March 2016

WVBA Meeting March 28, 2016


  1. General:
    1. Dues
      1. If you have not yet paid annual dues, please get a form from Laura at the next meeting.
    2. Mailchimp
      1. Email notifications are now up and running!
      2. If, when you paid your dues, you included your email, you should now get email notifications before meetings.  If you are not getting them please check your spam.  If you still don’t get them, talk to Rich.
    3. American Bee Journal
      1. If you would like to subscribe to the American Bee Journal, you can do so through WVBA and get a reduced rate.  Please see Emily or Rich for a form.
    4. Thank you to Fred for helping out at the Linn County Pollinator’s Conference!
    5. New Location:
      1. A new location is still in progress.
      2. Rich has more leads and will be making more phone calls.
      3. If you have any suggestions, please let Rich know.
    6. Article:  Catch the Buzz: Honey Bees Exposed to a Multitude of Pesticides
    7. Oxalic Acid:  dribble, sublimate, or vapor
      1. The dribble is most popular but kills brood, so dribble is not the best method.
      2. The vapor method is best, with a lower mortality rate.
      3. You MUST have a respirator with organic acid canisters in it.
      4. You can buy a vaporizer from most equipment companies.
      5. Treatment is suggested 1x per week for 3 weeks.  The vapor does not kill the varroa in the cells, which is why you do the treatment for three weeks.
      6. It is good to do treatment immediately on swarms, nucs, splits, etc.
    8. Feeding in Spring
      1. Do not feed your hives too much in the spring because by the time the honey flow comes around, your bees will already be ready to swarm.
      2. However, while you don’t want to feed them too much, you also don’t want to let them starve.
      3. If you need to feed, use liquid syrup.
    9. Swarm Season will be EARLY this year!
      1. Prevention:  Shook Swarm
        1. If you have a hive swarming, dump all of the bees onto the ground in front of the hive.  The bees will think they have swarmed and go back in the hive. You must add supers.
  2. Bee Day:
    1. Saturday, April 16th at Coffman Farms, 9am-Noon
    2. Address:  2775 Ballard Rd, Dallas, OR
    3. Directions:


  1. Dewey Caron:  Do You Have a Plan?
    1. Have you looked at your hives yet?
      1. It is time to do it, if you haven’t yet!
      2. The cluster should be in the top box with 4-5 frames of brood.
      3. Did Varroa kill your hive?
        1. Was your colony big and healthy in the fall?
        2. Is there honey left in your supers?
        3. Is there spotty brood left below the cluster?
        4. Is the cluster small?
        5. Are there white crystals in the brood section?
          1. The white crystals are mite poop.
        6. If you said yes to all of these, the answer is likely yes, varroa did kill your hive.
      4. Other common causes of winter death in northern climates:
    2. Bee Loss Survey:
      1. 2015 Survey Results:
      2. Fill out the survey!!
        2. It is only open March and April.
    3. March:  Assess losses and food stores
      1. Stimulate colonies
        1. Feed with caution (except new nucs or packages).
        2. Spring:  liquid sugar water, 1:1 ratio
        3. Once you begin feeding, bees will tell you when to stop when they stop taking the sugar water.  If they need the sugar they will eat it.  If they don’t need it, they won’t eat it.
      2. Assessing
        1. Hive hefting – lift the back of hive to assess weight and amount of food.
      3. Emergency Feed
        1. Use fondant sugar, sugar cake
      4. March Goal:
    4. April:  Start New Colonies, Draw Foundation, Keep Colonies Expanding!
      1. Start Colonies:
        1. Packages
        2. nucs
        3. Capture a Swarm
        4. Split strong colonies (For splits:  one frame capped brood, one frame with some capped and some uncapped brood, one frame of honey)
      2. Keep ALL colonies expanding
        1. More brood = more bees = more surplus honey
        2. Reverse brood boxes – now bees can continue expanding upwards.  Be careful NOT to split brood nest and cluster!
        3. Open brood area by adding a couple empty frames (with drawn comb) in the center
      3. Swarm Control
        1. First, remove ALL queen cells
        2. Then, remove queen, or
        3. Remove brood for nucs, or
        4. Separate the brood