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August 2015 - Volume 21 - Issue 8

President's Report

Franclyn Heinecke

Show Us the Honey!
You’ve worked hard to keep your bees healthy and active.  Now it’s time to show off their hard work and maybe win some bragging rights and some money!

The Puyallup Fair is now the Washington State Fair, and the honey show is now a state completion.  Our own Bob Bennett, honey show chairman, will speak at our August meeting, giving you tips and guidelines for entering products into the fair. PCBA will have for sale ($1.00 each) a limited supply of the required 1-pound queen line jars needed for honey entries, or check with Harvard Robbins. He carries them in stock.

Think about when you want to help staff the PCBA information booth at the fair.  Alisa Shorey and Andy Matelich are coordinating that booth and staffing.  Sign up online through our website, or at the August meeting.  You get to talk about bees with the public, learn from and brag about your bees with other beekeepers, and get free tickets to the fair for your work!

Working with Local Jurisdictions for Improved Bee Forage
On July 31, the County Executive, some of the Council members, and several Pierce County department directors will visit my apiary as part of their summer farm tour.  With the help of Alisa Shorey and Jim Martinson, we’re talking to them about the needs of bees and beekeepers.  

I also have had conversations with the City of Tacoma council sustainability committee, Pierce Conservation District, Puyallup Watershed Initiative, WSU Puyallup Extension director and staff, and others to find out how we can get more and better forage in the county.  People are open and willing to talk more about this, and there will be updates soon about these conversations.

2016 Officer Nominations Start in August
We will vote on the 2016 officers in November, but need to start the nomination process at the August 3 meeting.  

I am oh-so-sad to hear that Michael DeAngelo will not seek the position of Treasurer again.  In the years he served in that position he developed a sound program that will be easy for someone else to build on.  He also brought many other significant features to PCBA including our 501 (c) 3 non-profit status, online payments, advice regarding our revised website, and so much more.  His thoughtful, measured contributions at Board meetings will be greatly missed.  He also is a very funny guy who has a knack to say just the right thing to make the Board step back and laugh when it was needed.

Other elected officers have indicated they are willing to continue in their positions, if the membership wants us.  Nominations for President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer are open, beginning at the August 3 meeting.  The other board positions are appointed by the President, and ratified by the elected Officers.

August 22 is the PCBA Extraction Party at the Honey house, and club picnic.

August 31 general meeting.
The August 31 meeting is primarily for distribution of fair tickets for people who will help staff the PCBA information booth.  There is no general meeting in September.  

At the October 5 general meeting, we’ll talk about pollinator health initiatives.  By then, I should be able update you about our work for more forage with local jurisdictions.  We should have information back from the Department of Revenue regarding implementation of our successful “Beekeepers as Farmers” legislation.  We also will have Mark Emrich and Laurie Pyne from the Olympia Beekeepers here to give an update on their successful “Bee a Pollinator” campaign, which we hope to build on with our Pierce County efforts.

October is also when we distribute ribbons for PCBA members whose Honey Show entries won.  And, Larry will start the new apprentice beekeeper classes that night.  We’ve shifted the start date so new beekeepers can go through the sessions before they get their bees next April.

WA State Fair Bee Booth -- 
Volunteer Signup Sheet Now Online

Bee Booth volunteers get free Fair tickets and free parking!  
What a great way to Do the Puyallup!  
Sign up today to volunteer at the Fair Bee Booth from Sept. 11 to Sept. 27, 2015. Visit:
Sign up online, or at the Aug. 3 or Aug. 31, 2015 PCBA General Meeting.
For more information, contact Alisa Shorey at


Honey Show Competition

All PCBA members are encouraged to enter the WA State Fair Honey Show Competition.  Come to the Monday Aug. 3 PCBA General Meeting at 7:30pm to learn how to enter your products in the show and about honey judging rules from our guest speaker WA State Fair Honey Show Coordinator Bob Bennett.

