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WSBA Newsletter
December 2016

A collection of recent events, upcoming opportunities, informational articles, and points of discussion for our group.

You are receiving this free newsletter compliments of the
West Sound Beekeepers Association because we sincerely want to share our love of bees and useful information with you.

For more information and discussion, visit our website:  or join the group Facebook page at West Sound Beekeepers Association (WSBA) Group Page!
Feel free to share the newsletter or unsubscribe at any time
(links at the bottom).
WSBA 2016 Christmas Party
 In lieu of a regular December membership meeting at Stedman’s Bee Supplies, WSBA will be holding their annual family-friendly potluck Christmas Party on December 20.  It will take place at Silverdale United Methodist Church, located on Silverdale Way NW, but the driveway is accessed off Ridgetop Blvd NW.   

The time for set up is 5:00 P.M. and dinner will begin at 6:00 P.M., so bring your favorite main dish, appetizer, salad, or dessert to share.  Paper products and some beverages will be provided.
A fun and lively auction is to be held to support the Association, so bring along a White Elephant item, a gift basket, handmade crafts, baked goods, gift certificates, or any item of value to donate to the fun.   
This year’s events will also include the 2016 Best Honey competition (bring along an unmarked sample of yours to enter), and the presentation of the 2016 Beekeeper of the Year Award. 
A Day with Michael Palmer
By Frank Wilson
The West Sound Beekeepers Association was pleased to bring renowned beekeeper, Mike Palmer to Silverdale on Saturday October 22, 2016. He spent 4 hours putting on a very informative presentation at the Central Kitsap High School auditorium followed by a meet and greet at Stedman’s Bee Supply.
We had about 100 people in attendance and as part of our club’s community outreach program about a dozen or so were high school earth science students.
Mike is from Vermont where he owns French Hill Apiaries, and where he keeps bees, harvests honey, breeds queens and creates nucs. He has traveled all over the world discussing queen rearing, creating nucs and maintaining a sustainable apiary.
Here are 10 things I learned:
  1. Buy local nucs
  2. Buy local queens
  3. With a weak colony turn it into a nuc
  4. Each colony should have a purpose in mind:
    • Honey production
    • Resource production
    • Bee/population production
    • Larva production
    • Drone production
  5. Yes, you can overwinter nucs
  6. Move away from packages
  7. Treat for mites, treat for mites, treat for mites
  8. By going into fall/winter with several healthy nucs your apiary will grow exponentially in the spring.
  9. Read Brother Adam
  10. Don’t combine to support weakness, combine to grow strength
At the October membership meeting new officers for the upcoming 2017 year were nominated and elected. 
George Purkett, President -- 360-895-9116
Larry Carbaugh, Vice President -- 360-638-1440
Bob Finley, Treasurer – 360-620-2329
Janet Finley, Secretary – 360-277-7665
Many thanks to outgoing officers who served during 2016, President Frank Wilson and Treasurer Elizabeth Bianchi and thanks for the members willing to serve in 2017.
Date:              Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Time:              6:00 – 6:45 P.M. Board meeting  (all welcome)
                        7:00 – 9:00 P.M. General Membership meeting

Location:     Stedman’s Bee Supplies
3763 NW Anderson Hill Rd, Silverdale WA
Take the sting out of shopping for Christmas presents at the last minute!  Uniquely packaged jars of honey are available for gift giving at Stedman’s Bee Supplies, 3763 NW Anderson Hill Rd, Silverdale, WA.   Contact them for hours of operation during the holidays at or 360-692-9453.  Their Facebook page is found at Stedman's Bee Supplies.

West Sound Beekeepers Association account balances stand combined at $14,745.28 with a profit of approximately $1,000 from the Michael Palmer event in October.
It’s time to send in your checks for the 2017 WSBA membership year.  The membership form is provided for your convenience.  Please mail your check to Bob Finley, 3268 Old Sawmill Place NW, Bremerton, WA  98312.

