November 2015

WVBA – November 23, 2015

  1. General
    1. Planning Meeting for 2016
      1. Sunday, December 6th, at 9am
      2. Mona’s House:  6333 Sunnyview Rd. NE
      3. All the dates for future meetings have been settled, but we will be deciding which topics will be covered.
      4. WVBA is still working with Chemeketa about a bigger room.
      5. If anyone knows of a place that has a large enough meeting room for the club, please let an officer know.
    2. If anyone is interested in a subscription to the American Bee Journal, please ask Emily or Rich.
    3. OSU Donation
      1. The club will decide this at the January meeting.  
      2. In the past, the club has donated $500 to the OSU Bee Lab
    4. Master Beekeeper Scholarship
      1. The Master Beekeeper Program (MBP) has asked if WVBA would like to donate money for new people to enroll in the program.
      2. The entry cost is now $150, and the money WVBA donates would go towards this cost.
      3. WVBA could put limitations on who receives the money (under 18, etc.).
      4. MBP is like bee school, but each apprentice is assigned a mentor.  There are three levels: Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master.  The program includes tests, service hours, and education.  Mentors come from various beekeeping associations, including the WVBA.
      5. MBP is sponsored through OSU Extension.
    5. Bennett Apiaries
      1. New Hive Equipment supplier
      2. Contact Info:
        1. Address – 20015 Verner Court, Red Bluff, CA 96080
        2. Phone – (530) 526-5504
        3. Email –
        4. Website –
      3. Prices and Products online at website.
    6. Bee Culture Article:  Vaccine Technology For Bee Diseases Discovered
    7. Bee Culture Article:  Study Finds Glyphosate and Acetamiprid to Have Relatively Low Toxicity for Honey Bees
    8. OSBA Conference
      1. Randy Oliver’s class on Oxalic Acid was amazing
        1. see site for more details, and other articles:
        2. He also has YouTube videos.
      2. Ramesh Sagili’s talk on Apivar also good.
        1. He reports that Apivar is the last mite medication being developed.
        2. After mites become resistant to Apivar, beekeepers are left with essential oils and acids.
      3. Next year, the conference should be at the same place again.
    9. Queen Excluders
      1. It is very BAD if you still have these on!!
      2. As the bee cluster moves upwards for more food, the queen will be left behind and either freeze or starve.
      3. Bees do not move to the edges of the boxes to eat.
    10. Bees are getting into bird seed and chicken feed because they want the powder.
      1. Using it as a pollen substitute, even if you have a proper pollen substitute in your hives already.
    11. Rich suggested a similar idea to Linn-Benton’s Friday in the Apiary, but held at Rich’s place.
      1. Not set in stone yet, although there were quite a few interested.
    12. Sugar Boards
      1. Contact Todd if you want the recipe/instructions for these.
      2. Good for food all winter and spring and absorbs moisture, as well.
      3. If the bees don’t finish all the sugar by spring, reuse for syrup.
  2. Steven Coffman – Summary of Randy Oliver’s talk on Mite Testing
    1. A new alcohol technique for testing hives for varroa mites, published in the American Bee Journal. (
    2. Equipment:  plastic tub, rubbing alcohol, 2 solo cups (1 whole, 1 with about 1” cut off the bottom), square of tulle, ½ cup measuring cup, 1 solo cup lid, strainer
    3. Technique:
      1. Put tulle over the top of the whole cup.  Place the cut cup on top and push down.
      2. Go into your hive and take a sample of bees from the first frame that has plenty.  
        1. First make sure the queen is not on this frame.
        2. Take the frame and knock it into the tub.  
        3. Wait a few seconds to allow field bees to fly away.  Nurse bees will remain, as they do not know where their hive is.
        4. Knock the bees into the corner of the tub.
        5. Pour or scoop into measuring cup.
        6. Pour bees into cups (on top of the tulle).
      3. Pour rubbing alcohol in to the top of the bees.
      4. Put lid on cup and swirl for about 30 seconds.
        1. A tapered cup works best for this, because as mites fall off the bees, they will naturally fall to the place where there is least movement, which with a tapered cup will be the bottom.
      5. After 30 seconds, look at the bottom of the cup for mites first.
      6. Then remove lid (if you try pulling the cups apart without first taking off the lid, it will create a slight vacuum and mix the mites up again.).
      7. Remove upper cup.
      8. Pour remaining alcohol through strainer into different cup/tub.
      9. Look in the strainer and tub for mites.
        1. ½ cup of bees ≈ 310 bees
        2. In this sample size, you don’t want any more than 6 mites.
        3. In August, medicate if any more than 3 mites.
    4. Randy and his two sons can test 1200 hives this way in 3 days (they do have a rotating platform, though, to swirl cups).
    5. Steven tests before and after treatment (to make sure the treatment worked).
    6. The process is on the above URL and Youtube:
  3. Rich:  Natural Beekeeping
    1. Rich has been working, for many years now, on mite-resistant queens.
    2. There is a difference between mite-resistant and mite-tolerant.  Mite-tolerant bees can still get viruses and die from overpopulation of mites.  Mite-resistant bees will not.
    3. Many years ago, Rich quit medicating bees for mites.
    4. His results:
      1. Year 1: 90% loss
      2. Year 2: 80% loss
      3. Year 3: 60% loss
      4. Year 4: 40%
      5. Year 5: 8%
      6. Year 6: 0%
      7. Year 7: 8%
    5. Each year, he chose queens from strong hives with good, healthy brood, and then use these to graft new queens.
    6. These new queens replaced all of the nucs’ queens and all old queens.
    7. If you want hygienic bees (bees that sense mites in cells and remove larvae/pupae to get rid of mites), Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) bees are mite-resistant.
      1. Gentleness is not always a factor that is considered in VSH bees.
    8. Rich’s bees are still mostly nice and the original stock came from C.F. Koehnen and Sons:
  4. Hazardous Chemicals:
    1. Good disposal in Marion County.
  5. Trevor Report:
    1. On November 11th, Trevor had his left knee replaced.
    2. His second knee will be done in late December.
    3. Doing better now, he is getting grumpy, which is a good sign.
    4. Should be up and at ‘em again around State Fair.
  6. Ruhl Bee Update
    1. No more woodshop or local merchandise being sold.
    2. Everything will now come from North Carolina.
  7. Mann Lake
    1. Week after Thanksgiving, 13% off all merchandise.
    2. If you spend $100 or more, you can also get free shipping.