Newsletter for October 2023
Different Meeting Location!
Join us for the October Meeting
Thursday, October 12
Central Skagit Valley Library
Sedro Woolley
Our monthly meeting is coming up on Thursday, October 12th at 7 PM. We will be meeting at a different location this month - we will be at the Central Skagit Valley Library in Sedro Woolley due to some scheduling issues. The address is 110 W. State Street.

Board Members are getting together at 5:30. But come early if you can for our informal "bee chat" beginning at 6:30 PM. Share your questions and tips with your fellow beekeepers.

  • Bee talk - Our speaker this month is Dawn Beck, who will share her expertise and experience on how to prepare and maintain your colonies through the winter.
  • SVBA officer nominations - The meeting will include nominations for the officers of the SVBA, with elections to follow in November. If you are interested in serving, or know someone who might, make sure to participate at the meeting or contact Brett DeLawter to let him know in advance.
  • Zoom option - If you can't come, but want to participate anyway, join us by Zoom. An e-mail with the link will be sent to members before the meeting.

Winterizing your Hives
October 12th at the SVBA Meeting

SVBA Vice President Dawn Beck will present and demonstrate techniques to help your colonies survive the winter at our October meeting. She is excellent at explaining the inner workings of a colony as it confronts the cold and damp months of the Pacific Northwest climate. This is the foundation for getting the right hive components and having a strategy for managing the months ahead.
Dawn shared her advice last year; it made a huge difference for your editor's colonies. After applying her advice, we experienced a 100% survival rate for the first time in a decade of beekeeping. She is back by popular demand and we hope you can participate. 

WASBA Pacific Northwest Beekeeping Conference
Saturday, Oct. 7th and Sunday, Oct. 8th
Olympic Hotel at Capitol Lake, Olympia

This event is coming up this weekend and will include lots of speakers on various topics, and provides incredible networking opportunities among the estimated 400 to 500 folks who are expected to attend this year. For more information, click this:

November Meeting
Pests of all types, and what to do about them
Put the November 9th SVBA Meeting on your calendar, so that you can catch Seth Smith's talk about Pest Management. Although we all focus on varroa mites as a major challengethere are lots of other beasts and bugs that can hassle your hives that you should know about.

Not Just Honey
September inspirations from Brad Raspet
Former SVBA President Brad Raspet shared his experiences and practical tips about how to create a wide range of products to accompany your honey. Each product becomes a marketing opportunity and a chance to be creative. Among the takeaways from the session were:
  • Cut comb honey gets great prices - Brad recognizes that cut comb honey can bring surprisingly high prices from customers who know about it. Once common in grocery stores, cut comb has become something of a rarity. There are lots of variations on the basic theme, but you need to have a wax foundation and should harvest the newly-formed comb and honey soon after it has been filled in to have a clean, light appearance.

  • What's in a label? - There are some key items to add to your labels if you are selling honey or shipping for sale elsewhere. Brad pointed to the practical and impractical aspects of state regulations  and the ins and outs of federal guidance for labeling and naming honey. Basic information can be found at

  • A cool website counts - Brad has put together an excellent website to introduce his bees and their products to his audience and customers. Take a glance at

Monthly Tips
October: Get those colonies ready for winter
It is time to get the hives buttoned up for winter and to implement the techniques you are going to employ to manage both moisture and the interior temperature of your colonies.
Here is an October checklist inspired by Brad Raspet's monthly schedule of activities:
  • Calculate the honey stores in your overwintering supers - they will need about 60 pounds of honey it they are to make it through on their own. Some folks use a bathroom scale to be precise about it.
  • Close down screened bottom board inserts, and begin reducing the hive opening as cold weather arrives.
  • Provide/continue supplemental syrup feeding at 2 parts cane sugar to 1 part water 
  • Provide supplemental health syrups such as HBH, particularly for colonies being moved between yards, or other treatments that you may choose.
  • Install entrance reducers as the weather turns colder.
  • Rearrange top boards and covers to accommodate your moisture control strategies and hive components.

Trading Post
Les's Bees always has a range of beekeeping supplies in not-too-far-away Bellingham, and owner Les Scott might even arrange to drop off on-line purchases for SVBA members at our meetings if you arrange it in advanceGo to Or you can 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,
Membership: Renew or Join Us!
Use our online sign-up, or just send or bring a check
Please join (or rejoin!) the SVBA. Dues get you an annual membership and supports our many activities, meetings, and special programs.

The annual dues are only $12 (or $13 using our online payment system). The dues support the many programs and benefits that the Skagit Valley Beekeepers Association offer our community of helpful beekeepers. The membership form and payment instructions are found at:
The online payment option is located at:

Brett DeLawter, President
Dawn Beck, Vice President
Rob Johnson, Treasurer
Susan DeLawter, Secretary

Steve Cecil, Newsletter

Gail Buce, Board
Don Johnson, Board
Jim Kohl, Board

Heather Oates, Board
Seth Smith, Board