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February 2015 - Volume 21 - Issue 2

Health – for our association, our colonies, and for WA State beekeeping businesses

By Franclyn Heinecke, PCBA President
The PCBA theme for February is health – for our association, our colonies, and for beekeeping businesses in WA State.
Association Health:  During the business part of our meeting on February 2nd, PCBA Treasurer Michael DeAngelo will give an overview of our budget, and how we raise and spend funds. Financial health for our organization is important because it provides us with the resources to bring in monthly speakers and to offer a library, the honey house, workshops, social events, student study grants, and funds needed to present information to the public.
Colony Health:  To begin the educational portion of the meeting, we will first watch a short video presentation from Dr. Marla Spivak about what is happening to honeybees and what we can do about it.  Marla heads up the entomology program at the University of Minnesota and put together the Bee Squad there.  She developed the Varroa sensitive strain of queens whose workers can detect Varroa mites in cells and hygienically clean the hive of infected larvae.  For her work, Marla recently received a MacArthur Fellowship, also known as “the genius grant.”  She has published extensively about beekeeping in northern climates, the importance of “social hygiene” in insect and honeybee colonies, and the importance of keeping highly antimicrobial and antifungal propolis in the hive. 
After that short video presentation, we will hear from several of our local beekeepers.  Learning about “treatment free” colonies was the most requested topic in our recent survey.  There is growing interest in managing bees without treatments, but there is a lot of confusion of what “treatment free” actually means and how it’s done.  In February, we’ll define “treatment free” and hear from people who share this goal – their techniques, challenges, and successes.
Michael DeAngelo will moderate presentations to include:
  • Bob Smith from the Olympia Beekeepers who will talk about his experiences going “treatment free.”
  • A panel of Pierce County Beekeepers who will talk and answer questions about treatment options, finding and using feral bees, and how various options might fit with your own beekeeping goals and treatment philosophy.
Healthy WA State Beekeeping Businesses:  Last month, I shared information about the statewide Honey Bee Work Group report that was mandated by the 2013 legislature.  The final report is extensive and took more than a year to complete. See the full report here.
The WA State Beekeepers Association (WSBA) is now introducing its 2015 legislative agenda to get many of the report recommendations made into state law or policy.  We will keep you informed as there is movement on any of the following topics.  We may need help from local beekeepers to encourage passage of these items.  Several of these items may take many years to get incorporated into law or policy.
The top priorities for 2015 legislative action include:
  • Continuing to work to get beekeepers recognized as farmers for tax purposes.  We’ve been working on this topic for three years and hope to get final passage in this legislative session.  This issue deals with economics and equity, and puts bees and beekeepers on parity with other agricultural interests.  Sen. Honeyford from central WA has introduced SB 5017 on our behalf.  Go to this site to hear recent testimony on that proposed bill.
  • Legislation to incorporate most of the Honey Bee Work Group recommendations regarding improved forage across the state.
  • Legislation to add a pollinator ecologist or a similar position to the scientific scientists who advise the WA State Noxious Weed Control Board.
  • Legislation to fund an improved bee laboratory at WSU and two bee specialist positions there.

In the Bee Yard With Renzy

Enduring the cooler weather and rain for the last few months doesn’t get my blood flowing, but today was a beautiful day and it gave me hope to what lies just around the corner.  My bees were flying out of their hives and all over the heather in the yard.  I even noticed a couple with some small amounts of white pollen. Just the kinds of things I needed to see to ease my impatience for the upcoming bee season.  We are heading into the final weeks where some hives will run out of food.  Check your hives and give them that little extra boost if they need it.  It won’t be long now before the crocus’s begin to bloom.
  • Keep checking the weight of you hives and feed sugar, fondant, or candy boards as the bees still don’t like taking syrup quite yet due to the cooler temperatures
  • Time to order your bees for the upcoming bee season
  • Purchase, build and repair equipment for the upcoming season
  • Pick a nice day and clean out any dead hives you had this winter season that may have died out.  You should always clean your hive tool between hives so you don’t spread disease to another hive.  A simple paper towel with rubbing alcohol helps and makes quick work of propolis buildup on your hive tool.
  • On a sunny day sit beside your hive and watch the bees.  You can learn from just watching them at the entrance.  See if you notice any bees with pollen coming in.
  • Inspect the exterior of our hives, their entrances, flight paths and monitoring trays; as they are still our best sources of information about our colonies in the winter.

Mentor Coordinator Needed 

If you are passionate about helping others, organized, and good at 'connect the dots', you might be the right person for the job. Everyone needs a mentor. Someone to ask questions to and help them learn even faster. We need someone to take over the mentorship program. Helping to get mentees get assigned to mentors in their area. Helping each newer beekeeper find that right person to help them.

If you are interested, contact me at

Thank you,
Larry Golden

Volunteers Needed 

Allmedinger Room set up and replace back after the meeting......I need 4-5 people to help set the room up prior to the meeting and then help me to put the room back together in it's proper manner post meeting.  IF they would mind sending me an email confirming they can help me in one way or another.  

