North-Central Washington

 Beekeepers Association

  • 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

  • Monday, March 13, 2017 9:07 PM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)

    NCW Beekeepers Meeting

    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

    Educational Presentation

    Panel of Al Zalewski, Emilka Fumanczyk, Jeff O’Brien, Craig Genereux, and Stan Peak

    1. Survey of hives surviving the winter showed approximately 2/3 survived

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    Old Business

    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.

    New Business

    Whether the club could purchase and store bulk equipment for easier availability to members

    was considered; no decision was made.

    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

  • Monday, February 13, 2017 8:15 PM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)

    NCW Beekeepers Meeting

    Feb 12, 2017


    March 2 Bee Chat, El Agave, 6 p.m.

    March 12 Bus/Ed Mtg., PUD Auditorium (last time!), 5 p.m..

    March 11, 18 & 25 Apprentice Class, Henry Bldg., Cashmere, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

    Reports: Treasurer: checking account $2548.70, savings account $1129.43

    Educational Presentation

    Mike Radford from Northwest Bee Supply spoke on control of varroa mites. All hives in the Northwest have mites. Oxalic acid is the only control measure to which mites do not become resistant. Vaporization is preferred over other applications (which may harm bees). Basic treatment is 3 treatments 7 days apart, but treatment can be repeated as needed. Supers can be removed before treatment, or a sheet placed between hive body and super, but oxalic acid occurs naturally in plants so a small increase of it in honey may not be important. Treatment in late fall may be most efficient to get mites during brood break. It is possible to treat during the winter, but the temperature must be above 40o, preferably above 50o.

    Old Business

    Apprentice class fee was discussed. It was agreed that participants must be members of NCWBA and must pay the $30 fee. The “textbook” is available online free. If there is space available, exceptions to the membership requirement may be made for special individuals interested in the class but not planning on keeping bees.

    New Business

    Ordering bee packages was discussed. Deadline for ordering is March 19, but ordering early is recommended to assure that enough bees are available. It was agreed to add Mike’s 4# packages to the club order along with the 3# packages from Charles. Mike’s price will be $125 and includes guaranteed of live queen for 3-4 days. Bus/Ed meetings starting in April will be at the Douglas County fire station at 377 Eastmont. Members are requested to park in the upper part of the lot and to be sure not to block exit of engines. Mentoring for new beekeepers, planned for the hour preceding regular meetings, may have to be adjusted somewhat to accommodate fireman training.

    March educational presentation will be a panel of Al, Craig, Emelika and Jeff O’B. on spring preparation.

    WSU has not yet scheduled their summer course. Last year it was on Fathers’ Day weekend.

    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

  • Sunday, January 15, 2017 9:00 PM | Jeff Hampton (Administrator)

    NCW Beekeepers Meeting

    January 15, 2017


    Feb. 9  Bee Chat,  Bob’s Burgers & Brew, 6 p.m.

    Feb.12  Bus/Ed Mtg., PUD Auditorium, 5 p.m.

    March 2  Bee Chat, El Agave, 6 p.m.

    March 12  Bus/Ed Mtg., PUD Auditorium  (last time!), 5 p.m..

    March  Apprentice Class, Saturday mornings, specific dates, time and location TBA

    Reports: Treasurer: checking account $1645.77, savings account  $1129.06

        About $150 in anticipated expenses

    Old Business

    Bulk equipment order completed with about $2300 of equipment procured

    New website was judged useful and it was MSC to contract for 12 months at $40 per month.      Dues for 2017 can be paid online, due March 1, and any not paid by that time will be     locked out.

    Ordering new bees was discussed.  Rubin will have 5-frame nucs for delivery about April 15-16

        for $130. Mesh bags for transferring bees were recommended.  Charlie will have

        packages as previously.  Laurie Miller’s queens ($40) were recommended, but picking up

        directly (west side) is advised as USPS has been problematic.

