Willamette Valley Beekeepers Association

Meeting Minutes

November 25, 2019

The meeting was opened at 7:05 by President Richard Farrier. He reminded us for the umpteenth time that the reason that we needed to fill out and sign the registration form each meeting, is that the club has use of the room for free. Do not include your social security number on the form even though there is a place for it.

News item #1: Bee School 2020 is scheduled February 13, 18, 20, and 24 from 7 to 9 pm. This is a fast paced overview course. The cost is $45 which includes the book, “The Beekeeper’s Handbook” by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile and also includes membership to the Willamette Valley Beekeepers Association for the year. Class members are strongly encouraged to attend club meetings to get the most out of their beekeeping school and to have additional questions answered as the year progresses and their beekeeping adventure takes new twists and turns.

There was discussion on how to encourage youth to attend bee school. Our policy is that those under age 18 may attend free of charge. Nathan will spearhead contacting the local 4-H extension. Mona will contact the Master Gardeners of Marion County. Rich will send letters to the local FFA leaders to let them know about the opportunity.

It was brought up that the website has inaccurate information as to where the meeting is held each month making it seem like the WVBA is a secret club. Rich will take care of that discrepancy.

We then had a roundtable discussion on wax processing. Rich has a small wax melting pot which looks like a Crockpot, with an external thermostat and a spigot on the lower edge from which to drain the melted wax. It is made by Presto. He sets the melting temperature to about 160 degrees F.

Others gather their dedicated wax processing equipment from Goodwill. It seems that adding water to the pan, adding the wax, slowing melting, then pouring through a nylon paint strainer bag from the hardware store was a popular method. It takes about 3 times of melting to remove the debris and slum gum from the wax. Others use solar wax melters with great success. All in all wax is a valuable product. Just look at prices on Amazon or GloryBee.

Dan mentioned that he had a pesticide kill of about half of a colony of bees. The colony was able to pull through with some loving care on Dan’s part. Here’s a link to the Oregon Department of Agriculture website which has information on what to do if you have a suspected pesticide kill of your honey bees.

The next topic of discussion was on infrared gun sensors and their uses in the apiary. One can see where the winter cluster is located to determine whether an emergency sugar feeding is necessary. If the bees are clustered at the top of their boxes then they probably are low on food. It can be used to determine the location of the nest when doing a wall cutout. They can even be used when one is making lemon curd for lemon cheesecake which Rich was encouraged to bring to the January meeting! The infrared sensors have dropped dramatically in price so think about putting one on your Christmas wish list.

We followed this discussion with a short presentation from Pamela Brown a Wellness Advocate with “Living doTerra naturally”. She has therapeutic grade essential oils for sale. There is some thought that peppermint and or lemongrass essential oils are beneficial for honey bee colonies. Her email is behealthytilhecomes@gmail.com for more information.

The raffle followed this presentation.

Meeting dismissed at 8:30.

Respectfully submitted

November 26, 2019

Anna Ashby, Secretary

Willamette Valley Beekeepers Association