WILLAMETTE VALLEY BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION
August 28, 2023 Meeting Minutes
7:12 Meeting opened by President Rich Farrier. The extractor has been busy, sometimes in and out on the same day. The use of the extractor is for paid members of the club.
Yellowjackets have been the cause of many a swarm call. The suggestion is if the YJ are particularly bad or needed removing, to use commercial traps or a homemade poison of canned tuna or chicken laced with flea medication for dogs with the active ingredient of “Fipronil”. While, very effective, this is not an approved method of controlling YJ as it will kill your bees, and potentially any pets and children who eat it. Use at your own risk and take precautions to keep out of reach of non-targeted species.
The Oregon State Beekeepers Association fall conference is coming up in October 27-29 at the Riverhouse Convention Center in Bend. The speakers will have more focus on backyard beekeepers. It is sure to be an excellent opportunity to increase knowledge and beekeeping skills. There will be low number bee pollinator license plates auctioned off. The money raised goes to the OSU Bee lab and the pollinator protection lab.
Now is the time to be concerned with robbing behavior in your apiary. The robbers can be either other honey bees or Yellowjackets. Install robbing screens and entrance reducers to make it easier for a colony to protect its assets. If a colony is being robbed, cover it with a dampened sheet. If the robbing behavior continues, move the beleaguered colony to another location.
Bee Culture magazine,September issue, had an article about a phenology chart for the prairie states. Interesting to note, but not accurate for this area. But what we could do is keep note year by year of the bloom sequence in our area and make our own chart.
Randy Oliver in the American Bee Journal, September issue, article, uses one colony to do all the honey cleanup as it is illegal to have open honey in Calif. because of the concern of spreading American Foulbrood.
Also in the ABJ September issue was an article about doing cut-outs. Oregon law is that one needs to have a CCB license to re-assemble a cut-out. All we can do is the cut-out and removal of bees part of the process. The homeowner is responsible for the restoration.
Rich handed around a printout from Randy Oliver’s website, Scientific Beekeeping, on how to do Oxalic Acid Extended Release method of controlling Varroa mites during months when honey supers are in place. The EPA has been very firm in the statement that they WILL NOT approve this method of application of OA. Since this very effective method is off-label, use it quietly, do not boast about it on social media.
More from the September issue of the ABJ an article of Randy Oliver’s glimmer of success in breeding mite resistant queens.
We had instructions on how to use a refractometer to test the moisture level of various honeys. We also had various honeys to taste and compare.
We then broke into small groups to discuss questions. This was beneficial for everyone.
Raffle time then meeting adjourned at 9:01.
September 17, 2023
Anna Ashby, for Elaine Timm, Secretary