People should be at Allmedinger by about 5:30-5:45 to help set the room up.  If there are 4-5 people to help put the room back together, it will probably take less than 30 minutes. 



At this year's Northwest Flower and Garden Show, February 11-15, there are seven seminars on gardening for native pollinators, planting for bees, raising mason bees, attracting pollinators in edible gardens, and attracting beneficial bugs. The seminars are part of their series 'Sharing the Earth: Attracting Beneficial Pollinators & Wildlife'. 

- Becky Sundstrum

Helping Washington State Bees
and Beekeepers

Submitted by Franclyn Heinecke, WSBA Region 2 Representative

To help raise awareness of the issues facing bees and beekeepers in Washington State, WSBA is organizing a Legislative Honeybee Awareness Day, Thursday, March 5 on the North steps outside the Capitol legislative building, starting at 9:00 AM.  

The work of the legislatively-mandated statewide Honey Bee Work Group is now complete.  The group met for more than a year, gathering data and presenting a comprehensive report on issues facing bees and beekeepers in Washington State. The full report with recommendations can be found at this link.

Recommendations center around several themes that include -- 
  • Increasing bee forage across the state
  • Incorporating honeybee and pollinator concerns into the noxious weed board listing and control efforts
  • Increasing research into Varroa mite control, honeybee genetics and issues of increased forage
  • Designating beekeepers as farmers for tax purposes.
  • Funding a more comprehensive bee lab at WSU, and hiring two full-time positions there
Already, there are two bills in the 2015 legislature:
  • SB 5017 – Recognition of Beekeepers as Farmers intending to permanently include eligible apiarists within the definition of farmer and define honey bee products as agricultural products to receive the same tax relief as that provided to other sectors of agriculture
  • HB 1654 – Controlling noxious weeds while still supporting pollen-rich forage plant communities for honey bees
The legislative awareness day is being facilitated by the following people and local organizations.  

Contact any of these people to get involved on March 5 or to get more information:  
  • Krista Conner  206.938.5158 (past President, Puget Sound Beekeepers, Honey Bee Work Group) 
  • Franclyn Heinecke  253.531.0933 (President, Pierce County Beekeepers, Honey Bee Work Group) 
  • Laurie Pyne   630.577.7825  (President, Olympia Beekeepers).
Beekeepers who are involved in organizing overall WSBA legislative efforts are:
  • Mark Emrich (Olympia), WSBA President
  • Tim Hiatt, Hiatt Honey (Ephrata), Chair of the WSBA Legislative Committee, Honey Bee Work Group
  • Paul Hosticka, Octopus Garden Honey (Dayton), member - WSBA and Honey Bee Work Group
This flyer reviews the issues and where WSBA is asking for legislative support.
Don Jenkins, Capital Press, January 6, 2015

Washington’s Honey Bee Work Group recommends improving forage to help bees survive and thrive.
Legislature-commissioned report puts emphasis in restoring forage to revive health of honeybee colonies in Washington.

See the full article here.



December is a quiet month for the Association financially speaking with very few transactions. The primary expenditure in December was paying for the rental of the Allmendinger center for 2015 which we use for most of our activities. This wraps up the year with an ending balance of $5,285 after starting the year with a balance of $6,600.  Not bad when you consider all that we did in 2014. 

All the details are in my “Year in Review” report.


PCBA Income and Expense Report
for December 2014 Statement Period

Beginning Balance $5,959.40      
Ending Balance $5,285.08      
Income Amount   Expenses Amount
Memberships $420.00   Queen supplies $69.00
      Transaction  fees $13.20
      Surveymonkey survey (Nov-Dec) $52.00
      WSU Facility Rental for 2015 $900.00
      Office supplies $60.12
Income Total $420.00   Expenses Total $1,094.32

- Michael DeAngelo


Minutes for the January 5th, General Meeting can be reviewed here.


A big thank you to Franclyn, our president, for getting us past the recruiting hurdle we had and filling the Apprentice class.  It’s great to see so many new faces filled with the desire to learn about this fascinating hobby.  

Kris has taken on the facilitation of the Journeyman group.  She is very motivated, passionate about bees and teaching, and has some great ideas to help our Journeyman succeed.  I highly encourage our Apprentices to continue on in their education and certification.  Continued education will improve your success as a beekeeper and help impede the decline of honeybees in your community

- Renzy Davenport

Apiary - Queen Rearing - Swarms

The remaining hives are looking good they are eating fondant at this time of the year as new beekeepers you will get  know how to lift the back of your hive to see how heavy it is January is a great time to go out and take the time to lift your hives to see if your bees need feed in Western Washington bee hives need 60 to 80 pounds of honey to make it through the winter.

The apiary hive building demo day in February has been postponed until March 21, at 11am, at the honey house. In this
demo we will be building a 10 frame deep box and building frames with foundation. I  strongly suggest the new apprentice class to come out and see how to build hive bodies and frames

Queen Rearing
The queens that we have in the apiary are looking well for this time of year I will be doing a hive  inspection in late February weather  depending to see if we have new brood and see if I need to give the bees a Pollen and Patty to help the queen to start to lay.

I will be starting a new 2015 swarm list at the next
general meeting.

