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July 2015 - Volume 21 - Issue 7

Sue Cobey Queen Rearing Workshop

Saturday, July 25, 2015
9:00 am - 2:00 pm 

Allmendinger Center, WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Campus
2606 West Pioneer, Puyallup, WA, 98371 

Registration Deadline: July 16, 2015

Payment Options: Pay by credit card, PayPal, or check.
Online registration only. 

Lunch, snacks, and beverages provided.

Refunds: No refunds unless the event is canceled.

Event Coordinator:
Marge Pearson – PCBA Programs Chair at

Registration Limit: 80 people

Register Online HERE!

Local Bee News

By Franclyn Heinecke
Olympia Beekeepers has Thurston County buzzing about bees
The biggest news in the area right now, bee-wise, is the Olympia Beekeepers Association “Bee a Pollinator” campaign that officially took flight June 24 at pollinator garden dedication in Lacey.  The campaign culminates nearly three years of work with governments, cities, citizens, beekeepers and others to curb neonicotinoids use and expand healthy forage for bees and other pollinators.  They have developed Memorandums of Understanding with local jurisdictions and now nearly 13,000 acres of land in Thurston County is managed neonic free. Past Olympia president and now WSBA president Mark Emrich and current Olympia president Laurie Pyne are the creativity and energy behind this remarkable multi-year project.  What an inspiration to us all!  And, they are sharing their know-how.  The campaign has been developed to be mobile.  They are sharing their campaign to help beekeepers and the public with meaningful information and ways to provide solutions to help our pollinators.  Contact Laurie Pyne at the Olympia Beekeepers Association for more information.

Pierce County Beekeepers are busy, too
In Pierce County, we have been working with various food providers to help make the connection that pollinators are what turn flowers into food.   We have met with Tacoma city staff, and will meet soon with the County executive and her staff.  We’ve worked with health food stores, grocery stores and a farmers’ market to start building a buzz and more public knowledge.  

Here are some photos of the Bee Festival held during Pollinator Week at one local market:

Breaking news

Gov signed 6057, includes beekeepers as farmers
Great news!  After three years of working with the legislature on this issue, Gov. Inslee has signed into law 6057.  Part XI of that bill is what used to be SB 5017, designating beekeepers as farmers and their products as agricultural products.  This is a significant move forward to have beekeepers finally recognized as farmers for tax purposes in WA State.  It brings us to the table with other agricultural entities and interests -- farmers, orchardist, etc.  The legislative committee of the Washington State Beekeepers Association worked to get this law passed:  Mark Emrich, Tim Hiatt, Franclyn Heinecke, Krista Conner, Paul Hosticka, and Laurie Pyne, and many local club members helped with legislative outreach and the WSBA Legislative Day held earlier this spring.  Beekeepers Eric Olson and Paul Lundy first introduced this legislation several years ago, and Eric worked with Senator Honeyford to have it reintroduced this year.  

For details about what was passed into law, click here.

In the News

Wonderful article about the hard work and accomplishments of Mark, Laurie and the Olympia Beekeepers with their new bee garden at Panorama City in Lacey.  Having this kind of project and coverage will help our efforts in Pierce County more than you ever know!

In the Bee Garden

With the blackberry nectar flow starting to wrap up, it's time to plant bee forage for late summer bloom to give your bees extra food stores for winter. These three excellent nectar plants will nourish the bees that will live throughout the winter months in our hives.

Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) makes a delicious honey and is perfect for quick plantings in summer to fall. Bees love the tiny white flowers of this valuable nectar source (rated 3 Stars by Peter Lindtner in Garden Plants for Honey Bees). Blooms in 30-40 days. Repeat seed sowings for extended bloom time. Sow it in empty places in the garden. Planted thickly, this tall summer annual (to 2 feet high) has broad leaves that smother weeds. Use as a green manure by turning buckwheat under about 10 days after flowering to avoid the seeds dropping. The soft stems and roots are easy to till into the soil. Grows in soils with poor fertility, and after germination requires little water. Germ. Temp. 50F. Not frost hardy. 2-3lb. per 1000 sq. ft. Blooms 2-3 weeks.
Seed Sources: Territorial Seed Company, Johnny's Selected Seeds, West Coast Seeds, Botanical Interests

Phacelia aka Fiddleneck (Phacelia tanacetifolia) Highest rating for nectar at 5 Stars, pollen 3 Stars. This annual wildflower grows well in hot conditions. The flower spike is light blue-violet and keeps bees busy all day long. Phacelia can be used in empty spaces as a cover crop filler similarly to buckwheat. Press the seeds into the soil, cover with 1/8" soil, and keep seeds moist. Give it a sunny location in the garden and water the roots occasionally. Sprinklers can make the stems flop. Thin seedlings to 12 inches apart. Lacy Phacelia will drop its own wildflower seeds, so deadhead spent blooms if spreading isn't desired. Height: 24 - 36 inches. Germ. Temp. 55 - 65F. Average Germ Time: 7 - 12 days. Sowing Rate: 3 ounces per 1,000 square feet. Six weeks from seed to first blossoms. Blooms 4-5 weeks.
Seed Source: 

Bluebeard (Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Dark Night’) is a late summer deciduous flowering shrub rated for honey bees as a 4 Star nectar plant. It resemble clouds of blue smoke or mist and is highly attractive to bees and butterflies. So many bees gather on this plant that you'll hear the buzzing when you walk through the garden. Requires well-drained soil and full sun. Only needs occasional watering during prolonged dry weather. Prune it back in late winter or early spring by about 1/3 of the plant. 4'H 4'W. 

For a list of honey plants, visit PCBA's Plant a Bee Garden webpage

By Becky Sundstrom

Honey House Reservations


Got honey? No need to buy an expensive extractor. Reserve the PCBA Honey House and extract your honey in style. The $10 fee includes supplies and use of the club's 18 frame motorized extractor. For online reservations (pay by credit card) visit: 



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

Treasurer's Report

Financial Report for May
We began to see some revenue for the Sue Cobey event coming up in July with 14 people signed up already. In addition, we sold more of our inventory of honey we built up for the Spring Fair. The rest of our income and expenses were typical.

On a different note, if anyone is interested in being Treasurer for next year let me know. Membership on the Board is a great way to earn WSBA Journeyman points as well as giving you a chance to be involved in the planning of PCBA activities. 


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

Saturday, August 22nd is the annual BBQ and honey extraction located at the Honey House.  The Apiary is open this day as well at the usual time.  Volunteers are needed who can supply BBQ's for cooking.  

A reminder the Auction is in November. It will be on Monday, November 2nd, the evening of the general board meeting.  Please bring items that are wrapped and ready to go. Marge Pearson will gladly collect up items over the next months.

The Fair

The WA State Fair starts September 11, 2015 in Puyallup. Volunteer to staff the Bee Booth and receive a ticket to the Fair! The Online Volunteer Sign Up Sheet will be posted this week at Sign up early to get the best time slots. Or sign up at the August General Meeting.

Upcoming Events

  • No class or PCBA general meeting in July
  • No PCBA Board Meeting in July
July 18th
  • 11am - Apiary Field Day
July 25th

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 and extraction day / picnic at the PCBA Honey House; apiary check with Jeff Jones
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.
View complete event information here.
Copyright © 2015 Pierce County Beekeepers Association, All rights reserved.

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