S E C T I O N
Community S TO R I E S A B O U T P E O P L E A N D E V E N T S I N T H E C O M M U N I T Y
Photos by Michelle Le/The Almanac
Golden Harvest Bees beekeeper Richard Baxtor uses a smoker to calm bees in the langstroth hive. The smoke emulates a forest fire and calms bees down.
Beekeeping is booming on the Peninsula
On the cover: Golden Harvest Bees beekeeper Richard Baxtor shows a frame from his top-bar hive.
ocal honey is becoming a sweet business for beekeepers on the Peninsula these days. For Richard Baxter, who started beekeeping when he was 9 years old, itâ€™s exciting to see so many new people getting involved in his favorite hobby. Semi-retired, he runs Golden Harvest Bees out of his home in Redwood City, and helps set up and maintain about 100 hives in the area. He says that when he joined the Beekeepersâ€™ Guild of San Mateo County 10 years ago, there were maybe 50 members; now there are more than 300. The support group meets monthly to talk about the joys and challenges of raising bees. Mr. Baxter teaches introductory classes in beekeeping a couple of times a month for $45. He also sells basic starter kits that include a box to set up a hive with bees, and food to get a colony established. That Continued on next page
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C O M M U N I T Y TOWN OF WOODSIDE 2955 WOODSIDE ROAD WOODSIDE, CA 94062
INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR COMMITTEES ARTS AND CULTURE COMMITTEE Meets ﬁrst Thursday of each month, 5:00 p.m.; appointed for two-year term. The Committee strengthens multigenerational community involvement by initiating, sponsoring and celebrating local art, creativity and cultural activities including, but not limited to, the areas of art, photography, design, music, horticulture, culinary arts, literature, drama and dance. The Committee will create opportunities to educate, inform and engage the community about cultural affairs and will organize and supervise events to showcase local creative talent EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS This committee is newly formed and the meeting day has not yet been determined; appointed for staggered two-year term. The Committee supports the General Plan policies to institute or participate in education related to natural hazards and to support emergency preparedness education. The Emergency Preparedness Committee works with Town staff to develop and maintain appropriate plans and procedures for responding to disasters, including wildﬁres, earthquakes, ﬂoods and other emergencies. The Emergency Preparedness Committee supports the work of the Citizens’ Emergency Response and Preparedness Program (CERPP) to develop a network of volunteers to respond to emergencies at the neighborhood level. The Emergency Preparedness Committee works with staff to recruit, organize, train and maintain a team of volunteers who can assist stafﬁng an Emergency Operations Center when Town staff is partially or wholly unavailable. The Emergency Preparedness Committee works with staff to develop emergency communication facilities and capabilities and to provide residents of the Town with information and training in emergency topics. LIVESTOCK AND EQUESTRIAN HERITAGE COMMITTEE Meets fourth Wednesday of each month, 5:30 p.m.; appointed for unexpired one-year term. The Committee reviews applications for professional stable permits and forwards recommendations to the Planning Commission. It also reviews applications for exceptions to the private stable regulations and forwards recommendations to the Planning Director. It conducts inspections of stables in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Code. The Committee develops and supports education and information programs which aid the community in sustaining, protecting enhancing and enjoying equestrian activities and facilities. The Committee is also a resource for Town Council, staff and residents on equestrian matters.
Busy bees Continued from previous page
costs around $600; he also offers a maintenance plan for $75 a month on top of that. He harvests the honey usually in the spring and fall, and the owner gets to keep all of it. Alternatively, he will install a hive at a property for free, give the resident up to five pounds of honey, and keep the rest to sell as raw honey at places such as Draeger’s, Beltramo’s, and the Country Corner store in West Menlo Park. His wife makes soaps, lip balms, and lotions out of the wax and honeycombs, and they sell that, too. Mr. Baxter recently spoke at Wegman’s Nursery in Redwood City to about 50 people wanting to know more about backyard beekeeping. He says he was thrilled to see so much interest because “this is generally the time to get started.” Spring is when bees naturally swarm to try to find a new home. He will gladly trap a local swarm of honey bees, or what Woodside hobbyist Mike Sieber calls “freebies.” The only other way to obtain bees is to buy them, and that can cost a $100 and more per package.
