Willamette Valley Beekeepers Association
Minutes of August 28, 2017 Meeting
Chemeketa Community College Bldg 8 Room 204
The August 28, 2017, meeting of the WVBA was called to order by President Richard Ferrier at 7:10 PM.
Richard noted that the Oregon State Beekeepers Annual meeting will be held October 28 and 29th at the Oregon Garden near Silverton, Oregon.
Richard also mentioned that the USPS is now selling pollinator stamps which are real photographs of bees and butterflies pollinating plants.
Richard also discussed the MITE-A-THON that will be held Saturday, Sept 9th through Saturday Sept 16, 2017, nationwide. All beekeepers are being asked to test your hive(s) for varroa mites during this time and to enter your counts at www.mitecheck.com. Follow their instructions with either a powdered sugar sampling or an alcohol wash.
Richard passed around a list of best practices for beekeepers put together by Anna Ashley for her journeyman level status with the OSBA Master Beekeeping program.
Richard suggested that bees should be fed with the fall sugar recipe and also with a pollen patty, after supers are removed. If you are making your own pollen patties, they should be of peanut butter consistency for the bees. Freezing patties for future use is not the best idea.
Richard noted that the honey extractor is being passed around and is mostly reserved for use at the moment. The handle was broken, but has been replaced with a new handle.
Dewey Caron discussed varroa mites in detail. The mites first appeared in Oregon 28 years ago, in 1989, with the first varroa mites discovered in the US in 1987. Dewey is a member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition, which is a large group of folks including commercial beekeepers, pollinators, and the chemical industry. Everyone has a voice and they start and end with varroa mites. Varroa mites are a hugh factor in hive loss, although other factors play a role, such as queen loss, small populations, health of bees, etc.
In response to this major problem, the Coalition has put together 12 YOU TUBE videos to aid beekeepers with tools on how to manage the mites in your colonies, providing you with information to make your own decisions on what are the best practices for you. Go to honeybeehealthcoatilion.org/varroa for this information. There is no charge for the spreadsheet or for anything else.
Beekeepers should start sampling for mites in July and continue once a month through October. Collect the adults on the brood colony with open larva, about 1/2 cup of bees equals 350 bees. If you are using powdered sugar, shake for at least 1 minute, you should be able to feel the heat, it helps release mites in other places for a more accurate count. The alcohol wash is the most accurate, but it also kills your bees.
What percentage of mite infestation is considered harmful? There is no wrong answer as it depends on the time of year you are sampling. Mite populations are peaking right now. In the spring, 1% is acceptable, in the fall, 2-3% is acceptable (6 mites per 300 bees equals 2%). Post treatment should be less than 3%. Beekeepers should treat all colonies in the same apiary at the same time with the same chemical. Screened bottom boards are helpful and drone brood removal is an alternative practice to remove mites, but must be precise with removal. Treatment options are Apivar (synethectic miticide), Apiguard (thymol), Hopguard, and MAQ’s (formic acid-mite away quick strips).
Richard ended the meeting with a invitation from the city of Newberg, Oregon. They are looking for beekeepers to keep their own bees on rooftops in their community. Contact Richard if you are interested.
A drawing for several door prizes was held and the meeting concluded at 9:20pm.
The next meeting will be on Monday, September 25, 2017, Chemeketa Community College, Building 8, Room 201.