Are you interested in learning about bees and beekeeping?

If you have little or no experience, the 'Getting Started with Bees' Certificate Program is a great place to start. It is a stand-alone program that satisfies the curiosity of those who want to know more about bee biology and backyard beekeeping through online learning and discussion forums. No waiting list - join at any time!

Take your beekeeping to the next level!

Are you interested in learning how to become a better beekeeper? Have you experienced problems in the past that you'd like to remedy? Do you want to help others learn about bees? The Oregon Master Beekeeper program is for you!

Participating beekeepers gain experience at three successive levels: ApprenticeJourney, and Master. Each level provides opportunities and support for additional learning, practice in the field, and community service.

All of our beekeeping programs represent a cooperative effort between the Oregon State University Honey Bee Lab and the Oregon State Beekeepers Association to contribute to both the health of honey bee colonies and the integrity of the practice of beekeeping.

Pollinator Pathways

Establishing pollinator-friendly habitats and food sources for bees, butterflies and birds

Upcoming events


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.

January Central Oregon Apiary Notes

January is a furry month (I’m typing this through the fuzzy throw blanket I have over me).

Just to remember, your bees, for the most part, aren’t doing much this month other than eating and shivering.  Occasional warm days will encourage cleansing flights (several reports from Christmas day).  This helps us decide what we need to do.  If you’re planning on doing a(nother) winter OA treatment, this month is another chance (see HBHC tools).  If your bees are getting pretty light on stores (especially if they went into winter light) think about emergency feeding.  This is frequently checked by hefting the back of the hive, where it should be significantly heavy.  Emergency treatments should consist of frames of honey, fondant, sugar cakes or dry sugar, but not sugar syrup (hard to digest and cools the hive.  If you have a dead out, there is no emergency, but at a convenient time verify it’s dead, then clean it out and close it up to minimize mold and prevent robbing and mice.

The funnest (sorry, I’m visiting my grandchildren now and they like this word) part of January is planning.  Back in November and December, we did some “belly button gazing” figuring out what worked, what didn’t and what we want to change.  Now is the time to act on these.  If something didn ‘t work last year (waiting until they’re showing the first signs of swarm prep prior to initiating swarm mitigation) decide what you’ll do differently this year (pre-emptively adding space or stealing brood) to make the outcome “better”.  Other areas some of us are trying to improve are number and spacings of mite counts/treatments, Fall vs Spring vs never requeening, early Spring feeding vs no spring feeding, 1 box Langstroth vs 2 box Langstroth overwintering.  Additionally, are there things you’d like to try that you haven’t previously (doing increases using splits, making your own queens, trying some Mason bees, figuring out a recipe for a Larva omelet.  Bottom line is these are your bees, and part of the fun is learning about them and trying different techniques to be more successful and/or satisfying.

Finally, if you’re planning on purchasing nucs, packages or hives this year, start doing research on which way you want to go, the various suppliers and their deadlines.  With many suppliers, they will run out of pre-orders in January.  Others will have some through February.  You can check our regional supplier list at under links and regional suppliers.  Please remember this is only a list, YOU need to do your due diligence by asking questions that are important to YOU.

Stay warm and enjoy the sunny days.

Allen Engle

COBKA Notes - Archives

COBKA Meeting Slide/Video 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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