San Francisco Bay Area Beekeeping
Bees may well be at the crux of our existence -- owing to their life-sustaining pollinating abilities. Now, distress in the commercial honeybee colonies has brought bees' critical role to the front pages as we contemplate how long (or short) we as a species would last without their planetary influence.
There are a number of local organizations dedicated to bee education and to the promotion of beekeeping -- even in urban areas like San Francisco.
If you want to learn more about starting an apiary in your own realm, consult the groups below for beginning tools of the trade.
San Francisco Beekeepers' Association (SFBA)
Meets at the Randall Museum once a month
199 Museum Way
San Francisco, CA 94114
Membership costs $20 per year, and the SFBA estimates your clothing, tools and supplies will cost $300. (They've posted a comprehensive equipment list for beginning beekeepers.)
Alameda County Beekeepers (Blog)
Monthly meetings (often at the Rotary Nature Center at Lake Merritt)
600 Bellevue Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
Dues are $10. The Alameda County Beekeepers Association also has scheduled workshops and field trips.
Marin County Beekeepers
Members meet on the first Tuesday of the month, October through June. (See the website for meeting times and locations.)
Dues are $10 per year and prospective members are welcome to drop into one of the meetings. Monthly gatherings vary in terms of the topics discussed.
Beekeepers Guild of San Mateo
Meets the first Thursday of the month at Congregational Church of Belmont
751 Alameda de las Pulgas
Belmont, CA 94002
A free beginning beekeeping class is held in the spring. The age range of members is 15 to 70, with all levels of expertise.
Mount Diablo Beekeepers Association (MDBA)
Meets once a month at Heather Farms Garden Center
1450 Marchbanks Drive
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Membership dues are $15 per year. (Student memberships are free, and financial assistance is available.) The MDBA has a list of resources including information on the fundamentals of beekeeping.
Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers Guild
Usually meets the first Monday of each month at the Santa Clara City Library
2635 Homestead Road
Santa Clara, CA 95051
You're welcome to attend meetings even if you're just thinking about beekeeping. Meet local beekeepers or attend one of the field trips. The Guild has several publications for download if you want to learn more about beekeeping.