Thomas Fire destroyed bee hives

My name is Nicole and I run our family business. I am a local beekeeper from Ojai, CA that had all my bees in Ventura County (1800 colonies). Locally I provide commercial pollination for the avocados, blueberries and produce honey from the citrus and wildflowers.

The Thomas fire started at Steckel Park just 2 miles from my bees and quickly spread burning almost all my apiaries (over 20 yards) throughout the county. This is my livelihood, my livestock, everything! I’m devastated - I lost my 3rd generation family business.

A large portion of our income is earned in February pollinating the almonds in San Joaquin Valley and now with few bees = little income!

I have never asked for charity but at this point I am at a total loss. I was encouraged by friends that want to help to put my loss out here. The funds will be used towards business expenses so thank you very much for any contribution you are able to make!

Unlike a home or building being lost, bee hives are not insurable through normal business coverage. We insure with the USDA Farm Services Agency to the extent possible. Their ELAP program does offer coverage to hives lost in a wildfire. Unfortunately, the maximum amount allotted does not even come close to the value of hives lost and nothing for the lost revenue they would have earned in February.

Thank you very much for your support!

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Nicole Ulibarri
Ojai, CA

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