Skagit Valley Bee Keepers October News Letter
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Skagit Valley Bee Keepers 
Seth Smith,  President              770-0481                          Rob Johnson,  Board                       770-6170  Diane Dong,  Vice President     391-9876                        Steven LeBlanc,  Board                   202-2266
Mark Benson,  Secretary           854-0046                         Charlie Langseth,  Honorary Board  293-6853
  Scott Rhodes,  Treasurer          856-2652                          Robert Preinesberger,  Editor           610-8091     Bruce Bowen,  Board                422-5146                                             
The next meeting will be held Thursday,  November 10, at 7:00 pm.  The meeting will be held at the Skagit Farmers Supply Administration building , located at 1833 Park Avenue Burlington Wa.
Topics to be discussed;  Seth attended a presentation, about wintering bees, given by a beekeeper from Vermont named Michal Palmer.  Seth will be relaying the things he learned, from a beekeeper in a much colder climate than ours.

Its Time to Order Nucs

  We're just winding down our hives and its already time to start planning for next year.  Order your Nuc's or queens now.  Seth will be bringing bees from Eastern Washington in the beginning of April and Bruce should have bees ready mid April or the beginning of May.   

Tails from the Hive

 Before I start, can those of you who open this E-Mail let me know that you received it.  Last month I asked for a honey report and did not hear anything, from anyone.  I'm not sure if the 42% of you that opened it,  tried to respond and I didn't receive it,  or if you read it and didn't care enough to respond.  Before I get on  my soapbox, I thought I'd find out if anyone tried to get back to me with their honey count and I missed it.  I believe,  all you have to do is reply to the e-mail. 
  I wanted to start a piece called tales from the hive, I will go first, but in the future,  I would like to read about your hive experience.  I would like to hear from your successes and failures, your trials and tribulations and try to find answers and spread knowledge about bees and beekeeping.  If you don't care enough to participate, let me know and I will sto...Woah!!!  I almost jumped back on my soapbox.

Good news is Seth's bees kicked butt and I got probably 50 lbs of honey from my hives (most of which I'm storing so I can feed them if they are hungry!) .  Bad news is, I think I lost a hive:(  Probabilities are (from talking to Seth) is that, the queen might have been failing (or dead) and the yellow jackets sensed the hive was weak.  The other hive was fine, there were many sentinels that were challenging the yellow jackets and they didn't want to pick that fight.  It could just be my lack of experience, timing, or ineptness that is the culprit.  If anyone has any ideas about how this happened, I would love to hear it.
  Why was the bees hair sticky???  Because he used a honey comb!!!!!  If you love it, it was my joke...if you hate it, it was Seths joke!

 Things to do this Month

  • If you have not condensed your bees and  reduced your supers, now is the time to do it.
  • If you have not removed your feeders, do so.  If they are frame feeders, don't worry about replacing the feeder with a frame. 
  • The rain is here again, make sure your hive entrance is tipped slightly down to keep water from running into your hive.


  My recent hive experience was a little disappointing.  I have two hives,  side by side, three supers deep,  that were full of bees that I got from Seth. The top supers were full of honey and there was about the same number of bees (a lot) in each hive.  I smoked the bees down to the super below and pulled off the honey.  Two days later, I went to dribble an oxalic acid Syrup mix on the bees, for mite control and one hive was packed with bees, the other was greatly diminished.  I pulled out the bottom board to discover, legs and wings.  As I started watching, I saw yellow jackets walking right in through my hive reducer and feasting on my poor bees!  Good news is, the oxalic acid, syrup solution did well on the mites, there was a significant drop.  
  • If you have pulled honey or are planning to do so,  think about saving some for the bees if they get hungry this winter.  Honey is way better for them than C&H sugar syrup or corn syrup.  Freeze the frames to kill wax moths, and make sure to put in a cool, clean, dry space.  Make sure if its been in the freezer or is cold to warm it up to room temperature before you stick it in the hive.  Your bees will love you for it and you will have a strong hive, ready for the spring honey flow!
  • Use entrance reducers and mouse guards to keep out unwanted pests.

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

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