North-Central Washington

 Beekeepers Association

  • Sunday, January 21, 2018 6:00 PM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)

    NCW Beekeepers Meeting

    January 21,2018


    February 8 Bee chat, Louie’s Café, Leavenworth

    February 25 Business/Education meeting, 5 p.m., firehouse

    March 8 Bee chat, Paradise Restaurant, Wenatchee Ave across from PUD

    March 10, 17, 24 Apprentice class, 9 a.m. – 1 ish, cost for members $35

    A.s.a.p. Bee orders


    Stan and Chris demonstrated and discussed a top-bar hive. These can be easily made from plans found online (Les Crowder recommended) using foam board and gorilla glue. Sticks on top can be grooved and fitted with a small fin to encourage orderly comb build. Bees are started at the end near the entrance, and a following board placed behind them, moving it down the hive as they build out. Brood combs are generally built straight; honey combs less so but can be straightened by hand. The hive needs to be checked often to prevent combs being built into each other. Queens generally do not lay out into the honey combs. This style of hive is convenient to work but needs more hands-on time, produces slightly less honey, and cannot be expanded (as by adding a super on a Langstroth). Harvest is by cutting comb off the top bar, then either preparing cut comb or crushing the comb in a bag and draining honey out. Feeding can be done with a mason jar feeder or a small bucket with pine needles floated on the syrup to provide bees a stand.

    Bee stings are inevitable if you keep bees. Usual stings can be treated with antihistamines and severity will usually decrease with accumulated stings. Difficulty breathing, wheezing, or swelling in the throat may indicate the severe kind of allergy, anaphylaxis, and should be treated immediately in the emergency room as this can be life-threatening.

    Old Business

    Bees will be ordered from Charles Schaefer (3# packages $135, 4# $155, queens $40, from northern California) and Ruben (medium or deep nucs, Italian or carniolan bees, $140, queens $35). Members indicated a general preference for the nucs: local bees with established queens. Bees from Coastal 3# for $150. March 1 is the absolute deadline for orders. Delivery mid-April.

    Treasurer Report Checking $2539.80 Savings $1131.11 Dues not yet all in

    Expected expenses soon: insurance $350, website $500, apprentice books $1100

    New Business

    Vania Winters from the Wenatchee River Institute (Barn Beach) is looking for speakers for several talks in Leavenworth: pollinator garden, hives, bees, and honey.

    Master Gardeners are soliciting our participation in their state meeting in September: 4 days, about 300 participants: booths, sponsorships, tables, etc.

    Elections Jeff Hampton, Daryn, Teri and Kriss were proposed; the slate was approved unanimously.

    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

  • Sunday, December 10, 2017 6:44 PM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)

    NCW Beekeepers Meeting

    December 10, 2017


    January 11 Bee chat, Pizza ‘n’ More (across from Olive Garden), 6 p.m.

    January 21 Business/Education meeting, 5 p.m., firehouse, elections (president, vice-president,

    secretary & treasurer all open), need education topics

    February 8 Bee chat, location TBA

    February 25 Business/Education meeting, 5 p.m., firehouse

    Educational and Business

    Informal discussion of several topics: How to pay dues on website: Go to Members, on yourself check update profile and find further instructions there. Dues are due by 2/25, and if not paid by then, you will be removed from the member list.

    Bee packages are usually 3# (about 10,000 bees) plus a queen. The club procures bees from Charles Schaefer and Ruben. Price is usually about $120. There have been shortages the past year, and members are encouraged to place orders early.

    Bylaws may be amended at the January meeting if members bring suggestions.

    The apprentice course is tentatively scheduled for March 10, 17, and 24 at the Henry building in Cashmere. Sign up on website.

    The mead class in November drew about 30 participants and included instruction, processing, and socializing.

    Steve Foley made suggestions for winter activities. Plan for next year: how many hives and equipment needs. There is a rush buying equipment in the spring; better to plan ahead and order early. Renew bee periodical subscriptions, get and read books. Find a “bee buddy” with whom to share hive work.

    Bees collected at the top of the hive may indicate lack of food. Easiest way to assess honey store in hive is to lift it.

    Do queens lay in the winter? It depends on the weather, strain of bees, and probably other things. Carniolan queens in this climate do not lay in winter.

    New beekeepers are encouraged, in addition to reading, to explore the web. Sites particularly recommended are Randy Oliver, Michael Palmer, and Ross Conrad.

    Al would like suggestions for future educational sessions.

    Treasurer Report Checking $5721.62 (with Western Bee check for bolk order not yet cleared)

    Savings $1130.98

    And there was a raffle. And honey tasting. And treats.

