OBA Member – 4 years
A fun fact or quote: Our beekeeping motto is “Make more bees!”
Q: How long have you been a Beekeeper?
A: We took a beekeeping apprenticeship course through OBA and became a member after that. We’ve been members for about four years.
Q: Describe why you became a Beekeeper and your overall beekeeping strategy.
A: My husband first expressed interest in learning to keep bees and I had always been fascinated by them.
We didn’t see many bees on our flowers and in our garden and wanted to increase our pollinators
We’d heard about colony collapse and were worried about losing honey bees, so were motivated to make more bees.
Our beekeeping strategy is to give the bees as much opportunity to behave as naturally as possible.
Q: What do you love most about bees & beekeeping?
A: I love watching my bees on my flowers, they bring the whole yard to life. When you don’t have bees, it seems like the garden is less active.
Q: What kind of hives do you use and how many do you keep?
A: We learned with a Langstroth in our OBA apprenticeship class and usually kept two out in the middle of the backyard. Our goal is to have three hives on our property. We have considered increasing the number of hives we would keep and working with friends and neighbors to host some of our beehives on their properties.
Our hives didn’t make it this past winter for the first time, so we took the year off to learn about keeping bees in a horizontal hive (Layens), build swarm traps, build our new hives, and be ready to catch swarms next Spring.
Q: What is your biggest beekeeping challenge you have overcome and how did you overcome it?
A: I never really understood the Langstroth hive and the methods associated with it, like stacking the boxes and splitting the hive. Even hive checks felt invasive and unnecessary.
The horizontal hive makes perfect sense to me and feels way less invasive. I’m also happy I never have to pick it up.
Q: What are your biggest beekeeping accomplishments or successes?
A: We got both our hives through the winter for our first 3 years. We didn’t take any honey from the hives so bees went into winter with full frames. We made a foam core box to put over top of the hive to help control temperature and moisture which worked well for most of the hives.
Q: Describe your role with OBA and how members can connect with you to learn more (if the person is a board member or has a formal role with OBA).
A: I am the Secretary at OBA. I take notes at the OBA board and association meetings. I keep OBA organized and working towards shared goals. I can be reached for OBA related business at firstname.lastname@example.org..
Q: How have you benefited from being a member of OBA?
A: I love hearing about others’ experiences with beekeeping and learning from others. The OBA apprenticeship course was also very helpful.
Q: What do you like most about being a member of OBA?
A: I like feeling that I can use my time and skills to help support beekeepers in Olympia. The more beekeepers, the more bees!
Q: What tips or advice do you have for new beekeepers?
A: Consider your goals for beekeeping when you get started and know that there are options for how you keep bees and opportunities to innovate your own way. I recommend learning & trying a couple different ways and choosing the one that makes the most sense to you. A couple questions I found key to finding my way as a beekeeper:
- Is your priority to maximize honey production, make more bees, or prevent bee loss?
- To get new colonies, do you want to buy bees, catch swarms, or make queens?