Mr. Sieber sells his honey at Emily Joubert in Woodside. He has been keeping bees for 35 years, and notices that it’s getting harder and harder to keep his hives alive. He estimates he lost 30 to 50 percent of his hives this past winter due to colony collapse disorder. He’s driving to Vacaville and Orland (about 20 miles west of Chico) this
‘Spring is when bees naturally swarm to try to find a new home.’ month to pick up new bees to replenish his supplies. Starting in February, more than a billion honeybees are trucked to the Sacramento Valley to pollinate the state’s almond crop, a multi-billiondollar industry. After their work is done, the bees are then shipped off to other parts of the country that need them. What’s killing off the hives? Experts explain it could be a combination of pests, pathogens, pesticides and herbicides, and/or lack of habitat. Bees forage a mile or two to collect
pollen, then return to their hives to make honey. During their travels they could easily encounter natural enemies such as varroa mites, wax moths and small hive beetles, and environmental stressors such as lack of rain. Mike Vigo, ranch foreman of the Bee Ranchers, based in the East Bay, services dozens of hives at homes in Woodside, Portola Valley and Atherton. This year, he says, he’s very concerned about lateseason bee forage. “If there’s not enough rain, everything blooms early ... and by the end of July and beginning of August, if bees don’t have adequate food sources, we’ll need to feed them,” he says. He recommends feeding them simple syrup made from two parts sugar and one part water. Less than two years ago, Mr. Vigo set up a hive in Leslie Doyle’s yard in Portola Valley. With kids, dogs and cats, the family gives it a healthy 5-foot berth and has run into no problems getting stung, Ms. Doyle says. Mr. Vigo comes by regularly to maintain the hive, and last fall harvested 36 pounds of honey. She’s a graphic artist and was delighted to put her own
OPEN SPACE COMMITTEE Meets fourth Thursday of each month, 5:30 p.m.; appointed for two-year term. The Committee advises and assists the Town Council, Planning Commission and staff in implementing the policies and goals of the Open Space and Conservation elements of the General Plan, speciﬁcally with respect to acquisition and maintenance of conservation easements and open space preservation. PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE Meets on call of Chair; appointed for two-year term. The Committee advises the Town Council and staff on issues of community public safety, including police and ﬁre services provided within the Town. RECREATION COMMITTEE Meets ﬁrst Thursday of each month, 7:30 p.m.; appointed for three-year term and unexpired two-year term. The Committee guides the activities of the community recreation programs. SUSTAINABILITY AND CONSERVATION COMMITTEE Meets fourth Monday of each month, 6:00 p.m.; appointed for two-year term and unexpired one-year term. The Committee advises and assists the Town Council, Planning Commission, and staff on conservation, open space, noise, public services and facilities as pertaining to the elements of the Town’s General Plan. WOODSIDE HISTORY COMMITTEE Meets second Thursday of each month, 10:00 a.m.; appointed for unexpired one-year term. The Committee advises the Town Council and staff regarding actions, policies and plans relating to historic preservation. Committees are volunteer positions and serve in an advisory capacity to the Town Council. Interested residents may request information and applications Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-12 noon and 1-5:00 p.m., from the Town Clerk’s Ofﬁce at Town Hall, 2955 Woodside Road, or telephone (650) 851-6790, or through the Town’s web site at www.woodsidetown.org. Deadline for applications is Friday, May 2, 2014.
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Photo by Michelle Le/The Almanac
New world carniolan Italian hybrid bees on a frame from a langstroth hive on Golden Harvest Bees’ property.
C O M M U N I T Y
label on 70 eight-ounce jars and give them to clients, family and friends for Christmas. Mr. Vigo also keeps hives in Portola Valley and Woodside, where the arrangement is that the host gets two pounds of the honey, and then Mr. Vigo sells the rest of the harvest to Roberts Market, where it is packaged as Roberts Kitchen Honey in 16-ounce jars that retail for $16.99. Mr. Vigo keeps two hives at Mike Corley’s home in Woodside. “The honey is phenomenal,” says Mr. Corley. “There is something extra to it that makes it feel cool because it’s from your house.” After the last harvest Mr. Corley ended up buying the
honey back and putting a personalized label on it so he could give jars to clients over the holidays. Mr. Vigo also keeps four hives in Karen Gilhuly’s garden in Woodside. Last fall he set up his gravity-strained extractor in her garage to harvest his local clients’ honey. Frames of honeycombs were scraped into a bucket, and the wax was salvaged for Mr. Vigo’s daughters to make lip balm and candles. Ms. Gilhuly’s daughter Kate sampled some of the fresh honey and pronounced it as having “almost a smoky, darker, more flavorful” taste than the spring harvest, which tends to be lighter and sweeter, based on what’s blooming then.
Mr. Baxter says some people seek out local honey “for medicinal benefits ... for a good 80 percent of people with hay fever the pollen in the honey has a way of stimulating your immune system to build up tolerance.” “Talk to your doctor,” he recommends, since some believe there’s only anecdotal evidence to support this claim. Mr. Sieber says for him it’s not all about the honey. He finds the entire beekeeping experience therapeutic. “In the afternoon light you look up in the air and see the bees coming and going, and in the summer when it’s warm in the garden, there’s a scent, the most incredible smell.” A
Photos by Michelle Le/The Almanac
Bars of BeezSoap are made using wax from Golden Harvest Bees.
NIKE TENNIS CAMPS
Photos by Michelle Le/The Almanac
Richard Baxtor adds wet leaves to a smoker used to calm bees down by emulating a forest fire and calms bees down.