Jeff Jones
Apiary chairman

PCBA Website

New to the PCBA Website


PCBA February 2015  Membership Report

Active Members: 257
Comp & Other Bee Clubs: 7
Additional Records: 95
January meeting attendance: 167
Due November: Wendy Bitney, Charity Bodhaine, Deborah Davenport, Sarah Elizabeth Jackson, Mike Konschuh, Suzanne Lewis, Marin Miller, Pam Murry, Chrisine Scott, Annette Smith , Dan Smith, Ellen Sumner, Sherri Thomas, Lou Torre, Justin Viene

Due January: Jason Anderson, Denise Angerman, Karen M Boyd, Sally Bricka, Tyler Bridge, Laura Brooks, Chad Brundage, Elsa Buchert, Kelly Buck, Tyler Budge, Vivian Chamorro, Sharon Charbonnel, Candyce Chittenden, John Clancy, Karen Cota, Steve Curtiss, Joe Delgado, Ryan Everett, Erica Fickeisen, Michael Flannigon, James Getty, Anne Gilman, Mandy Gomez, Alicia Halbert, Karen Hegarty, Alister Hunt, Blake Hurlbut, Susan King, Matt Koch, Eric Kuester, Laura Lee, Hal LeMay, Jill Lyons, Bridget Macchione, Laura McDonald, Mark Mietzner , Faith Miller, Tim Modine, Deborah Moore, Sandi Phillips, Ronald Plewka, Thomas P Quinlar, Kenneth Quirie, Deborah Raynes, Deborah Reeve, Michelle Reinicke, Mary Settle, Charbonnel Sharon, Bruce Stelmar, David Sturtz, Rebecca Taxier, Doug Thomas, Charles Thornhill, Delbert Tomlinson, Jenn Trettin, Dave Trotter, Shelby Vander Molen, Doug Watt, Greg Willits, Lee Woody, Rachel Yantzer, Timg-Ling Yeh, Susan YoungCrane

Due February: Mark Adams, Ann Church, Shannon Cline, Elena Gleyzer, Richard Holmes, Brian Holthe, John Inch, Jill Jensen, Carolynn Jones, Edward Ketcham, Sheila Lentz, Heather Marshall, Fred Masella, Roger McLhathin, Lauri Miller, Rebecca Nighswonger, Keanu Pernorio, Cheryl Peterson, James Roemhildt, James Smith, Gayle Southwell, Vikki Stevens, Matt Sudo, Wayne Ward, Alyssa White

Due March: Perry Bartram, Sheryl Craig, Vernon Craig, Louis Matej, Hilda Steinhauer, Ernest Stephenson, Gary Thompson, Greg York

Member Renewals: Keith Ostlund, Renzy Davenport, Andy Matelich, Jack Etzel, Lincoln Mettler, Lillian Allred, David Mitman, Tina Tyler, Jim Martenson, James Mendenhall, Jim Erickson, Elliott Kroker, Douglas McDonald

New Members: Anita Aguigui, Chelsey Armstrong, Gina Baillargeon, Tammy Brooks, Kelly Caviezel, Kim Chisholm, Dennis Collins, Diane Constable, Joan Cronk, Leland Fore, R. Marion Geib, Jonathan Genther, Ginger George, Tad Greeson, Mark Hilt, Tony Houck, William Hunt, Gunnar Johnson, Jim Josephson, Anil Kumar, Kurt Layman, Sean Leonard, John Leque, Sue Lucier, Consuelo Mae Snaer, Michael Moore, Donald Moore, Thomas Morgan, Barrett Nance, Shayne Noble, Kelsey Otto, Mark Polycyn, Shaun Rhoden, Robert Rich, Robert Schalansky, Tyler Severy, Robert Shipman, Jeff Taylor, Cheryl Thresher, Mark Tips, Regan Velasquez, Kimberly Weigel, Stephanie White, Matthew Zemanek

Upcoming Events

February 2nd
  • 6:15pm - Beginning Beekeeping Class & Journeymen Group
  • 7:30pm - General Meeting: “Treatment Free” – what it means, with Bob Smith from Olympia and a panel of PCBA beekeepers 
February 17th
  • 6:00pm - Executive Board Meeting
    Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, due to the Monday holiday and library closure.
March 2nd
  • 6:15pm - Beginning Beekeeping Class & Journeymen Group
  • 7:30pm - General Meeting: Mason Bees and Pollinators, with Dave Hunter
March 9th
  • 6:00pm - Special Executive Board Meeting to consider actions of a board member
March 16th
  • 6:00pm - Executive Board Meeting
March 21st
  • 11:00am - Apiary Field Day: hive/frame building demo at the Honey House 
April 6th
  • 6:15pm - Beginning Beekeeping Class & Journeymen Group
  • 7:30pm - General Meeting: Morris Ostrofsky - How to manage bees for optimal honey production
April 11th
  • 11:00am - Apiary Field Day
April 20th
  • 6:00pm - Executive Board Meeting
April 25th
  • 11:00am - Apiary Field Day
View complete event information here.
Copyright © 2015 Pierce County Beekeepers Association, All rights reserved.

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