Central Oregon



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"Ladies Night" by Jolene & Harley

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23 Jun 2020 6:00 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.


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.

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

 A little bit of my beekeeping experience, starting at the beginning:

As a young lad of Thirteen I was living on the corner of 9th and Portland street Bend Oregon. At that time there wasn't much above us on Awbrey Butte. No houses, no roads it was our back yard more or less and as kids we played all over it, building forts and camping out ,etc. on one of our excursions we found a bee tree on the edge of the cliff south of where the Riverhouse sits today. It was on Stidal chicken ranch property that was on the west side of the river.

 Being intrigued I decided I wanted them in an observation hive. so along with a friend we built a box that was 24 x 24 x 24 with one side glass and carried it along with a chain saw over the butte to the tree. not being much of a logger when I cut the tree down it fell off the side of the cliff to the ground some twenty-five below. that was probably a good thing as the bees were pretty well shook. so down the cliff we went with the box. with the chain saw I cut slabs off the tree till we hit honey comb.I had made two frames and had inadvertently left them at home. So we just put as much honey comb as we could in the box closed it up and hiked back over the Butte. once we got it home I put in my bedroom window and made a board to close off the rest above the box. My mother was not happy.

The next morning when I awoke the bees were gone. My bedroom window was on the second floor of the house and there was a large hedge that ran parallel to the street. there they were all bunched up about waste high. After inspecting the box and using the Kirby vacuum to clean out the sawdust, it was decided to put the comb in the frames using fishing line to get it to be straight up and down. ( I had no idea what I was doing. ) then went with the box and put my hand very slowly down the branch till I had the bees wrapped around my hand and arm. A quick flip and most of them were back in the box. amazing they stayed. yet they built their comb 90 degrees to the frames, so instead of looking at the flat of a frame I was looking down each corridor.

It all went well for a couple of years till I came home from school one day and my bedroom door was duct taped shut and my mother said the bees had to go. well the box got so heavy that the window sill started to give way and the glass broke. OH YES a bedroom full of bees. Alas out came the Kirby again and with duct tape I closed up the break in the glass and cleaned the room of bees.

 about that time it was obvious I needed to know more about bees then I did. At the Library I found the book call ABC and XYZ of beekeeping by AI Root and checked it out. within a week I had ordered my first real bee box from Glory Bee and when it arrived I gather a couple of friends to help me haul this 200 plus pound box out the back door down the stairs to the back yard where they promptly left

me to my project.The box was put together with screws and was bursting at the seams. In a pair of short pants, no shirt, and barefooted I began to take it apart and using my favorite tool,fishing line, I began again to put the comb in real frames and tie it down. Now there is no way I would attempt to ever do this again my mother came out and started screaming Your crazy. I ask her to not yell and please go back in the house. It all went quite well I never got stung and have had bees ever since. There something to be said for NO FEAR.

That was 54 years ago and I'm a lifer when it comes to Honeybees I'm still old school and use nothing but beeswax foundation in my brood chamber. Dennis mentioned Web Loy as someone that helped him start beekeeping. It was interesting as I started Web with his first bees. He and my father were friends for many years and Web passed not to long ago. we will miss him.

solar wax melter and frame cleaning station:

A bee tree moved from warm springs the colony fills the entire five feet of the tree:

Happy beekeeping 

Stephen Harris

Big Thanks to Stephen Harris for this months notes!

COBKA Monthly Notes Archives

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