Meeting Minutes May 2022

Willamette Valley Beekeepers Association

Meeting Minutes

May 23, 2022

7:07 President Rich Farrier welcomed everyone to the meeting. He noted that people did not need to be members of the club to attend meetings, but if they wanted to be on the swarm list, or use the extracting equipment or borrow books from the library, then need to pay the $25 annual dues.

Used equipment for sale: Helen Hillman 541-231-8920 has 8-frame equipment. Rodney Stutzman 971-267-0691 is selling out 10-frame equipment and a 20 frame Maxant extractor. Another beekeeper in Salem 503-990-5974 has unnamed equipment for sale.

We were encouraged to subscribe to American Bee Journal and/or Bee Culture. Recent publications include Randy Oliver’s article on his breeding Varroa resistant queens. Another excellent article was on the use of Oxalic acid vapor for the control of Varroa. The conclusion reached is that the quantity of oxalic listed on the label is insufficient for control and that it should be up to 4 grams per brood box instead of 1 gram per box.

We asked Elaine T to update the club brochure listing the new meeting place.

A member is willing to contact Chemeketa Community College to see if they can talk them into letting us meet there again. As it stands right now, CCC will rent for $150/meeting.

Washington State University Extension has a new publication available for beekeepers, “The Asian Giant Hornet – What the Public and Beeekepers Need to Know”. It is a thorough source of information on the AGH lifecycle, the impact on honey bees, what beekeepers need to know, and how to deter them from the apiary.

Swarm season is in full swing. Rich’s phone is ringing off the hook. When receiving a swarm call, ask a lot of questions, since people often are concerned about bumblebees, or hornets and confuse them with honey bees.

Questions:  -Two colonies started at the same time, but one(in the shade) isn’t drawing comb as quickly as the other one. Move to full sun if possible, or put it in 5-frame nuc boxes and make a tower hive. Bees love to draw comb in 5-frame boxes.

-When to treat a swarm for mites? Before the cells are capped with oxalic acid vapor.

-When should a new beekeeper with a new nuc start testing for mites? About a month after installing the colony and then monthly thereafter with the last testing in late September or early October, (depends on if the weather is still warm).

Randy Oliver tested various substances to use for Varroa mite testing. His preferred liquids were 91% alcohol or Dawn Ultra Dishwashing liquid. Use 2 tablespoons /per gallon of water for testing. This is the most economical method.

-A beekeeper received a Saskatraz queen which was performing poorly. Is that common? It was suggested that he received a poor queen not necessarily a reflection on the breed. This was confirmed with other beekeepers who had a range of experiences with Saskatraz queens.

-Rich suggested when ordering queens to have them shipped directly to the UPS or USPS distribution centers and pick them up directly rather than waiting for delivery to one’s home.

Terry Adams has made up new nucs which he is offering for sale.

The 3rd edition of Dewey Caron’s book “Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping” is available for $75. Dewey said they added 2 more chapters and rewrote all the existing chapters. It is 

a good resource that should be on every beekeeper’s bookshelf. 

The speakers for the evening were Anna Ashby and Todd Bartlem on “New Nucs of the North”. Todd urged us to plan for our losses which means keeping a nuc or 2 on hand. He showed us how to create our own nucs. Anna talked about allowing bees to raise their own queens and also had handout on sources of mated queens. More information can be found on Todd’s website. Big Wooly Beek. 

After a raffle, meeting adjourned at 9:05pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Anna Ashby, Secretary


June 12, 2022