Once a month, our members get together to explore topics that excite us about natural bee care. Often after our meetings, we have a special program–crafting pollinator hotels, gardening for bees, processing wax and honey, touring a member’s bee yard–that are open to the public and free to our members.
We meet each month on the 1st Saturday, from 10:30am-12:30pm.
We meet upstairs at the Camas Public Library at 625 NE 4th Ave, Camas, WA 98607.
Our meetings are open to the public.
Here is our schedule for 2019:
Jan. 5th–Hive Beetles in Portland, and Review of New Camas Bee Code
A couple of months ago, PUB president Mandy Shaw discovered two hives overrun with small hive beetles. We have not had this pest in the Northwest, and are hoping the climate destroys them. Come and learn about these beetles, who fly with bees when they swarm, and can infiltrate and overrun weak hives quickly.
Feb. 2nd–Bees and ‘Shrooms:
Jahn Rise has been in contact with Paul Stamets, who is currently in the testing stage of mushroom extract development that will help improve the immune system of bees. Jahn will be presenting a proposal to us in which for a reduced fee, our club can procure mushroom spores from Stamets to grow in our own yards. The hope is that getting hobby beekeepers involved in observing bees on healthful mushrooms, we can help serve as citizen scientists in this new means of keeping healthy bees. Come and learn from Jahn! We’ve posted Jahn’s proposal on our blog so those interested in this project can read up.
March 2nd–Insulation of Langs and Warres
In Holland, we learned how to place insulation inside (instead of fussing with the outside) of square hives, barrels, boxes, what-have-you. We’ll be demonstrating how to set a cylinder in the hive and pack the insulation around it. Club Member Barry has designed a simple inner round core to place in standard hives, and insulation (straw, fur, paper) is packed in around it. It is a simple and very effective way to provide year-round insulation for box or wood hives, and also provides the bees with round center space for wax construction, which they prefer.
April 6th–Making Bait Hives (and ‘Shroom Project Update..)
Once again this year, we’ll be taking orders for recycled paper planting pots to make effective, light, inexpensive bait hives for your yards. Last year, many of our members had great success with these! There will be a material fee for this. We’ll also provide old comb, propolis spray water, and bottles of Swarm Commander (which really attract scouts to these hives). Then, we’ll assemble our bait hives–let the swarm season begin!
May 4th–Planting for Pollinators
Bee tenders must also be gardeners. Come and learn–or refresh your memory–about good plantings for pollinators. We’ll have many seeds to share, and lots of ideas for designing good pollinator gardens.
June 1st–Make a Pollinator Hotel!
If you keep bees in your garden, it is important to also keep a pollinator hotel so that you can see what other sorts–and numbers–of native pollinators are coming to your gardens. Many of us are now collecting straight-sided cans and planting pots to have available for this class. If you have anything hollow: bamboo, old fox glove stems, paper straws, cardboard tubes, small PVC, please save it and bring it! Also small twigs, dryed grasses, and even old dry leaves. This will be a hands-on crafting event!
July 6th–Food Forests with James Landreth
A food forest is space that is planted to mimic the way that natural forests
and woodlands grow. Food forests have multiple layers, which can include tall trees
(nuts and “standard” fruit trees), medium sized trees (semi dwarf fruit trees and
hazelnuts), dwarf trees, shrubs, vines that climb on trees (kiwi, grape, etc), and
occasionally a ground and root layer (plants like vegetables). Food forests are
designed to save on long-term labor and water. An upfront cost in labor and water are
necessary to get the plants established, but long term maintenance is minimal.
Food forests have many benefits. Not only can they provide sustenance for a
community or family, they are also an important haven for insect life including
pollinators. They can provide bloom throughout the season for various kinds of bees
and butterflies. The shade provided (and lack of concrete) creates a cooler
microclimate, especially in cities. In a time of climate change and volatile
temperatures, this can greatly reduce cooling costs.
PBC is now working with James to establish food forests in our local communities. This is something any of us can get on board for! We’ll be working with churches and schools, and help them establish these forests of community abundance. Good for bees, good for us!
August 3rd–Processing Wax, Honey, and Propolis
Come watch us make a sticky mess at the library! Crock pots, hot plates, and bottles will be spread out across our meeting space as we watch wax melt, honey smash and pour, and propolis dissolve!
September 7th–Pseudo Scorpions and Mold
More wonderful information from the Holland Conference! We learned that studies have been underway for a decade on pseudo scorpions in bee hives. These tiny, pincered arthropods have evidently bee living with bees in trees and hives for millions of years. They are so treasured by the bees that the bees carry them along when they swarm! These small creatures eat varroa mites and bee lice, and many other hive pests, such as hive beetle and moth larvae and eggs. But when we moved bees into bar boxes, the tiny critters became instantly extinct as they are unable to find a way to live and thrive in such hives (same with our bees!). A group of us here at PBC have been looking into find and raising these creatures and adding them to our hives. Some see what we’ve learned so far.
Also in Holland, we learned that research shows that mold in hives is deadly to bees. Come and learn what we learned about keeping hives dry and mold-free.
thru November programs will be added as we solicit topics from the club. What do YOU want to hear more about?