Response to Portland’s Proposed Beekeeping Ordinance

The city of Portland is proposing changes to the beekeeping laws. We received a detailed outline of the changes proposed, and as a club, we rebutted. There will be public hearings sometime in March 2020.

In response to the proposed changes we sent out a survey to PUB members. Below are links to PDF documents of the survey results and the rebuttal to the proposed changes. The city has acknowledged receipt of our rebuttal, and we would like our members and the general public to have access to it as well.

January 2019 – Club Updates

Thank you to everyone that attended our January meeting! Though the meeting space was tight, I think that if our bees could have seen us they would have have enjoyed seeing us beekeepers crammed together in harmonious learning.

Like swarming bees, we are looking for a new place for PUB to call “home.” Our previous two meetings were held at the Lucky Labrador on SE Hawthorne, but alas it was too crowded. Our February meeting will be held at the Lucky Labrador’s NW PDX location at 1945 NW Quimby which has space for 100. In the meantime, we will continue to search.

A new year brings new guidelines for Oregon beekeepers. Cheryl Wright, our club treasurer and student in the OSU Master Beekeeper program explained the new best practices, which can be downloaded for free here. These guidelines were developed to aid cities throughout Oregon to have a better understanding of the benefits of residential beekeeping and that honey bees can be kept in a nuisance free manner. The comprehensive booklet also serves as a common sense guide for how to keep our bees in ways that won’t upset or bother our neighbors. Additionally, the Oregon State Beekeepers Association has designated persons to aid in conflict resolution should the need arise.

We discussed our finances for 2018, which showed that the club had lower revenues but also lower expenses for the year. Your membership dollars are important for the ongoing operations of the club: business registration, taxes, rent, apiary expenses, website/hosting fees and our PO Box for example. We intend to give quarterly updates moving forward as requested by our members who participated in the member survey which can be accessed here.

Glen Andresen from Bridgetown Bees shared trivia and his What’s in Bloom report for January. Glen has been a staple for PUB meetings for years and if you are like me, you appreciate the plant knowledge that he contributes!

Our new board of directors was voted in and here are the results: President – Mandy Shaw, Vice President – Simone Miller, Education Director – Rebekah Golden, Communications Director – Forrest Stotts, Treasurer/Secretary – Cheryl Wright, Librarian – Lauren Smith, and Member at Large – Emma Egstad.

Volunteers who generously donate their time, talents, and resources keep PUB alive as an organization. If you are interested in volunteering or becoming more active in the club, please contact any of us!

October 2018 Member Meeting

It is hard to believe that the bee season is winding down and the window of opportunities to work with our bees is closing. Knowing what to look for and when to take action can be tricky, but fortunately we have great resources available to us including Dr. Dewey Caron who presented his October apairy plan and his talk on FAT WINTER BEES.  His presentation is included below.

Glen Andresen kicked off our meeting with the monthly pollen and nectar report complete with some much enjoyed Oregon triva!

I also shared a recent experience that I had involving a cut out of a feral colony that had what I suspected was small hive beetle. With the help from the OSU Bee Lab, we were able to positively identify them as SHB. You can read more about small hive beetles here. If you suspect that you have a colony with SHB, you can contact the bee lab for positive identification. They are extremely responsive and helpful! The current statement on SHB in Oregon is:

“Current climatic conditions may not be ideal for SHB overwintering, pupation, or establishment in most of Oregon, but future changes in climate, such as frequent mild winters, could aid in their establishment. Early detection and control of SHB will help keep or delay this pest from successfully establishing in Oregon. Use caution when purchasing package bees, established colonies, or queens from locations where SHB is well established. Also, monitor your colonies for small hive beetles during summer and fall if you regularly transport your bees across state lines for pollination, especially to California for almond pollination.”

Thank you to all who attended – I look forward to seeing you again in November!

September 2018 Member Meeting

With summer beekeeping coming to a close, now is a critical time for our colonies as we help transition them into fall. This month’s member meeting was not only well attended by our regulars, we also welcomed several “newbees” to the group. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend!

Glen Andresen of Bridgetown Bees kicked off the evenings program with his pollen and nectar report. Surprisingly, there is a lot in bloom (just not many trees)!

Dr. Dewey Caron gave an informative talk about what is happening in our bee colonies this month: brooding down, and raising fat winter bees. If your colonies are light, now is the time to feed! Pollen supplements will help September nurse bees raise fat winter bees. Now is also the time for mite counts! You can participate in the Mite-a-Thon by submitting your mite counts Sept 8 – 15 to mitecheck.com. The data collected gives a snapshot of mite infestations in a specific time frame. The mite-a-thon is open to anyone and their mites (ew!).

Linda Zahl shared her new found love for native bees and gave an introduction to the Oregon Bee Atlas training! Portland Urban Beekeepers is working to arrange a Bee Atlas training for our members – stay tuned for updates!

