March 2021 Minutes


MARCH 22, 2021

It is warmer, so more beekeepers showed up for the meeting in the horse arena at the Blando’s farm. President Rich Farrier opened the meeting at 7:10.

The latest information from Chemeketa Community College is that their buildings are closed through June 2021. They might be open in July. Rich requested that we be allowed to meet in the college once the buildings are re-opened.

The recent findings from the 2020 National Honey Board Consumer Attitudes and Usage Study showed that the American consumers number one sweetener is honey. This is the first time honey has ranked higher than white granulated sugar. Here is a link to the article in Bee Culture’s Catch the Buzz.

The club will not be doing a bulk Nuc purchase this year. Other options would be to contact Foothills Honey Company in Canby or Flying Bee Ranch in Salem. Terry Adams might have some nucs still, but he needed some warmer weather so he could check on them.

Dewey Caron said the PNW Honey Bee Survey is open and ready for your responses. The data that is collected reveals what other beekeepers are doing that is increasing the likelihood that their colonies survive overwinter. It also reveals what management practices do not increase the likelihood of colonies surviving winter. So far the losses are around 30%. Last year WVBA had a 19% loss rate, but that was only from 16 beekeepers. So we are urging all WVBA members to make the effort to answer the survey.

Rich then talked about the importance of record keeping as a means not only to being able to answer the questions in the winter loss survey but also to improving your beekeeping skills. Keep track of queen quality, honey produced, Varroa levels, and anything else that you the beekeeper deem important. Rich and Debbie both talk into a recorder at each colony and then transcribe their notes when the get into the house. Others keep track of inspections in Rite-in-the-Rain notebooks, others use inspection sheets. Type “Honey Bee Inspection Sheet” into Google or your chosen search engine to find many examples. Rich and Anna both had sample sheets which were passed around.

Anna spoke briefly about using double-screen boards as a way of swarm control, queen raising, and/or running a 2 queen colony for honey production. These boards are also called “Snelgrove” boards. She passed around 3 articles from the American Bee Journal over the past 3 years.

Meeting Adjourned 8:30 pm.

Respectfully submitted, March 27, 2021

Anna Ashby, Secretary