Skagit Valley Beekeepers February  News Letter
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Skagit Valley Beekeepers 
 Seth Smith,  President              770-0481                            Rob Johnson,  Board                        770-6170 Diane Dong,  Vice President     391-9876                            Steven LeBlanc,  Board                   202-2266 Robert Niles, Secretary                        Bruce Bowen,  Board                      422-5106  Scott Rhodes,  Treasurer          856-2652                            Robert Preinesberger, Editor            610-8091
The next Skagit Beekeepers meeting, will be held on Thursday, February 9th, 7:00pm, at the Skagit Farmers Building at 1833 Park Ln., Burlington Wa.
Meeting topic to be determined

Here comes the Sun

  Finally,  We've turned the corner and the days are getting longer.  Before you know it,  the flowers will be blooming, the bees will be buzzing and it will be time to get down to the business of beekeeping.

  March 15th, 22nd, 29th and April 5th,  will be the dates for the apprenticeship bee keeping class.  The state association is revising the old curriculum, for the apprenticeship class,  but the revision is not complete.  This year will taught from the old curriculum.
Queen rearing classes will be held in April with dates and times TBD.

  Nucs will be arriving soon, so get your bee keeping equipment up to snuff and get ready.  The first round of up to 200 nucs, will be here at the end of March or the beginning of April.  The second round,  if there are still orders to be filled, should be ready around the end of April.  All payments are due by March 15th and it is $145 a nuc.  Also, memberships are due. If you haven't paid for your membership yet,  talk to Scott Rhodes,  at the next meeting and he can get you set up.

Tales from the hive

At our last meeting,  we had a group of students from Mt. Baker middle school,  give a presentation on their idea,  for a mite killing hive entrance.  The bees go through a device on the entrance of the hive,  where the bees pass through a brush that scrapes off mites,  miteacide is applied to kill the mites and a antiseptic is applied to the bees.  This is for a competition that they are in and a public presentation was one of the steps on their journey.  It was a great presentation and a great idea!  We wish them the best of luck in their competition and with their idea.

  Also, at our last meeting, there was a discussion on moving our meeting place from the Skagit Farmers Supply Admin building,  to the Sedro Woolley senior center.  Our club has been growing and we are bulging at the seams,  in our current meeting place.  There will be some cost incurred with moving.  Skagit Farmers has been good enough to let us use our current space for free and supply the projectors and equipment for our presentations.  We would need to pay for the space at the senior center and buy the equipment for our presentations.  Put your thinking caps on and be ready for a discussion at our upcoming meeting.



 Things to do this month
  •   Feed your bees!  February and March are prime time for your bees to starve.  They've been inside all winter,  living off their stores and could be getting low on food.  Make sure you check their feed and if they are getting low, feed them.  Mountain man,  dry sugar in drawn comb, fondent and pollen patties are all a good choice.  As the weather continues to warm, you will be able to feed  syrup soon.  It doesn't matter what method you choose,  just do it.
  •   Treat for mites. It has been a bad year for unexplained colony losses and mites play a critical role in the health of your hive.  You still have some time before the queen starts brood production,  get in there and kill those little buggers.   Make sure you pull a sample of 15 to 20 bees,  soak them in alcohol to knock off the mites and get a base line on your mite count before you treat.  Treat for mites and then check your results.  The best way to check your results is with a screened bottom board.  Just before you treat, put some white butcher paper under your screened bottom board and check for a mite drop.  The mites contrast off of the white paper,  making it easy to see how you did.  If you want your bees to survive,  do it!
  • Get your equipment ready.  Bees are coming soon and a good clean house will be much appreciated.  Gather your equipment and check it out.  Do you need to paint or stain supers?  Do you have propolis buildup that needs to be scraped?  How do your frames look?  And do you have enough equipment to cover the honey flow that is about to start?  All good questions.  Make sure you know now,  because if you wait until you need it,  it may be too late.
  • Our annual potluck and auction is coming March 9th.  What to eat?  What to bring for the auction?  What to buy at the auction?  Get ready because its just around the corner!



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Skagit Valley Beekeepers · 2926 Schattig Ln · Oak Harbor, WA 98277 · USA

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