October 2014

10/27/14 WVBA Meeting

  1. General Minutes
    1. There were a few new beekeepers welcomed by the group.
    2. Next month there will be a panel Q & A on what you can do with the products from the hive. If you are interested in being on that panel, or have questions now for it, contact Bunny Cramer-Carter.
    3. Small helicopter type drone with camera video: http://youtu.be/Sn-fQndtC2c
      1. If this website does not work, Google ‘Bee Story 2’. It should come up then.
      2. There were originally 400 colonies at this bee yard, but now they are down to 89 hives. 30% more loss is expected this winter.
    4. Randy Oliver’s website, scientificbeekeeping.com, is synergizing chemicals in hives with fungicides that are creating deaths in hives.
    5. Frame Purchasing with Todd Bartlem:
      1. Mann Lake Sale is after Thanksgiving, so the deadline to order with Todd is next month’s meeting.
      2. You can save 30% when ordering bulk deep frames.
      3. You can save 35% when ordering bulk honey super frames.
      4. It will be $1.75 per deep frames, $1.56 per honey super frame.
      5. Todd has order forms. You can bring him a check next meeting.  If he doesn’t get enough orders, he will refund your money.
      6. The frames are unassembled.
    6.  Fred VanNatta reported on the most recent legislative session.
      1. Oregon’s Legislature has created a Pollinator Task Force. So far, they have had 8 meetings with beekeepers and pesticide people.
      2. Beekeepers will have to register hives and pay a hive fee. Either $10 per year, or $0.50 per hive.
      3. The money will be used for pesticide research and usage training. This will help the beekeepers and bees.
      4. This decision will still have to go through the state Legislature in January.
      5. It will be discussed more at the Seaside Conference.
      6. If you have more questions, contact Dr. Sagili at OSU, rsagili@yahoo.com, or George Hanson. Both were on the Task Force.
  2.  Lynn Royce – Tree Hives (an abbreviated version of the state convention talk, and without pictures)
    1. Royce has studied tracheal mite and kept bees for 28 years.
    2. Good Books:
      1. 50 Years Among the Bees by Dr. C.C. Miller
      2. Wisdom of the Hive by Dr. Thomas Seeley
      3. Honeybee Democracy by Dr. Thomas Seeley
    3.  In the 1850’s the first boxes with movable frames were used.
    4. Royce has decided to go back and look at how the bees lived in the tree hollows.
    5. Langstroth hives have changed some very key things.
      1. Height: Tree hives on the East Coast average a height off the ground of 29 feet.  Modern boxes are not 29 feet off the ground.
      2. Size and Position: Entrances have shrunk on bee boxes from what they would have been in a tree, and are much lower to the ground.
        1. One hive that Dr. Royce has seen had an entrance of 2 inches wide by 6-12 inches long.
        2. The size in a tree of the whole hive is only about 5 gallons. A Langstroth hive is much larger.  We could be pushing bees to a higher level of production and stressing them more with more space to heat and maintain.
        3. If you raise the hives off the ground more, the wasp problem might decrease. The wasps that harm the honeybees are most often ground dwellers.
      3. Community: Dr. Royce found a cavity below the tree hive, in the tree, that was full of debris.
        1. This debris included: squirrel poop, wings – most likely termite wings, moth larvae, fly larvae, a wasp nest, and of course microbes.
        2. Most likely, the squirrel, termites and wasps lived in the tree at the same time as the tree hive. The wasps especially, as a few days after removing the nest from the tree wasp drones began to emerge.
        3. The moths could have been wax moth.
        4. Bees in nature do not live in a sterile environment.
      4. Insulation and Climate Control: In a tree, the walls around the hive will be much thicker.
        1. On the tree that Dr. Royce looked at, the back wall was about 8” thick, and the front wall (with the entrance) was about 2”.
        2. This could change the humidity and climate within the hives.
      5.  Density:
        1. Now we have many colonies close together in the same apiary.
        2. In the forests, there is one hive here and there, but not very concentrated.
        3. Beekeepers also move their hives for pollination which does not happen in nature.
      6.  Other:
        1. Tree hives use old comb as well as new comb.
        2. They would rather move into a so-so place with existing comb rather than move into a perfect place with no existing comb.
        3. It takes 3-10 units of carbohydrates to make 1 unit of wax.
    6. Royce is starting a nonprofit to study bee trees.
      1. She is seeking to know if putting bees back in tress would help reduce die-off levels, and are mites better controlled in hive trees.
      2. Work in Canada has been done on a super-mite that eats other mites, but supposedly does not hurt the bees or the brood.
      3. Natural swarming and lack of humidity fluctuation may also help monitor mites and other pests.