    Annual Meeting Business

    Bylaws amendments were considered.  MSC to change Article VII section 4 to read:

    If NCWBA ceases to exist, funds and assets of record shall be disbursed to one or several non-profit organizations with the objective and intent that these funds and assets be used for the benefit of beekeeping or pollinator research, education, or outreach.  The destination of funds shall be decided by majority vote of the officers of the club prior to disbandment of the organization.  MSC to change Article X to read: The bylaws may be altered, amended, added to or repealed by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any meeting, provided the text of the changes has been made available to and announced to members at least 60 days before the vote.

    Steve presented a budged proposal for 2017; it is made part of these minutes.

    Audit/review committee suggested a spreadsheet for following the club’s finances.

    The proposed slate of officers for 2017 includes Jeff  Hampton, president; Daryn Klinginmith,

        vice-president; Kriss Crilly, treasurer; and Alice Crawford, secretary.  MSC to approve.

    New Business

    FFA wants to re-start their program.  Stan agreed to mentor.

    Insurance for club officers was suggested.  Al and Mike will find information.

    Educational Program  

    There was a brief discussion of winter hive care.  Check top entrances as bottom ones may be snowed in.  Scrape snow off the “front porch.”  Check to assure adequate ventilation.  And a quick peek inside when the temperature is >40 to assure adequate food.

    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

    Budget proposal available upon request.

  • Sunday, December 11, 2016 9:03 AM | NCWBA Board (Administrator)

    NCWBA Business & Education Meeting Minutes for Dec. 11, 201, PUD Bldg, 5 pm


    Business &Education Meetings all at the Chelan County PUD auditorium:

    • January 15, 2017, 5pm
    • February 12, 2017, 5pm
    • March 12, 2017, 5pm

    Bee Chats:

    • January 5, 2017, 6pm, Milepost 111, Cashmere
    • February 9, 2017, 6pm, Bob’s Burger & Brew, East Wenatchee
    • March 2, 6pm, El Agave, Wenatchee, unless another location is recommended.

    Apprentice Beekeeping Classes:  March 11, 18, 25; time and location to be announced.

    Treasurer’s Report:  Checking: $1,921.49; Savings: $1,129.06


    Al Zalewski reported on the various research and development topics from the October, 2016, Canadian beekeeping conference in British Columbia, Canada.

    Old Business:

    Steve Foley, club president reported:

    1. The January 15, 2017 business and education meeting will focus on the annual election of new NCWBA officers and voting on proposed changes in the club bylaws. The proposed changes will be posted in advance of the meeting;
    2. He is preparing a budget for presentation at the January meeting
    3. The audit committee is currently led by Daryn Klinginsmith, VP
    4. The Washington Master Beekeepers Assoc. is the agency which provides the focus and educational aspects of Washington State beekeeping.

    Bulk equipment order: 

    Wayne Ranne reported that he is waiting for a couple of people to get their money for equipment to the treasurer, Kriss Crilly, so the order can be released for shipping.  Approximately $2000 of equipment is on order.

    Community Outreach per Kriss:

    1. At the Chelan County Fair, the club will have a larger space in the Wilcox building to set up our beekeeping displays and demonstrations
    2. Two club members, Steve Smith and Peter King, will present beekeeping information at the annual meeting of the South Douglas and Foster Creek Conservation Districts.

    New Business:

    The Chelan County PUD auditorium will be closed for use by the club for 1 ½ years, starting from April 2017. A new location is being sought.

    NCWBA website:

    Jeff Hampton demonstrated a new website for non-profit groups operated by Wild Apricot. Club members voted to subscribe for 2 months at the rate of $40/month and to decide whether to continue in January. Fees for online processing of membership fees, bulk equipment orders, bee orders, etc. are at a rate of 2.2% plus 30 cents per transaction.

  • Sunday, November 13, 2016 8:58 AM | NCWBA Board (Administrator)


    Dec. 11:  Business/Education meeting, PUD auditorium, 5 p.m.

    Jan. 4:  Bee chat, location TBA

    Jan. 15:  Business/Education meeting, PUD auditorium, 5 p.m., election of officers

    Feb. 8:  Bee chat, location TBA

    Feb. 12:  Business/Education meeting, PUD auditorium, 5 p.m.

    Mar. 1:  Bee chat, location TBA

    Mar. 12:  Business/Education meeting, PUD auditorium, 5 p.m.

