Skagit Valley Beekeepers Association

Newsletter for July 2022 

It's July!
Join Us for our Annual Picnic Meeting
Potluck, Barbeque, and Bee Chatter

Sunday, July 17th
Hillcrest Park in Mt. Vernon

Take a break from your weekend chores and join us for our annual SVBA potluck cook out and picnic.

We will be set up from Noon to 4 PM on Sunday, July 17th at the prominent gazebo near the parking lot of Hillcrest Park (1717 South 13th Street, Mt. Vernon). Please bring a dish to share with others, a beverage of your choice, and a few beekeeping tales. There will be some water on ice available, too. It's a terrific opportunity to share your current beekeeping puzzles with other SVBA members, and get some new ideas. We will punctuate the gathering with a brief meeting, catching up on news and the plans for the Skagit County Fair in August.
Honey Judging Jars at the Picnic
Susan DeLawter reminds us that official jars will be available for purchase at the picnic for those who want to enter their extracted honey in the upcoming judging event which will take place at the Skagit County Fair. There will be 3 categories - extracted honey, full frames, and a poster event for children. If you have any questions about the schedule, entry deadlines, or other aspects of the judging, the picnic will be a good opportunity to get the scoop.
Bruce Bowen Mite Strips
Available at the Picnic (Free)
Bruce Bowen has generously offered to bring some oxalic acid vaporization extended-release strips to the July picnic. If you are interested, he simply asks that you do mite samples in advance, noting down the results. Then, after you apply the strips, you will need to test for mites again and contact him with your "before" and "after" results. The strips are placed between the brood deeps. More information on this treatment can be found at Randy Oliver's website:
Bruce also mentioned that may also bring some mite strips that are made in Ukraine, and are similar to Apivar. These would also be available on the same condition that you test the results and provide feedback to Bruce afterwards.
As Brad Raspet notes, "Bruce has always supported our club and he is interested in helping our club's beekeepers be successful with their adventure in hobby beekeeping."
Heather Oates, Feature Beekeeper
Heather is relatively new to beekeeping, but has plunged into it - and even stepped into a role as a board member of the SVBA.
She has found the time to take on the adventures of beekeeping now that her kids have gone away to college. She was encouraged by her father and some of his senior beekeeping friends, who promised to be her mentors. After obtaining the full complement of beekeeping equipment and her first package of bees, she called up her would-be mentors. She then learned that they had all fled to warmer weather in Arizona. But Heather quickly found her way to both the SVBA and Jennifer Short's classes, and forged ahead with her father's assistance.
Last year, the hot weather was the demise of her queen in the single colony she was keeping. But then she successfully requeened and overwintered them, leading to successful splits this year. She notes, "I’m proud of my emergency cell queen. My hive had emergency cells and swarm cells. I took emergency cells out and put them in a nuc with honey, larva capped brood. And she made it! ... She is an amazing queen so far."
Heather's amazing queen and her growing bee yard
She has learned the benefits of multiple colonies and the complexities of mite control, and enjoys decoding the beekeeping lingo that dominate many of the information sources. 
Whenever she digs into the on-line world of advice and information, she has noticed that there always to seem opposite opinions about every aspect of beekeeping. She finds that there is no replacement from the in-person mentoring. Heather particularly noted the help that Rob Johnson and Susan DeLawter have provided her. It's another reminder about the mentoring in our midst, which is one of the most important benefits of being part of the SVBA community.
Trading Post
2 new Snelgrove frames for sale - Susan DeLawter has these brand new, painted frames that have never been used. Make her an offer on them, for which she originally paid $35 each. Contact Susan at
Deeps and frames available from an ex-beekeeper - Jay Bottoroff is retiring from 10 years of beekeeping, and is offering his three hives (2 deeps, 1 honey super with lids and bottom boards) to anyone in the SVBA who is interested in them. Contact Jay at

Les's Bees has a full line of beekeeping woodenware and supplies in Bellingham - For those gearing up for the summer season, it is a good time to get in touch with SVBA member Les Scott, who has gone into business providing an alternative to the large mail-order suppliers. From your editor's personal experience, the quality is high, the convenience is great, and the prices reasonable. Check out at 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
Renew or Join Now  
If you haven't already sprung at the chance, your 2022 SVBA membership dues are now overdue. What a great thing to bring to the picnic. It's easy, and you can also simply mail us your annual renewal fee of just $12.00. For those who wish to join, it's the same price, and a wonderful introduction to our beekeeping community with the many programs, events, education, advice and connections that we offer. The membership form and payment instructions are found at:
Brad Raspet, President

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

Steve Cecil, Newsletter

Alvin Forar, Board

Heather Oates, Board
Seth Smith, Board