PUB June 2017 Beeline

This month we will be recapping our June 7th PUB meeting. Our next meeting is Wednesday, July 5th at Rose City Park Methodist Church from 7-9pm. Hope to see you there!

PUB President Bill Catherall started things off reminding those not on the Swarm List to register as this is the month for swarms. If you haven’t registered jump on over to the Bee Allies site and take advantage of swarm reports, mentoring opportunities, and available apiary spaces.

Glen Andresen shared his monthly Pollen & Nectar report. Glen took us through annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines and flowering trees that are contributing to this year’s honey flow. For a more detailed report check out for Glen’s monthly “What’s in bloom” report. And please email Glen with any photos and/or suggestions of other good honey bee plants.

Our featured speaker was Brian Lacy, owner of Urban Bees And Gardens, which offers a range of programs for all ages to educate, support and advocate for the beekeeping community. Brian’s highly informative presentation covered first-year beekeeping and offered knowledge from his 45 years of beekeeping experience.

Tour De Hives 2017

Tour De Hives is just a few weeks away!! TDH is a self-guided tour of backyard apiaries and bee trees in and around Portland, Oregon. This year the tour falls on the weekend of June 24-25. We’re still looking for volunteers so please sign up here. Saturday we will be exploring SE neighborhoods and Sunday will be in NE Portland neighborhoods. We hope this will help give people more time to enjoy the tour stops, create more traffic at more stops, and give tour hosts a chance to also take the tour. Get your tickets here!

Zenger Work Party June 18th

Also a reminder/invite for the work party at Zenger Farm on June 18th from 10am-noon. We’ve been doing great things at Zenger and the apiary is looking awesome. But there’s still more to be done.

PUB Member Survey

At Portland Urban Beekeepers, we are honored to host a place for beekeepers to come together to learn, share, and engage our greatest passion – bees! Beekeeping is an exciting and challenging journey, and we all have our own unique experiences. We want to take this opportunity to learn more about who makes up our beekeeping club! Please click this link to fill out the online survey. We thank you for being a part of our community!

Multnomah County Fair

PUB’s presence at the 111th Multnomah County Fair was it’s best ever. The observation hive was a huge hit (thanks Bill Catherall & Janene Gibbs), as was the face cutout photo board. Special thanks to Linda Zahl for organizing and staffing the event and to all the volunteers who donated their time to making it a huge success!! Part of PUB’s commitment is to advocate for the bee community and educate those interested in raising honey bees and supporting their presence in the environment and we hit our mark at this year’s fair. Well done everyone!!

Zenger Farm May 2017 Report

Donation provided by Beetanical Apiary

On Saturday, May 20, 2017, several PUB Bee School students and mentors met together to get some hands-on experience in the hives. We had only 2 hives over-winter this year. But with 1 split performed 2 weeks ago, and thanks to a generous donation of 5 nucs from Beetanical Apiary, our hive numbers are back up to 8!

The weather was perfect. The students and mentors all had a great time. The bees were (mostly) well behaved. We have 4 OMB students helping to care for the hives this year as recipients of PUB’s OMB scholarship.

The apiary we maintain at Zenger Farm is used as our club’s outdoor classroom. These hives do so much more than just pollinate the crops on the farm. They also serve to educate the general public, local school groups, Afghanistan delegates, and Iraqi youth.

Come on out and join us sometime during a work party. It takes a great deal of effort to maintain this apiary and we need all the busy little worker bees we can get! Work parties are the 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month, from 10am-noon. No need to sign-up, just show up. Work parties are open to the public and free (except for the work we ask you to do).

(Photos by Jordan Egstad.)


May 2017 Beeline

In this month’s Beeline we will be recapping our May 3rd PUB meeting. We met at our usual location at Rose City Park United Methodist Church – and will be again on Wednesday, June 7th from 7-9pm. Dewey Caron shared information on swarms in May. He also shared an important link about the impact of pesticides on our bees. Go to for more information.


Glen Andresen shared his monthly Pollen & Nectar report. We’re seeing annual flowers such as the Hybrid Poppy, and bulbs like the crocus bellflower (campanula), as well as the usual suspects like the sweet cherry and the asian pear starting to bud and flower. For a more detailed report check out for Glen’s monthly “What’s in bloom” report. Send photos and suggestions of other good honey bee plants to

baithivesSwarm Traps! By setting out swarm traps we can make it easier to catch our own swarms and give swarming bees a place to move into instead of a neighbor’s wall or attic space. And there’s no better time to catch swarms than right now! For information on how to catch swarms and to download swarm trap plans check out PUB’s blog post here. If you don’t want to build your own bait hives, we still have a few still available for purchase for $30 ($25 for 2 or more) so contact Lauren Smith  to order.