To view the 2015 WA State Fair Honey Show Manual, Register Your Entries Online, and get Honey Judging Tips - CLICK HERE 

Registration: Online entry registration should be completed by 10pm on Monday, September 7th. Print a copy of your online entry summary/receipt to bring with your entry on entry days: Tuesday, September 8th (10am to 8pm) and Wednesday, September 9th (8am to 8pm). Take entries to the Agriculture Dept. at the fairgrounds. There is no entry fee.
Judging: Thursday, September 10th. Ribbons will be awarded after judging on Thursday, September 10th.

PCBA Annual BBQ Picnic Potluck -- Please RSVP Online 

New this year for the Annual BBQ Picnic Potluck (noon to 3pm on Sat. August 22) attendees will be able to RSVP on our website. This will help Marge determine how many hot dogs and hamburgers to buy, saving PCBA money. Also, members can share online what they are bringing for the potluck, that way we don't end up with everyone bringing the same dishes. The BBQ Potluck page will be posted this week. We'll let you know when it is up and running.
Thank you Sherri and Lisa!
We would like to thank volunteers Lisa Garnett and Sherri Thomas for their hard work at the PCBA Sue Cobey Queen Rearing Workshop. Feeding 63 hungry beekeepers was not easy, and your hard work was greatly appreciated. Great job!  --  From Marge and Becky

Honey House Reservations Online:
Time to extract your honey? Reserve the PCBA Honey House. For a $10 fee you can extract your honey in style using our 18 frame motorized extractor. Make a reservation at:

White House Announces New Steps to Promote Pollinator Health

Click this link to the article from The Office of Science and Technology Policy, with links to the strategy, action plan, practices for federal lands.

In the Bee Garden

The sustained drought we are having is impacting our bees and their forage. Our lawns and gardens are dry, clover and dandelions have shriveled up, and the lack of rain is beginning to impact the late summer nectar flow. With no rain in sight, what is a bee gardener to do?

Provide a water source: Honey bees need water to cool the hive and to dilute the honey they feed to developing bees. This is why it's essential to include a water source in your bee garden. Hate cleaning out bird baths? Try running soaker hoses for your bees instead.

Water your late blooming bee plants first: Focus watering on late summer plants that have yet to bloom. Fall is critical for honey bee foraging to ensure ample honey stores for the winter. Reduce watering the plants that are finished blooming for the year and focus irrigation on Sunflowers, Asters, Sedums, Goldenrod, Herbs, and other plants that will bloom until frost.

Plant drought tolerant bee plants: There are many excellent drought tolerant plants out there that are highly attractive to pollinators. Succulents, such as Sedum 'Autumn Joy', are able to store water in their fleshy leaves and stems. Some herbs that are drought tolerant include Lavender, Germander, Marjoram, Sage, Thyme, and Rosemary. Other herbs in bloom now are Spearmint, Peppermint, Anise Hyssop, Borage, and Basil.

Grow the best August blooming nectar plants: Bee trees for this month include the rare fragrant Clerodendrum (aka Harlequin Glorybower - pictured below) and the Japanese Pagoda tree (4 out of 5 stars nectar and pollen). Perennials/Shrubs: Bluebeard (4 stars nectar), Russian Sage (3 stars nectar), Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa - 3 stars nectar), Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Boston Ivy (4 stars nectar and pollen), Goldenrod (Solidago), and Snowberry (4 stars nectar).

Weeds, Bolting, and Rotten Fruit: Give blooming weeds a little water and allowing some veggies to bolt. Bees love the August flowers of thistle, tansy ragwort, butterfly bush, and bolted onions, kale, broccoli, and cabbage. Try creating a weed or bolting vegetable pollinator pathway section in the garden. Pollinators can be found sipping on juice from the overripe fruit of plums, pears, and apples. Bees are also visiting cucumbers, pumpkins, and corn for pollen.

The Water Smart Lawn: One of the easiest ways to deal with a lawn in drought conditions is to allow clover to flourish. It will keep your lawn looking green and bees love it! Outside Pride ( ) is a great source for New Zealand White Clover seeds. Their Mini Clover seeds only grow four inches tall. 

Drip systems for plants and bees: Drip irrigation systems, such as those offered by Dripworks (, offer water savings and the convenience of having your plants watered on a timer. Use a drip system on fast growing buckwheat and phacelia this month for late season forage.

