May 2021

It’s official, the bee season has begun…multiple attempts to procure an extra inner hive cover the other day were met with “out of stock” and “check back next week.” By now, many of us have received our new bees. But as I write this, it has not yet happened and I am counting down the days to when I pick up my packages. Having lost my hives over the winter, I miss the bees. I miss doing spring checks and watching for swarm cells. I miss watching them react to the warm sunny mornings and looking at the different colors of pollen coming in. It’s a wonderful feeling, really. I see it as an affirmation of what beekeeping means to me and the value I place in being a steward of their species. Until then, I’ll watch others do their inspections and tidy my shed and clean my equipment for their new tenants, grateful for the space that will be created when the boxes and supers go back to work. 

Our April meeting featured Dr. Dewey Caron who reviewed Spring management – splits, swarms, feeding – all the classics. So many good reminders and new ideas, he is such a rich source of experience and knowledge. We’ve decided to keep our meetings directed to more experienced beekeepers and it’s worked out well. Our online Beekeeping 101 class is a great way to serve new beekeepers but keeping more advanced beekeepers engaged via our monthly meetings has remained a priority. One great side benefit of Zoom meetings is the dialogue that happens amongst members in the chat box – don’t you think? It’s added an unexpected dimension to the meetings for folks to pose questions, links to more resources, explanations of something the speaker said, even jokes. Just one more way for us to connect and share!

April 2021

Who isn’t loving these warmer days? We’re happily watching our bees zip back and forth from parts known and unknown or we’re anticipating the arrival of our bees (or both!). Either way, the Spring is a harbinger of finer days to come. 

PUB was fortunate to hear from its own Mandy Shaw at our March meeting. Many of you know Mandy as the creator and producer of the podcast Beekeeper Confidential and she gave us an overview of swarm catching – showed informative videos and provided stories and lots of tips and tricks for success in both collecting and baiting swarms. 

For a few months now, PUB has been surveying its members regarding whether members would like to reconvene in person or continue our meetings on Zoom, after the pandemic. We’ve heard from about half our membership and so far the votes are 2:1 in favor of remaining on Zoom. It seems the convenience of participating in a meeting while in our pajamas is too good to pass up!  PUB is now looking at ways to augment those with in-person social events, which we all know is an important part of our community development. PUB is hoping to start work parties at its apiary in June and we’re considering hosting quarterly gatherings at local pubs for informal sharing and mingling. 

Many thanks to our members who developed and created a virtual Bee Buddy system on our web page. Now potential mentors and mentees are able to connect through our website and find another beekeeper to pair up with, learn from, and teach. If you’re a beekeeper in the Portland area, join in!