Our May meeting featured Rebekah Golden, who gave a wonderful presentation about her experiences working with native bees. Rebekah loves talking about all types of pollinators and is the education coordinator over at Bee Thinking. She was nice enough to allow us to post it on our blog so head over and check it out. We are so grateful to Rebekah for taking the time to share with our group.

Come check us out at the Multnomah County Fair May 27th – 29th starting at 12:00pm over at Oaks Amusement Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Portland, OR 97202, USA.

Zenger Farm will be having an Epi-pen training class at the farm on Wednesday, July 14th from 10am-12pm. Cost is $30 per person. If you want to attend send an RSVP to

And last but not least… don’t forget to SAVE THE DATE for Tour De Hives 2017 June 24-25! We will feature tour stops of backyard apiaries all over Portland. If you’d like to become a sponsor and be featured on this website, booklet, and poster please send send an email to Tickets are going fast so head over to our website and pick up your own.

March 2017 Beeline

In this month’s Beeline we will be recapping our February 1st PUB meeting.

Once again, Bridgetown Bees‘ Glen Andresen shared his monthly Pollen & Nectar report with his extensive slideshow on current flowering plants. Even though we’re coming out of an atypically harsh winter, Glen provided some great information on the several blooming nectar and pollen plants just coming into bloom that are keeping our girls busy this February and March. You may want to look out your backyard and see what’s blooming there.

For example, there are several variety of crocus that are just starting to bloom for our girls coming out of the darkness of winter. Also vine plants such as the winter jasmine and winter honeysuckle are beginning to bloom as well. For a more detailed report on current flowering plants check out Bridgetown Bees for Glen’s monthly “What’s in bloom” report. Click here to check it out. In addition, if you happen to run across any interesting honey bee plants during your outside times be sure to email Glen with any photos and/or suggestions.

Our featured speaker this month was Susan Chernak McElroy, best-selling author, master storyteller and co-founder of Spirit Bee. Susan’s hives are the focus of her spiritual practice—the apiary as temple, teacher, divine inspiration, and meditation corner. She continues to study the science and the mystery of beekeeping, and believes that what is truly good for honeybees is equally good for human bee-ings. If you haven’t checked out her New York Times Bestseller, ‘Animals as Teachers and Healers,’ you should. Click here for a link to her books. Susan’s writings are published in more than twenty languages worldwide. Many thanks to Susan for sharing her holistic view of what beekeeping is like for her.

We’re excited to announce that Michael Thiele, founder of Gaia Bees will be speaking here in Portland on Saturday, March 18th. More details to come!!

Bee School 2017 was a huge success as we had a record 42 attendees and 8 volunteers. For those not familiar, Bee School is a yearly event for beginning beekeepers and provides 6 hours of classroom instruction plus 2 hours of hands on experience inside a working hive. For those who attended, keep on the lookout for your field reminder which will be coming to you in the coming weeks.

We have several opportunities for volunteering and being involved with the club. If you’d like to volunteer for Tour De Hives 2017, help out with Zenger Farm, help a board member, or become a mentor, please email Bill or talk to a board member at the next meeting.

January 2017 Presentation

andony_1000x1000At our January 2017 meeting our featured speaker was Andony Melathopoulos.

Andony is an Assistant Professor of Pollinator Health Extension in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University. His work at OSU comes out of a mandate from the Oregon Legislature to create a state-wide pollinator safety and outreach program. Prior to coming to OSU he was a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Biology at the University of Calgary working with Shelley Hoover and Ralph Cartar on canola pollination. He holds an Interdisciplinary PhD from Dalhousie University (2015) and a Master of Pest Management from Simon Fraser University (1999). Formerly he worked as the chief technician in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Apiculture Research program (2000-2012).

If the video on Slide 9 doesn’t play it’s linked below:

Video Link

October Beeline

In this month’s Beeline we will be recapping our October 5th PUB meeting. Our next meeting on Wednesday, November 7th will be at our NEW LOCATION – Rose City Park United Methodist Church located at 5830 NE Alameda St. Click here for directions. DO NOT meet at Alberta Abbey.

This coming Wednesday is our annual PUB Showcase! This will be an opportunity for all PUB members to show off your bee-related projects, plans, products, and employment. Whether you make a living, supplement your income, or just have fun with bees, you are invited to set up a table to show off what you enjoy doing. Spaces are free and tables will be provided. Please email us to reserve your table. Please show up at 6pm to set up your table.

