Central Oregon Beekeeping Association               


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19 Oct 2021 4:00 PM • Bend Environmental Center


The Central Oregon Beekeeping Association has pollinator friendly seed available to anyone. Please contact cobkaseeds@gmail.com for information.



Huddled close, happy

Warm for winter, together

Work all done, Bees sleep


S. K. Montgomery, 2020 COBKA Haiku Contest Winner

ABOUT US

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.

OUR MISSION

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.

October Notes from a Central Oregon Apiary

This is the month you either should have or must finish up all your winter prep.  If they’re light, you can probably get a little more syrup in before it gets too cold for them to process it.  I like to feed 2 or 3 to 1 syrup now as it’s less work for the bees to finish.  There is controversy with this and the other side of the coin is to always feed 1 to 1 syrup which most closely mimics natural forage. Alternatively you can insert  a full frame of honey or sugar patties or fondant.  Also, if you haven’t finished any needed mite treatments, you probably still have a week or two to complete them before it gets too consistently cold.  Make sure to read the label carefully.

This time of year one of your priorities should be to disturb your hives as little as possible.  The bees “know” how they want the hive organized, and have the cracks and holes properly propolized.  Any time you break them open or move things around, they need to “fix” it all over again.

Finally, if you want to, now is the time to finish any winterization.  If you decide to insulate the sides, top and/or bottom. It’s time.  If you want an entrance reducer or mouse guard. Now.  If you want an extra upper entrance, or if you want a “blanket box” whether filled with an old blanket, some raw wool, dog hair or wood shavings to help with humidity.  Some of us just want to add a rock on top so the cover doesn’t blow off and make sure the colony is strong and well fed.

Maybe it would be a good idea when finishing up for the year to whisper a thank you to the ladies for a wonderful summer and wish them well during the winter.

Allen Engle

At our September Club Meeting we're planning a Beekeeper's Field Day!

“Voiceless Flowers”


among greenery

quiet blossom safari

olfactory binds


Naomi Price, 2020 Haiku Contest honorary mention

When the Honey is Not So Sweet: Managing Bee Stings

By Nancy Pietroski

Stings are a common and not unexpected hazard of beekeeping.  If a particular honeybee stings, it will only happen once as they die after stinging, and can’t attack repeatedly like hornets and wasps. However, a person can receive multiple stings at the same time. With the sting a venomous toxin is released, which can cause an allergic reaction in the unfortunate victim. The degree of reaction to the sting depends whether someone is allergic to the venom.

Initial Management of Stings

If a sting occurs, do the following as soon as possible:

  • *        Remove the stinger by scraping it off with a fingernail or credit card
  • *        Wash the area with soap and water
  • *        Apply a cold compress or ice to decrease the amount of toxin absorbed into the skin ,and to decrease swelling
  • *        To neutralize the acidity and initial pain of the venom, these home remedies used immediately on the stung area offer rapid relief: honey! (cover with a bandage), make a paste with baking soda and water, apple cider vinegar, meat tenderizer, toothpaste

Management of Sting Reactions

A mild reaction to a sting can cause burning pain, redness, and swelling at the site. A more moderate reaction can cause substantially more redness and swelling at the site. These reactions may become more intense with each sting.  After the above has been done:

  • *        Take an antihistamine like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) to ease the itching (because bee venom contains histamine). These are older antihistamines and can cause drowsiness, but they work better than second generation ones like fexofenadine (Allegra), loratadine (Claritin), or cetirizine (Zyrtec).
  • *        Take an anti-inflammatory agent/pain reliever like ibuprofen (ex. Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (ex. Alleve). Although acetaminophen (Tylenol) is a pain reliever, it is not an anti-inflammatory, so will not help with swelling.

*        Use hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, or something with a topical anesthetic (like benzocaine) to ease redness, itching, swelling, or pain.

*        Herbal oils/creams like aloe vera, tea tree, witch hazel, calendula, or lavender may soothe the sting site.

*        Try not to scratch the sting area as it could make the reaction worse and may lead to infection at the site.

  • Anaphylaxis
  • A more serious reaction can occur after multiple stings at the same time, but is more likely to occur with a sting after a more pronounced reaction to a previous sting. This serious reaction can cause lip, eye, face, tongue or throat swelling/constriction, difficulty breathing or swallowing, itching, flushing, hives, nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, or dizziness. These may indicate anaphylaxis, which is a true medical emergency. The only treatment for anaphylaxis is to immediately call 911 and administer epinephrine, such as EpiPen, if it is available. A person who has had a previous moderate reaction to a sting should be carrying epinephrine; this needs a prescription from a doctor. If epinephrine is not available, emergency personnel will administer it when they arrive on scene, along with other medical measures, but it may be too late.
  • EpiPen and other products such as AuviQ and Adrenaclick are autoinjectors, which are a syringe and needle that injects a single dose of epinephrine when pressed against the thigh, even through clothing. If you carry an EpiPen or one of the other products, know how to use it and make sure those closest to you know how to use it! Those who have been prescribed epinephrine autoinjectors always carry two pens, because if the first dose does not work in 5 minutes, another one should be administered. Even if the reaction subsides after administration of the pen, follow-up monitoring in a medical facility should be done.

If you are carrying an Epi-Pen for yourself and someone you are with has what you think is an anaphylactic reaction, but hasn’t been prescribed the Epi-Pen, should you administer it? For perspective, bee stings are responsible for 20% of all anaphylactic reactions, and people who have had a more intense reaction to a previous bee sting have a 25-65% chance of experiencing anaphylaxis with the next sting.  Although legally an epinephrine autoinjector should only be administered to the person for whom it was prescribed, it is not unreasonable in an emergency situation to use another person’s pen if an anaphylactic reaction is occurring. If you are going to be repeatedly in a situation where stings are occurring (like beekeeping), familiarize yourself with the use of an epinephrine autoinjector (instructions are on the label of the pen, too) in case you ever need to use it. Visit one of the product websites, which contain useful information on recognition of anaphylaxis and administration of epinephrine, such as https://www.epipen.com/en.

Allergy Shots

If you've had a serious reaction to a bee sting or multiple stings, you should see an allergist for testing and possible allergy shots to decrease your response the next time you may get stung. Consider wearing a medical alert bracelet that identifies your allergy to bee or other insect stings.

Thank you to Nancy & Allen for these May Notes!

COBKA Monthly Notes Archives

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