Thank you for everyone who braved the heat to join us this past Wednesday for our monthly membership meeting! For those of you who were unable to attend or need a recap, here are the highlights:
Glen Andresen of Bridgetown Bees gave us our monthly Pollen & Nectar Report, along with some Portland trivia! Did you know that Glen also hosts a radio show about gardening called The Dirtbag? You can listen to it on KBOO Radio.
As we turn the corner from swarm season & nectar flow to summer dearth and preparation for autumn, we also need to be considering Varroa management.
This month our featured speaker was Dr. Brandon Hopkins from WSU. He shared his research and data on using a forced brood break to enhance Varroa control. If you are treatment free, working towards treatment free, or are seeking ways to use less chemical treatments this is an excellent method! You can purchase the queen cages used in this research here (note – it is important that what ever cage is used for this method, the workers are still able to access the queen in order to spread her pheromones through the hive, otherwise you may be left with a colony trying to requeen itself). Other considerations for this method include: Does the colony have the population to support a brood break? Time of year – it is not recommended to use this method late in the summer. Before or just after the nectar flow is ideal.
PUB members reported higher levels of loss than the rest of the state (according to the results of the PNW Honeybee Survey). It is important that we be proactive in Varroa monitoring and control. If you are unsure about how to collect mite samples from your hive, please contact us to get connected with a Bee Buddy, or come to one of our apiary work parties at Zenger Farm on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month from 10-12. We will teach you how to collect mite samples!
Until next time, happy beekeeping!