WILLAMETTE VALLEY BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION
SEPTEMBER 26, 2022
7:10 President Rich F opened the meeting. First off the bat was the announcement that Debbie had bulk sugar at her place. Contact her if you want/need any.
The Oregon State Beekeepers fall conference is in one month, October 29-30, in Florence, Oregon. It’s an excellent opportunity to hear about current honey bee research and how to apply that research to our open apiaries. Each year the various regional bee clubs make a large donation to the OSU Honey Bee Research Lab. This amount is matched by OSBA and Glory Bee. Anna moved that we donate $1000, it was seconded by Debbie. After discussion the vote was in favor. We raffled 2 tickets to the conference, they went to Nathan and Ruth who are eager to attend.
There was a question “Does Formic acid harm the brood?” It can. It depends on temperature, dosage, and placement of the strip/s. For more research information, see Randy Oliver’s article in the September issue of the American Bee Journal titled, “Formic Pro and Queens in Hot Weather”. It is not posted to his website, Scientific Beekeeping (Our speaker talked about this very issue. See below.)
“Do other beekeepers add Honey Bee Healthy to fall syrup feed?” No, it attracts robbers and it has questionable effectiveness and might be just throwing money away.
Dewey brought a fellow beekeeper guest from Arizona, Tom C.
Break time for great refreshments from Terry.
Our guest speaker was Thad Starr from Starr Farms. His topic, “All Hail the Queen”.
- The lifespan and productiveness of queens is decreasing. This is probably due to chemical contamination in the wax, Varroa mite pressure, less nutritious pollen, and stress from hot/cold/shipping.
- Queen takes 25-28 days from egg to laying.
- A drone takes 24 days to emergence.
- A worker takes 21 days to emergence.
- Do the bee math to see how long it has been since your colony had a laying queen by analyzing the brood or lack there of.
- Thad selects for productive, gentle, overwintering success.
- He evaluates queens for 6 weeks.
- He does not tolerate swarming!
- Evaluates brood pattern and placement, honey stores
- He doesn’t want pollen crowding, proposes production, grumpy bees
- He suggests to not keep queens in swarms. Utilize them to draw comb but replace the queen before she spreads more of her swarming tendencies.
- He is a big proponent of fall re-queening:
- Why-Boosts brood in the fall
- A young queen is less likely to swarm in spring
- A fall queen has better mating conditions
- There is better availability of queens later in the season
- Young queens overwinter better.
- His timeline:
- Honey is off colonies July 4th. This is about a month earlier than most of us.
- Mite treatment, 2 strips of Formic, regardless of temp, strips are put in-between brood boxes. This does kill some queens which also provides a brood break.
- Re-queens in August.
Thad suggested that we try this method as we learn best by doing.
(Anna’s thoughts: By blasting the mites, giving the bees a brood break, and giving the colonies a vigorous young queen the beekeeper is setting up the colonies for a successful wintering with healthy bees. Having a young queen, no swarming, more workers in spring the bees will make more honey so we don’t need to leave supers on the colones as long. This also allows the bees an extra month to store their own honey for winter, reducing the amount of fall syrup that is needed. This, of course, depends on location and just how much forage is available in July and August around each apiary.)
Meeting Adjourned at 9:15.
Anna Ashby, Secretary
September 28, 2022