Central Oregon



Upcoming events

12 Sep 2015 10:00 AM • Sunriver Nature Center
22 Sep 2015 6:00 PM • Bend Environmental Center
01 Oct 2015 • Boulder, CO

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. 
Queenless hives will not survive the winter.  Often they possess an abundance of pollen stored in multiple frames (no brood to feed). This condition typically is followed by the development of laying workers.  Signs of laying workers are multiple eggs per cell, eggs on the side of cells (opposed to one egg centered on the bottom), and drone brood development in worker cells.  If queenless, (and healthy) you can combine with a queen-right hive.

Keep on the lookout for American foulbrood as robbing season is imminent and AFB infected colonies make easy targets.  AFB is highly infectious and early detection is important in its control (sour smelling, stringing, brown goop when you open a suspect cell).  Dark old comb should be either replaced or moved out to the sides before winter so that the spring brood can have cleaner cells when the colony expands at winters end.  Eventually, you can then pull the dark comb out. 

September management then is: Varroa under control, reducing hives down to winter configuration.  Accessing food stores and feeding if needed.  Note: you don't want to pull the supers too close to winter as the girls will need time to make adjustments of stores in their new, smaller home. September allows them a little adjustment time.

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!

September Club Meeting

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! 

A big Thank You to our July COBKA meeting speakers for their talks on the Rose Hive Method of brood chamber increases,...

Posted by Central Oregon Beekeeping Association on Thursday, July 9, 2015

We had a great talk about the Rose Hive Method at our July meeting...

Posted by Central Oregon Beekeeping Association on Sunday, August 9, 2015

Well, it looks like our Bend summer nectar dearth is starting up ... At this time we should be thinking about nest...

Posted by Central Oregon Beekeeping Association on Wednesday, August 26, 2015
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