Our June 3rd meeting was filled with practical information from local beekeepers.
Bill Catherall gave a great presentation on beekeeping record keeping. He’s a big advocate for record keeping so you can do “bee math” in order to plan well by anticipating when brood will emerge. Additionally, record keeping is a great tool to track your hive’s health. Bill showed us all sorts of innovative tracking tools, including using bricks, paper templates, and duct tape. He reminds us that whatever works for us is the right way to do it!
Dewey Caron was back this month with advice on what to do in the hive this month. He reminds us to challenge the bees by giving plenty of super space. He warns that this year might not be a great year to harvest all of the supers. This is an early year, and the bees might need that extra honey to overwinter. Dewey recommends starting to test for mites. Testing early gives us a baseline so that when we take fall mite numbers there’s some context.
Dewey also presented some early results from the Pacific Northwest Honey Bee Survey. Good news shows less loss than last year! To check out the survey, visit http://pnwhoneybeesurvey.com/survey-results/2015-survey-reports/. Dewey and his team are still crunching numbers, so stay tuned for more exciting results. If you find this information helpful, please participate in next year’s survey!
Our main event was a Q&A panel, moderated by Dewey Caron. The panel consisted of three beekeepers with varying backgrounds. Mike card is a fourth year beekeeper with seven colonies. Kerry Jahanne, a beekeeper and orchardist and recent transplant from New York has 14 years of beekeeping experience. While she managed 40 colonies in New York, she’s still looking forward to starting her first in Portland. Our final panelist was a Portland beekeeping fixture and PUB veteran, Glen Andresen, who has 25 years of beekeeping experience and currently manages 80 hives. The questions revolved mostly around the pros and cons of foundation vs. foundationless, and the ways to track and manage mites.
PUB is excited to be sponsoring the bee booth at the Oregon State Fair on Saturday, August 29th. Come say hi!