May 2015

5/18/2015 – WVBA Meeting Notes

A huge thanks to Cristina Wheeler for taking notes for me, when I could not make it to the meeting!

  1. General Minutes
    1. Rich welcomed everyone, especially new visitors. There were a few new faces, and good attendance.
    2. Rich apologized for not sending a mailing. It was good to see a crowd, especially with the meeting being on a different day due to Memorial Day.
    3. Rich reminded us to fill and sign the Chemeketa forms.
    4. Several people have been going to schools doing presentations with the Ag in the classroom program.
    5. There was an announcement of one 5-frame nuc being for sale for $95.
    6. A Statesman article was passed around about reporting pesticide incidents.
      1. It mentioned to call if 100 dead bees were found.
      2. Rich mentioned it probably meant bumblebees, since in hives finding 1000 dead bees might be nothing.
      3. An address and phone number were included in the article to report, just in case.
    7. Dewey was not present, but Rich said that the data from the Bee informed partnership was finalized.
      1. The data has detailed losses for the club, the State and the national level. Through April the loss was 42%.
      2. The report includes geographical details.
      3. Our own group had a separate survey.  42% is not a sustainable loss.
    8. How are everyone’s bees doing?
    9. Re-swarming – a member has a hive that has swarmed 3 times. Rich mentioned it could be genetics.
      1. The first swarm could be because of being crowded. Additional swarms for no good reason could be due to genetics.
      2. One should re-queen before the fall.
      3. After determining the condition of the hive – queen or no queen – combine the hive.
      4. If the parent colony swarms too much, and gets so weak, it will not survive the winter.
    10. There was a story of a nuc from a swarm that had 2 queens.
    11. How do we combine hives –
      1. Shook swarm: shake bees in front of the hive, they will walk in. This can be done with weak colonies, shake them in front of a stronger hive to combine. This method is good this time of the year.
      2. Putting newspaper in between the boxes can be done later in the year.
    12. If American Foulbrood is present, burn the frames and scorch the boxes.
      1. Remember, if AFB is found, it will be in the tools, gloves, etc.
    13. After-swarms get smaller. But sometimes it’s a mating flight that may look like an after swarm.
    14. A member’s colony got weak due to laying worker or drone-laying queen. They should kill the queen and add a new one. One can take the bees to the other end of the lot and shake all the bees out. Bring the box back, put caged queen in. The bees will come back and accept the queen. Or add a nuc, and kill the old queen.
    15. Nucs fix everything :), it’s good to have some around.
    16. To over-winter nucs, assemble them by July 15th. To make a nuc, steal 2 frames of brood and a queen.
    17. Queens from California are $25 plus $30 shipping.
  2. July Picnic
    1. The picnic will be on July 26th (the 4th Sunday).
    2. Last year it was held at OSU bee lab. It went well, but there are other options.
    3. Rich asked if a location further north would be preferred? Silver falls? People spoke up for Silver Falls. A show of hands showed Silver Falls vs. OSU being about tied up.
    4. Silver Falls would need reservations and $5/car fee. OSU includes touring the lab. After those details, another vote was done, still showing almost a tie 18-15.
    5. Reservations will be checked and the topic revisited.
  3. Round Table
    1. After the break, we broke up into roundtable groups. Some topics that were discussed were: how are bees doing, bees building wax oddly in frames, supers, mites – testing and treating.