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)
And there was a raffle. And honey tasting. And treats.
Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.
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.
Treasurer Report Checking $3078.77 Savings $1130.98
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.
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.
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 ScientificBeekeeping.com 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
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
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
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
County fair went very well; Kriss got a big hand
Bulk equipment order will go out next week. Get orders in to Wayne Ranne.
September 7-10 Chelan County Fair
September 17 Business/Education meeting
October 5 Bee Chat
October 15 Business/Education meeting
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 Youtube.com.
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
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.
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.
A survey of hive survival over the winter related to management was requested; this will be considered.
March 12, 2017
March 18 & 25 Apprentice Class, Henry Bldg., Cashmere, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
April 13 Bee Chat 6 p.m. Milepost 111 (in Cashmere)
April 15 Chelan Earth Day 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
April 23 Leavenworth Earth Day 12 – 4 p.m.
April 23 Education/Business Meeting 5 p.m. Douglas County Fire Dept. (on Eastmont)
Reports: Treasurer: checking account $3430.47, savings account $1129.43
Panel of Al Zalewski, Emilka Fumanczyk, Jeff O’Brien, Craig Genereux, and Stan Peak
Survey of hives surviving the winter showed approximately 2/3 survived
Temperature criteria for doing hive inspection: Above 50-55o with bees actively flying was considered appropriate for a quick look from the top of the hive, done quickly to avoid chilling brood. Full inspection (pulling frames) should wait until 60o.
Need for feeding: Hives with plenty of honey going into winter and being heavy in spring don’t need feeding. Pollen patty was considered. It was noted that fermented honey can cause dysentery, but honey in capped cells cannot ferment.
Rotating boxes and frames: As the queen will likely be in the upper hive body, boxes should be reversed but the brood ball maintained intact and moved into the center of the box. (Reverse the boxes again in the fall to place the queen in the lower box again.) Keep boxes filled with frames to prevent excessive burr comb, and consider an additional spacer. Dirty comb can fairly easily be scraped from plastic frames.
Varroa treatment: Oxalic acid was agreed to be the most effective and least costly. It has been considered that resistance does not occur, although there is some recent question. Higher (5x) concentrations have proved harmless to bees, but the recommended 2 grams is for a two-box ten-frame hive, and doses should be adjusted down for smaller hives.
Volunteers are needed for both Chelan and Leavenworth Earth Days.
It is possible that bee packages will arrive on Chelan’s Day. A net bag is recommended for
transporting and transferring bees.
Daryn reported that progress toward an installation at the tree research center is slow.
A formal mentorship program was judged unnecessary as there is consultation easily available
at bus/ed meetings and bee chats.
Whether the club could purchase and store bulk equipment for easier availability to members
was considered; no decision was made.
NORTH CENTRAL WASHINGTON BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION Is a registered Washington State Non-Proift. UBI 603594512