The warm weather of the past couple of weeks should have allowed you to observe all of your hives and to assess winter losses. Hobbyists are severely under-represented in data collection in this state and nationwide. If you are a hobbyist, this is your one chance to stand up and bee counted! Please be sure to participate in the Bee Informed Partnership survey! http://beeinformed.org/
This is also the time of year when the calls begin coming in about bees in my….chicken feed, compost (for coffee grounds), and bird feeders. Bees NEED to collect pollen. It is their nature. In the absence of abundant pollen, they collect alternatives–thus the visits to the fine particles mentioned above. This is a temporary state mitigated by a true pollen source. Luckily, pollen is already flowing along the Front Range. Here is a link to a pollen chart that I find to be pretty darn handy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollen_source
Cottage Industry Bill PASSED!
The Cottage Industry bill has passed through the legislature and is heading to the Governor’s office for a signature. I am very pleased with the passage of this bill as it will allow you to process your honey at home without a State inspected kitchen. The commercial kitchen requirement has been an onerous and expensive necessity for years and I shall not miss its departure. There are several requirements of the bill that I am now moving forward on resolving. First is the need for food safety training. I am working with Extension to set up this training and will keep you informed on the availability of this training throughout the state. Secondly, there is an allergen warning that is mandated with the bill also. I tried to have the bill amended to remove honey from this requirement but this did not happen. I am working with Colorado Proud to see if they can assist in developing/producing hang tags with this warning and will keep you informed of this project as we move forward.
Did you know that there is a Colorado Beekeepers Directory on the CSBA website? You can (for free!) get your information onto the website so that potential customers can find you and your product. With the passage of this bill, I expect more of you to participate in this directory and have modified the website to include a form for you to send me your information so that I can get you on the web!
Marketing Your Food Product Workshop
The CO Department of Agriculture (CDA) offers a Marketing Your Food Product Workshop annually. I attended this a few years back and found it to be of great value from both an informational and financial standpoint. Here is a link. http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheader=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251773698545&ssbinary=true Consider attending–it is an all day event for only $35.00. You will learn a LOT!
Pollinator Week is June 18th through the 24th and, this year, I would like to use this week to reach out to the public for support of our industry. This will take some help from all of you! If you have any ideas on how to accomplish this task most effectively, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be on vacation and out of email/vmail range from March 31 through April 8th. I will answer all communications when I return.
Still accepting suggestions on newsletter names until the end of the month. Lots of entries arriving daily. Get yours in ASAP! The winner will be announced after I get back from vacation.
As always, please feel free to email/call me with any suggestions or concerns you may have. Thank you for being a member.