Central Oregon



We meet on the fourth Tuesday of most months at the Bend Environmental Center. 

Volunteer to bring Snacks


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.


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.

Upcoming events

12 Nov 2019 6:00 PM • Redmond
19 Nov 2019 6:00 PM • Bend Environmental Center
28 Jan 2020 6:00 PM • Bend Environmental Center

Alternatively: Musings of a teenage beekeeper

by Kate Riding

I’m a teenager, and I’ve been keeping bees for 3 years. As a teenager who has school, and after school activities, it’s hard to keep bees. But I’ve made it through some wack times with my bees. My first summer keeping bees was pretty easy. I knew that beekeeping was hard, but how hard was it really? Last summer I went through several queens, and this year brought angry queens, and even more angry bees. Beekeeping also brings about lots of opportunities and chances to grow.

My first year beekeeping was easy. I got into the OMB program with a scholarship (thank you) and had a mentor in the program. That first year was a steep learning curve, but I could take it thanks to my mom, my mentor, Hieke, and many others. I knew what I wanted and I wasn’t afraid to get it. I also had lots of time on my hands because I was homeschooled and my mom let me follow my passions. My hives were small, but due to inexperience quickly became 6 boxes tall. My mentor helped me out, and we condensed them into 3 boxes instead (I have 6in super boxes as my brood boxes because I’m small.) I learned how to treat for mites, the what, when, why and how. I learned how the beehive is set up, and quickly changed my goals from honey production to science. At the end of the season, I was tired but excited for the challenges of the coming season.

My second year of beekeeping was rough to say the least. My bees made it through the winter, and as an official Apprentice beekeeper, I thought I knew it all. I was wrong, of course. I kept in close contact with my mentor, who graciously provided me with queens. My bees were angry and wanted nothing to do with the monarchy. They refused queen after queen, and eventually, they made their own. The bees grew strong and filled 3 boxes. I thought I learned from the mistake of adding too many boxes and instead let them be crowded. In other words, they swarmed. My brother saw them before me and said: “Kate, your bees are swarming!” I ignored him, because what did he know? (foolish thinking, I know.) They swarmed and I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do and called my mentor. Once again, he helped me through my problems and provided me with yet another queen (thanks again). 

“Now”, I thought, “I know everything.” Nope. I didn’t. That winter was rough on everyone, and because of my foolishness, I insulated them incorrectly. My bees couldn’t make it out of their hive for water and bathroom runs, so they died. I learned from my mistakes and started anew.

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Big thanks to Kate Riding for writing this month's notes!

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