Advisors Collaborate to Provide Training to Apiary Inspectors
The services of county apiary inspectors are in demand as a result of issues impacting the beekeeping industry. Inspectors are called upon to evaluate hives for colony strength and examine them for disease, pest, and parasite infestations. In cooperation with the Fresno County Agricultural commissioner’s office, Shannon Mueller and Richard Molinar offered training for 105 apiary inspectors in the Central San Joaquin Valley. The agenda included bee biology and activities within the hive and commonly occurring pests, predators, and diseases that may be encountered. Inspectors were taught how to properly wear bee suits and veils and how to light a smoker. At the Kearney Ag Center, commercial beekeepers provided hands-on instruction to small groups. Participants learned to open and inspect beehives without damaging the queen or hive parts. On-line training is now being developed by Shannon to aid apiary inspectors as well as crop producers who rely on honeybees for pollination.