Bees will increase their defenses: As food becomes scarce, bees and wasps from other hives will begin robbing weaker hives of their honey. Wasps will even steal brood. It only takes a few days for a hive to be robbed completely. As a result, bees are forced to devote time and energy to hive defense rather than foraging for food and water.

Feed your bees: When water is scarce, bee plants produce less flowers that are shorter-lived, leaving bees less nectar and pollen for food. Honey bees may not be able to meet their current food needs, let alone store enough food for winter, leading to starvation. The quality of a flower's food is also impacted. In a study of squash plants placed under simulated drought conditions, the volume and concentration of nectar declined with the length of the drought, indicating a negative effect on the floral resources bees depend on (Apidologie (2012) 43:1–16). Beekeepers should consider leaving extra honey on their hives this year, begin syrup feeding after the honey harvest, use bee health additives in syrup, and plant forage now for Fall bloom.

Drought stresses honey bees in a variety of ways, any one of which may result in the death of the colony either immediately or over the winter. Our well-watered August bee gardens may be the key to honey bee success this year. 

Submitted By Becky Sundstrom

Western Apicultural Society
Annual Conference

.The Colorado State Beekeeper Association is hosting this year's WAS annual conference. The conference will be held in Bee-utiful Boulder on October 1-3, 2015. For more information, CLICK HERE.



Minutes from the June General Meeting and the May Regular Board Meeting can be found here.

Treasurer's Report

For the month of June the only new activity we see is the income from the Sue Cobey event has begun to roll in. We also see our annual expense for the PO box which is used to receive mail in membership dues although we see increasing numbers of dues paid via the web. 
I'm also thinking ahead for succession planning for the treasurer role. Board membership is a great way to earn service points towards your journeyman certification. You can earn half of the required 30 points by filling this role!! Familiarity with Excel is super useful. If anyone is interested in being nominated for the Treasurer role for next year let me know.

Apiary / Swarm

Apiary report

The bees in the apiary are doing great this year. I wanted to let the members know that we got 54 lbs of honey  off of the over winter hives this year. At this point in time you should have your bees in at least two brood boxes and you should see lots of eggs larvae and capped brood. If you don't see honey in your hives you need to still feed your bees remember you need 80 lbs of honey to make it through the wither.

Now on to queen rearing I have mated queens ready to go please email or call me if you need a queen.

Swarm reports

No swarms for three weeks just a few calls with bees in walls is all

Jeff Jones


Reminder, Honey House Extraction on August 22nd to begin at 12:00. The BBQ will start at 12:00. Volunteers are needed to help with the BBQ. 

Need a couple of volunteers who have experience with the extractor to show others the extracting process. 

Volunteers are needed to help with the clean up of the coffee for the general meetings. 

Reminder the Auction is in November. Think about what you would like to contribute to it. Think of a friend or friends you would like to bring to the auction and help support the bees and have a fun evening......

Thanks, Marge 

Upcoming Events

  • No Apprentice class or Journeyman meeting in August

August 3

  • 7:30pm - PCBA general meeting -- how to enter your honey and other hive products in the WA State Fair Honey Show, with Bob Bennett, honey show chairman.
August 17 
  • 6:00pm - PCBA Board Meeting
August 22 
  • National Honey Bee Day
  • 11:00am - Apiary Field Day
  • noon -  Extraction Day / Annual Picnic at the PCBA Honey House.
August 31
  • 7:30pm -  PCBA meeting to sign up and get your tickets to staff the bee booth at the WA State Fair; general discussion on feeding your hives and getting them ready for winter.
No PCBA general meeting in September -- members should sign up to help staff the bee booth at the Fair.

September 11th - 27th - Washington State Fair

September 21st
  • 6:00pm - PCBA Board Meeting
October 5th
  • 6:15pm - New Apprentice Class
  • 6:15pm - Journeyman Meeting
  • 7:30pm - PCBA general meeting 
View complete event information here.
Copyright © 2015 Pierce County Beekeepers Association, All rights reserved.

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