Central Oregon



2020 First Place Winnig Photo by Sam Utley

Upcoming events

08 Dec 2020 6:00 PM • Redmond
12 Jan 2021 6:00 PM • Redmond
26 Jan 2021 7:00 PM • This is an online event (via Zoom)


We are a diverse bunch of individuals who share a fascination for the honey bee and its workings. Our members range from full-time beekeepers and pollinators with hundreds of hives to hobbyists involved in backyard beekeeping. 

Some members do not even keep bees, but are fascinated by the six legs and four wings of Apis mellifera.


The Mission of the Central Oregon Beekeeping Association (COBKA) is to promote effective, economic and successful regional beekeeping through education, collaboration, communication and research in the spirit of friendship.

November in a

Central Oregon Apiary

Summer is over; the last of the Indian Summer seems to be finishing as well.  Halloween has come and gone and Thanksgiving is fast approaching (the last two holidays being modulated by COVID of course).

November still has time for exterior winterization (wrapping, entrance reducer, insulation, wind breaks etc.).  However, this time of year I find it’s best to not bother your hive much, and especially not open or manipulate it/them unless there is a VERY good reason for it, and no other way to achieve your goal.  They’ve sealed up the cracks, consolidated the brood chamber/cluster exactly where they want it, and may be somewhat defensive (we are a bear out to steal their hard earned stores as far as they are concerned).  If you open them, their careful preparation may be disturbed.  Possible reasons for opening could include emergency Fall supplemental feeding for a very light hive, such as adding stored frames of honey, a Sockermat next to the cluster, a fondant patty in the inner cover (Langstroth), or to remove a completely empty box from the top or bottom of the hive (Langstroth).  Otherwise, LEAVE THEM ALONE.

During November, on the occasional warm day, I still like to watch my bees go out for cleansing flights and to find water.  Also like to picture them “getting out for a stretch” after a couple of weeks being cooped up inside.

The other activity on the frosty November evenings is to do a post season debrief.  A hot chocolate or tea in hand cast your mind back through the season.  Was I late in counting and treating mites in late Spring?  There were three hives that swarmed, how should the schedule be adjusted next year, if I want to mitigate.  My swarm catching technique was a bit clumsy, how should I readjust it.  Two hives starved in early Spring, how would be best to mitigate.  Mid/late Summer mite treatments and honey harvest provided complicated interactions and logistics, what would be a better plan to make it more efficient and effective.  There were a bunch of OLD frames, probably ought to cull next year….How?  Were those 10 frame Langstroths getting awfully heavy, or am I just getting older?

Stay healthy and safe,

Allen Engle

Thoughts on our association.  You are a member of the Central Oregon Beekeepers Association.  Our stated mission is “The Mission of the Central Oregon Beekeeping Association (COBKA) is to promote effective, economic and successful regional beekeeping through education, collaboration, communication and research in the spirit of friendship.”

Just to make sure you are aware of the benefits you are entitled to as a member, here are several of them. If you’re not yet taking advantage of them, please feel free. If you don’t know how, contact me and I’ll walk you through it.  Our club provides monthly meetings, usually with an expert in a particular area of beekeeping, or area of interest to beekeepers (either a member who’s an expert in a certain area, or a guest brought in from a university or commercial setting).  Along with this, we provide a 30 minute “beginner’s corner” where there will be 1 or more experienced beekeepers both to answer general beekeeping questions, explain terms and concepts to be covered by the speaker during the regular meeting as well, sometimes, as discussing what beekeepers ought to be working on and thinking about during a particular time of year……..all in a nonjudgmental environment where it’s ok and accepted to ask the basic questions. COBKA Meeting Slides Archives Monthly, we provide a “what to do in (month) in the apiary discussion, specific to central Oregon. In the Apiary Archives Most years (COVID has put a monkey wrench into this) COBKA also conducts a beginner bee school which, in one day, provides newbies with enough information to get started and through the first season with their bees.  Also, we try annually to organize an intermediate or advanced seminar where topics of interest especially to more experienced beekeepers are discussed.  Finally, we try to have one speaker a year who will present to a mixed (beekeepers and general public) on a topic that may be of general interest (native pollinators, Africanized honey bees, mason bees etc.)

Also along the education vein, you have access to our online forums where you can ask questions of the membership in general (open forum), or of experienced beekeepers (mentor forum), as well as coordinating equipment, bee and queen pickup and delivery or a place to sell stuff.  We provide scholarships to people who are working on their Oregon Master Beekeeper qualifications

We try to publicize the more important goings on in the regional beekeeping world.  State and regional conferences, honey bee loss polls etc. Events

Finally, we do provide access to extraction equipment and a swarm list.

Almost the most important part, which we’ve been somewhat missing this year, is the opportunity to visit and rub shoulders with a whole variety of other folks whose primary similarity is the interest in honey bees and pollination.

If you have questions about any of these, or suggestions of changes, or new opportunities, please let me know…….or better yet, sign up to be part of the steering committee where all of these items and others are discussed and decided on.  It’s very low stress, meeting quarterly and a great group of people.

Allen Engle 541-four two zero-0423

COBKA Monthly Notes Archives

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