February Letter from the President

Welcome to the inaugural newsletter from the president.  I think it is important that everyone is kept aware of industry issues and, beginning right now, I will start a monthly newsletter.  I am thinking that a contest to name the newsletter would be fun.  So—email me at president@coloradobeekeepers.org with your entries by March 1st and the Executive committee will render a decision on the entries by March 15th.  Winner will get to be the editor—just kidding.  Winner will take away $25.  Good Luck!

February, to me, is a beekeeping transition month.  As an out-of-control hobbyist, it is the time that I begin feeding my bees.  There are lots of folks who do not feed—but I am not one of them.  To me, feeding is an inexpensive insurance policy.  Bees that run out of food die and losses due to starvation are the most common cause of bee loss in this state in March.  So—if you are a “feeder”, this month is the time to consider feeding your bees.

Thornton Bee Update:

The City of Thornton is considering the lifting of the bee ban currently in effect in Thornton.  I worked closely with the city planners on the draft of this ordinance back in October.  Then, there was an election and landscape changed a bit.  At present, things look pretty good except for a real deal killer—mandatory approval by ALL of your neighbors to have a bee hive in your back yard.  This is a ridiculous requirement and the Council is not in agreement on it—but it is currently in the ordinance and needs to be removed at the February 28th second reading.  We need your help!

Member Dan Finerty, a Thornton resident and beekeeper has been doing a TERRIFIC job of following up on the ordinance.  Do you know anyone in Thornton?  Do you work with anyone from Thornton?  Do your kids go to school with any kids from Thornton?  Do you attend church with anyone from Thornton?  If so, you need to ask them to write/email their councilmen and support beekeeping.  Thornton has made it clear that they need to hear from Thornton not the rest of the state with respect to this issue.  We have just a few more days to rally any Thornton troops we can round up.  Dan wants to circulate a petition in support of beekeeping in the Thornton area.  If you can assist with this project, please contact him at ThorntonLovesBees@gmail.com or me at president@coloradobeekeepers.org.

Legislative Issues: 

There are 2 bills wending their way through the houses of the legislature at this time.  The first is SB 12-048.  This bill is called the “Local Foods, Local Jobs” act and will allow us to bottle up to $5000 in net sales of honey out of a home kitchen.  I went down last week and spoke to the Senate committee in support of this piece of legislation.  It passed committee with several amendments and is heading to the Senate for a vote at this time.  The amendments included the $5000.00 cap noted previously; “recommending” liability insurance instead of mandating it; and minor changes to verbiage to synchronize it with wording in other existing legislation.  I am unhappy with the labeling requirements of this bill.  They seem like overkill to me.  I have conveyed these sentiments to the sponsoring Senator.  You may read the bill yourself here:

http://www.leg.state.co.us/CLICS/CLICS2012A/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/F8EA74C8447BB62387257981007DD1AD?Open&file=048_01.pdf

The second bill is HB 12-1027.  This one is being referred to as the “Cupcake Bill”.  This bill addresses different aspects of home kitchen preparation from the Senate bill in that it mandates registration at the County level.  I was unable to attend the committee hearing on this as it occurred simultaneously with the other but it did pass committee.  It also just passed the House on a unanimous vote so it is heading to the Senate.  You may read the bill yourself here:

http://www.leg.state.co.us/CLICS/CLICS2012A/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/BE84697C2242E39C87257981007DD7BB?Open&file=1027_ren.pdf

ABF Update:

In January, several beekeepers from the state headed to Las Vegas for the annual American Bee Federation (ABF) conference.  I have never attended—but Terry Dorsey, immediate past president of the CSBA, insisted that I go.  What fun!  And what a learning experience, too!

Colorado was well represented with Terry and myself, Vice-President Paul Limbach, Brighton Bee’s president April Bridge, Spanish Peak’s members John and Janet Fink, and the Bee Wranglers from Brighton, Ron and Gary Thornam in attendance.  This was really nice because we were able to “divide and conquer” and listen to most of the speakers.

There were lots of presentations on study results. Since CCD was defined for the first time 4 years ago, 4 years of research has been conducted and lots of results are forthcoming.  Much of it was confirmation of hypothesis but it was good to see results.  With results now available, one can only assume that solutions will be forthcoming.  Now that will be progress!

I went to the conference with the mission of rounding up great speakers for our summer and winter meetings. I much prefer a good speaker over an “expert”.  Of course, it is always nice to have both!  I am especially interested in good speakers on good topics.  In this, I was successful and I am delighted with our presenters for both meetings.  I am not quite ready to release names and topics but the dates for the meetings are on the CSBA calendar and are June 16th for the summer meeting and November 3rd for the winter meeting.  Have you ever been to the summer meeting?  If not, you should consider going.  It is held at Paul and Nancy Limbach’s beautiful property in Silt.  It is held in conjunction with the Strawberry Festival in Glenwood Springs which makes it fun for the whole family.  Details to follow in successive newsletters.

Website Update:

Tim Hardy, our volunteer webmaster, has done a terrific job of incorporating our suggestions into the website and it is up and very functional at this point.  The website will soon accept PayPal for your membership dues!  I have updated the site to include all of the package and class information that I have.  In addition, there are a lot of new links under the Resources/Articles section.  I would really like a volunteer to maintain this section.  If you are an avid bee news reader and are interested in assuming the duties of posting news to this part of the site, please contact me.  I would love the help.

Well—I have arrived at my skiing destination and will sign off.  Please feel free to email/call me with any suggestions or concerns you may have.  Thank you for being a member.

Thanks!  Beth

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1 comment

  1. Janet Fink February 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Great News Letter! Very informative! Thanks Beth