Beekeepers of the Bitterroot

May 12, 2018 Meeting Minutes

9:08 Begin Meeting                    Club business

  • Welcome new people.

  • Approve minutes from the April meeting. 

  • Financial Report Income $1,875 ($905 for Beeginner Class, $975 for 39 memberships)  Expenses as of March 31, $944 ($790 program expense, $154 Administrative) Balance approx. $3140.

  • Membership report  - 43 paid members so far

  • Thanks to:

    • Tim and all who helped with the Outdoor Bee NUCs

    • Thanks to the Ft. Missoula cleanup crew

    • Thanks to Warren, Tracie and Richard for representing us at the 4th Grade Farm Fair

  • This is the time to add a super for established colonies

  • Update on Randy Oliver Field Camp July 6th and 7th- Over half full and this class is a great deal. Sign up now if you want to go.

  • Now is the time to be watching for swarms and swarm cells 

Hive inspection demonstration and Q & A with Warren Neyenhuis


Visual inspection of outside of new hives in the FFA apiary. (Too cold to crack them open)


11:02 Meeting adjourned.

May 12, 2018,  Bee Club Meeting

NOTE:  The location has changed.

Hi Bee friends!  Read this note carefully before making plans to attend the May meeting!!  If you don't follow instructions, you'll show up at the wrong place....

Because of the efforts of many helpful Bitterrooters, we now have a club apiary in an amazing location. These are the pieces that fell into place during the past month:

  • Our recent vote authorized a search for a club apiary.

  • Allen Bjergo knew that Richard and Tracie Norman helped the Corvallis High School FFA group establish a 4 colony apiary at the Teller Wildlife Refuge.  Allen contacted Sam Lawry at the Teller Refuge and laid the groundwork for our cooperation with the FFA club in hopes of providing our club with an apiary and the FFA with a source of beekeeping knowledge and experience. 

  • Brandon Bratton, the departing FFA advisor, is willing to share the FFA apiary with our bee club.  Brandon also will encourage FFA participants to become involved and introduce us to Neela Andres, the incoming FFA advisor.

  • Karen Zumwalt, the Education and Outreach Coordinator at the Teller, welcomed us and encouraged us to work with the FFA group to fully utilize the apiary and help with future pollinator plant projects.

  • Al Pernichele volunteered to assist Brandon with installing 4 Outdoor Bee NUCs to get the hives restarted after 100% winter loss.

Thanks to everyone who helped kickstart the coordinated effort, and those who will help  to maintain the apiary in the future!   

So, our May meeting will be at the Teller Refuge apiary.  Bring your bee suit!!  Here is the address and directions:
Teller Wildlife Refuge
1288 Eastside Hwy.
Corvallis, MT  59828

By the way - don't completely trust your cell phone directions. Read Lorens

Drive approx 3/4 mile north of Corvallis on the East Side Highway.  Turn west on Quast Lane.  (You'll see the grand, white Teller Refuge headquarter building on the northeast corner of the Quast Lane/East Side Highway intersection.)
Continue driving west about 200 yards, and you'll see the 4 current hives about 100 yards north of the road in the cheat grass on your right. 
You may park on the right hand shoulder of the road.

The Agenda:

  • A very short summary of our financial condition and membership status.

  • Passing along Dr. Jerry Bromenshen's thanks to the club members who helped clean up the UM apiary at Ft. Missoula.

  • Ask that no one deposit beekeeping equipment or anything else at the Ft. Missoula apiary unless they confirm in advance that Jerry wants the donation.  (Someone recently dropped off some empty bee package containers at the apiary.  The containers can't be reused, and must be taken to the dump.  Although the person probably intended the deposit as a thoughtful gesture, it just added to the workload of Jerry and his crew.)

  • Warren Neyenhuis agreed to give a hive inspection demonstration of the colonies.  Warren's 40+ years of experience as a beekeeper and stint as a Montana Bee Inspector insures that we'll all gain some valuable tips from his demonstration.

  • We're hoping that Kellieann Morris from the Ravalli County Weed Board will be able to talk to us about pollinator plants and weed strategies.  where we can look down and see cheat grass and hear her recommendation for encouraging other species of vegetation.  Kellieann was honored as the 2017 Weed Fighter of the Year, and generously donated many packets of native pollinator plants for our Beeginner Bee Class. 

We hope that you can make it to the Teller Refuge meeting.  Next month, we'll return to the Mosaic Church in Hamilton for a very special meeting on Saturday, June 9th.  Scott Debnam (honey bee doctoral candidate and according to the Missoulian, Montana's Bee Whisperer) will return to give us his wonderful beekeeping advice and answer our questions. 

Hoping to see you soon,

Loren Stormo