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Pollinator Pathways

Establishing pollinator-friendly habitats and food sources for bees, butterflies and birds www.pollinator-pathway.org

OSU Citizen Science Project: Swarm Study

Attention beekeepers who would like to participate in a study on swarms!


A magic moment
An emerging bee is born
She assumes her tasks

Connie Axelrod, 2021 COBKA Haiku Contest Winner


August in your Central Oregon Apiary

I hope you and your hive(s) made it through the hot weather ok.  Although many beekeepers help their colonies by adding shade, adding ventilation and even adding insulation, I find the bees, kind of like people, tend to do pretty well as long as they have the basics of water.

Now we’re moving toward the end of the summer.  There’re still several flowers that will be blooming.  Natives should be rabbit brush and sage brush.  In gardens we should keep seeing flowers until the first frost.  There are some intermittent dearths as well.

It’s a time of transition for your apiary.  Remember this is the month when your bees are starting to prep for winter.  The queen will be slowing her laying earlier in the month and the colony will start raising the winter bees later in the month.  Your activities need to take these into account.

As the queen slows her egg production, the bees will start to back fill the brood chamber with honey.  This can be an important source of their winter stores, so many of us will remove supers by the middle of August, allowing the colony to use the last honey flow to backfill and top things off.  If you don’t want to pull the supers that early, be prepared to feed syrup as necessary, after you do decide to pull them, to help the colony top off their stores.

For raising the winter bees, the colony needs not only pollen, but also healthy bees.  Now is the time to once again count your mites, and get the levels down as low as possible.  As the temps start getting cooler, and once you’ve pulled your supers, the possible treatments open up nicely.  Check the HBHC tools for varroa management for details.

If you believe your queen is starting to show her age, and the colony hasn’t yet superseded, think about helping them along by requeening.  She won’t be laying much until spring time, however it can be difficult to find new queens in early Spring.  It always amazes me how productive and energetic a new queen is after working with a failing queen.

During all the manipulations, especially if there’s a dearth, you may want to do a little protection against robbing (cloth on top of the frames while inspecting), and be quick and efficient while having the hive open.  This will both help keep the robbing from developing, but additionally help keep your bees from getting defensive as they’re sitting on their winter stores and this big beekeeper has just taken the roof off.

Enjoy your late summer.

Allen Engle


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A message from Dr. Ramesh SagiliOSU Apiculture Professor

Oregon Beekeepers: 

The OSU Honey Bee Lab is opening its doors for an exciting opportunity to view experiments, lab equipment, pest/disease diagnostics, and to meet lab personnel! The lab is located on the OSU campus in Corvallis (this is not the apiary lab site). Due to limited lab space, attendance is limited to 25 people. If over 25 register, the lab will do a lottery and notify you if your name was drawn. Please fill out the form by accessing the following and they will get back to you with more information: https://beav.es/iAq

OUR MISSION

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.

ABOUT US

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.

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