click here and fill out the brief questionnaire on our website and attach it to an email and send to


Costco Awards PAm with Funding
A September 5th meeting at the corporate headquarters of Costco in Issaquah, WA between PAm and Costco resulted in PAm's current research program being doubled. Costco, one of the world's largest retailers, was seeking long-term impact and advancements in beekeeping management practices.  An advisory team (P-CAT) has been formed which includes, Dan Cummings, Christi Heintz, Meg Ribotto (PAm reps), Joe MacIlvaine, Dr. Gordy Wardell (Paramount Farming), Dr. Marla Spivak (U of Minnesota), Dr. Steve Sheppard and Sue Cobey (WSU).  Costco cited PAm's credibility within both the beekeeping and grower communities to be a great strength, along with their knowledge, low overhead and outreach capabilities.  Costco has a keen interest in the honey bee.  Their Kirkland's Signature (KS) 100% pure USDA Grade A Clover Honey and the numerous KS almond products rely on the honey bee.  Costco consumer reporter, Pat Volchok, and Costco buyer Shauna Lopez, traveled to North Dakota and were given a tour of Miller Honey Farms by 4th generation beekeeper and PAm board member, John Miller.  The full article, 'Straight from the Hive', can be read in the September 2012 issue of The Costco Connection magazine.

PAm's CDFA Grant Matched by Monsanto

Jerry Hayes, Honey Bee Lead for Monsanto, announced on September 19th that PAm has been fortified with funding to further promote forage resources for honey bees.  PAm, in conjunction with CSBA, received a grant in 2010 from CDFA to build honey bee populations through floral diversity.  The Seed for Bees project is underway in California where 1.5 million colonies arrive each year for pollination services.  The goal is to encourage growers and land managers to provide these colonies a natural food source prior to and after almond bloom.  PAm is identifying flower seed mixes and purchasing these seeds from an independent, wholesale seed supplier,, in California.  Seed mixes can be costly, even in bulk, especially whe purchasing an adequate seed-to-acre ratio, considering the almost 800,000 almond bearing acres in CA's Central Valley.  With less than a year left of grant monies, Monsanto's contribution is an added boost for PAm to continue purchasing seeds, distribute them and enlist more land managers to provide forage through outreach and education efforts.


Beekeeping Events

 California State Beekeeper's Association 123rd Annual Convention 


The upcoming convention is right around the corner.  The dates are November 13-15th and will be held at the Morongo Casino Resort in Cabazon (near Palm Springs).  CSBA President, Bryan Ashurst, says, "You can't miss the Morongo, it looks like a brightly lit candle on top of a cake - as it should - it's a sign of the celebration we will be having as members of the most dynamic state beekeeping organization in the country."  PAm will have an exhibitors table and Christi Heintz is an invited speaker along with Jeff Pettis, USDA-ARS, Dr. Eric Mussen, UCDavis, Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp, BIP, and Laurie Adams, NAPPC to just name a few.  Pre-registration ends Oct. 31st so make you plans now by clicking here. 

Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, Morongo, CA

                                            Photo by Meg Ribotto 2012




October Bee Husbandry

  • Nutrition:  Fall is a critical time to maintain bee strength and build baby bees for almond pollination.
  • Forage can be limited in early Fall - supplemental feeding is critical.
  • Requeen:  Over-wintering colonies fare better if young.
  • Inspect & Monitor:  Continue to inpect colonies & apply treatments as necessary to control pests & diseases.
  • Transportation:  Prepare colonies for transport to CA; have colonies inspected & certified in state-of-origin to mitigate border station delays; install soaker hoses and carry additional hoses to water bees at border hosebibs, and remove semi skirting.
  • Business Management:  Maintain a reserve - don't commit all your colonies to contract.
  • Colony Management:  Check frames of brood for intended strength to coincide with almond bloom.  
            Elearning Modules on PAm Website  
PAm has developed and implemented an outreach program of sustainable Best Management Practices (BMPs) for beekeepers.  Modules can be accessed online for Nutrition, Varroa Control, Nosema & other areas.  Click here to view the modules.  These short, fun and educational models are designed for honey bee enthusiasts of all levels.  Start learning today!
                   Bee Forage Resources 
 PAm is building honey bee populations by building food resources.  We are looking at wildflower mixtures and oilseed crops as a means of providing sustainable nutrition for bees.  Click here to view PAm's forage resource page.



MORE - Upcoming Beekeeping Conferences
WAS -     October 4 - 6th, 2012 Tukwila, WA
NAPPC - October 17 - 19, 2012, D.C.
CSBA -   November 12 - 16, 2012 Cabazon, CA
ABF -     January 8 - 12, 2013 Hershey, PA
AHPA -   January 8 - 12, 2013 San Diego, CA
The Almond Board of California celebrates its 40th Anniversary December 11 - 13, 2012 at the Sacramento Convention Center.  A 'Pollination Pavillion' will be featured again this year at the conference.
For more info on all these events click here.
             Reading The Beekeeper's Lament?    
If not, NOW is the time to purchase the book.  Why?  $5 from every Beekeepers Lamentsale will go to PAm to fund honey bee research.  This critically acclaimed and national best seller by Hannah Nordhaus can be purchased by clicking on the image.  Read about PAm board member John Miller, a 4th generation beekeeper.  Find out what it takes to pollinate crops to feed the nation. 
In This Issue
PAm Awarded 2 Grants
Additional Water at Border Stations
Costco Funding
More Funding for Forage
CSBA Convention
October Bee Husbandry
Elearning Modules
Bee Forage Resources
Event Dates for Beekeepers
Novel: Beekeeper's Lament

Quick Links

E-Learning Modules

Lab Directory

BMP's for Beekeepers

Sample Pollination Contract

Bee Conference Dates

Cummings Report


Donate NOW to PAm.  Why? Because PAm funds bee research that is selected and guided by beekeepers.  Use the "Donate Now" button on p 1 of our website
If you were a Paramount beekeeper for almonds or pomegranates, let us know with your donation and Paramount will match! 
PAm is a 501 (c) (5) non-profit organization.