Emily Parker from Bee & Bloom gave a very impressive talk about bees around the world. Her presentation was loaded with captivating imagery, and bee facts that we usually don’t hear about!

Enjoy your September, and we’ll see you again in October!

August 2018 Member Meeting

Thank you to all who attended the meeting last night! We had a full line up of interesting presentations – here’s a recap:

I was excited to share the story of how PUB was selected to participate in a FaceBook Adventures campaign that highlighted some of the eclectic clubs that Portland has to offer. You can watch the video here. You will be happy to know that our bees were on their best beehavior for the director & production team and we had a wonderful time representing our club.

Glen Andresen from Bridgetown Bees gave his monthly Pollen & Nectar report which always includes important and timely information for us beekeepers!

Emma Egstad, our member at large and co-owner of Bee & Bloom shared tips on Honey & Wax Processing and included interesting points on the history & science of honey and wax.

Robert Leger shared the second portion of his yellow jacket series, this time focusing on yellow jacket nest abatement. Yellow jackets can have a tremendous and negative impact on the honey bee population. Knowing how to approach and destroy a yellow jacket nest can save vulnerable hives from being invaded.

Dewey Caron had several show-and-tell items to share and gave very practical advice on how we can address varroa mites now, before our bees head into fall and winter. He also mentioned the following resources:

OSU Extension Service recommendations for protecting honey bees from yellow jackets.

Tools for Varroa Management

 

We look forward to seeing you next month!

July 2018 Member Meeting

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!

 

June 2018 Member Meeting

Thanks to everyone that joined us for our June member meeting!

This month’s meeting featured Glen Andresen’s pollen and nectar report which can be found here. We also heard from our treasurer, Cheryl Wright who shared her experiences with the Oregon Master Beekeeping program. If you are interested in learning more about OMB, you can visit their website here. If you wish to join the program, now is the time to get on the 2019 wait list!

We also had the pleasure of listening and learning from honorary PUB member, Dr. Dewey Caron. He shared his results and insights from the PNW loss report which indicated that PUB participants had a higher loss rate than the overall Oregon loss. He provided guidance on IMP and moving towards treatment free beekeeping methods. You can view his presentation below:

 

Until next time, happy beekeeping!

April Member Meeting

Spring is here and the apiary to-do list is ready to go! We had a full house at this months meeting and are grateful for everyone who came. BeSpoke Bee Supply donated a swarm box and PUB member Steve Niles shared milkweed seeds for our raffle.

Glen Andresen kicked off our meeting with the monthly pollen and nectar report complete with some much enjoyed Oregon triva!

Dewey Caron returned from his winter travels and shared tips for what to do in the apiary this month, as well as an update on the PNW Honeybee Survey. The success of the survey is dependent on participation! You can take the survey by clicking here. We were also pleased to present Dewey with a lifetime honorary membership to Portland Urban Beekeepers!

 

Yellow jackets are a problematic and sometimes devastating visitor in our bee yards. Being ahead of the yellow jackets can give your bees a much needed break from these predators as bee colonies wind down brood and honey production for the season. Robert Leger gave us some valuable identification tips, as well as insight on the yellow jacket life cycle. He gave us strategies for baiting and catching queens (keeps some rocks handy!) and how to deal with the workers. Did you know that yellow jackets orient themselves to the food source? You can check out Robert’s presentation here: The Yellow Jacket-free Home

The beekeeping community has been buzzing about the new Best Practices in Residential Beekeeping guidelines. Mike Rodia shared the document with us and gave an overview of why this is so important. “The best practices guidelines would make it possible to use existing local nuisance ordinances instead of new legal restrictions for managing conflicts that arise from beekeeping in residential areas.”

Just like generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) were developed as a means to use common sense widely & recognized principles in accounting, these guidelines for residential beekeeping are put into place so that beekeepers, our neighbors, and local/state government have some basic principles to refer to that demonstrate that we are keeping our bees in nuisance free manner.

If you live in Portland, you will still need to obtain a permit for keeping bees. More information on that can be found here. If you are unsure if your city of residence requires permits or has limitations on residential beekeeping, please check your city government website.

Until next time beekeepers, bee well!

March 2018 Presentation

Thank you to all who attended our March membership meeting! This time of year is full of promise as we gear up for the bee season ahead. If you have suffered bee loss over the winter, this is also a time to take a look at the previous season as a whole and consider what may have led to the demise of your colony. Rebekah Golden, our education director and partner in Bee & Bloom gave us a detailed presentation on things to look for during a postmortem hive exam. She also gave important direction on how to approach your surviving colonies to give them the best support as they move into spring. This is such an exhilarating time in the beekeepers year and we are glad to share that excitement with all of you!