Local youth basketball team takes national title Redwood NJB’s 6th Grade All-Net Team qualified for the national tournament in Los Angeles by winning the Silicon Valley title. That sent team members to Los Angeles, where they won the National Junior Basketball championship by defeating a strong team from L.A. in a double overtime game on March 16. Pictured (from left to right): James Pleasants, Justin Waddell, Justin Sellers, Owen Liston, Michael Matsuno, Ben Rubin, Nick Tripaldi, Trevor Wargo, and Charlie Selna. Back row: assistant coach Ravi Bhambhra; and head coach Peter Diepenbrock. Front row (seated): team manager: John Diepenbrock. The nonprof it National
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Junior Basketball organization is a youth league with 25,000 participants in six states. The Redwood NJB prog ra m includes children from Wood-
side, Portola Valley, Menlo Park and Atherton. Submitted by Jeff Tripaldi, chapter director of Redwood NJB and a parent of a player.
Half day or full day option for boys and girls. All the camps offer fundamental skill work, position work, scrimmages and games.
650-725-9016 stanfordwaterpolocamps.com April 9, 2014 N TheAlmanacOnline.com N The Almanac N 27
C O M M U N I T Y
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Little kids scramble to find eggs while the big kids cheer and take photos during last year’s Easter egg hunt.
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Summer enrollment forms are available online. Call us or visit ASSOCIAT I
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Easter egg hunt set for April 19 The Easter Bunny will be the star, but not the only attraction at the Atherton Dames’ annual easter egg hunt set for Saturday, April 19. A magician for those who want to be enthralled, and firefighters for kids who might relish meeting the person they inevitably want to be when they grow up will also be part of the mix at this year’s event in HolbrookPalmer Park. The hunt begins at 10 a.m. and participants are encouraged to get there early. Also on the day’s agenda are breakfast treats and beverages; a performance by Gerald the Magician; face-painting by Gigi and Joanna Sachs; picture-taking opportunities with the Easter Bunny; and a chance to get a look at fire trucks and an Atherton police car, and to meet firefighters from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District. The event committee is chaired by Anje Stevenson and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Lewis, who, according to an Atherton Dames spokeswoman, had the support of numerous community volunteers and groups including the Atherton Dames, the Holbrook-Palmer Park Association and the Menlo-Atheron Little League. Tickets can be purchased at the event for $10 per person with cash or checks only; there is no charge for children 12 months and under. A
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C O M M U N I T Y
Teen honored for efforts ‘to make a lasting impact’ By Emma Marsano
Palo Alto Community Child Care
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Learning, Playing, Growing Together
SUMMER FUN 2014 Grades 1– 6
Special to the Almanac
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hese days, it’s easy for high school students to become ensconced in a world consisting of classes, schoolwork, athletics, social events, and college applications. With so much going on, many teens forget to consider their Jessica Bird roles in the is a senior at world around Sacred Heart Preparatory in them. To say that Atherton. Jessica Bird, a Sacred Heart Preparatory senior, avoided this pitfall would be a vast understatement. This February, Jessica learned that she had received a 2014 Prudential Spirit of Community Award for outstanding volunteer work; she was chosen as the top high-school-aged volunteer in California for this year. Every year, the award recipients — one middle school and one high school student from each state and from the District of Columbia — receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-inclusive trip to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of national recognition events. The award honors Jessica, an Atherton resident, for her work to combat sex-trafficking worldwide. That work began in Costa Rica, where Jessica volunteered at a safe house for sex-trafficking victims on a church mission trip in July 2012. While working at the safe house, Jessica befriended a 17-year-old girl named Eva, with whom she has remained in contact. “Even though we come from polar opposite worlds,” Jessica says, “we’ve found that not much (is) different between us. We both struggle with gender dynamics, family problems, and friend drama, and we have seen money — or a lack thereof— do some terrible things.” When her trip ended, Jessica invited Eva to visit California, where the two held a cocktail party fundraiser for the safe house in October 2012 and raised $29,000. Despite the event’s success, Eva relapsed and ran away from the safe house soon after returning to Costa Rica. Her friend’s struggle led Jessica to
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C O M M U N I T Y
Grades 2 -8 NOW EN RO
continued from page 29
EMERSON SCHOOL & HACIENDA SCHOOL
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realize that â€œmoney really canâ€™t solve problems.â€? Instead, Jessica decided, â€œI needed to act for justice.â€? Jessica conducted research into global networks of sex-trafficking, and held events to educate her school community and her Girl Scout troop on the issue. In March 2013, she was selected as one of 125 youth delegates from around the world to attend the United Nationsâ€™ 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. There, she addressed U.N. assembly members on the issue of sex-trafficking. The following June, Jessica led a youth group sheâ€™d assembled to the same Costa Rican safe house sheâ€™d visited the summer before to teach the girls there skills like cooking and finance that would prepare them for â€œa life beyond prostitution.â€? Today, Jessica and Eva are still in contact over Facebook. â€œI really hope one day she will return to the safe house,â€? Jessica says. Until that day, Jessica says, she will continue to fight the pernicious system that victimized her friend in the first place, through return trips to the safe house and through internships with organizations such as the Bay Area AntiTrafficking Coalition, where she worked last summer. Ref lecting on her efforts so far, Jessica adds, â€œA lot of schools these days have (community service) requirements. However, I think checking off service hours is so different (from) really understanding (the purpose of) service learning. We must know the meaning of what weâ€™re doing before we actually do it; thatâ€™s the only way to make a lasting impact.â€? A