On October 8, 2017, wildfires engulfed large parts of Northern California. It took nearly three weeks to contain these disastrous fires which burned more than 56,556 acres, destroyed an estimated 8,700 structures and killed at least 42 people. Many beekeepers were devastated by these fires, losing not only their homes, farms and gardens, but also their bee colonies and equipment. It will take years to recover and the needs of our community are great.
Sonoma County Beekeepers’ Association (SCBA), with over 400 active members, intends to do its part to help its beekeeping members. As of November 6th, we have identified 17 of our members who suffered complete losses.
SCBA promotes honey bees and beekeeping to the public through education, events and exhibits, while building a strong beekeeping community. Our members not only tend to their own bees, but also are beekeeping ambassadors throughout the county. They teach school children about the importance of bees, staff booths and present at county fairs, provide informational meetings for local non-profits (including Rotarians, the Soroptimists, FFA, 4H, etc), assist with school gardens, provide local honey tastings, and more.
The funds raised will help to replace beekeeping equipment which was lost during the wildfires. Any funds exceeding the needs of SCBA member beekeepers losses will be applied towards restoring lost pollinator habitat in Sonoma County.
An example of costs incurred are:
$280 for equipment for one colony (members lost from 1 to 70 hives per apiary location within the path of the fires)
$80 for a full suit and veil
$35 for a smoker
$20 for gloves
$280 – $1000+ for a honey extractor
Not to mention, hammers, screwdrivers, buckets with honey gates, honey jars, etc. There are many tools in a beekeeper’s tool box!
Donations can be made at SCBA Membership meetings at the Membership table, you can also Mail checks written to SCBA, with a note for SBFF to SCBA, P.O. Box 98, Santa Rosa CA 95402
Fill out the following form whether you need help or can give help.
If you are aware of a member who has losses but is unable to respond to this survey,
please let us know (contact: Ann Jereb, 1stVP@sonomabees.org) so that we may reach out to them as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read and take the survey. This will help us better coordinate our efforts in providing assistance and support to our fellow beekeepers. Once we have all the responses, we’ll contact people to find out exactly what beekeepers with losses need and exactly what others have to give, and then match needs with available resources.
Sonoma Bees Fire Fund (SBFF) Committee