Greetings from the West Sound Beekeepers Association,
Our club is putting on two classes in the near future and we wanted to make sure you and all of your members are invited to sign up.
1) Beekeeping in the Pacific Northwest – Saturday June 29th. Cost is $75, all day and includes lunch. Please see this link for registration and more class details: Class Details
2) Queen rearing in the Pacific Northwest – Sat & Sun. July 13-14. Cost is $125, two full days that includes lunch and you will walk away with supplies and knowledge to go home and do it yourself. Link for registration and more information: Class Details
Both of these classes are very popular with the public but we wanted to get the word out to our surrounding clubs so that we can support each other. Seating is limited as these are very hands on classes so please encourage your membership to act quickly if they are at all interested.
Have a great bee season,
So, you want to make honey wine? This class offers basic information about Honey, and honey selection, including local types, nectar flows and how it affects the mead. We will also go over how to find beekeepers in your area to source local product. We will go over basic mead making, including meads and melomels from fermentation to bottling. During class we will make a batch of mead using the provided kit. Sky River Mead will also be conducting a mead tasting.
Instructor: Bob Combs – WA State Certified Journeyman Beekeeper w/ a couple decades of mead making as well as judging experience.
Date: Thursday June 6th 6:30pm at Sound Homebrew Supply in S. Seattle. Plan on 2 hours of class time.
Cost: $50 w/ 1gal mead making kit ($20 w/o kit).
7:00-7:30 Beginners session (Melody Hooper, Patti Loesche):
- Q&A, of course.
- Water for Bees (Melody): Why they need it, how to provide it.
7:30-8:00 Tea and announcements
8:00-9:00 Main topic (Robert Clark):
- Queens and Requeening. Why is it important to have a good queen in our Pacific Northwest honeybee colonies? Since she is so important to the temperament of your bees, learn why and how you should requeen annually. One interesting aspect of requeening is how to run a two-queen colony through the honey season.
9:00-10:00 Board meeting. As always, members are welcome.
It’s spring! New packages are arriving, and the bigleaf maple is in full bloom!
If you’re a new beekeeper, what should you be looking for in your new colonies? Kate and Patti will review what to look for both outside and inside the hive.
If you have overwintered bees, the early swarm season is upon us and it’s time to talk about your options. Bob will discuss various methods of splitting and combining colonies. This presentation is likely to relate to discussions of swarm control (continuing last month’s discussion) and queen rearing.
7:00-7:30 Beginners session: Observations and inspections (Kate Flack, Patti Loesche)
8:00-9:00 Main topic: Splits and combines: when and what kinds (Bob Combs)
It’s that time of year again folks. If you’re on the swarm list, have your swarm catching gear in order and be ready to take calls. If you’re not available to take swarms calls this season, take yourself off the list. Is everyone ready?
Bee Informed Partnership, a joint project among numerous universities and laboratories, aims to help beekeepers make better management decisions and reduce colony losses. They need beekeepers, lots of beekeepers, to participate in two annual surveys, on winter losses and management. The surveys are open only until 15 April 2013.
To participate in the National Winter Loss and Management surveys, click on this link:
The Winter Loss survey should take under 5 minutes. The Management Survey should take under 20 minutes.
Questions? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 443.296.2470.
Getting started on the season: evaluate, install packages, splits, combines.
On a good warm day (>50 degrees), evaluate existing colonies:
- Brood? How many frames? Where?
- Honey stores: Adequate, or continue dry sugar feeding?
What to do:
- Install packages in good weather if you can, in early afternoon shortly after they arrive. If poor weather, wait for a break in rain/snow and do it fast.
- If you have overwintered bees, your winter boxes may need to be downsized. Provide a new box of frames if the frames in the existing box are 75% drawn (e.g. 6/8 frames in an 8-frame box). Remove extra boxes.
- If you have a weak colony, evaluate why. If a small population (versus unexplained dwindling), combine with another colony.
- Prepare for splits. Strong colonies are good candidates. Wait until drones are flying to split without introducing a new queen, i.e. by allowing the colony to create queen cells.
- Be prepared to super after the maple flow gets going (fingers crossed: this is an iffy prospect year to year).
- Reduce entrances on weak colonies and look out for robbers. Robbing season is before nectar flow.
- Set out yellow jacket traps to capture queens. The usefulness of YJ traps in late summer is negligible, but by culling queens in the spring you can reduce seasonal YJ populations by many thousands.
Pollen: Dandelion, Alder, Cedar, Scots Broom beginning.
Nectar (soon): Maple, Raspberry, Apple, Fruiting Cherry.
Bob Combs, Patti Loesche