Our monthly meeting on April 1st came with some exciting announcements!
First, our new swarm hotline is now live! We’ve partnered with Honey Bee Allies. They have created a swarm list tool for us that will be available to our membership. We will be retiring our old swarm list. To be a part of the PUB swarm list and take advantage of our new hotline (503 444-8446) for swarm notifications, register at bit.ly/pubswarmlist.
PUB will be hosting a photo and art contest. If you’re interested, start taking pictures or creating your art projects, and stay tuned for further submission details. Judging will take place at our annual winter honey tasting event.
Tour de Hives will be taking place on June 20th. PUB is still looking for hosts and assistants. If you’re interested in participating, please volunteer at bit.ly/TourVolunteer2015.
Glen Andreson gave his monthly pollen and nectar report. With this early spring, most of the fruit trees have finished blooming, and the great bee plants haven’t started blooming just yet. To see a full report, visit BridgetownBees.com/whats-in-bloom/.
Carolyn Breece gave an enthusiastic presentation on the Oregon Master Beekeeper Program, a collaboration between Oregon State University and Oregon State Beekeepers Association. It’s an exciting intensive beekeeping program, designed to support beekeepers at all levels. It starts with the Apprentice level, where beekeepers are matched with master mentors to support their learning in the field. Students can continue their training and education at the Journey level, and finally if a student completes the whole program, they will become a Master Beekeeper. Certification is available, but not required to participate. Many of the mentors in the Portland area are PUB members! For more information on the program and how to get on the waiting list, see OregonMasterBeekeeper.org.
Dewey Caron presented findings on last winter’s survey results. To participate in this winter’s survey, visit pnwhoneybeesurvey.com. This survey helps us share information and continue to develop best practices for overwintering bees in our unique Pacific Northwestern climate. Additionally, he gave his monthly “What Is Your Plan” presentation, where he reminded us that April is “the cruelest month.” As overwintered adults die off, and brood ramps up, the hive can be left in a vulnerable moment. He predicts that the early spring this year will mean a big beekeeping season, and some special practices might be interesting to try, such as opening the brood area to the supers to alleviate crowding. He reminds us to set out bait hives and be sure to have extra boxes and frames ready for the big swarm season upon us!