CSBA NewsletterApril 2014
CSBA Officers
William Lewis
Lake View Terrace
1st Vice President
Brad Pankratz
2nd Vice President
Dion Ashurst 
El Centro
Carlen Jupe
Past President
John Miller
Executive Committee
Brent Ashurst
Steve Godlin
Russell Heitkam
Buzz Landon
Larry Lima
Dos Palos
ABF Delegates
Mike Harrel
Orin Johnson
Bob Miller
New Committee Chairs
Nominating: John Miller
Public Lands: Mike Harrel
Publicity: Amy Cripps 
Costa Mesa
Research: Alan Henninger
San Jose
Ladies Auxiliary


Melinda Nelson
Vice President 

Amanda Wooten
Ila Hohman

 Nora Slater
Sandy Tabako 

Ladies Auxiliary Update

     Happy Spring Ladies!


Well, the orange trees are blooming and the bees are out foraging and loving the sunshine, as am I. My garden is looking good with tomatoes and squash and some herbs and flowers for the bees. I hope you all grow some pretty flowers and maybe some food, too, for yourself and the bees. Enjoy this wonderful season with the beautiful skies and sunsets. Did any of you stay up til 2:00 a.m. to see the blood Moon? Oh well, me neither, there is another one in the fall. Get some sunshine for your Vitamin D and keep well until we meet again. 

- Melinda Nelson

Public Lands Update 

This last few months have resulted in the printing of the Public Lands Brochure. This is a document that will aid our members when approaching land owners and help open discussions between beekeepers and land owners. We have 1000 printed and we will be making a few revisions prior to a second printing. 

- Mike Harrel

Report Your Bee Kills 

If you suffered damage to your colonies while pollinating almonds this year, please report those losses to the Pollinator Stewardship Council. You can contact us directly by email, or call us at (832) 727-9492 (EDT). 


Losses such as this are indicative of limited product risk assessment for honey bees, no bee hazard warning on the products that damaged your bees, and no enforcement to protect your bees.


The Pollinator Stewardship Council is working to change that. We are working to protect your bees. Report your colony losses from almond pollination to us today.

Pollinator Stewardship Council
Press Release
Articles With Links
Catch The Buzz

Vanishing of the Bees Educational Version
The DVD also comes with a 13 page study guide which offers discussion questions, activity ideas, concept standards and resources. It is geared for students in Grades 4-12 and is useful in science, environmental science, agricultural education or social science classes.
It's Not Too Late - Signup for the BIP Survey!!!             
Beekeepers have until April 30th!
You still have 5 more days! 
BIP has provided the following: 
"We know you haven't taken the BIP Survey and we understand. For the 1st time in months, you can go outside without a parka, hat, gloves, boots, snow plow, ice pick and crampons. It is warm and sunny and you want to be anywhere, wearing flip flops, instead of sitting in front of a computer. We know why other things have higher priority now. Green things are growing from the ground and it is fun to play in the dirt. The bees are flying and some are making honey already. We know that longer daylight hours lead to other activities. Biking to work is now a possibility again. Sun bathing does not lead to frostbite. We know that you have things to do and places to go but we are going to appeal to your altruistic nature and, as the sun goes down in the glorious sky and the warm air ruffles your bee suit, please, please think of us and take the Loss & Management Survey. Think of it as 1 item you can cross off on your spring cleaning list. Do it now. We're waiting to hear from you. We want to hear from you! Please take the survey. Then go out and ride that bike and play in the dirt! The Bee Informed Partnership thanks you!
ABF's Conversation with a Beekeeper Series is Here!               
Keep Learning!
The ABF Education Committee has been hard at work developing new ways to keep its members engaged and informed in between ABF annual conferences.To this end, the ABF is pleased to announce 'Conversation with a Beekeeper'.
Keeping Records for Your Beekeeping Operation
Thursday, May 15, 2014
8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 5:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. AKST / 3:00 p.m. HST
With Ari Alvarez
Swarming Essentials: Biology and Management in Your Hive
Thursday, May 22, 2014
8:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. CT / 6:00 p.m. MT / 5:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. AKST / 3:00 p.m. HST
With Stephen Repasky

The sessions will be conducted via the GoToWebinar online meetings platform, which means the presenter will have a visual presentation, as well as an audio presentation. Upon entering the sessions online, you may choose whether to listen to the presentation through your computer's speakers or through your phone. Reserve your spot today by e-mailing Jon Magee, ABF membership coordinator. or by calling the ABF offices at (404) 760- 2875. 


Registration closes 48 business hours before the scheduled session.
24 hours before the session, the registered participant will receive an e-mail confirming participation, along with the necessary information to join the session. Each session will be recorded and available on the ABF website for member-only access.
CSBA Sponsors



CSBA Affiliated Clubs
Santa Maria Valley Beekeepers Association
Shasta Beekeepers Association
Click on a beekeeping club to visit their homepage
Greetings! ,

Bill Lewis, CSBA President
The President's Word

There has been a whirlwind of activity since my last report in February.


