Bee Where Program Will Help Keep Bees Safe in The Spring

Beekeepers Must Register Their Bee Hive Locations

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

There’s a mandate set in place by the state of California to help the bee industry safe from pesticide spraying. Ethan Rasmussen with Rasmussen Farms and a beekeeper in the Gustine area of Merced County discussed it with California Ag Today recently. The Bee Where program mandates beekeepers to register their hives under AB2468. It was set up to help pollinating bees during the pollination season. It especially helps the almond crop during bloom.registration of hives

“It’s definitely a step forward for beekeeping industry because we have so many beekeepers coming to California,” Rasmussen said. “The almond industry is growing. It’s going to keep on growing. And that means there’s going to be an increased amount of beekeepers in the state during the springtime for almond bloom.”

With increased bees in almond orchards, it definitely increases concerns, specifically with theft and with sprays, and this program looks like it should help with that.

However, Rasmussen fears too much paperwork because there are so many different locations where there will be bees and so many different beekeepers.

“It’s going to be a lot of work, but if we can coordinate and everyone does their part it should definitely a step in the right direction.

And while all of the registrations are done online, Rasmussen noted that there still a complicated amount of paperwork to keep up with all those locations where you will have those bees.

“We’re going to have over 150 locations during almond bloom, and each one of those has to be registered with the county or whatever agency is going to handle it, and that’s a really busy time of year for us. So that’s the only concern I see,” he said.

Rasmussen said that compared to five years ago, almond growers are way more aware of protecting bees, thanks to beekeeping organizations and the Almond Board of California. There have been a lot of resources given to growers, and they are doing well.

“We are not so much concern with almond growers; it may be the peach grower down the road that could be spraying when our bees are foraging,” he said. “The new law is going to keep us registered, so anyone that’s going to spray is going to go through their PCA, and they will know where the bees are. That way, they will know whether or not to spray.”

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Registration of Hives for Notification

Beekeepers Should Register the Position of their Hives

By Laurie Greene, Founding Editor

Tim Pelican, Agricultural Commissioner for San Joaquin County, recently explained to California Ag Today the critical importance for beekeepers to register the location of their delivered hives to farm operators, so the beekeepers can be notified when farmers are preparing to spray.

Pelican suggests farmers not spray during the day when bees are active, even if the product label does not suggest this restraint. He also reported that state agricultural commissioners are working on “our concern about the lack of notification by beekeepers to farmers about the exact location of their delivered beehives when we have instances of reported bee kills.”

“Beekeepers are supposed to register with the county,” Pelican explained, “when they move beehives into the counties. It is like a $5 fee, but for some reason people just do not do it. Beekeepers tend to be secretive sometimes, but we do keep all of that information strictly to ourselves. That’s not something we issue to the public.”

Pelican also mentioned that Ag commissioners will attempt to encourage farmers to notify schools about nearby spraying.

“We are actually notifying growers who are impacted. When they come in and do their pickup, their permits, we will have computers available to them to help them get their notification done. Their PCAs or dealers, if they are listed on their permit, can do the notification for them as well.”

“That notification then goes directly to the affected school,” he continued. “Then that school also can take a look and see which growers are applying what products. That information, however, is available only to the people who can get into the computer program—school officials, the grower, or the Ag commissioner. This is not information that is out there for the general public. The program has the ability to transfer the chemicals listed on the permit over to the notification. That way we are avoiding duplication of effort.”

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REWARD for BEEHIVE THIEF CAPTURE

Reward for Beehive Thief Capture

California State Beekeepers Association, Inc. (CSBA) has reported two new beehive theft alerts and will provide a reward for beehive thief capture:

The CSBA offers up to $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of persons responsible for stealing bees and/or beekeepers equipment. We take the issue of hive theft very seriously and are willing to generously reward those who help us stop this growing problem. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and check for brand numbers on frames, boxes, lids and pallets.

Additionally, the CSBA owners of stolen hives have given assurance that if a farmer reports he/she has stolen hives, they will allow the hives to stay for the remainder of the bloom. We do not want to punish farmers for doing the right thing by putting their crop at risk. We want all farmers to feel comfortable to report the hives without worrying about them being taken out from under them during a critical time.

Beehive Theft Alert 1Kern-County-Beehive Theft Alert 1

A beehive theft has occurred near Kern County within sight of I-5. The thieves are getting bolder and we all must be vigilant. The theft occurred around January 26-27th, 2016. The hives are branded with CA0330333H. This theft may or may not be related to the last major theft (see below).

Hive Description: All hives are 10 frames. The hives are made of a deep super with a 6 5/8 shallow on top. The hives are painted silver and have internal feeders and a mixture of wooden and plastic frames. The hives are on pallets with the entrances all facing the same direction. The lids, boxes and most of the frames are branded with CA0330333H. The bees are Italians with cordovan (light-colored and reddish) genetics. Pictures will soon follow.

If you are around any beehives you are unfamiliar with, don’t hesitate to look for brand numbers. Thieves often times switch the frames into different boxes to avoid being caught so be aware that the outside appearance of the hive may not match the description.

If you see any frames with the CA0330333H brand on them, they are from stolen hives and you should contact castatebeekeepers@hotmail.com immediately to report the information.

Beehive Theft Alert 2

stolen-beehives 2

240 hives were stolen near Colusa, CA around January 25-26th, 2016. All boxes, lids, frames and pallets are branded with 42-14. Please take a careful look at the picture and if you see hives that fit the description, don’t hesitate to check for brand numbers and call the Sheriff’s department. You can also email us at castatebeekeepers@hotmail.com and we can pass along the information for you.  These hives could easily be anywhere in California by now. It is very likely that the hives will be destroyed after pollination season to cover up the crime. In the interest of saving these bees, it is critical we all do our part to locate these hives.

Description: All the hives are 10-frame double deeps. The boxes are branded on the top cleats. The pallets have metal on the corners. Some of the feed cans and boxes were taken as well. The feed cans are painted green and slightly rusty. The feed can boxes are branded too and most of them hold 8 cans (some may hold 4). The bees are Italian and have Cordovan genetics (most will appear light colored and/or slightly reddish).

Location: The hives were taken from 2 yards, both located north of Colusa on the east side of the river. One yard was about 2 miles from the river and the other about 3 miles from the river.

Thief Description: Based on the tracks, it looks like a bee forklift was used to move the hives. The trucks appear to have dual tires. It is suspected that either 2 big trucks or 3 smaller trucks were used to move the hives.

Please share this information with your club, almond grower and in your community. Hive theft is a growing problem and we all need to keep an eye out for each other. Thank you for helping in this effort.

(Photo Source: California State Beekeepers Association)

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