    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

  • Sunday, November 19, 2017 5:00 PM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)

    NCW Beekeepers Meeting

    November 19, 2017


    No bee chat in December

    December 10  Business/Education meeting, 5 p.m.  fire station (Note: this is a date change.)

                Honey tasting: bring some   and   Drawing for goodies

    January 11  Bee chat, location TBA

    January 21  Business/Education meeting, 5 p.m., firehouse, elections


    Informal discussion of several topics: Al noted hive losing considerable weight but with active bees, presumed from relatively warm weather but lack of forage.  Prevention of moisture buildup in hives considered, and good ventilation appears more effective than absorbent.  Glycerin-oxalic acid appears to work well for mite control. (See Randy Oliver’s information online for details.  He is working on getting system certified.)  Towels placed between brood boxes and left for weeks… or until bees destroyed the towels.  Fogging oxalic acid appears effective and efficient for large numbers of hives. Formic acid (“MiteGone”) 65% saturation on a sponge enclosed in cellophone sleeve on the outside surface of outer frames for 2 weeks also produced good results. Al spoke to Manson Grange, found only 10-12 people with limited enthusiasm; this is anticipated with groups other than school kids, who are generally very enthusiastic.

    Al would like suggestions for future educational sessions.

    Treasurer Report   Checking $3078.77   Savings $1130.98

    Old Business

    Bulk order: Wayne reported some discrepancy either in pickups or in delivery from supplier; members were requested to check their orders.  It was noted that frames from Western Bee are not exactly the same dimensions as those from Mann Lake but will fit nonetheless.

    Bees: Charles Schafer will have bees again but price not yet determined. Ruben will have nucs

    for $140, also queens.  Bees from Mike in Sequim must be arranged individually.

    Jeff reported 35 attended the mead class with 20+ kinds of mead were presented.  Short fermentation produces an alcohol content of 3-5%; Jeff keeps some longer to achieve 18%.

    The WVC hive is doing well after queen replacement, and student is returning next year.

    Work continues on the website.  Bee orders and bulk equipment orders will eventually be possible online.

    New Business

    Elections will be held at the January meeting.  All offices are open.  Volunteers are needed.

    Steve will again teach the apprentice course in March.  Texts are being printed – bound copies.

    Dues will remain $20 for individuals, $25 for families.

    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

  • Sunday, October 15, 2017 11:10 AM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)

    NCW Beekeepers Meeting

    October 15, 2017


    November 18 Mead Class See email from Jeff for detailsNovember 19 Business/Education meeting 5 p.m. Douglas County Fire Station

    December No Bee Chat

    December 17 Business/Education meeting, 5 p.m. fire station

    Educational Video – Randy Oliver: Reading the Combs

    Bees need 3 things: a dry home, flowers, and parasite control

    Look for recruitment (brood and new bees) vs. attrition (bees dying); aim to increase recruitment and decrease attrition. Peak number/s relates to nectar flow and availability of pollen. Hive inspection should examine interface between brood and honey store. Young brood pheromone stimulates foraging for pollen. “Wet” brood, with plenty of jelly in cells, indicates good nutrition. Lack of this pheromone, or 8-10 frames filled suggests no more brood space and stimulates formation of queen/swarm cells. Production of white wax indicates need for more honey storage space; add a super. Bees can carry varroa mites 2 miles, so be considerate of neighboring beekeepers and keep mites under control in your hives.  With first frost bees go into survival mode until spring pollen starts.Randy’s website is recommended. Discussion: Shop towel method under review for official approval. Fogging of oxalic acid can be done with water as long as temperature is warm enough to keep oxalic acid dissolved. Alternatively it can be done with part or entirely alcohol, but bees clearly do not like alcohol. Pollen/protein patties (Mann Lake’s recommended) can be used in August and February. Treasurer Report Kriss is on vacation

    Old Business

    Bulk equipment order has gone in and is being assembled for shipping. Wayne will notifybuyers when delivery date is certain.

    Mead class will require minimum of 20 participants to make it practical. See Jeff H.’s email for


    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

  • Sunday, September 17, 2017 3:30 PM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)


    October 5 Bee Chat 6 p.m. Milepost 111

    October 15 Business/Education meeting 5 p.m. Douglas County Fire Station

    November 19 Business/Education meeting 5 p.m. Douglas County Fire Station

    November 18 Mead Class 

    December No Bee Chat

    December 17 Business/Education meeting, 5 p.m. fire station

    Educational Panel

    Kristin reported on Randy Oliver’s presentation in Everett. Bees need a dry space, nectar, pollen, and mite control… only. He’s trying to breed mite-resistant bees. Brood should be swimming in jelly; if dry, they need pollen. He treats for mites with shop towel system in April, July, September and December (in southern California). See Kristin’s email for more detail. See Randy’s website “Scientific Beekeeping” for lots more.

