Skagit Valley Beekeepers Association

Newsletter for January 2023
Happy New Year!

Join Us for Our January Meeting
(In-person or On-line)

Kickoff your beekeeping year and join us at our meeting this month. It will be held on  Thursday, January 12, at 7 PM at the Burlington Public Library. We will be sharing information and advice, and discuss leadership and future event planning. For those who want to attend and stay at home, we will send a virtual  link by e-mail a few days ahead of the meeting. Here's a good idea - bring your $12 annual membership check with you if you haven't renewed already, and you will be all set for another year!

Looking Ahead:
Speakers, Auction, and the Beekeeping Course

Speakers and Programs
Ruthie Danielsen: our February speaker
Chris Looney: at MBBA later this month
Our February meeting will feature Ruthie Danielson, who was the 2021 Washington State Beekeeper of the Year. Look for details in next month's newsletter about Ruthie and her topic, the giant northern hornet. Set aside the evening (February 9th) -  this is going to be good.
Have your hives become hosts for the pests known as Small Hive Beetles (SHB)? The Mt. Baker beekeeping folks have alerted us to an upcoming presentation by Chris Looney, entomologist with the Washington State Department of Agriculture. He will focus on SHB, and what to do about them. SVBA members are welcome to attend the MBBA session at 6:45 PM on January 18; the MBBA meetings are held at the Ferndale Public Library. They list the Zoom meeting link on their website at
SVBA Annual Silent Auction/Potluck
Coming in March, so start planning
Start planning for your contributions, food-wise and auction-wise for our annual pre-spring event. The silent auction and potluck dinner is an opportunity to raise funds for the SVBA while catching up with the other members. This year's event will be on March 8th from 6 PM to 8:30 PM at the Sedro-Woolley Senior Center. What a wonderful opportunity to share your culinary imagination, to contribute cool items for bidding - and to enjoy the remarkable opportunities for feasting and buying.
SVBA Beginner Beekeeping Course
Coming in March, so pass the word
We are gearing up for our annual beginner beekeeping course, and you should too. It is a great introduction for fledgling keepers, and a helpful refresher for those with questions who will benefit from the contributed experienced teaching crew. The course this year will be every Monday evening for 4 weeks (March 6,13,20,and 27). The course this year will be held at the Burlington Library, a convenient location for many.
Specific information will be posted on the SVBA website and will also be featured in next month's newsletter. 

Leadership Update
New Board members, and more
We have two new board members who will help keep us moving ahead. Don Johnson and  Gail Bruce will join Heather Oates to round out the Board of Directors, which provides guidance and support to the other officers and membership. They have been added to the contact list at the end of the newsletter.
The process of nominating and electing a new president is underway, and will be an important agenda item for the January meeting.

SVBA Holiday Event was Refreshing

Our annual December meeting is traditionally low on business, and high on refreshment-laced chatting. This year was no exception. Many of the attendees caught onto the idea of also making it into a cookie exchange. Many plates of treats escaped the on-site consumption, including those made with honey as an essential ingredient. It's just one more benefit of being an SVBA member...
Monthly Tips
January, time to look ahead
There can be a surprising amount to do in January. Brad Raspet has shared his monthly "to do" check list. Key tips drawn from his list include:
  • Check the hives for damage
  • Weigh and record colony weight in pounds (that bathroom scale should help)
  • Feed honey, bee candy or raw sugar
  • Check the bottom board, to make sure the entrance is not blocked 
  • Order bee packages or nucs if you know you will need them
  • Purchase pollen patties for spring supplemental feeding

Trading Post
Honey holding tank and a new flow-frame kit available - Past president and SVBA member Bill Markus has a 83-gallon, stainless steel honey holding tank with a strainer and lid for sale for $300. He also has a flow 4-frame kit (new and still in the box), available for $60. If you are interested, contact him at or at his cell phone, (360) 661-0452.
Les's Bees has a full line of beekeeping woodenware and supplies in Bellingham -  SVBA member Les Scott continues to serve our region and membership as a retail supplier and distributor. Check out or contact Les Scott directly by e-mail, call, or text:  360-303-0396.

If you have supplies and equipment that you may be interested in swapping, selling, or just plain giving to other interested members of the SVBA, send a brief description, price, and contact information to your editor,

SVBA Membership
It's the New Year, and dues are due
It's time to join or renew for 2023. Your $12 annual dues support the many programs and benefits that the Skagit Valley Beekeepers Association provides - just look at our website at Think about the return on your investment and what just $1/month brings in building and maintaining such a key part of our regional agriculture and ecology! The membership form and payment instructions are found at:
Dawn Beck, Vice President
Rob Johnson, Treasurer
Susan DeLawter, Secretary

Steve Cecil, Newsletter

Gail Bruce, Board
Don Johnson, Board

Heather Oates, Board

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

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