Willamette Valley Beekeepers Association
February 28, 2022
This month we met in the Broadway Commons at 1300 Broadway NE, Salem. It was a larger room than where we held the January meeting, which is a good thing because 45 people came to the meeting. We will be investigating larger facilities for the March meeting.
President Rich Farrier opened the meeting at 7:04 pm by welcoming all attendees, new and long-timers. He handed out membership forms. Dues are $25/year.
Here’s the rundown on potential meeting sites that are not exorbitantly expensive.
- Broadway Commons owned by the Salem Alliance Church cost is $75/meeting. Use of their lovely AV equipment would cost extra. There is a larger room available on the 2nd floor. Rich will inquire regarding the cost of of renting that room.
- Salem Evangelical Church old sanctuary for cost of $50/meeting. Rich will go see this facility to determine if it would hold 100+ people. (We’re thinking positively!)
- Chemeketa Community College, $100/meeting because we meet after hours, (apparently evening classes don’t count as after hours???) And right now they are limiting group size to 40 people. Potentially that could be lifted with the indoor masking restrictions being lifted.
- The Aumsville Community Center for $25/meeting. However, this is a bit out of the way. Rich is trying to keep our meetings in Salem as it is more centrally located.
Right now the Broadway Commons will be unavailable for the April meeting. We talked briefly about holding the meeting at an apiary. The board will discuss the options and make a decision by the March meeting.
Jeremy Mitchell from Flying Bee Ranch at 5180 Lardon Rd NE, Salem, let us know that he is open Tuesday-Saturday 9-5. They have a good selection of beekeeping equipment. They are a distributor for Mann Lake products. He has a few Nucs left for $180/each. Next year they are planning an educational apiary and will be offering beekeeping classes.
Terry Adams is selling bees in full hives for $225. His Nucs are 10 frames this year for $165.
Anna Ashby also has a few Nucs not yet spoken for, but they are going fast, probably because she doesn’t charge enough —$140.
Purchase local queens from:
4. Shonnard’s Nursery in Corvallis.
Dewey Caron talked about the PNW Honey Bee Loss Survey. He encouraged all beekeepers to participate. He will open the survey in mid-March and it will run through April. He has been collecting data for 12 years documenting colony loss in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. The survey also covers management practices. The results are helpful for other beekeepers to hone their skills in keeping colonies alive throughout the year.
If one is looking for digital resources, check out the wvbahive.org for timely articles.
- Look in 2nd hand stores for glass canning jars to use for storing honey.
- Wait until bees are flying before installing Apivar for spring mite treatment.
- Greenish pollen comes from cedar, juniper, or balsam trees.
- Does anyone know what nectar would be the source of green honey? Jeremy had a customer ask him and he is puzzled. Look at the blog “Honey Bee Suite” for green honey. Rusty Burlew wrote about it in 2017.
- Red honey can come from cranberry nectar or from the bees getting into the syrup at the maraschino cherry packing plant!
- Someone in Dallas area with 50 acres would like to have hives placed placed there. Ask Debbie for details.
- Someone in Sheridan has bees in a shed wall and wants them removed. Ask Debbie for details.
After the break, Rich spoke about how to install Nucs.
- Get equipment ready now.
- Add additional wax to plastic foundations. Bees are happier and draw better combs.
- Place nuc on top of main box if weather is bad.
- Have smoker lit and smoke nuc.
- Transfer the frames into the middle spaces of the main box, keeping frames in the same order. Fill in with frames of foundation on either side to the nuc frames so there are either 8 or 10 frames total in the box. (Depends on whether or not one has 8 or 10 frame equipment.)
- Feed 1:1 sugar syrup until frames are all drawn.
- When transferring frames, check for queen or eggs.
- Inspect only when it is warm enough and bees are flying.
- Use slatted racks.
- For overwintered colonies, clean bottom boards
- Check for eggs.
- Evaluate worker population and brood nest size.
- This time of year there should be 3-4 frames of honey available to bees. If not, feed frames of honey from deadouts, (if they didn’t die from AFB), candy canes, fondant, or candy boards.
- Pay attention in March. If it is super rainy, the bees could easily starve. Keep your eyes peeled!
- Do 1st mite check in March.
Does Rich re-queen every year? No necessarily. He assesses brood patterns and prefers to move less productive queens to Nucs.
Are drone frames helpful. Yes, several folks use drone frames, or med frames in deep boxes which allows the bees to draw comb below the medium frame. They always draw drone comb there. Remove the drone comb once its mostly sealed but before they emerge, otherwise you’re just adding a bunch of mites rather than reducing the number. The mites prefer to use the drone brood because the longer capped period allows more mites to survive.
Sources for polystyrene hives? Anna suggested Better Bee. They have a large selection of both 8 frame and 10 frame equipment in addition to polystyrene nuc boxes.
Meeting adjourned at 8:50.
Anna Ashby, Secretary
March 3, 2023