    Stan led a panel of Chris, Craig, Felix and Wayne on preparations for winter. There is wide variety of systems, but general agreement that mite control, adequate food, ventilation sufficient to keep the hive dry, and insulation for hives in exposed locations are required. It was noted that super frames containing some honey and some nectar can be stored in a freezer over the winter, then replaced in the super the following year. Insulation can raise the temperature in the hive during the day enough to cause bees to break up their ball. It was noted that honey is a considerable heat sink. There was suggestion that not insulating over the winter was followed by stronger hives in the spring.

    Treasurer Report Checking account $2755.86 Savings Account $1130.39

    Old Business

    County fair went very well; Kriss got a big hand

    Bulk equipment order will go out next week. Get orders in to Wayne Ranne.

    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

  • Sunday, August 20, 2017 3:28 PM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)


    September 7-10 Chelan County Fair

    September 17 Business/Education meeting

    October 5 Bee Chat

    October 15 Business/Education meeting

    Educational Panel

    Discussion included topic of honey extraction, bottling, storage and sale. Also labeling, and where to have this done. Hive weight and yellowjacket control were also covered.

    Old Business

    Chelan County Fair: All slots are covered. There will be two presentations on Sunday: Keeping Bees, and Extracting. We will be in the old building, Wilkins. The theme this year is “Fun for the Whole Herd.” Our bulletin board will be “Fun for the Whole Hive.”

    Bulk Equipment order will be handled again by Wayne Ranne. Forms will be out soon and you will have a month to plan your order. Deadline will be 10-1- 17.

    New Business

    Jana Howard gave a short talk on having a representative from the beekeepers club talk to the Rock Island City Council to educate them on bees. They destroyed a hive on church grounds instead of having it moved. Their next meeting is August 28 at 6 p.m. Kriss will contact Daryn and Peter to see if they are willing to talk to the council. They will take the Wenatchee Bee Ordinance.

    There are people in the valley who have offered to keep bees for us on their property and small orchards. Kriss forwards names and numbers to club members.

    Many thanks to Kristin Taylor for taking notes in my absence.

    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

  • Sunday, July 16, 2017 9:03 PM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)

    NCW Beekeepers Meeting

    July 16, 2017


    August 10 Bee Chat 6 p.m. El Agave

    August 20 Business/Education meeting 5 p.m. Douglas County Fire Dept.

    September 7-10 Chelan County Fair, a few signups still needed

    Educational Presentation

    Control of Varroa Mites – Al Zalewski

    Expectation that bees will develop resistance to varroa is upset by interbreeding with pollinator and native bees.

    Powdered sugar to encourage removal of mites by grooming is not recommended by WSU.

    Apivar strips must be left in for 45 days to cover brood and mite cycles, cannot be used with super, need temperature 50-90o, resistance develops slowly but miticides should be rotated.

    HopGard II is expensive, very messy, but strips do not have to be removed, and can be used with supers on… although there is some concern about this.

    Several other less effective materials were mentioned briefly.

    Formic acid, commonly used in Canada, is inexpensive and works on capped brood, but can kill queen and brood if used at too high temperature.

    Oxalic acid is probably preferred treatment now. It doesn’t kill in capped brood so must be repeated at 3-5 day intervals x3. Homemade vaporizers can heat too fast/hot and produce formic acid. Al showed several expensive but effective alternatives to vaporizers. A respirator with an acid cartridge is recommended as is a bee suit. Early morning when all bees are in the hive is recommended. The “blue towel method,” with oxalic acid + glycerine on a towel placed between the brood boxes looks promising. The towel can be left in. thus getting both brood and mite cycles, and the bees will eventually destroy it.

    Al strongly recommends treating about August 1, then again in December (brood break) if there is adequate temperature.

    Old Business

    The hive at WV College was re-queened after a slow start and is now doing well.

    Reports Treasury: savings $1130.26, checking $3230.96

    New Business

    Leavenworth Farmers Market: Kristin and Imelka are in charge of our booth. Markets are Thursdays 4-8. We will start July 20 and participate every two weeks. 2-3 volunteers are needed in addition to those wanting to sell honey.

    Wayne is planning another bulk equipment order from Western Bee. More information will be available on the website.

    No bee chat in September – it’s fair time.

    An observation hive is needed for the fair for Friday and Saturday.

    A gift basket for the Douglas County Fire Department was approved.

    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

  • Sunday, June 11, 2017 9:05 PM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)

    NCW Beekeepers Meeting

    June 11, 2017


    July 6 Bee Chat Potluck, WallaWalla Park Shelter #2

    Bring salad or finger food, place setting and drink, maybe a chair

    Club will provide dogs, buns and condiments

    July 16 Business/Education meeting, Douglas County Fire Station, 5 p.m.

