- Author: Laura J. Van der Staay
Shannon Mueller, county director and agronomy farm advisor in UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Fresno County and Madera County, and Karen Francone, Environmental Program Manager, California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR), teamed up to provide an apiary inspectors' training at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center. According to the 2012-2014 CDPR progress report, “Bee health and protection is a state, national, and worldwide issue”.
In the meeting room, there were many examples of equipment, hive problems and diagnostic techniques available for viewing. The meeting room agenda included honey bee africanization; safety considerations during hive inspection; apiary pests and diseases; beekeeper pesticide usage; “toxic to Bees” label interpretations and managed pollinator protection plans; and an overview of bee incidence response.
Attendees also got the opportunity to go into the field for a smoker demonstration and hive visitation/colony strength evaluation and incident scenarios.
The overarching theme was to train the apiary inspectors so that CDPR, the County Ag Commissioners, UCCE, and beekeepers can continue to work together in finding strategies and technologies to help reduce bee colony deaths. The same training was delivered in Modesto the following week.