WILLAMETTE VALLEY BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION
JULY 25, 2022
7:05 President Rich Farrier opened the meeting. Anna had been busy coercing members to take the mite washing kits that we had assembled the previous meeting. So Rich asked Anna to come explain how to use the kits. Here is a YouTube video from the Honey Bee Health Coalition, “How to Sample for Varroa Mites: Two Methods”, which explains the same concepts very well.
The main swarm season is over, bees are winding down heading for winter. We are in our mid/late summer nectar/pollen dearth because we’ve had no rain.
Oregon State Fair is Aug 26-Labor Day. Bonnie King is looking for volunteers to sign up to help in the booth. This year, the Fair is closing the buildings at 8:00 pm so the booth only needs 2 shifts of people per day. The sign-up page is on the ORSBA website or here.
Dewey Caron’s latest edition of his book, “Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping” is finally here. See Dewey to purchase and receive a signed copy.
There was some talk about an OPB program called “Charlie’s Bee Farm”. Look for it in the OPB archives.
- Questions: What to do about cranky bees? Use plenty of smoke, re-queen, verify that they aren’t being pestered by skunks, and/or feed them.
- Debbie had someone call her looking for a beekeeping forklift. See Debbie if you have one you want to unload.
- Is Tansy ragwort honey poisonous? A quick internet search revealed that, yes indeed tansy honey causes the same ill effects to humans as consuming the plant itself. (Though why anybody would eat tansy is beyond me!)
- Who analyzes honey for pollen? Texas A & M has closed down their program because the professor died. We are still looking for a replacement service.
- Bees bearding? They’re fine, probably hot.
- Bees washboarding? Researchers are just as puzzled as us as to why bees do it. There is no underlying problem when bees perform this activity.
- Washington State University has several honey bee research programs going, one of which is finding a fungal additive which would repel/kill Varroa mites.
- Should we test every colony for Varroa mites? Yes.
- Can I work bees in hot weather? Yes, drink plenty of water, let someone know that you’re going into the bees and to keep checking on you, be wary of heat exhaustion, carry your cell phone, be careful with smoker so that you don’t start a fire!
The club extractor is available for club members to sign out and use.
After our refreshment break, we had one of our favorite speakers, Todd Bartlem! His presentation, “August 1 is Honey Bee New Year and it’s Time to Treat and Feed”, is well worth hearing. He stated that “it’s time for resolutions. Your resolutions should be to care for your livestock so as to successfully overwinter your colonies.” His seven critical steps are listed below:
- Number of mites is key to hive health.
- Expect to treat for mites in late July/early August.
- Watch out for robbing.
- Y (h)uge feedings of pollen sub patties builds strong hives – make ‘em sloppy!
- Egging on the Queen, (feed syrup).
- Add honey stores to light hives by feeding heavy syrup.
- Repeat Varroa treatments in September or October.
The link to Todd’s documents is here.
Meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.
Anna Ashby, Secretary
August 11, 2022