Subject: October Newsletter
From: =?utf-8?Q?Skagit=20Beekeepers?= <>
Date: 10/10/2020, 1:14 PM
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October Newsletter

Skagit Valley Beekeepers Association

Seth Smith, President 

Bessie Robar, President (shadowing)

Elizabeth Pheonix-Agin, Vice President

Rob Johnson, Treasurer

Natalie Dougliss, Secretary & Newsletter

Scott Rhodes, Board

Alvin Forar, Board

Brad Raspet, Board

Happy October everyone! Fall is here and hope your bees are doing great!

Due to the Burlington Library still being closed, our next meeting will be held Thursday, November 12th at 7 pm on the Zoom Meeting app. Brad will email everyone the link in November.

October Newsletter


The newsletter will be very short as there is not much going on in the bee world in October. 

The main thing to focus on for the month of October is to feed your bees. Make sure you are done feeding by Halloween. Your bee's have already started to slow down and you should already see your bee population start to decline. It takes a significant amount of energy to convert sugar water into honey stores. This is primarily the summer worker bees' job... not the winter worker bees' job. The winter bees can do the job, but if they are exposed to ware and tear early on they might not be able to do their duties in the winter. 

You can check if they need food by cracking the top brood box and lifting it slightly. If its heavy, you should be good! If its light or medium weight, you might want to feed them more. 

Bees can starve this time of year. If you go out and find a dead hive, you can still use those resources for another hive. If other hives need comb you can use the new resources you now have. Similarly, if a beehive dies during the winter, you can use the leftover honey to feed another hive that is still alive. 

Below I've attached a video from The Canadian Beekeepers Blog. Ian does a great job of describing feeding and bee clusters for winter. He also talks about sustainable yield in beekeeping!

October Blooms 

There are not very many plants blooming in October, but I have noticed a few. Above is a picture of some of my Yarrow plants that attracted may different pollinators. This specific picture has a house fly, paper wasp, and a hover fly. 
Rudbekia (Black-eyed Susan) plants also attract many pollinators. I went out there one afternoon to garden and noticed that the plants were buzzing! There were so many different types of insects such as paper wasps, honeybees, house flys, hover flys, and more. 

Asian Hornet: Update

There have been three more Asian Hornets found near Blaine, WA. Like our club has said before, keep an eye out around your beehives and watch the behavior of your bees as well as your surroundings. If your bees are at all weakened due to starving or mite diseases, this puts them in the vulnerable category. Not only to the Asian Hornet, but to other hornets as well. 

I have provided a link to the WSDA page if you would like to see maps and data on the captures of these insects.

Observing Your Hive

I feel like this is an important subject because you can tell a lot about a hive by just observing its exterior. Take a few seconds and walk around your hive.
1. Observe if there are a lot of dead bees in the entrance of your hive. A good handful is normal this time of year due to kicking out the drones. If you observe a numerous amount, you might want observe the inside. 
2. Observe the entrance of the hive. Are there bees in the entrance? Are there no bees in the entrance? Are there dead bees in the entrance? This time of year you may see some or no bees in the entrance. 
3. If you listen carefully, you can hear the buzz of your hive from the outside. 
4. Is there a lot of bee poop at the entrance of the hive? If so, your beehive might have Nosema and should get treated. 

I always check the exterieor of my hives when I walk by. It is a good habit to start because you can learn a lot about bee behavior. Keep in mind this does not mean a walkby is the same as checking your hive internally. Checking your hive from the inside is just if not more important. 

Positions Open for Club
There are three positions open for Skagit Valley Beekeepers! If you are interested you could contact anyone on the list above. These are the open positions:

1. President: Seth is stepping down from this position permanently. The main thing you would have to do is run the club meetings. 

2. Secretary: I have been the secretary for a year, but unfortunately  got a permanent evening job that are on Thursday evenings. You would have to take the club meeting minutes and report them at the following meeting. 

3. Board member

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Skagit Valley Beekeepers · 2926 Schattig Ln · Oak Harbor, WA 98277 · USA

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