ZFAC UPDATE 4/24/2015

Zenger Farm is an application field lab for PUB. We offer community education and support for new and learned beekeepers. Come see us. Get that country experience and never leave the city of Portland. 11741 Se Foster Rd. Portland, OR

Wednesday April 15 some committee members were able join me as we put in three packages thanks to the generosity of Ruhl Bee. We placed them in eight frame hives, which now have pollen and sugar water to help them get set up. Once the sugar water is gone from the bucket, they will be on their own to live out the summer and thrive with Zenger Farm’s food supply. All of the packages are thriving with their queens; we will continue to keep you updated as these hives continue to grow. It is very exciting to think that we have three varieties of hives that one can observe and learn from; we have ten 10-frames, two 8-frames, and one Kenyan top bar.

Taking mite counts at Zenger Farm.
Taking mite counts at Zenger Farm.

We had a great Saturday last Saturday and I think the teams were very successful in their accomplishments. A big thank you to all who turned up and helped out! It was sure great to see the enthusiasm and I think we all learned a lot from each other. We learned how to check for mites and treat with Hopgaurd. We will provide results next week when we test again. Don’t worry if you missed this session, we will be testing again to see where we stand throughout the summer. So far what we learned was that we have three mites out of eight hives checked. This is GREAT news! However, we must be diligent when it comes to mites. Mites can easily get out of hand. If you see mites on your bees, it usually means there are a lot more mites then just that one that you see. Since, we are using IPM treatments, diligence is the key. We treated all the hives except for the two that wintered over, and the hives that just received packages.

Want to test your hives?

  • One 10 gallon bucket
  • One Quart Mason Jar
  • Wire mesh fabric (Ruhl Bee)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Paper plate
  • Towel
  • Spray bottle with water inside

Note: There are many ways to gather up the bees. I find brushing the bees, or scooping them off the frames difficult, especially when I am by myself. So this is what I do when I test for mites.


Prep for Mason jar:

Taking mite counts
Taking mite counts
  1. First get your pint mason jar prepared. Cut the wire mesh to the measurement of the inner cover that fits in the lid, this will give you perfect size.Once you are at your Hive
  2. Pick the frames that have the most brood, we are looking for nurse bees. (Important note: DO NOT SHAKE THE QUEEN INTO THE BUCKET!)
  3. Shake the bees into the bucket.
  4. Pick up the bucket and over the hive dump the bees into the jar. Many bees will fall back into the hive (you are only looking to have 300 bees, which is about a 1/2 cup).
  5. Put the mesh lid on the jar.
  6. Using your hive tool take two scoops of powdered sugar and put it on the mesh lid. Shake gently or cut the powdered sugar into the jar. Let sit for 2 minutes in shady sunny place.
  7. Shake vigorously upside down to shake the mites out over the sprayed plate or lid.
  8. The powdered sugar will dissolve as you continue to spray the plate or white lid.
  9. Look for Brown or Red moving dots. They can be hard to see, so if you can take a spy glass that could also be helpful.
  10. Return the sugar-coated bees back to the hive. They’ll be a little “shaken up,” but they’re alive and will be cleaned up by the other bees.

Last note: If you see 10 mites this is considered to be a high number. During lower mite-times add one zero to your number. During high mite-times (when a lot of drones are being born) add 2 zeros. There are ways to fix this without using chemical treatments, which we will show over the summer months. Come join us, good beekeepers are versatile beekeepers.

Support the Next Generation

Our young beekeeper Luca received his first hive and swarm just the other day. Luca has a passion for beekeeping. If you ever see him at PUB he is not afraid to say hi and talk bees with people. We are very proud of him and we are proud of his accomplishments. He is very inspiring. He put together his hives and the ZFAC community pitched in with some frames and a swarm. He is now a proud beekeeper who will be learning from the bees, along with his mentors and Zenger Farm Apiary. GOOD GOING LUCA!!!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

We need your support

Photo04Work Parties
Come join us as we start to make plans for our pollination garden. Comcast work party is making more room for us so that we can have a bigger area around the hives.

Do you have a sense for writing? Are you interested in serving Zenger Farm Apiary, but you can’t always get out to us? Blog for us, and let people know your experience that you have at the apiary. You don’t need experience. Everything goes through editing before it gets published on the PUB web page. It’s a way you can personally express yourself to the world about your love for the bees and the Zenger farm community.

Grant Writers
We are looking for experienced grant writers to work with Zenger Farm and PUB. We are working towards getting a shed. Right now we are so desperate for a shed we are getting creative with buckets and beehive boxes. We have a shed but we have to walk quite a ways to get equipment. Zenger and ZFAC are working together to make it happen. We just have to write the grants and the next steps will fall into place.

4/24/2015 9-12pm Comcast Work party is happening. We are getting them to dig up the grass and mulch over the newly dug up land. I get to be forewoman. Tee Hee
5/2/2015 12-2pm Bee Education: Dr. Dewey (Queen Rearing)
5/16/2015 12-2pm Work party (Lets strive to get some pollination going)
6/6/2015 12-2 pm Bee education
6/20/201512-2pm work party
6/26/2015 tbd Zenger Farm Volunteer Appreciation Day. Come join us and celebrate our success.
7/4/2015 Fourth of July (first Saturday is cancelled)
7/18/2015 Dr. Dewey Caron will be joining us (subject tbd).

Leave a Comment