(Due to church rules, please no alcohol.)

what's-in-bloomOnce again, and in supreme style, Bridgetown Bees’ Glen Andresen shared his monthly Pollen & Nectar report with his extensive slideshow on current flowering plants. As he does each month, Glen provides information on the many blooming nectar and pollen plants still out there that are keeping our girls busy through November/December. For a more detailed report check out Bridgetown Bees for Glen’s monthly “What’s in bloom” report. If you run across any interesting honey bee plants be sure to email Glen with any photos and/or suggestions.

Our featured speaker this month was Mark Johnson. Mark is a former Vice President of OSBA and veteran of 44 years as a commercial beekeeper. Mark, who has over 1200 hives, provides pollination services to farmers starting with the California almond bloom in February, moving from crop to crop all spring and summer, until the time when he harvests honey in August. Honey harvesting is one of the more expense processes a beekeeper does and Mark shared which processes work best for him. “We do both pollination and honey, but honey is only about 20 percent. In western Oregon if you tried to keep bees for honey you’d go broke, it’s mainly renting hives to farmers.” Many thanks to Mark for sharing his big-picture view of what beekeeping is like for him, his family, and employees throughout the year.

Congratulations go out to Michael Carlson and Lil Reitzel who won the OSBA conference giveaway. We hope to post their experiences of the conference to our PUB Blog and Facebook page in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Upcoming Events

BeeSchoolPUB Bee School is scheduled for Saturday, January 28th, 2017. If you or a friend have been wanting to take a beginning beekeeping course registration is now open. Click here for more info and to register.
Honey Tasting event – Wednesday, December 7 . Location will be at Rose City Park United Methodist Church, 5830 NE Alameda St Portland, OR 97213, in the Youngson Hall (basement) meeting room.

September 2016 Meeting Presentations

Here’s the repository of presentations given at the meeting this month. Glen’s Pollen & Nectar Report is available at the Bridgetown Bees website.

Dewey Caron gave us a presentation on what to do in the apiary in September.

Dewey mentioned the survey analysis and the “mystery” in his presentation. That analysis is available in the files section of our website. And since Dewey will not be able to attend our October meeting, he put together a document outlining 10 things we can do now to help our bees survive winter.

Our main speaker was Harry Vanderpool, president of OSBA, speaking about overwintering nucs.

Iraqi Youth Learn About Beekeeping At Zenger Farm

July 25, 2016

Write-up and photos by Charlie Vanden Heuvel
Additional contributions by Linda Zahl

Summary: Portland Urban Beekeepers (PUB) hosted a delegation of enthusiastic, Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program students at the Portland Urban Beekeeping (PUB) treatment-free apiary located at Zenger Farm, SE Portland, OR, a sustainable, educational, urban farm. The delegations U.S. visit was financed by the U.S. Department of State arranged by the World Affairs Council of Oregon. Following a short presentation about bees, moved to a hands-on experience with beekeeping practices, and finally to tasting honey. The PUB beekeepers demonstrating honey bee care and health management were: Linda Zahl the PUB Board Member, Education Coordinator, Journey Level Oregon Master Beekeeping Program; Susie Wilcox, PUB Member; Charlie Vanden Heuvel, PUB Member, Journey Level Oregon Master Beekeeping Program; Annette Carter, PUB Member, Frank Gransha, Professor Geology Portland State University, PUB Member; Lily Glaeser, Botanist, presenter of The Honey Bee and Beekeeping, PUB Member; Micah Hamley, PUB Member; Luca, (teenager) PUB Member

This is the second year that the World Affairs Council of Oregon asked Portland Urban Beekeepers (PUB) to host a delegation from the middle east. Last year we hosted a group of Government Agricultural Agents from Afghanistan and we felt it an honor to contribute toward their understanding of American honey bee management practices. This year, when approached by the Council to host a group of teenagers from Iraq, we felt extremely privileged to be able to help the next generation become, if not beekeepers, then young professionals who understand the role of beekeeping in the world.

Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program Group
Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program Group

Beekeeping in Iraq has existed for 5,000 years until it was shut down in 1992 (Hartigan, Mahmoud and Michael, USA Today, 2005, Ancient tradition revived to turn honey into money). “The general situation is that conflict over the last decade and a half has devastated the beekeeping industry of Iraq, which at one time was a thriving activity with an estimated half million colonies of honey bees managed by a majority of the rural population.” (Sanford, Dr. Malcolm T., University of Florida)

It is currently being revived, so hosting teenagers from Iraq transcended cultural, theological, and language barriers. One look at the innocence on the faces filled with hope created an atmosphere for these students to experience first-hand apiculture in the U.S.

The Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) is one of the many exchange programs the State Department administers each year to strengthen people-to-people relationships between Iraqis and Americans. It enables Iraqi and U.S. high school students and adult mentors to develop leadership skills and build action plans to strengthen the future of Iraq and the U.S. The students on the IYLEP were introduced to new skills and networks through participation in community service activities and leadership workshops, interactions with U.S. students, and site visits to civic, youth, and governmental organizations. The group was comprised of students from Kurdistan and Iraq.

Throughout the four-week program, the seven Iraqi youth participants were accompanied by seven U.S. high school students and two Iraqi adult mentors. The group spent one week in Vermont, came to Portland Oregon for two weeks to emerge in environmental stewardship and cross-cultural leadership opportunities, and then will move on to Washington D.C.

The moment the group exited the bus at Zenger Farm their faces displayed excitement coupled with a bit of anxiety about meeting the apis mellifera ‘face to face’. Lily Glaeser gathered the group around the apiary for a short discussion on honey bee casts, drone congregation areas, plant pollination, nectar, and of course bee stings.

None of the students had prior apiary experience. Yet the students challenged the PUB presenters with insightful questions throughout the experience dealing with beekeeping management techniques and the honey bee.

PUB Members then broke the students into smaller groups delving into the hives to witness first hand hive activity and frames. Each ‘hive PUB mentor’ turned their hive tool over to the students to enhance their personal experience. The expression of joy was evident as they lifted frames of capped honey, capped brood, pollen, and nectar. Although fully suited, each smelled the hives’ honey and propolis all the while discussing the virtues of their apitherapy qualities. As the treatment of gout with honey is popular in their region it became a topic of discussion (Najafi, Tahereh Eteraf-Oskouel and Moslem) as did honey’s and propolis’s inhibitory effect on bacteria.

Group Inspecting Frame
Group Inspecting Frame

The members began to take covers off Langstroth Hives in search of the queen. Then rapidly moving to the upper box where each handled frames in exploration of the intricacies of hive populations and their interactions. Being August only a few drones were evident, but when found the drone was picked up by the student to have an up close feel. Each PUB mentor brought the hives inner-workings into the personalized time.

One of the hives was experiencing Idiopathic Brood Disease Syndrome (Oregon State University insect ID Clinic, Oregon State University) allowing a great opportunity to visualize hive disease. Iraq’s existing hives, according to a report by Sanders in 2005 have 10% and 40% Varroa mite infestation. Due to time constraints, discussion on treatments of this devastating issues did not transpire.

When one of the students came away from the hive with a dozen of the girls on her finger, it became clear a bond, as we have all acquired, was fermented. Watching each of the group’s zeal as they held up frames, picked up drones, smelled the honey and propolis, and observed the bees on each frame proved the benefit of this occasion.

Girl Excited By Bees On Her Finger
Girl Excited By Bees On Her Finger

Some of the group moved on to the Top Bar Hive for a discussion on the differences between it and the Langstroth Hive. While the Langstroth Hives predominately had frames with foundations, in the Top Bar Hive the students witnessed natural comb. This provided an opportunity to discuss the bee’s wax gland and how comb was created.

After the students’ apiary explorations the group moved to a honey tasting table to sample different types of the hives’ gold, donated by PUB members from their local bees. Evidently this proved delightful.

Enjoying Honey Tasting
Enjoying Honey Tasting

While standing around the table, an open discussion of the morning’s events transpired. “What is swarming?” “How long does it take the hive to recover from a swarm?” “How do queens mate?” And more. This culminating forum was evidence of the impact the morning’s experience was for these eager minds. Allie Collopy, representing World Affairs Council of Oregon, at the end of the morning shared how excited the group was about their activities in the apiary.

Thank you, IYLEP high schoolers, for all that you gave us. And thank you, World Affairs Council of Oregon and the State Department, for making it possible.


Hartigan, Mahmoud and Michael, USA Today, Ancient tradition revived to turn honey into money

Sanford, Dr. Malcolm T., University of Florida

Zenger Farm

Najafi, Tahereh Eteraf-Oskouel and Moslem, Traditional and Modern Uses of Natural Honey in Human Diseases: A Review, National Institutes of Health, US National Library of Medicine

Oregon State University insect ID Clinic, Oregon State University

World Affairs Council of Oregon

Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program