    August 20 Business/Education meeting

    September 7-10 Chelan County Fair, email with details and signup request

    Educational Presentation

    Video of Mike Palmer: Building a Sustainable Apiary, part 2

    A progressively more complex and progressively more incomprehensible presentation of a system possibly useful to large-scale operations. Al stopped it before the end; there were no objections from members present.

    Questions for discussion: For a presentation of bees in observation hive to scouts, should a waiver of responsibility be obtained? Yes, and an EpiPen available as well. Where to obtain queens for queenless hive? Multiple sources suggested without details. Are slotted frames useful? Maybe. Honey supers off by August 1? Yes, to avoid having to feed over the winter. If planning to feed, can wait until August 15.

    Old Business

    Jeff has not purchased insurance or posted minutes of survey to website; he’s overwhelmed.

    Our exhibit at the fair will be in the Wilkins building. Mike and Steve O. will do the extraction demonstration; Steve Foley will talk on beginning beekeeping.

    The hive at WVCollege is doing well.

    New Business

    Steve O. reported on his WSU trip. Bees fed mushroom extract appear to be resistant to varroa mites. They need volunteers with at least 8 hives in one place to participate in further study.

    Peter and Daryn reported on a lively event presenting beekeeping to first-graders.

    There appear to be more than usual yellowjackets. A rumor that honeybees attract yellowjackets was denied.

    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

  • Sunday, May 21, 2017 9:06 PM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)

    May 21, 2017

    NCW Beekeeper Association Business Meeting Minutes

    Al opened the meeting with a Michael Palmer video about managing your apiaries to avoid the purchase of bees from costly outside sources with, most often, less desirable and healthy bee populations.  The use of nucleus hives was the key part of his management process. The lecture was being given to the British Columbia Beekeepers. It is a series of 3, which you can find on

    There will not be a June Bee Chat, so if you have questions for anyone, just contact them individually. The regular Ed/Biz meeting will be on June 11th. Please remember that all of our business meetings are now held at the Fire Dept on Eastmont Ave just NW of Flowers to the Brim shop (3rd St.).

    On July 6th, we will be having a social BBQ at Walla Walla Point Park. It will be held in Shelter 2. This space is at the end of the road and off to the right. If anyone has a gas grill they can bring, please contact Kriss so she knows how many have been offered. More details to follow on this event.

    Jeff brought up the subject of the club insurance policy for the second time. Some attendees didn’t feel we needed the insurance, but the fire department that is allowing us to hold our meetings in their room require the insurance. It is also good policy to have at Earth Day, Chelan County Fair and our home apiary tours. A motion was made, seconded and passed. The policy cost is about $300 per year.

    No Treasurer’s report at this time.

    V/R submitted by Janice Ranne and Kristen Taylor

  • Sunday, April 23, 2017 9:09 PM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)

    NCW Beekeepers Meeting

    April 23, 2017


    May 11 Bee Chat, El Agave, 6:00 p.m.

    May 21 Business/Education Meeting, Douglas Co. Fire Dept., 5:00 p.m.

    June 9-10 Basic Beekeeping Course, WSU ($125)

    June 11 Queen Rearing Course, WSU ($175)

    Reports: Treasurer: checking account $3795.27, savings account $1129.97

    Educational Presentation Natalie Boyle, PhD, USDA-ARS Pollinating Insects Research Unit

    Dr. Boyle reported on studies and experiences using both honey bees and blue mason bees in pollinating orchards. Mason bees collect dry pollen on their bellies and collect pollen and nectar simultaneously, so are better at moving pollen around in flowers. These bees overwinter in cocoons with just one generation per year.

    Studies involved 400 female mason bees per acre for almonds, 250 per acre for cherries with 1-2 hives of honey bees. There was better cross-pollination and better fruit set with this combination compared to honey bees alone.

    However, propagation of mason bees is difficult in orchards. They are more pesticide-susceptible, often just leave, and are quite expensive. Propagation has been fairly successful in 5-10 acre cages planted with an appropriate mix of flowers. They use a “cocoon attractant” to increase nesting. Placing mason bee hives on top of honey bee hives provides the needed temperature (80o) to encourage emergence at the desired time.

    Old Business

    Al requested recommendations for local speakers for the bus/ed meetings.

    Stan is mentoring the WVC student starting beekeeping with equipment used by FFA last year.

    Jeff circulated a proposal for insurance for the club. It would require notification and issuance of a certificate for the insurance to cover off-site events, e.g., fair, earth days. No action was taken.

    New Business

    A survey of hive survival over the winter related to management was requested; this will be considered.

    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

NORTH CENTRAL WASHINGTON BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION Is a registered Washington State Non-Proift. UBI 603594512

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