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.
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.
September in the Apiary
Well, it’s been a hot and long summer for the girls, a good summer. What's next? It looks like our Bend summer nectar dearth will soon be starting up. Good Fall management is a real key to winter success... good stores, healthy bees, all the ducks in a row.... How? In September, we should be thinking about nest consolidation, sufficient honey stores (maybe you got some for yourself this year? yippee!!!!) as we assist the girls if necessary to prep for winter.
Fall management objective is to ensure that colonies have adequate food stores for overwintering and are healthy. Two inspections for Fall are recommended: one around Labor Day (1st Monday in Sept) and the 2nd around Columbus Day (mid-October). For September's inspection, we are working towards nest consolidation (crowding the girls, and ensuring they have honey both above the brood chamber, and to the sides. Do not disrupt or modify this arrangement other than moving the brood area downwards. Usually the bees will have done an excellent job in their preparation. If you're colony does not have enough honey stored (approx 60 pounds), you can augment the stores with feeding sugar syrup. It should be thick, with the ratio of two sugar to one water. Again guard against robbing. Be mindful that weak colonies are easily targeted for robbing (feeding inside the hive directly above the brood area is a good idea). Reduce entrances if needed to make hives easily defensible.
About Honey: September is a good time to pull the honey supers from most hives. Honey removed in early September will have less moisture content than previous months, so you do not have to be as judicious about making sure that all cells are capped. Store honey frames very securely so that bees cannot access them. They are quite adept and finding and quickly raiding, using the tiniest of access to frames.
Mite treatments should be finished up by now so that the winter bees being created will be strong for the long cold months ahead. If you have wanted to treat for varroa, but just haven't yet, the cooler weather (low 80's, mid 70's) and lower brood production makes using (organic) Mite Away Quick Strips (7 day treatment) still possible.
Well, there’s so much more to talk about, but that will have to wait till next month!
Hope this is helpful to all the 'newbees' out there. Let's get our girls in great shape NOW for winter!
(info from Ore. State Beekeepers Association and Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping by Dewey Caran)
Thanks again to Kim for preparing these notes!
This will be our first meeting at the Bend Environmental Center! There will be a beginner's corner at 5:30. Meeting will begin at 6pm. We hope to see you all there!