CSBA contributed funds to send the "Bee Girl" Sarah Red-Laird (an awesome ambassador for bees) and myself to participate with a display and 5 bee activity tables at Pheasant Fest in Milwaukee, WI. It was an excellent opportunity to collaborate with the Pheasants Forever group and Pete Berthelson on promoting forage for bees and other wildlife. All of the postcards colored by youth and mailed to US Secretary of Ag, Tom Vilsack, must have influenced the decision to spend $3M to encourage Midwest farmers' conservation efforts and plantings for bee forage. ABF American Honey Queen Executive Director Anna Kettlewell was instrumental in recruiting the WI Honey Producers Association including President Derald Kettlewell, past President Tim Fulton, the current WI Honey Queen and past Honey Princess and a plethora of other volunteers to staff the activity tables.


I had the opportunity to meet with legislators at the Farm Bureau-hosted legislative reception and work with Platinum Advisors representative Holly Fraumeni on Assembly Bill 2185 introduced by Assembly member Susan Eggman that will hopefully encourage public land owners to consider honey bees in future land use plans.


Ag Day at the Capital was another opportunity to connect with legislators and a photo op with CA Secretary of Ag, Karen Ross, an active supporter of bees. Much appreciation goes to Carlen Jupe for coordinating and in the staffing of our booth by Eric Mussen, Kathy Keatley Garvey, Bill Cervenka and the Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association's Marti Ikehara, and of course, Haagen-Dazs for donating the ice cream. Read Kathy's entire blog here.


Almond pollination has come and gone. There were strange dynamics in almonds. The shortage of water resulted in some growers making the decision to pull out older trees reducing the need for bees. There were enough colonies to go around and there was perfect pollination weather again during bloom. I think almond growers can expect another close to record harvest. Unfortunately, some beekeepers, including myself, got sucker punched and lost large numbers of bees to what we are still uncertain. 50% of our colonies were affected. They all went into almonds at about equal strength with low mite loads. Towards the end of bloom, we experienced massive amounts of dead bees around the hives and it continued for several weeks after the bees were moved on to avocado orchards. I have always felt pretty safe in almonds but when an 8-10 framer that we expect to double in strength goes backwards to a 6, something is wrong. There were reports that a few growers may have been tank-mixing fungicide with insect growth regulators (IGRs) for a "free ride" to save labor cost. There were also reports that pesticides were being sprayed on alfalfa fields to control weevils within flying distance. Could the impact on bees have been avoided by releasing bees 7-10 days sooner without much impact on almond production? Some beekeepers may opt to stay home next season without some kind of guarantees that this will not happen again. Whatever is going on is making the costs to beekeepers skyrocket and this cost has to somehow be recouped.


Subsequent meetings with EPA representatives gave no indication that labeling language on fungicides and IGR labels or other chemicals including adjuvants would be changed to make them more protective of bees any time soon or even before the 2015 almond bloom.


CDFA was concerned enough to devote a whole day of their board's time to listen to beekeeper concerns in early April. Beekeepers gave some excellent presentations that focused on the need for more clean forage, the need for more help to defeat our # 1 pest  - Varroa, and help to improve pesticide labeling to be more protective of bees. The Almond Board of CA is equally concerned and hopefully can convince more growers to give bees a break and delay the spraying of anything in the future until after the bees are gone. A meeting has been scheduled with CDPR later this month to address this situation as well. Hopefully, something positive comes out of all of this.


I really hope everybody gets a decent honey crop out of the oranges!



Bill Lewis, CSBA President

The California State Fair is pleased to announce our newly expanded and enhanced program, "The Kitchen." The success of this annual culinary program (formerly known as Foodstyle) has afforded the fair the opportunity to relocate it into the California Counties Building, where it will be centrally located among The Farm, Save Mart Supermarkets Wine Garden, and the Craft Brew Pub. The Kitchen will give us more room to expand the program and allow us to continue to showcase California's Agriculture and the bounty our great state produces.


The new "Kitchen Theatre" will continue to offer our traditional food judging events, cooking demonstrations, and chef challenges while the programming will showcase the "Farm to Fork" philosophy. Along with the three main cooking stations in the Kitchen Theatre, The Kitchen will also have a new "Do-It-Yourself" space that will offer programs such as "Make Your Own Pickles," "5-Minute Marinades," and many other topics of interest.


We are planning some very exciting exhibits that will not only educate our fair guests, but will entertain as well. We are especially excited to be working again with Sacramento Area Beekeepers Association's very own Kate Morton. Kate has been instrumental in helping us to educate the public about beekeepers and in staffing the wonderful volunteers that come out to help every year. Thank you to all! We are looking forward to seeing you at the 2014 State Fair.


Please contact Debbie Hardesty at (916)  274-5882 or DSHardesty@calexpo.com


California Exposition & State Fair

P.O. Box 15649, Sacramento, CA 95815 (916) 263-FAIR

Legislative Update - Holly Fraumeni 


There are two significant bills of interest to the CA State Beekeepers Association making their way through the lengthy legislative process in Sacramento.


