Willamette Valley Beekeepers Association
General meeting minutes
August 26, 2019
The meeting was called to order at 7:05 by president, Rich Farrier.
The club extractor is available to club members. Currently there is no waiting list.
More sugar is available for pick-up. Call the Sugar Lady, (Debbie Blando), to arrange pick-up time. 503-302-2944.
The Oregon State Fair is currently running. Stop by to check out the booth.
Rich finished reading Tom Seeley’s book, The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild. He said it was fascinating and confirms some of what he, Rich, had already been thinking about the nest cavity. The consequence is that Rich is building a bee box from 4 x 6 lumber. Yes, it is heavy – 48 pounds for an 8-frame deep box! (That alone should discourage thievery!)
Political action request: Mike Rodia, (Oregon State Beekeepers Association’s Agricultural Liaison), requested that WVBA members attend an up-coming Marion County Board of Commissioners, (elected), hearing. The law for Marion County residents who live in residential areas outside of Salem, Silverton, Woodburn and other Marion County cities’ limits, is that beekeeping is completely banned. At a meeting of the Marion County Planning commission (volunteers), surprisingly, there was opposition led by a person who didn’t want bees in their water features. This person allegedly obtained signatures from 20 neighbors who agreed with that sentiment. Consequently, when the matter comes up before the elected officials who will make rules, Mike requested a show of support for beekeeping by attending the hearing as observers or to provide verbal or written support in favor of the changes. The current ban has affected 2 WVBA members, who can no longer keep bees at their homes and with the threat of $1000 fine if they did not comply. Contact Mike Rodia or David Lindquester so they can contact members with meeting time and date. firstname.lastname@example.org or david@prepared4Life.com.
Folding wooden hive inspection stand: Rich piqued the interest of all the woodworkers in the club when he displayed his folding hive inspection stand. The original plans maybe came from Bee Culture Magazine, I couldn’t find them. However, I did find similar plans from a beekeeper in Surrey, England. He calls it his Triple Hive Stand. We will see how many of these pop up among club members now!
The balance of the meeting was a question and answer session.
- Why should I treat for mites in early August? We want mites and thus virus levels low for the nurse bees that will raise the winter or fat bees. When nurse bees are healthy and well fed, they raise healthier winter bees. (Here is a good article by Rusty Burlew from Honey Bee Suite, What are Winter Bees and What do They Do?)
- Mite treatments can cause queens to cease or reduce their egg laying. What kind of brood pattern should we look for this time of year? The brood nest will be smaller because the colony does not need to be huge going into winter, but the pattern of capped brood should still be fairly solid, like a spring pattern.
- When is the latest I can treat for mites? Keep checking mite levels which can explode in fall from robbing and drifting behavior. If numbers are creeping up in September, it’s better to treat than have a dead colony in November.
- When should I remove honey supers in this area? They should come off in early August?
- Why should I feed syrup now? Why should I feed protein patties now? The syrup is to encourage the queen to resume laying after the affront of a mite treatment and during a time of natural nectar dearth. Pollen or pollen-substitute patties are fed to supplement the protein needs of the nurse bees that are feeding those winter bees.
- How do I accomplish an inspection now when robbing is a problem? Carefully plan out your inspection so that it can be accomplished smoothly and quickly. Have a robbing cloth, i.e. old sheet, towel, burlap bag, canvas cloth, etc on hand to use to cover open boxes leaving an opening of only a frame of two. When feeding syrup use in-hive feeders rather than entrance feeders.
- How do I remove bees from honey supers? There are several options: 1. Bee escapes, which are placed below the supers which allow one-way traffic-down. They sort of work. 2. Use fume boards which get most of the bees down. 3. Flick bees off with a bee brush if you don’t have many hives. 4. Use a bee blower, (aka leaf blower), and blow bee out from the bottom. This puts a lot of confused bees in the air, but doesn’t hurt them. This is probably not a good idea if your bees are in a residential area!
- When do you clean up honey supers? Let the bees clean the supers for 24-48 hours after extracting honey by placing the supers on the hives above the inner cover. Frames can be protected from wax moths by freezing them for 24-48 hours then storing in a lighted area. One can also spray the frames with Xentari which is Bacillus thuringiensis, subsp. Aizawai. Please note that this is an off label use.
Meeting adjourned 8:50p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Anna Ashby, WVBA Secretary
August 29, 2019