Bee Beard

Last Saturday Rob and I volunteered to participate in the Patrick Ranch’s annual Country Faire and Threshing Bee. For more information about the event visit:

We got a call from Yvonne Koehnen earlier last week asking if we would be interested in doing a bee beard for the honey bee exhibit at the fair. The Koehnen family has been beekeeping since 1907. For more on the Koehnen family visit:

I had never done a bee beard before so I was excited about the invitation. We put our weekend plans to fish the McCloud River on hold and happily accepted Yvonne’s invitation. There was a good turnout for the event and both demonstrations were done without anyone getting stung! Northern California Bee Breeder Pat Heitkam narrated the event while his son Russell (Heitkam’s Honey Bees) and fellow beekeeper/breeder Brad Pankratz (Pankratz Apiaries) applied the bees.

Brad Pankratz dumping a 3 lb. package onto Mike. Notice the queen pheromone taped to Mikes face to lure bees up to his face.

The Koehnen’s, Heitkam’s, and Pankratz’s are leaders in the beekeeping industry and are participating in the Bee Informed Partnership. All sixteen beekeepers involved in our project have been receptive and supportive of the program from the very beginning. Not only are they incredible beekeepers/breeders but also great people and a pleasure to work with.

Brad smoking the bees so they move faster toward the queen pheremone. Pat Heitkam is in the backround, there a video below of him giving commentary.

It was a lot of fun and I would do it again if given the opportunity. Included in the blog are some pictures from the event along with a short video of the bee beard being applied by Brad with commentary by Pat.

Mike with a bee beard.
Russel Heitkam lighting a smoker before the second bee beard of the day.
Rob with a bee beard.

Be Involved. Be Included.Bee Informed.

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