June meeting minutes

General Meeting of the Willamette Valley Beekeeping Association  June  26, 2017  Chemeketa Community College Bldg. 8 Room 201

The June meeting was called to order by President Richard Ferrier at 7:15 PM.


Richard opened the meeting by showing us a Honey Nut Cheerios box.  The “bee” was all white instead of colored.  This is to emphasize the fact that bees, both honey and otherwise are in danger.  The company was giving away seeds to increase awareness of plants that could help save the bees, however after a week, the seed was sold out.

Richard touched on how serious the theft of beehives is today.  Specifically he spoke of a ring of thefts in the almond orchards in California, and how clever they are. Thefts have even occurred in the Willamette Valley, they take out the middle 3 frames and replace them with 3 new frames, in hopes the beekeepers won’t notice and to also to  hopefully snag the queen.  If not, a queen could be added and sold as a nuc.  Beekeepers will soon be adding locating chips in their hives in order to figure out where they have gone.

Richard announced the USDA Bee diagnostic service is back in business to help with identifying problems with your bees.

Richard also discussed Xentari which is Bacillus thuringiensis “aizawai” and is used in wax moth control.  Use 1/2 teaspoon per quart and mix with water, dispense with a spray bottle on your frames. This technique will kill the larva only and will help preserve your frames for future use.  Another product he highly recommended was “swarm commander”, which is used in a bait box,  and will help entice scout bees to your box.

WVBA July picnic was discussed.  The consensus, after much discussion, was to meet on our regular meeting night, Monday, July 25, 2017.  It will be a pizza party and if folks wish to bring side dishes, please feel free to do so.  Richard will be checking out a few parks around the Salem area and let us know the location soon.

Yvonne Shaw from Tualatin Beekeepers discussed the Oregon State Fair booth with the members.  She is co-ordinating the efforts with their bee club for the Fair this year.  The Oregon State Fair runs from August 25 to Sept 4 and is open from 10am to 10pm every day.  Set up will be on August 12 and will include an observation hive.  Honey judging will take place on August 16, but she was not sure when your hive products will be received.  Tuesday Aug 29 and Thursday August 31 are spoken for by various bee clubs.  Other clubs could pick a day and just volunteer for that particular day, or you can just volunteer when your time allows.  Volunteers will receive free admission and a parking pass.  More information will follow, but there is a link to this event on the Oregon State Master Beekeeping site if you wish more information.  For a personal contact Yvonne suggested you could contact her at ylshaw76@gmail.com .  It is great to have our booth back in order to educate more folks about beekeeping.

Richard continued to educate us on tricks of the trade, by talking about foundation and how putting wax on the plastic foundation increases the bees ability to quickly get their hive up and running.  One member said they rub beeswax on the plastic foundation and then melt it evenly using a hairdryer.

Trachael mites are a problem that is commonly overlooked, but Richard says it could be a big deal and should treated.  He went through the process he uses and how easy it is to treat. He calls it the “blue shop towel treatment”.  You purchase a roll of blue shop towels, then you mix up a solution of 32 oz. of a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, add 1 tablespoon of Lemongrass oil, 1/2 teaspoon each of oregano oil, basil oil, and eucalyptus oil and mix.  You can also add other oils such as cinnamon or peppermint oil.  Put mixture in a container (Richard used a large plastic coffee container) and add the towels so they can soak up the mixture.  Before use, let the towels drip dry, so when you install them in your hive, the liquid isn’t dripping into your hive.  Add the towel to your hive by placing it between boxes.  The bees will chew it up and remove it from the hive.  Meanwhile, the bees will take up the mixture when removing it from the hive, and thus interrupt the lifecycle of the mites.  After installation, check your hive the next day to see if the bees are eating the towel.  This treatment can be used with supers, spring to fall, so that is a bonus.

Richard mentioned the Randy Oliver article in the American Bee Journal, this month.  He is working with the USDA to get registration of oxalic acid and glycerin to use with your supers on to treat varroa mite.  Check it out!

Richard took some questions from the membership.  From those questions, came these answers.

How much honey does a hive produce?  The answer has many variables.  It starts in the fall when buds are set for the next year and is dependent on the weather, how strong your bees are, when you are able to put on your supers and more.  Location is also a factor.

How do you install your supers?  If you have an almost full super of honey, it is best to add another one under the almost full one.  Bees know where there honey is. During the honey flow it is best to back off and check your hives only once a month.

Price of honey?  $48.00 per gallon in this area, but if you go to Portland, the price could be as much as $70.00 per hour.

Where can you get a queen this time of year?  Call Thad Starr at 541-954-7856.

Richard announced there is an app for your phone that you can download to check on the herbicides that farmers are using.

There being no further business to come before the club,  the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Shelley Gowell, Secretary