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.

Upcoming events

17 Aug 2024 •

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

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July in your Central Oregon Apiary

Wow, went from comfortable to “too hot” in just a day or two.  In town, the blooms are picking back up after the June dearths.  Out of town, the flows seem to be dependent on what weeds are around right now.  As you see flowers blooming with honey bees on them, think about writing them down in you log book, or on a calendar.

Couple of things to remember when working with your bees in hot weather.  First of all, YOUR health is paramount.  Make sure to keep hydrated.  Try to stay out of the sun when it’s very hot (above 97 or so) and take breaks  (Yes Mom).  Then remember, when it’s hot for you, it’s also hot for the bees, and they don’t have a window air conditioner.  Their air conditioner consists of hauling water back to the hive a tenth of a drop at a time and evaporating it like little insect swamp coolers.  You may see a drop in foraging as the bees are spending a lot of time transporting and evaporating water.  Might be a good idea to provide more water than usual.  Some folks like to put a piece of plywood or cloth above or on the top of the hives just to keep the sun off and others (there are strong and informed differences of opinion about this) like to put either a ventilation hole in the upper box, or a tiny sliver under the outer cover (in a Langstroth hive) just to help with air flow.  Finally, when it really hot, I find the bees aren’t as amenable to inspections and I don’t want to mess up their air conditioning, so I tend to leave them alone until the temps moderate a bit.

Once the temps have cooled a bit, keep in mind this month is the main honey flow for the last half of summer.  I generally want my bees to be as hard at work as possible collecting nectar, and realizing that I disrupt the hive while doing inspections, I try to keep inspections to a minimum during the month……..unless there is something that really needs fixed (mites, queen, diseases).

One of the reasons we do so much mite mitigation in spring and early summer, is that in the middle of summer, with higher temps and supers on, your choices for mite treatments are greatly diminished.  If you do have a colony that’s way too high, seriously consider treating them, but realize you need to trade honey production for your colony’s long term health.

After these initial hot days depart, we can start getting back to enjoying the summers we live here for.

Happy beekeeping and stay cool.

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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24 May 2024 11:22 PM • Tim Rubin
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