September 2014

9/22/14 WVBA Meeting Minutes

I.  General Minutes

  1. Richard welcomed many new beekeepers.
  2. The Oregon State Beekeepers Association annual meeting will be at the Seaside Convention Center on November 6-8. Go to to register.
    1. Thursday 6th, evening social
    2. Friday 7th, program
    3. Saturday 8th, dual program
  3.  Bee school will be February 12, 17, 19 and 23 will be the WVBA club meeting. The school will be from 7-9 pm.  The cost is $30 without a book, and $40 with a book.
  4. April 11 is Bee Day from 9-1.
  5. Oregon Master Beekeepers:
    1. 16 hours of instruction
    2. Includes Bee Day
    3. All on Saturdays
    4. Similar to Bee school but with a different book and it is still recommended to do both.
    5. OMB is a partnership between OSBA and OSU extension.
    6. Through OSBA you are assigned a mentor and it costs $100.
  6.   This month’s volunteers that have put in quite a lot are Trevor Riches and Todd Bartlem. Thank you!!
  7. The President of the OSBA came and gave away one free admission to the OSBA annual meeting. The winner is Wendi Watson, and Melissa McLaughlin is the second in line.

II.  Bee Updates

  1. A lot of ‘welfare’ bees
  2. Sucking down loads of sugar! Costco is selling 50lb bags of sugar for $21, and 25lb bags for $10.59.  Sometimes the Salem Costco has the 50lb bags, but not always.
  3. Next year is predicted to be bad, even worse than this year.
  4. Mahonia Hall Bees doing well. There are two hives there now.  A mite test was done, and one hive had 0 mites, and the other had 7.
  5. Ultra Bee and Frame Deals
    1. Todd Bartlem is going to buy Ultra Bee (the big brother to Bee Pro) in bulk and is selling it 3lbs for $5.00.
    2. Also buying frames bulk and selling the deep frames for $1.50 and the medium frames for $1.68.
    3. Let him know if you are interested as soon as possible. He will purchase in November and they will be ready for pick up in January.
    4. The frames will be unassembled.

III.  Feeding and Treating – Dewey Caron

  1. Ruhl Bee Supply sells honey source charts.
  2. Successful Fall Colony
    1. Strong, populous colonies, but not too strong
    2. Young, vigorous queens of survivor or hygienic stock. Requeen in August
    3. Healthy brood and adults
    4. Enough honey stores and bee bread – pollen converted to bread
    5. Adult bees, brood and food are very important.
  3.  Feeding
    1. Bees know best and they do not need our help, except that wild colony survival is 1 in 5.
    2. Carbohydrates and Sugar
      1. In hive feeder
      2. Top of hive feeders (jars)
      3. Entrance feeder
      4. Feedlot feeding – free for all with a big tub of sugar syrup outside
      5. Squirt honey into filled out frames
      6. Leave an extra box on top
      7. Honey bees do not always recognize and use the honey you put out for them though.
      8. You can let them know through feeding supplements – smelly for bees and attracts them. Honey B Healthy is a good one.
      9. For warré hives or top bar hives: trash cans work really well.  You can tape it to the outside of the hive, or put it directly inside.
    3. Protein
      1. In hive patties
      2. Externally
      3. Randy Oliver has a website, which is a yearlong study on feeding pollen versus protein.
      4. If you include protein in their fall diet, they do not lose as much weight during the winter.
      5. It is especially good to feed protein when the days start getting longer again.
    4. Feeding After November
      1. Candy board or hard candy
      2. Dry sugar – drivert sugar is good for this.
      3. Do not feed liquid syrup after rainy season starts.
  4.  Other Hardships
    1. Other than starving, bees will die from the ups and downs in temperature and the gathering of moisture in the hive.
    2. To help, place your inner cover on, and then put wood shavings, old socks, etc. and then put lid on with tiny spaces under.
  5.  Treating
    1. Sample first, then check, then make a decision.
    2. Can test with a sticky board for 24-72 hours with less than 1 mite per hour.
    3. Bee Shake – 300 bees with powdered sugar then put them in the sun. Shake out the sugar and the mites will drop out.  Step-by-step instructions online on the WVBA website.  There should be less than 2%-3% and no more than 5%.
    4. Other Signs
      1. If you find spotty brood/snot brood = BAD news!
        1. Feed a lot of good food and medicate with teramycin (an antibiotic).
      2. If you see mites in empty cells or traces of mite waste = BAD news!
        1. Need to medicate for mites.
      3. If you see uncapped larvae, bees will uncap cells to get rid of mites but they sacrifice the larvae = BAD news!
        1. Need to medicate for mites.
    5.  Treatment Control Options
      1. Treat (varroa mites):
        1. Hard chemicals – apivar, 2 strips in the brood area. 9% effective.
        2. Soft Chemicals or Organic – api-guard, formic acid, hopguard 2. 75-80% effective.
        3.  Cultural/Mechanical
          1. Screened bottom board, good site, ventilation, drone trap, brood interruption.
          2. This should ALWAYS be done.
        4.  Don’t Treat
      2. Three different levels of treatment:
        1. Passive – screened bottom boards, apiary site, hygienic stock, natural comb
        2. Minimal – miticide apivar
        3. Aggressive – Spring: essential oils, formic acid drone removal; Summer:  requeen, apivar miticide; Late Fall:  medicate adults when there is no brood
    6. Feeding Antibiotics
      1. Prophylactic: pre-medicating – works on Nosema and European Foulbrood
      2. Treatment: threat when disease is contracted – works on American Foulbrood, European Foulbrood, and Nosema
      3. Virus: varroa transmits more than ½ of bee viruses
        1. Tylan – for AFB
        2. Fumagilin – in the fall for Nosema
  6.  Dying
    1. Starving – run out of food
    2. Freezing – too few bees to warm enough space
    3. Lack of ability to remove waste
    4. Queen problems (a HUGE issue!)
    5. Bee PMS – cumulative effects of mites and/or disease
    6. Poor luck – sometimes they just die.

IV.   Questions

  1. What is TOO strong?
    1. The problem with too strong bees is that the bees use up stores just feeding all the bees before winter really starts.
  2. When you feed sugar syrup, do the bees eat it, or do they store it?
    1. Both!
  3. Do you have problems with skunks and other creatures?
    1. Skunks, yes. Skunks will usually eat from only one hive every night and the same hive multiple nights in a row.
    2. To prevent skunks eating your bees, you can take a board and fill it with staples/nails sticking out a little
    3. Mice guards are good to prevent skunks too.