November 29, 2016

Upcoming Beekeeping Class and Other Updates

Hi everyone!  
I apologize for the length of this email, but there's lots to say!

First off, I would like to thank Jake Wustner for his year as president of the club!  His many years of experience provided a great deal of insight for us at the meetings and during hive inspections and other club activities.  Jake has stepped down as president to pursue his commercial beekeeping endeavors full-time, so we hope to see him back in April!

During our November meeting we elected the following officers.  The results are as follows:
President:  Jaylene Naylor
Vice-President:  Loren Stormo
Secretary:  Desiree Dramstad and Bev Clagett
Treasurer:  Martha Jaquith

We also have a new web content manager and a few board members for our newly created Bee Board.  The board is new, and is a way for us to have more people help build the club and make it better!  If you are interested in helping, as always, please contact Jaylene. (  In particular, I am looking for people that are interested in writing grants to provide money for more outreach in schools and to bring in speakers.

December meeting

There will be no December meeting.  The beekeeping class organizers will be meeting to get things ready for the class.

January Beekeeping Class

Initial plans are to offer a day long course featuring beginning and intermediate topics on Saturday, January 14.  Details will be following in mid-December.  

Nucs, packages and equipment

More information will be coming soon about ordering packages and nucs!  It's never too soon to start thinking about ordering bees and/or new equipment.  While there are many sources for equipment, I would suggest taking a look at Western Bee in Polson, particularly if you are interested in a beginning kit.  Murcdoch's and Cowpoke's in Corvallis also have equipment. I also noticed that Country Store and Stevi Hardware in Stevensville are selling bee equipment as well.

Items of Interest

  • Items for beekeepers email.  Fran Back from Western Apiculture Society provides an excellent weekly email newsletter.  To be added, just send her an email - Fran Bach, Western Apicultural Society Journal and Washington State Beekeepers newsletter editor
  • Bee Culture magazine has a great daily email you can sign up for

New Website

We'll be launching a new website in December.  I'll shoot out another email when we do that!

Minutes from November Meeting

Thank you to Desiree for providing these.  In the future we will post these on our new website, but for now here they are.  
Let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions about YOUR club!  Hope to see you in January, and have a good holiday season!

Beekeepers of the Bitterroot
Meeting Notes
November 12, 2016
New club officers:

  • President – Jaylene Naylor
  • Vice President – Loren Stormo
  • Secretaries – Bev Clagget (for meetings held on weekdays) and Desirée Funston (for meetings held on weekends)
  • Treasurer – Martha Jaquith

Board members needed – If you are interested in helping the club by serving on the board (planning meetings and events, steering the direction of the club, etc.) please let Jaylene know.
Meeting times – The survey that went out a couple of months ago was inconclusive. The club will continue to meet on Saturdays through April. Sometime late winter/early spring, we will have a vote regarding meeting days and times.
Helpfulness – Great discussion about what the club does now that is helpful and what it could do in the future to be even more helpful.

  • Helpful now:
    • Guest lecturers
    • Bulk orders of bees, equipment and medications
    • Coordination of Western Bee pickup
    • Knowledge shared by fellow members
    • Show and tell
    • Visiting other members’ hives
    • Easy sign up for fair volunteers
    • Use of club extractor and equipment
    • Timely topics (getting info today for what tasks to do tomorrow)
    • Social media/internet presence
    • Classes for beginners
  • What the club could do in the future to be more helpful:
    • More outreach and publicity
    • Coordinate guest lectures with Missoula beekeepers club.
    • Start a youth program
    • Speaker program (visit schools and other community organizations to talk about beekeeping)
    • Hold fundraisers
    • Write grants
    • Send out meeting notes
    • Have advanced classes (e.g., making splits, rearing queens, etc.)
    • Club has its own bee yard

Non-profit status – Discussion of whether to continue with Bitter Root RC&D acting as the club’s fiscal sponsor or applying for our own 501(c)3 status. At this time, the club will remain under RC&D’s umbrella.
Meeting space – Both Assembly of God Church and Canyonview Church will be good options for the next few meetings. We will wait until the day/time issue is resolved before making long-term location plans. Watch pre-meeting emails for meeting locations.
Note: There will be no meeting in December, and the January meeting will be the beginners’ class.
Beginners’ class – Murdoch’s may sponsor the class (meeting space, lunch, door prizes?). Jaylene will send an email to ask for members to volunteer to teach.
Winterizing – (several methods)

  • Cluster colonies together back-to-back and side-to-side. Cover with at least 6-8” of loose straw, then a layer of tarpaper, then a layer of chicken wire. Nail/staple the chicken wire to the hive bodies.
  • Tie pieces of blue board insulation (or similar) around the hive body.
  • Wrap hive in tarpaper.
  • Things to remember:
    • Don’t block entrance
    • Allow for ventilation
    • Ideally, colonies will have 5-6 frames of honey per box going into winter. Honey frames should be placed between the brood nest and the edge of the hive body.

Fall cleanup –

  • Freezing equipment will kill wax moth larvae. If storing equipment outside to freeze it, protect it from weather and mice.
  • If you had foulbrood, it is recommended to burn the equipment (painful though it may be) in order to prevent spreading the disease.

Feeding – If temperatures remain warm and your colonies are light, feed now! Honey is best feed, but sugar water will do. The “heft test” (lifting an edge of the colony to estimate its weight) is a good way to determine whether you need to feed.