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, destroying an estimated 8,700 structures and killing 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 members. As of November 6th, we have identified 17 of our members who suffered complete losses.
Sonoma County Beekeepers Association promotes honey bees and beekeeping to the public through education, events, and exhibits, while building a stronger beekeeping community. Our diverse membership not only tends to their own bees but are beekeeping ambassadors throughout the county and beyond. Our community outreach includes: teaching school children and the public about the importance of bees, staffing booths and presenting at county fairs, providing educational presentations for local non-profits (including Rotarians, the Soroptimists, FFA, 4H, etc), hosting garden clubs, assisting with school and community gardens, providing local honey tastings, and more.
The funds raised will help to replace beekeeping equipment lost during the wildfires. Any funds exceeding the needs stated 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:
P.O. Box 98
Santa Rosa CA 95402
If you are a beekeeper in the area, please consider filling 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 by allowing us to match up the needs of those affected by the fires with the equipment and services of those willing to help.
Sonoma Bees Fire Fund (SBFF) Committee