Central Oregon



2020 First Place Winnig Photo by Sam Utley

Upcoming events

08 Dec 2020 6:00 PM • Redmond
12 Jan 2021 6:00 PM • Redmond
26 Jan 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.

December in a

Central Oregon Apiary

In December, other than emergency activities, we should be leaving our hives alone.  If the cover has blown off, or the hive has blown over, put things back where they should be (and tie or weight it down more securely).  Other than that, if they’re alive all your prep work is paying dividends, if they’re dead, there’s nothing you can do.

In November, we debriefed all the happenings of last summer and did some “belly button gazing”.  Now the more important part.  What are we going to do differently this year?  Honey bees are a very complex (super) organism and I don’t know of ANY experienced beekeeper who will admit to “knowing it all.”  Or any beekeeper who isn’t planning on trying “just a few minor changes” this year.  If we aren’t’ learning something new while we’re husbanding our bees, we both aren’t’ taking full advantage of our experience as well as or fellow beekeepers and current knowledge, but also are missing out on a big part of the interest and fun of beekeeping.

Am I going to commit to doing a mite count BOTH before treatment AND AFTERWARDS.  This year, I AM going to make a split, …. or raise my own queen.  I’m going to try harvesting pollen.  I think I’ll try to be a little patient and wait an extra week before ordering that emergency queen to see if the colony has actually started fixing the queen problem already.  Maybe I should start looking at 8 frame hives to make lifting easier.  A Warre hive seems to have less maintenance and kind of fits what the bees want to do “naturally”.  I wonder how minimalist I can go, and still successfully keep honey bees?  I need to figure out a better way to lift that top super.  Those long hives seem to provide a more ergonomic and bee friendly experience.

Your colony is YOUR colony, and a big part of the fun/satisfaction of husbanding your colony, is in trying new activities, as well as improving your existing techniques.

I hope you have a wonderful, safe and healthy holiday season, however you choose to celebrate.

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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