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  Honey Bee Forage

            White Dutch Clover

               Trifolium repens

Genuine four-leaf clovers come from the White Dutch Clover.

There are 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every one "lucky" four-leaf clover.
There are no clover plants that naturally produce four leaves, which is why four-leaf clovers are so rare.
The leaves of four-leaf clovers are said to stand for faith, hope, love and luck.
Ireland is home to more four-leaf clovers than any other place, giving meaning to the phrase "the luck of the Irish."
Bayer Bee Care Tour
"Commercial agriculture is at risk," Bayer CropScience entomologist and apiologist, Dick Rogers, said in his opening remarks at UC Davis. Rogers said the company is not exploring RNAi for varroa control, but is working on an anti-mite chemical known as "varroa gate," inspired by tick collars worn by cats and dogs.  Click here to learn more. The Bayer Bee Care Tour promotes bee health across the country at top ag universities and events. PAm was invited by Bayer to present at the Pollinator Health Panel. The panel included Christi Heintz, PAm, Denise Qualls, The Pollination Connection and Dr. Brian Johnson, UC Davis. The Bayer North American Bee Care Center opens April 15th in N.C.

BUZZ Worthy Articles


Cotton Industry Perspective on Pollinators


Bees, Almonds and the Drought


$3 Million in EQIP Funds for Farmers in Five Midwestern States to Promote Honey Bee Health


Blue Diamond Growers Logo

Follow the Bloom!

Just click on the pic and take a virtual field trip through California's almond orchards, featuring scenes captured on location in the Sacramento Valley and the central and southern San Joaquin Valley. See the latest conditions and crop status from orchards across California.

Over 750 registered for the 2-day event in Yuma, AZ.
The Bee Panel included Christi Heintz, PAm; Bret Adee, a commercial migratory beekeeper with colonies in 10 states; and Rick Smith, an AZ beekeeper and farmer.  The panel discussed the state of the bee industry as it pertains to pollination, demand, bee health, and related issues. Brett Cameron, Assistant Director, Az Dept of Ag, moderated.
Cover Crop Field Day
On March 7 &  14th, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., there will be a free workshop on Early Crop Management in Almonds in Winton, CA.  Learn about crop species that provide habitat for beneficial insects. Contact Stephen Pryor, San Luis Obispo Bee Company.
Beekeeping Events 2014
Visit our 'Events' page.
March Bee Husbandry
REQUEEN - Maintain genetic quality to meet your objectives.
Select stocks that are productive and disease and pest resistant.  Encourage high drone densities during mating season to provide well-mated queens and genetically diverse colonies.  Discourage stocks that are excessively defensive. 
Bee Informed Partnership and the USDA have piloted a program to aid beekeepers.  ERKs are designed to rule out causes of large scale, suspicious colony loss through small scale sampling. The cost of the kit without pesticide analysis is $80.

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6775 Chardonnay Road

Paso Robles, CA 93446


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PAm is 501 c(5) non-profit organization.
March 2014
Access to Public Land in California

Leave the gate as you found it, so states the Countryside Code.  If a gate is found open, it should be left open, and if it closed, it should be left closed.  This rule applies to visitors travelling onto or across farms and ranches.  It is an important rule of courtesy. A closed gate can cut livestock off from water. Gates separate livestock for many reasons including breeding, disease management and pest control.


For years, the California State Beekeepers Association (CSBA) has been trying to gain access to natural forage on public and privately managed land.  The gate has always been locked.  Now, there seems to be a readiness with the CA Department of Food & Ag, CA Fish & Wildlife and the CA Council of Land Trusts to open up their land for apiary yards. These agencies safeguard and watch over the California landscape.  Now, CSBA has the opportunity to build a strong relationship with these land managers and be co-stewards of California's landscapes.  The gate is almost unlocked; beekeepers are very close to gaining access to natural forage for their honey bees. The key will be the beekeeper adhering to a code of conduct.  Leave behind only footprints, stay on roads, clean up any refuse, use caution with vehicles, and leave the gate exactly as it was found.


