Central Oregon




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. 

Volunteer to bring snacks for one of our monthly meetings

Upcoming events

17 Nov 2018 1:00 PM • OSU Central Oregon Ag Research Center
27 Nov 2018 6:00 PM • Bend Environmental Center

In the 


It’s that time of year again. By now, you and your girls have been hustling around, getting ready for winter.

There are just a few things you need to have done by now. Hive inspections recently should have reassured you that things are all set for winter. If you were a little surprised, you still have a chance to make things right before the inclement weather sets in.

Top of the list is mite inspection to make sure your girls are ready to face winter, and will survive to be ready to go in spring, as healthy as they can be. In a few more weeks, brood volume should be way down, so it’s not too late for oxalic acid dribble on those phoretic mites as a last chance knock down. (see the Honeybee Health coalition essay for more specifics on mite treatments (https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/varroa/). Now is also your last chance to get extra honey stores in the hive by feeding syrup if your last ‘heft’ wasn’t what you would like. It’s a lot easier to do this now, and not lay awake on some cold January night, hoping they’re all good in there. Or making fondant instead of Christmas candy. Get done messing around in there, so the girls have a chance to propolize all the air leaks.

Now is also the time to be considering any extra protection you want to implement. Get those straw bales stacked against winter prevailing winds. Be sure to allow for the lower sun angle, so your windbreak does not block the needed winter sunshine. Get the hives battened down with rocks on the lid, or tie straps against strong cold winds. Decide if you are going to wrap your hives, and get it ready to put on when the weather turns. My current favorite is insulated bubble wrap. You can also use the old standard tar paper. Or foam insulation sheets on the top or cut to size to make a ‘blanket’. Prop up the rear of the hive a little bit, so any condensation does not drip on the cluster, and will run towards the front entrance. Find your blanket box with insulation and have it ready if you do not already have it on. Time for the entrance to be reduced too.

Now that things have slowed down a little, you have a chance to survey all your hardware. Check for things that are worn out or need to be replaced. Things that didn’t work like you hoped can be replaced now, before you need it, and while it is still fresh in your mind. GO SHOPPING in all the catalogs for replacement frames, or maybe something that you really missed this year. It never hurts to have an extra hive body ready, JUST IN CASE a swarm sneaks up on you next year. Bee thinking about if you will re-queen or order more packages in the spring. This will help determine what hardware needs to be ready.

Now sit back, and contemplate your year. It’s a good time to catch up on all your reading too. You and your girls have done everything possible to ensure success. Now, it’s just a waiting game to see if all that hard work pays off with winter survival. Hurry up spring, we’re READY!

A big Thanks to Sara Miller for writing this month's notes!

"In the Apiary" Archives


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.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software