Beekeeper is buzzing about city hives

Posted on August 12, 2010 by Sonoma Valley Sun

In celebration of National Honeybee Awareness Day and the fact that beekeeping is soon to be legal in Sonoma city limits, the Sonoma County Beekeeper’s Association present a fundraising reception – complete with honey tasting – and movie screening August 21 at the Sebastiani Theatre.
“I’m excited about bringing people together through The Big Bee Event to learn about bees, have fun, and go home with a better understanding of our place in nature,” said event organizer and beekeeper Randy Sue Collins.
Collins said the idea came when she learned about the movie from a friend (and fellow beekeeper) who was involved in the production. “The producers were offering the opportunity to various individuals and organizations to use their movie for fundraising and bee awareness raising get-togethers,” she said. “August 21 is the national premiere day of this film, so I naturally wanted that to be the date of our event and Roger Rhoten at the Sebastiani gave us the green light.”
The film focuses on the worldwide decline of the bee population and what humans can do to help it survive and thrive.
Bee keeping will soon be allowed inside Sonoma City limits. City staff is working out the details after the city council unanimously approved the idea last month.
“Being able to keep bees in city limits is a great move forward in helping the bees survival,” she said. “Wild hives are already well established in several locations around the city, but there is not enough of them to really pollinate well all the gardens within Sonoma.”
Keeping bees is also a great way to form a stronger community, she said. “I find friends and neighbors always fascinated with bees. Often they’ve heard about the dire circumstances bees are currently in and they really want to do something to help.”
Collins has two basic tips for helping bees flourish. “Plant various flowers so that there are blooms all year long, and stop using pesticides. It’s ludicrous to think we can continue to poison our environment yet stay healthy.”
The national premiere screening of “The Vanishing of the Bees” will be preceded by the 2 p.m. reception and silent auction, which includes a live hive, a painted hive, a potting bench and many other unusual items.
Tickets are $20 and are very limited. Find out more at: or 365.4330.