First, the Bee Hive Product Sales at Farmers Markets. AB 1871 (Dickenson), related to the regulations of farmers markets, was re-introduced this year. Several beekeepers have expressed their concerns with the local county agriculture inspectors' interpretation of the existing law and have been prohibited from selling beeswax at farmers markets because it is not clearly defined as an "agricultural product." We are requesting amendments to the bill which would clarify in addition to "honey" all "bee hive products" would be included, such as beeswax, pollen, propolis and royal jelly.


Secondly, Access to Public Lands. AB 2185 was intoduced in January by Susan Eggman, the Chair of Assembly Agriculture Committee and with a long family history in commercial beekeeping. This bill evolved from a productive year and the efforts from the CSBA, CA Farm Bureau and state agencies in 2013 to try to identify and create a process and criteria for beekeepers and state agencies to work together in identifying eligible public lands for use. CSBA and our lobbyists at Platinum Advisors worked with Eggman's staff in drafting the recent amendments to the bill which encourage collaboration between beekeepers and public agencies, rather than mandating the use of public lands. The bill is set to be heard in Assembly Agriculture on April 30th. 

United States v. Urbain Tran


URBAIN TRAN, 78, of Culver City, CA was charged with 2 counts of brokering the sale and transportation of illegal Chinese-origin honey, which was misrepresented as originating in Malaysia and Vietnam, into the U.S. to avoid anti-dumping duties.Tran, through his attorney, has authorized the government to disclose that he will plead guilty under the terms of an agreement calling for a fine of $500,000 and restitution totaling $204,403, in addition to whatever other sentence is imposed by the court. Tran faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on each fraudulent sales and transportation count. American Honey Producers Association (AHPA) President, Randy Verhoek, will be attending the sentencing of Mr.Tran on April 29th to testify for an economic impact statement of damages to beekeepers nationwide.                           -  Article provided by AHPA

White House Pollinator Initiative Meeting 


Randy Verhoek, President of AHPA, has been invited to a conversation with members of the Executive Office of the President and of Federal agencies on improving the status of honey bees and other pollinators across the U.S.. This meeting will take place April 30th. AHPA takes an active role in the welfare of honey bees nationally. Verhoek will participate in discussions in three critical areas:

1) Activities, policies or other initiatives Federal agencies could enact with existing resources to address pollinator health; 2) Potential public-private partnerships that could be formed to address these issues; 3) Significant commitments that organizations would be interested in making, which the White House could help raise up to increase attention to these issues.                        - Article provided by AHPA

No Bees, No Food: John Miller at TEDxUNC
Watch this 12 Minute Video 
No bees, no food: John Miller at TEDxUNC

CDFA Board Meeting Recap   


The April 1st CDFA meeting was a very important and welcome review of the critical pollinator issues facing California. The State Board of Food and Agriculture heard experts from a variety of fields including beekeepers, scientists, NGO's and industry detail their perspectives and outline the complexity of the situation. The day-long exploration provided a comprehensive look at ways to directly support both honey bees and native bees and to provide policies that give full consideration and envision strategic initiatives for the needs of pollinators. These included a focus on forage and habitat, research, outreach, monitoring, pesticides, impacts of climate change and drought, and the need for partnerships across the state to bring solutions. 


"We applaud the CDFA and the State Board for their leadership in convening this session on pollinators. The Board was very engaged and eager to understand the issue. They clearly recognize the importance of pollinators to the State of California and devoted their full efforts to a comprehensive look at what steps can be taken." commented one of the presenters, Laurie Davies Adams, Executive Director of the Pollinator Partnership. "We are looking forward to seeing decisive recommendations for solid and supportive honey bee, native bee and other pollinator policy come out of this meeting."                         - Article provided by Pollinator Partnership

Please click on business ad to visit website.
Note:  If you are interested in advertising in the Bee Times, please contact Carlen Jupe at castatebeekeepers@hotmail.com

Project Apis m. Update - Meg Ribotto


PAm has added both a Board Member and a Scientific Advisor to their leadership team. Joining the eight member board is Brent Barkman. Brent and Barkman Honey have enjoyed over 50 years of success as a family owned, multi-generational beekeeping and honey packing business. A supporter of bee research and a leader in the stakeholder community, Brent will no doubt be an advantageous asset to the PAm Board.
Joining PAm's Scientific Advisor team is
Dr. Francis Drummond with the University of Maine, Orono. Frank is a professor of insect ecology and insect pest management with interests in research topics including insect quantitative ecology, pest management, population dynamics, simulation modeling, biostatistics and pollination ecology.  PAm's panel of five Scientific Advisors assists the PAm Board Members in their research funding decisions and Frank's expertise will be beneficial in funding future honey bee research. Welcome aboard and congratulations Brent and Frank!
PAm's 'Seeds for Bees'  honey bee forage project is in full bloom in California. Growers have been emailing us pictures of flowering mustards, clovers, vetches and wildflowers in their orchards. Treat yourself to a bouquet of bloom by clicking here. While the bloom was significantly delayed due to the drought and flowers weren't available prior to almond bloom, beekeepers who remain in CA have been able to take advantage of the natural floral diversity this Spring. 
Our goal is to continue increasing honey bee forage resources. PAm has submitted a Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) to CDFA. If awarded, this project will target winegrape growers. One commodity at a time! Stay tuned...