December 2022 - Volume 28 - Issue 6
DUE TO THE HOLIDAYS, OUR MEETING WILL BE ON JANUARY 9TH!
Hello, Pierce County Beekeepers! Wow! I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas and the Holidays. I hope you are ready for all of the activities that have filled up your calendars!! I know I’m not!! I am working at it though. Don’t forget to add January 9, 2023 to that calendar. That’s the next meeting!
The Holiday party was a success and we had a great time! Check out our Facebook page for pictures. Tina Tyler won the prize for most white elephant gifts stolen from one person! Thanks to Jeanne Archer and her team for the great ambiance and food! I can’t wait for the next social event.
The membership drive continues. Make sure you are current and if not, renew or join for a chance to win one of 2 prizes. Only 17 more days to sign up. The drawing will be at the January meeting. We will also start selling raffle tickets for the silent auction that is coming in February or March.
The January meeting starts at 7pm. We will be showcasing different types of hives, talking about pros and cons with a question and answer period. Great for new beekeepers getting ready to buy their 1st hive(s) and great for seasoned beekeepers to check out the options. The beginner class starts over at the beginning and will be at 6 pm in the Almandinger building. For seasoned beekeepers, the sustainability class will also start at 6pm at the WOSSA building.
To all the new beekeepers, Welcome! To all the returning members, Welcome back! To all the people who are, “thinking about it”... stick around. We can’t wait to get to know you!!!
- Mary Dempsey, PCBA President
D.F. Allmendinger Center
2606 W Pioneer Ave, Puyallup, WA 98371
January 9th, 2023
PCBA Monthly Meeting
6pm - Beginner Class & Sustainable Meeting
7pm - All Member Meeting
What the heck am I supposed to be doing now?
There’s not a lot to do in December and January, it's cold, wet and windy…but there are few things to keep in mind….Inspections, moisture, resources, airflow.
1.) While opening the hive is generally a bad idea (heat loss), you can still lift the outer cover for a quick peek to see if you have moisture problems (mold/water) on the inside of the outer cover….if you do, you need to address it, but first try and figure out why it’s happening….is it a lack of ventilation on the top or is it because the entrance has been clogged with dead bees?
2.) Depending on your overwintering configuration, when I’m doing this check with the outer cover, I also give a look into the hole on the inner cover to see if I have bee’s that have moved up into the upper boxes.
3.) I do a simple “lift” from the bottom box handle to try and gauge resources. If I can’t lift the back of the colony at all, I figure they are pretty good, but I’ve set up colonies with a moisture quilt on top that allows me to slip in a sugar brick if needed.
4.) I’ll usually check at least every two weeks on the front entrance/landing board to see what’s happening. At a minimum, I’ll pull the entrance reducer aside and “sweep” out the dead bee’s that may have accumulated on the bottom board…it can be a few or hundreds. Mostly normal, but important to do so that you maintain some airflow through the hive.
I may also do a single “knockdown” OAV treatment in late December and monitor the results on my screened bottom board…if needed and I have a day that is mid 40”s and think the bees may be in a looser cluster, I may opt for another in January as things start happening.
5.) Don’t forget to get on a list in DECEMBER to order your bees for next spring.
Member Suggested Resources & Articles
If you have suggestions for the newsletter, please send to Kathleen
WA State Pollinator Health Task Force [LEARN MORE]
Thanks Mark for this great joke!
"Why do bees stay in their hives in winter?
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A note from the President