                                                      Meg Ribotto, Editor

PAm's Costco Scholar - a Real Worker Bee


PAm's Costco Scholar, Laura Brutscher, in pursuit of her PhD  in microbiology at Montana State University is characterizing honey bee host-pathogen interactions affecting colony health. She has established her beekeeper collaborators and is analyzing microbiomes and metabolomes of weak, average and strong colonies. Early results have found higher abundances of Lake Sinai viruses 1 & 2 (discovered in prior PAm-sponsored research), and higher incidences of black queen cell virus, deformed wing virus and Nosema ceranae in weaker colonies. Laura is also working to identify genes, mechanisms (e.g. RNA interference), and potential gut microbes involved in honey bee antiviral defense.  To meet this end, she and colleagues have conducted several infection trials; analysis of the results is ongoing.

 The Buzz At the Border

Final apiary shipment numbers aren't in for early 2014, but PAm has some bee data as a result of the recent Pollinator Working Group meeting held at the California Department of Food & Ag (CDFA).  Christi Heintz and Meg Ribotto were asked to participate in a "frank and open discussion with industry, government and NGOs on pollinators" as Duane Schnabel, Branch Chief, stated.  As part of PAm's outreach and education, the CA Border Inspection Stations are a focus of BMPs for beekeepers.  Honey bees are a perishable commodity; expediting the required inspection process of semiloads of bees at the border stations is crucial to keeping colonies alive and healthy for crop pollination.  PAm reports:
  • In 2012, there were 3,409 shipments to CA - 91% were found pest-free
  • In 2013, there were 3,321 shipments to CA - 94% were found pest-free
  • Delays were attributed to weeds, Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA) and Small Hive Beetles
  • Average delay time for pest-infested shipments was 4 hours or less
  • 80% of the shipments were released within 12 hours
  • Processing time has improved with Wi-Fi technology, purchase of new laptops and digital imaging equipment
  • There are 3 scientists at CDFA that make identifications
  • In addition to 3 scientists, there are staff specialists who identify 'novel' species
  • Yermo, Needles and Blythe process the most apiary shipments

Despite the drought in CA, the hose bibs that were installed, with funding from CA State Beekeepers Assn., the Almond Board and PAm, were operating.

Potential Public Lands for Bee Forage
Significant inroads are being made into providing beekeepers access to more land-use in California.  November 6th saw a milestone meeting and the collaboration of the CA State Beekeepers Association (CSBA), the CA Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) and the Almond Board of CA in bringing together a cross-section of government agencies to explore developing partnerships for access to bee forage. Alliances have already been forged between beekeepers and the CA Council of Land Trusts (CCLT), and more may follow as CSBA past president, John Miller and PAm Board Member, addresses the 2014 CCLT Conservation Convention on "Creating Opportunities for Honey Bee Forage on Land Trust Land."   The 2-day event will be held March 4 - 6th in Sacramento.
An additional alliance between the CSBA, CDFA and the CA Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW)was discussed at the Pollinator Planning Working Group meeting (see above article).  CSBA will be invited to participate in the planning process in which CDFW accepts new land into its jurisdiction and sets up grazing rights, water rights, etc.  CDFA would introduce a pilot program with apiary rights on these lands.  CDFW was one of the most receptive agencies in partnering with the CSBA at the November 6th meeting.

 National Agriculture Day - March 25th

365 Sunrises - 7 Billion Mouths


U.S. agriculture feeds the world. It takes '365 sunrises to feed 7 billion mouths'  according to the Agriculture Council of America (ACA). On March 25th we celebrate the role agriculture plays in providing abundant , safe and affordable products.  Honey bees play an integral part in food production.  Pollinators contribute an estimated $20 billion in crop production.  Click on the pic to learn more about ag and bees!
Ag Day 2013
Watch this video to learn how honey bees are crucial to U.S. agriculture!
Best Management Practices in the Orchard Growers and Beekeepers
Click on the picture for BMPs:  Pollination Contracts, Colony Strength Evaluations, Hive Placement, Colony Monitoring, Nutrition, and Agricultural Sprays.
Project Apis m | | |
6775 Chardonnay Road
Paso Robles, CA 93446

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