At the March and April WVBA meetings, I distributed paper copies and directed members to a web-based colony loss survey, a continuing effort to define overwintering success of backyard beekeepers in Oregon. This was the 9th year of such survey activity. I received 282 responses from OR backyarders, … Read more about Winter loss report WVBA
At the April meeting (April 24) we knew of only a single swarm. Rich covered swarming in his comments and his comments will be posted in the meeting minutes. we should begin to hear of local bee swarms in May and June. Swarming means different things to different individuals. Some beekeepers see … Read more about Let the SWARMS begin
Last year, 271 OR/WA backyarder beekeepers returned April surveys on overwintering colony losses/survivorship, and management such as colony feeding, sanitation and Varroa control efforts. There were 38 WVBA respondents included in the OR report, which are posted on the website: … Read more about Survivorship Survey – PNW Honey Bee Health & Beekeeping Practices
There was an informative webinar mid-January from Bee Culture Magazine [“The Kim and Jim Show”] that was all about packages. You can still view the one-hour broadcast at Bee Culture webpage www.beeculture.org Look for it filed under events. Kim and Jim discussed only packages but their … Read more about STARTING PACKAGES/NUCS
Dead colony forensics - examining a dead colony to help determine what might have been the reason for non-survival. Identifying the problem can guide changes in management leading to improved overwintering success. Last year backyard OR beekeepers lost 43% of their overwintering colonies – there … Read more about Dead Colony Forensics
The Honey Bee Health Coalition has released a series of videos to help beekeepers promote colony health and combat costly and destructive Varroa mite infestations. The videos provide detailed step-by-step instructions on how to monitor hives for Varroa and safely treat when levels get too high. The … Read more about Improved Tools Guide for mite control
Willamette Valley Beekeepers Association Established in 1967. I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year! Hopefully this year we can reflect on gratitude. Those that have gratitude seem to be happier. Instead of "What did you get?" Bob Purcell prefers to ask others "What … Read more about A Note from the President by Rich Farrier
Proper ventilation is important for bee colonies year round but can be especially critical in the winter. In the PNW, moisture, rather than cold temperatures, is a major contributor to decreased survival. Bees can amazingly well tolerate cold but less so when they are wet. High hive moisture is … Read more about Winterizing bee hives
Winter? It seems like a long time before we think about winter but in reality it is not so far away IF we plan to do something about mites. NOW (end August/early September) is the proper time to sample colonies to determine risk level and make mite control decisions, if you wish to do so. Why … Read more about Winter (mite) Preparations
Bees are really amazing creatures. IF they survive winter, a big IF these days, their spring colony expansion is one of the incredible features of a bee colony. Given pollen, good enough weather to forage and a healthy population, the colony will expand from a cluster the size of a softball to a … Read more about Softball to Exercise ball – spring colony expansion
May and Memorial Day bracket this busy bee month. I start analyzing the pnwhoneybeesurvey responses this month, including those from WVBA members. Results will be posted as soon as I can get them gathered and analyzed. Thanks to all who filled in a survey. In May, bee-wise, we should have strong … Read more about So what is your May plan?
April is survey month. I hope you have or will complete a survey on overwintering losses/successes and what you have been doing for varroa management. It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete a survey. Address is www.pnwhoneybeesurvey.com/survey or simply use search engine to find … Read more about SO AFTER SURVEY What’s your April Plan?