Robert and Joyce Dirkse - Page 3

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               Robert Dirkse (petitioner) was raised in a small farming               
          community in Wisconsin.  During his teenage years, petitioner               
          worked on his grandfather’s farm, assisting his family in planting          
          and growing vegetables and flowers.                                         
               For most of his professional career, petitioner was employed           
          as a public school teacher, at the high-school level, teaching              
          biology, chemistry, and general science courses.  Petitioner                
          subsequently became a school principal, at the elementary-school            
          level, and during the years in issue, he was a supervisor at the            
          Adult School.                                                               
               Prior to and during the years at issue, Joyce Dirkse (Mrs.             
          Dirkse) was employed as a registered nurse.                                 
          Petitioners’ Apiary Activities                                              
               In the early 1980's, petitioner became interested in                   
          beekeeping as a consequence of teaching a science class for gifted          
          students.  In 1981, petitioners acquired a swarm of bees from the           
          father of one of petitioner’s students and purchased apiary                 
          (beekeeping) equipment and clothing.  Petitioners thereafter joined         
          the local beekeeping society.                                               
               Initially, petitioners raised their bees in hives located on           
          someone else’s property.  In 1983, petitioners acquired a 10-acre           
          tract of land in Corona, California (the Corona property), where            
          they moved their beehives and worked them.  (Corona is                      
          approximately 50 miles from Cerritos where petitioners then                 

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Last modified: May 25, 2011