The California State Apiary Board has scheduled a meeting on Oct. 3, 2008 at the UC Davis Harry H. Laidlaw Honey Bee Research Facility. The meeting will include the seating of the board by California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura, who appointed the board based on nominations submitted to the department earlier this year.

Board members are California beekeepers representing the major geographical divisions of the beekeeping industry: Jackie Park- Burris (Palo Cedro), Leroy Brant (Oakdale), Lyle Johnston (Madera), Steve Godlin (Visalia), and Richard J. Ashurst (Westmoreland). This advisory board makes recommendations to the CDFA secretary on matters pertaining to the California apiary industry.

The Oct. 3 meeting is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the agenda includes election of a board chair and other officers, as well as a tour of the research facility and presentations by its researchers.

In recent years, the apiary industry has been attacked by various exotic pests, pathogens and Colony Collapse Disorder, which have resulted in significant losses of bees throughout the state and nation. Honey bees pollinate $6 billion worth of crops in California – roughly one-third of the food we eat. Three quarters of the nation’s honey bee colonies are needed to pollinate California’s almond crop alone.

The California State Apiary Board was established by the Legislature, which declared that a healthy and vibrant apiary industry is important to the economy and welfare of the state, and that its promotion and protection is in the interest of the people of the State of California. Board members receive no compensation but are entitled to payment of necessary traveling expenses. The term of office for a board member is four years.