Tuesday , May 28 2024

‘It’s Just Hard To Take’ – Kerman Beekeeper Loses Hundreds Of Hives In Creek Fire

A cup of coffee in one hand, David Blair rolls up the garage door to his warehouse and points out a few remaining 55-gallon barrels filled with honey. “We send it off to Sue Bee as soon as we can. We don’t really store it here,” says the third generation beekeeper from Kerman. Fall is honey harvesting season. Each summer, Blair, 61, hauls truckloads of bees to various spots in the state to shield them from the Valley heat. This year, he and his father, also a beekeeper, brought about 1500 hives up to the forests in the Sierra Nevada. After Labor Day, Blair typically removes the honey from the hives before he brings the bees back to the Valley. But this year, the Creek Fire erupted before he could get to them. He and his father lost about 540 hives; that’s more than a third of what they had in the mountains. Blair says he couldn’t help but cry after witnessing the devastation. “Yeah a little bit,” he says. “Because it’s just a loss, the work you put into them. The way of life. It’s just
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