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Upcoming events

17 Oct 2023 6:00 PM • The Enviromental Center - 16 NW Kansas Ave, Bend, OR 97703
17 Oct 2023 6:10 PM • The Enviromental Center - 16 NW Kansas Ave, Bend, OR 97703
27 Oct 2023 • Riverhouse on the Deschutes
19 Dec 2023 6:00 PM • The Enviromental Center - 16 NW Kansas Ave, Bend, OR 97703

Pollinator Pathways

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

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.

Sign up for COAREC Saturdays in the Apiary

In 2023 Saturday in the Apiary is scheduled to take place on second Saturdays in the month (subject to change depending on weather conditions and/or Heike’s schedule).        
                October 14 1-3 pm                                 

              December date and time TBD            

Heike Williams | Bio Science Research Technician - Apiculture | Central Oregon Agricultural Research and Extension Center | Oregon State University | 850 NW Dogwood Lane | Madras, OR 97741 | p 541-475-7107 heike.williams@oregonstate.eduCOARC Website |

Tasks for your Central Oregon Apiary

Well, summer is over …… at least for we beekeepers.  Ok, ok, we humans still have some awesome weather left, but our bees are working on Autumn.

Now’s the time to finish up with the Fall preparation for our colonies.  Remember, going into winter we need to have healthy, well provisioned, well populated winter bees with a strong queen.  MOST everything we can do now is working toward that goal, with the caveat that our colonies are now trying to ramp down for winter.

So…..If you have a weak colony, it’s time to bite the bullet and either bulk them up with bees and brood from another colony, or combine with another colony.  At this point, unluckily, they are unlikely to make it back to a sustainable population.

Your mite levels should be at the lowest level you can achieve or the highest level you’ll accept.  Use the HBHC tools for varroa management for specifics, and if your levels are dramatically high, think about a quick knock down (say formic) accepting that you might cause brood or queen loss (a high mite level in the autumn leaves VERY little chance of making it through the winter) whereas for a slightly higher than acceptable count you could use a less dramatic (easier on the bees) treatment (say essential oils).

For food stores, my rule of thumb is no less that 60% full of honey (less than about 80% and I won’t be surprised to do some emergency feeding in early spring).  If the colony is less than %100 full of honey and brood (I want them to backfill the empty brood cells with honey now) I’ll feed 2:1 syrup (other experienced and well-read beekeepers like to always feed 1:1 syrup) through this month.

If your queen just isn’t doing the job (you’ll frequently see this from a general lack of population or spotty (not caused by mites) pattern, and you can get a replacement it’s a good time to requeen.

Finally, robbing.  As I like to say, honey bees aren’t smart, but they’re not stupid either.  It’s a lot easier to steal honey from the weak neighbor than to gather and cure it yourself.  Once it starts, it’s quite difficult to stop.  The main way to avoid robbing is to keep you hive strong, but also you can avoid leaving the hive opened too long during inspections, open or visible feeding, or leaving bits and pieces around in the open for the bee to “clean up”.

Hopefully your harvest went well and you’ve had a successful summer season.

Allen Engle

COBKA Notes - Archives

COBKA Meeting Slide/Video 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.


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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