    Reports: Treasurer: checking account $1920.14, savings account  $1128.69

    Old Business

    • Mead class was considered highly successful.
    • Bulk equipment order will be coming up soon; Wayne will email order forms.
    • Locations needed for bee chats; Milepost 111, Bob’s on Grant Road and El Agave suggested.
    • Apprentice class tentatively scheduled for March, location TBA
    • Website needs attention.  We may need to hire help.  It would be useful to have member lists contain more contact information.
    • Journeyman progress awaiting more information from W.S. Master Beekeepers

    New Business

    • Specific groups need to be developed to manage specific needs, e.g., swarm capture.  A group for mentoring new beekeepers is particularly needed.

    Educational Program

    Al Zalewsky moderated a panel including Kristin Tayler, Steve Foley, and Jeff O’Brien on winter management.

    All agreed that varroa treatment is needed but routines varied greatly.  Grease patties for tracheal mites are used by some.  Oxalic acid may treat for tracheal as well as varroa mites.  Nosema appears to be a minimal problem locally.

    Ventilation was agreed to be essential, but setups varied widely.  Condensation is not a problem per se, but water dripping onto mass of bees is.

    Insulation plans also varied widely, probably related to different conditions at different locations.

    Wind protection was agreed to be useful.

    Entrance reducer use and dimensions also varied (including Steve not being concerned if a mouse gets into the hive).

    Feeding regimens also varied, but all agreed that adequate food over the winter is essential.

    Amount of honey in a hive is estimated by weight.  (Al uses a fisherman’s scale to lift one end of the hive, then multiplies that weight by 2.)  Full deep frames weigh about 11 pounds, full super frames about 6.  Syrup feeding in the fall is advocated by some, but liquid feed should be removed before winter as it becomes a cold sink.  Various sugar preparations are used over winter, including dry sugar sprayed enough to maintain shape, and various cooked fondant-type preparations.

    Additions and corrections cheerfully accepted.

    Alice Crawford

  • Saturday, October 15, 2016 8:58 AM | NCWBA Board (Administrator)

    NCW Beekeepers Business/Education Meeting, October 16, 2016



    Nov. 12 Mead class – see below

    Nov. 13 Business/Education meeting, PUD auditorium, 5 p.m.

    Bee chat ??

    Reports: None

    Old Business

    Mead class Saturday, Nov. 12 @ 1 p.m., Tiera Learning Center, $20 per participant, $15 per kit

    (old ones may be used), one quart of honey to one gallon of mead; contact Jeff Hampton to sign up and/or order kit/s

    New Business

    Washington Master Beekeepers has split off from Washington State Beekeepers and is now the strictly education-related organization. Paying the $5 annual membership fee was approved.

    Annual meeting in January will include election of officers and voting on proposed bylaws changes. Tell Steve if interested in being an officer.

    Bylaw changes must be presented at the December meeting and may include term limits and/or fees for officers, and disposition of funds in the event of dissolution of the organization.

    Educational Program

    Steve Olsen moderated a panel including Deb Stansbery, Daryn Klinginsmith, Craig Genereux and Emilka Furmanczyk. The general topic were centered around fall mangement. Misc notes are included below:

    • Crystallization of honey over the winter is apparently not common for Debra. Sun on the hive may help.
    • Fall re-queening isn’t commonly done since drones are gone by the fall. It can be done if purchasing a queen. The surviving queen can be ready to go early in the spring, but will be lost if the hive is lost. Most of panel keep nucs from swarms or splits to have a spare queen. Craig and Emilka explained “notching” the cell of a very young larva to encourage production of a queen cell.
    • Weak hives can be combined with others by placing a sheet of newspaper between the hive bodies. Craig makes temporary use of a queen excluder to accustom bees to the new pheromone.
    • Feeding plans varied. Deb leaves supers on the hive and harvests honey in spring. Weighing hives determines whether they have the 90-100# of honey needed to winter over without feeding. Sugar patties (fondant) are commonly used; Craig adds essential oils as attractant; addition of lemon or cream of tartar may help bees digest sugar.
    • Ventilation is important. Partial wrap for warmth may be helpful (dark paper on sunny side) but enthusiastic insulation without ventilation is dangerous.

    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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