Humboldt County Beekeepers Association Humboldt County
Beekeepers Association
The Humboldt County Beekeepers Association is a community of beekeepers and a resource for the public.
We also have Yahoo and FaceBook groups.

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Beefest News

Beefest will take place on May 6th and 7th, 2016.

The Humboldt County Beekeepers Association presents the 3rd Annual Bee Fest. Join us at the Bayside Grange on Old Arcata Road and celebrate the amazing world of the honey bee and other pollinators. Everyone is welcome.

Friday, May 6
One of the most exciting festivals in Humboldt County begins on Friday, May 6 at 7:00pm with a special evening program of lecture & slides with Biologist/Botanist Michael Mesler, entitled, "Learning to Love the Other Bees: Insights on the Native Bees of California" to be followed by a showing of the film, "The Last Beekeeper".

Saturday, May 7
The excitement continues on Saturday, May 7 with the BeeMaster of Ceremonies getting things going at 10:00am and activities buzzing from 11:00am till 5:00pm at the Bayside Grange on Old Arcata Road. Take this opportunity to learn about the fantastic world of pollinators and get to know your local beekeepers.

This fun, family-friendly gathering is a great place to celebrate bees. Resplendent with local honey tasting, workshops on building mason bee boxes, and Mead-making. The Seed Exchange and the Native Plant Society will be there with seeds and live native plants to promote pollinator friendly gardens. You can watch live honey bees attend their queen in the observation hive.

The "Honeybee Marketplace" and a Raffle offer local beecrafts. There is an art contest (Theme: A Taste of Honey"), kid-friendly games, story-telling by local author Noni Morton, fresh local honey tasting, delicious food, live music with "Mon Petit Chou", "Fingal", "SqueezeBug" and so much more.

Admission is free.

Monthly Meeting

The Humboldt County Beekeepers Association meets on the first Thursday of every month except December at 6:30 p.m, in the auditorium at the Humboldt County Agriculture Department at 5630 South Broadway, Eureka, CA. Directions: Take the Humboldt Hill Road exit from Hwy 101 and then take a right on S. Broadway/Hill Road. The Agriculture Department is on the right across from KIEM. The auditorium is on the south side of the building. Contact (845–3362) for more information. New beekeepers are encouraged to come 30 minutes early to ask questions of more experienced beekeepers.

This Month's Meeting

Our next meeting is on Thursday, May 5. Solomon Parker, Beekeeper from Oregon will share his experiences working with "Expansion Model Beekeeping", relating it to treatment-free beekeeping techniques. He initiated the "Treatment-Free Beekeeping" Podcast and manages the "Treatment-Free" Facebook discussion group. Solomon focuses his efforts on sharing insights with beekeepers as to alternative methods in honey bee management with the aim to eliminate dependence on chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, and other materials found in commercial bee supplies today.

New beekeepers are encouraged to arrive at 6:00 for a Q & A session.

A donation of $2 at the door is requested. There will be refreshments and a drawing for door prizes.

The HCBA Board meets regularly. All are welcome to attend. Please contact to determine when the meeting will take place.

Education & Outreach

Call for Inspired Individuals to Join Us

We are currently looking forward to any members who are interested in joining the Humboldt Beekeepers Education and Outreach Committee - this is your chance to contribute to continuing education for Beekeepers and join us in providing information to the community on beekeeping and pollinators. If this sounds good to you, please contact .

Beekeeping Classes

Beekeeping classes are offered annually beginning in February. The following is a description of the class.

Anyone interested in starting their own hives for the first time this year, as well as folks who are just want to learn more about honeybees and beekeeping, HSU Extended Education is once again offering Practical Beekeeping classes. Topics include basic bee biology and natural history, life cycle and social organization, and basic colony management techniques. The class covers both conventional and alternative methods for keeping bees healthy and coping with common bee diseases and parasites. Students will also learn practical, hands-on skills while visiting local beeyards on several field trips, and will have the opportunity to purchase hive equipment and package bees at a discount in order to start their own honeybee colonies. Info about the class is at the HSU website.

Beekeeper's Year

 April  Swarm
  • Install package bees and/or new queens.
    • Replace poor layers or queens 2+ years old.
  • Add supers to older hives
    • when previous is ¼ full.
    • Consider installing queen excluder if there is brood in super.
  • Inspect every 10 days.
    • Watch for swarm prep.
  • Make splits as needed.

Bee Removal

First consult the picture on our Wasps vs. Bees page to determine if what you have are really honeybees. If they are honeybees and are clustered outside, find a beekeeper on the Swarm List to remove them free of charge. If the bees have taken up residence in a building wall or other enclosed space, find a beekeeper on the Cutout List who can remove them. If you have wasps, find a person on the Wasp List who will remove them for a fee.

Times Standard Beekeeping Articles

A member gave a talk to the garden club. In 2014, the paper reported on pesticide effects on bees and on Bee Day. It also ran an article on the stresses caused by the dry weather. It quotes local beekeepers Jamie Bucklin, Seth Rick and Garrett Brinton, all members of our organization. They also ran an editorial by Joy Thomas on swarming.

In 2013, the local paper ran an excellent article on beekeeping on Sunday, January 20 which quotes several of the members. A follow-up article on March 8 deals with swarming.

Zombee Watch

No, this isn't a Halloween spoof, there really are zombie bees. These are bees that have been infested with the larva of the Zombie Fly Apocephalus borealis. Honey bees infected by the Zombie Fly leave their hives at night and are attracted to nearby lights where they become stranded and eventually die. We now have reports of an infestation in Humboldt county. San Fransisco State University has set up a website called Zombee Watch that is tracking the infestation and is seeking help from people around the country, especially in California, to act as monitors. We encourage you to add your eyes and expertise to this effort.

Bees & Beekeeping Supplies

This list is not comprehensive but will get you started.

Beekeeping Reading

These are some of the books, journals and websites we've found useful.

Contact the with suggestions or comments.