Portland Urban Beekeepers held its first general membership meeting of the year the first Wednesday of January. We held new officer elections alongside the 2nd annual PUB showcase, where local business-owners and hobbyists shared their goods and projects. Among the displays were hives and the book “Winged” from Bee Thinking, the book “The Song of Increase” by Jacqueline Freeman, a candle-making demonstration from Brandi Rodgers of Ruhl Bee Supply, lip balms from Rachel Glaeser, a bee vacuum and homemade preserves from Brian Lacy of Live Honeybees, beehive woodenware and portland-raised survivor bee program from Tim Wessels and Glen Andreson of Bridgetown Bees, and hive scale, quiltbox, homemade deodorant, and candles from Bill Catherall of The Bee Vlog.
February kicked off our regular general membership meetings for 2015.
Lois Leveen was ecstatic to share the results of her efforts working with The City of Portland and Multnomah County to address the signature approval requirement to keep bees. Thanks to her hard work, the signature requirement has officially been reduced to a notification requirement. This has allowed Portland beekeepers an easier path to compliance with Portland City law, and many PUB members have already taken advantage of the change.
Robert Leger spoke about The Yellow Jacket Free Home. He gave us an introduction to the yellow jacket biology and life cycle, as well as helpful tips on trapping and controlling them.
Our feature speaker, Dan Carr, gave a dynamic presentation about his experiences working with beekeepers and farmers in Malawi and Uganda. He learned to keep bees from a Malawian school teacher, and together they started the Mwazisi beekeepers association. After returning to the United States and managing Stone Barns’ bees for three years, he was invited by the USAid Farmer to Farmer program to go back to Africa to work on a special project with a beekeepers cooperative in Kasese, Uganda called the Liberty Development Foundation LIDEFO. He spoke of the unique challenges of keeping bees in Africa, such as honey badgers, elephants, and poachers. He showed off the resourcefulness in hive design with top-bar hives made of bamboo and threads stripped from recycled tires. He had rich photographs and stories of his time, and reminded us that it’s not about the bees, it’s about the people.
Calaroga Terrace has been generous in accommodating our monthly membership meetings, but as membership continues to increase, we seem to be outgrowing the space. We are looking for suggestions of alternate venues that can accommodate up to 200 people.
Our meetings are digitally recorded into blocks of video that usually correspond to our meeting agendas and posted to YouTube soon after.