Central Oregon



2020 First Place Winnig Photo by Sam Utley

Upcoming events

26 Jan 2021 7:00 PM • This is an online event (via Zoom)
23 Feb 2021 7:00 PM • This is an online event (via Zoom)
23 Mar 2021 7:00 PM • This is an online event (via Zoom)
27 Apr 2021 7:00 PM • This is an online event (via Zoom)


We are a diverse bunch of individuals who share a fascination for the honey bee and its workings. Our members range from full-time beekeepers and pollinators with hundreds of hives to hobbyists involved in backyard beekeeping. 

Some members do not even keep bees, but are fascinated by the six legs and four wings of Apis mellifera.

January in a

Central Oregon Apiary

Please take our brief 2020 Beekeeping survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6X3W72Z


Let’s get going with 2021.  What should I be doing with/about my bees.  As the girls are, for the most part, remaining pretty quiet and inactive this month, there aren’t many hive related activities required.

From an emergency point of view, you should, once or twice a month or so, check their integrity.  Is the top cover still on?  Has it been knocked over?  Is it completely submerged in snow with no exit?  For the first two, just put things back in order.  And for the last one, it might be a good time to clear out the entrance for air, as well as for an exit in case of cleansing flights during a warm spell.  Also check for food levels.  In January this is primarily for hives that were light in the Fall.  I usually heft the back of the hive (either Langstroth or Top bar) and compare the approximate weight with what it was in the Fall or empty.  If it seems significantly lighter, consider emergency feeding using fondant or dry sugar on the inner cover of a Langstroth.  For top bar or Long hive, consider inserting a Sockermat or fondant (keeping in mind that you’ll be dramatically interfering the hive in the process so only if an emergency)

Now back at home.  Remember the plans you made in December for the outstanding year of 2021?  Now’s the time to start preparing.  If you’re buying new equipment or gear, or if you’re switching gear, start comparing prices and availabilities as you’ll need to order, receive, assemble etc. before you can use them and some suppliers are somewhat behind in their production and shipping.  Even more time critical is if you’re looking to purchase new bees, it’s a good time both to see what’s available, how much and, most important, WHEN you need to order (the deadlines can be early and fixed).

Now, you can curl up under a nice warm blanket, sipping some hot beverage and enjoy a good book or movie.

Happy and Healthy New Year.

Allen Engle

Thoughts on our association.  You are a member of the Central Oregon Beekeepers Association.  Our stated mission is “The Mission of the Central Oregon Beekeeping Association (COBKA) is to promote effective, economic and successful regional beekeeping through education, collaboration, communication and research in the spirit of friendship.”

Just to make sure you are aware of the benefits you are entitled to as a member, here are several of them. If you’re not yet taking advantage of them, please feel free. If you don’t know how, contact me and I’ll walk you through it.  Our club provides monthly meetings, usually with an expert in a particular area of beekeeping, or area of interest to beekeepers (either a member who’s an expert in a certain area, or a guest brought in from a university or commercial setting).  Along with this, we provide a 30 minute “beginner’s corner” where there will be 1 or more experienced beekeepers both to answer general beekeeping questions, explain terms and concepts to be covered by the speaker during the regular meeting as well, sometimes, as discussing what beekeepers ought to be working on and thinking about during a particular time of year……..all in a nonjudgmental environment where it’s ok and accepted to ask the basic questions. COBKA Meeting Slides Archives Monthly, we provide a “what to do in (month) in the apiary discussion, specific to central Oregon. In the Apiary Archives Most years (COVID has put a monkey wrench into this) COBKA also conducts a beginner bee school which, in one day, provides newbies with enough information to get started and through the first season with their bees.  Also, we try annually to organize an intermediate or advanced seminar where topics of interest especially to more experienced beekeepers are discussed.  Finally, we try to have one speaker a year who will present to a mixed (beekeepers and general public) on a topic that may be of general interest (native pollinators, Africanized honey bees, mason bees etc.)

Also along the education vein, you have access to our online forums where you can ask questions of the membership in general (open forum), or of experienced beekeepers (mentor forum), as well as coordinating equipment, bee and queen pickup and delivery or a place to sell stuff.  We provide scholarships to people who are working on their Oregon Master Beekeeper qualifications

We try to publicize the more important goings on in the regional beekeeping world.  State and regional conferences, honey bee loss polls etc. Events

Finally, we do provide access to extraction equipment and a swarm list.

Almost the most important part, which we’ve been somewhat missing this year, is the opportunity to visit and rub shoulders with a whole variety of other folks whose primary similarity is the interest in honey bees and pollination.

If you have questions about any of these, or suggestions of changes, or new opportunities, please let me know…….or better yet, sign up to be part of the steering committee where all of these items and others are discussed and decided on.  It’s very low stress, meeting quarterly and a great group of people.

Allen Engle 541-four two zero-0423

COBKA Monthly Notes Archives


The Mission of the Central Oregon Beekeeping Association (COBKA) is to promote effective, economic and successful regional beekeeping through education, collaboration, communication and research in the spirit of friendship.

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