Beekeeping helps teen overcome learning hurdles

By Ken Gordon
The Associated Press
Printed June 6, 2016
CHILLOCOTHE, OH -- In a few short years, Jacob Shuman has been transformed from a child who struggled to learn to a teenager who excels at teaching. And, in large part, his progress is because of bees.
   The 17-year-old Chillicothe resident recently won a Youth in Action award and a $10,000 scholarship from the National 4-H Council for a program he created, called TEACH Bs, that educates people about the importance of honeybees. He attended an awards gala in April in Washington.
   Shuman has one more year of high school then plans to go to college. Several large companies have already expressed an interest in hiring him.
   The fact that he once was behind in school, beset by learning disabilities that left him in tears and feeling like a failure, seems like a distant memory.
   “For me as a parent, there are not worlds to describe how I feel at this point about his accomplishments and the changes he’s gone through and the path I see for him in the future,” says his father, Joe Shuman.
   Joe and his wife, Jo, adopted Jacob from Guatemala when he was 5 months old. The Shumans were told only that the birth mother was impoverished and drank a lot.
   As he began school, his learning difficulties emerged. He struggled with memorization as well as math, but showed some unusual patterns: He could add but not subtract, for example.
   Counselors and specialists told the family to be patient, that Jacob would grow out of it.  When he didn’t, the boy’s frustration grew.
   “To me, I felt weak,” Jacob said. “I felt like I let my parents down, basically. Sometimes I thought to myself, ‘Why am I doing this? I feel like I’m not going to get anywhere in life.’”
   By the fifth grade, Mr. and Mrs. Shuman determined that their oldest son had fetal alcohol syndrome.  Their two younger sons, twins Jason and James, now 14, were also adopted from Guatemala but have no health issues.
   Armed with a diagnosis, Jacob pursued accommodations at school, such as having teachers read him test questions, which helped over-come his test anxiety.
   Meanwhile, his mother had signed Jacob up for 4-H when he was 6, and he enjoyed it, moving from projects on meteorology to goats to insects.
   In 2013, he talked his mother into starting a beekeeping project. They purchased a package of bees and set up a hive down the hill from their house.
   Jacob and his parents have no logical explanation for what happened nest, except that something clicked.  “He found his passion,” Joe Shuman said.
   His grades improved, and his confidence grew. Jo Shuman said her son learned to be an advocate for himself: If he didn’t understand something in class, he would raise his hand, rather than stay silent. 
   The Shumans said 4-H in general gave Jacob an alternative learning path in a nurturing environment.
   From one hive in 2013, the project grew to two, then eight, and now 12 hives, housing more than 200,000 bees.
   “I find them as an interesting insect,” Jacob said. “Honeybees are very intelligent, and if we lose the honeybees, we wouldn’t have the fruits and vegetables that we eat today. So that’s why I think that insect is important to me, because they play a major role in our agriculture and society.”
   In January 2015, Jacob and Jo attended an annual 4-H national youth summit for agriscience in Washington.  They learned of the Youth In Action scholarship program, for which all applicants are required to develop an educational initiative.
   Three months later, Jacob launched TEACH Bs-- or Teens Educating Adults and Children about Honey Bees.  Since then he has spoken to groups ranging from kindergartners to veteran farmers.
   “He came to my classroom last year and did a presentation, and he was fabulous; he was right on top of it,” said Angie Maier, a kindergarten teacher at Unioto Elementary near Chillicothe. “He’s just a really nice, mannerly, respectful young man; and you can tell he’s going to do great things.”
   As the agriculture and natural re-sources educator for the Ohio State University Extension in Ross County, Chris Bruynis has worked with Jacob on several projects in recent years.
   He said companies such as Monsanto and Bayer, which manufacture pesticides and insecticides, have told the teen, “Go get a degree, and when you’re done, come see us.”
   They are interested in bee re-searchers, Bruynis said, to help them develop products that are not harmful to bees.
   Jacob, who will be a senior at Unioto High School in the fall, wants to attend OSU’s Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster after he graduates. He would like to study under noted researcher Reed Johnson, an assistant professor of entomology there.
   Jacob has attended several beekeeping seminars at which Johnson spoke.
   “It’s really exciting to have younger people interested in beekeeping,” Johnson said. “It will be great to have someone with his interest and background in our courses.”
   Amid the awards and talk of a promising future for himself, Jacob recently gave a very different presentation.
   Speaking to his peers in the Ross County 4-H club, he revealed to them his struggles with fetal alcohol syndrome.
   “I felt the need to tell other kids, “Yes, you may struggle, but it doesn’t mean you can give up too easily. You can go out and get something done.”
Copyright © 2016 West Sound Beekeepers Association, All rights reserved.

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