November 13th, 2017 OBA Meeting Minutes

Olympia Beekeepers Association

November 13th, 2017

Chinook Middle School


Meeting called to order at 7:14 pm by Mechele.

Mechele asked the club if there were any changes or corrections to the October minutes. Lynn motioned that the minutes be kept the same. Motioned seconded by Duane and motion carried unanimously.

Mechele asked for any new people in attendance at the meeting to please stand. There were a total of six people. For these new people Mechele let them know that we have raffle items during the break that they can by tickets for. Also, she informed them that Roger and Kitty are the chairs for mentorship and can help them get connected with a mentor near them.

Officers Reports:

Secretary’s Report Shelby: Nothing to report

Treasurer’s report David Bruun: Checking account $4419.95, Savings account $4570.85 and cash on hand $22.83.

Vice President Tim Weible: Tim shared that is a mentor for one of his students from Centralia College and they were having a hard time with wasps. He let the club know that he used the hard-yellow plastic cone wasp traps that have a pool in the bottom. With the pool in the bottom of the trap Tim uses a mixture of either apple or orange juice and sugar mixed together. With this mixture left out for one night it was completely full with wasps. The mixture can typically last a week and cost between $11-13 at Ace hardware. He passed around the cylinder cone with wasps in it, a magnifying glass and a wasp index that helps determine what type of wasp you have. He wanted to see what the clubs guess was. These traps are reusable year after year and should be put out anywhere from January to March to catch the queen.

Mechele sent birthday wishes to Laurie as it was her birthday. Also, she thanked Stephanie for taking care of the Facebook page. She said a big thank you to Cathy for taking care of all the snacks for our meetings. Thanks, was given to Anne for working hard on putting together our strategic plan as a club. The by-law committee hopes to have them complete and ready by Christmas.

Membership Chair Duane: 76 paid members. Also, he let the members know that we have ballots for Beekeeper of the Year and the Mark Savage Lifetime Achievement Award to be voted on during the break so this award can be given at our Christmas party. Also, Mechele and Duane had dropped from being voted on.

Chair Reports:

Airport Hive: Frank was not available for report.

Observation Hive: Mareen and Alex were absent for report.

Mansion Bees: Mark told the club of a recent event that was held at the Governors Mansion. The Governor and Governor First Lady were in attendance at this event were 80 6 oz bottles of honey were made from the hives at the Mansion. The Governor designed and manufactured his own label called “Dome Comb.” The hives are doing really well. There is one hive that we are feeding right now as it is a little lighter but that will be coming off with in the next week. The hives are part of the Capitol tour.

Education Committee Bob and Gail: They handed out their Apprenticeship certificates for the Washington State Beekeepers. Bob mentioned that the Journeyman class will be held at the Chinook Middle School Library next Monday from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Ernie gave us a report on the library that he didn’t bring it because it was to wet to transport. Also, he provided a review of what was discussed in the sustainability group. The group talked about hornets, queens, varroa mites, drones and worker bees. Also, they talked about beekeeping in the winter and do you insulate or ventilate.

Glen let the club know that if you are interested in him starting up again with his Native Pollinator to let him know.

Mechele introduced Paul to the club as part of the Thurston County Fair board and as part of the Sustainably in prisons project.

Also, there are t-shirts and sweatshirts that were for sale.

Mechele let the club know that the board decided to pilot an accelerated course for the Apprenticeship with the Washington Master Beekeepers and they were having their Celebration of Knowledge with 8 total graduates. The next accelerated course will begin in April.

David talked to the club in regards to the Christmas Party that will be held during our regular meeting on December 11th. There will be a raffle during the party and each member of the household if attending needs to bring an item for the raffle under $20. The club typically does 2 turkeys and a ham, table decorations are needed. Other members are asked to bring side dishes. 6 pm will be the social hour and 7 pm will be eating.

Break at 8:05 pm. Refreshments provided and raffle tickets sold.

8:32 pm Raffle started.

After the raffle we had Kevin Mills speak a beekeeper for Rochester who produces nucs. He spoke to the club as to who he was and a little bit about his operation and how he got started.

9:00 pm meeting adjourned.



October 9th, 2017 OBA Meeting Minutes

Olympia Beekeepers Association

October 9th, 2017

Chinook Middle School


Meeting called to order at 7:09 pm by Vice President Tim Weible.

Tim asked for any new people that were attending the meeting to please stand. There were three new in attendance.

Tim asked if any changes or corrections needed to be fixed on the minutes from September’s meeting. Glen motioned that the minutes be kept the same, seconded by David and motioned carried unanimously.

There was no beeline published for this month.       

Officers Report:

President Mechele: Not present for report

Membership Chair Duane McBride: It was reported that we are up to 71 paid members in the new bee year cycle. The bee year dues start September 1st to August 31st, 2017.

Treasurer’s report David Bruun: Savings account $4570.73, Checking account $4031.67 and cash on hand $9.30

Past President Laurie Pyne: Not present for a report

Vice President Tim Weible: Shared with the club that he had started an apprenticeship class and that they were 2 weeks into it right now and he will be holding the Celebration of Knowledge at the November meeting for the graduates.

Airport Hive- Frank informed the club that he is currently on his second treatment of Oxalic Acid (OA). He has a total of 5 hives that he is treating. He started at the end of August with the treatment. The treatment is done in 3 cycles and once he is done with the 3 cycles he will be done until the spring.  He also explained what OA was for the new people that were at the meeting and how it works.

The sustainability in prisons project gave an update on their progress. Duane gave the report on Stafford Creek and that it is going well and have 10 students currently in the class. They do have 2 hives out at this location. Anne mentioned that prisoners receive college credit for classes like this one and others that can be accumulated together toward a degree through Evergreen.

Ernie reported that the library is doing well and feel free to check out a book.

Ernie also gave a report on the sustainability group and what they discussed during their meeting. They talked about Varroa mites and different types of treatments to help during the winter months. Also, the group discussed queens and what the difference was between a commercial queen and a queen that is in the hive. Russian queens were also talked about as well. Thomas spoke briefly on what the sustainability group is for and what they do.

Kitty and Roger talked about the mentorship program and that if you are looking for a mentor to see them and fill out a form.  They also reported the Nisqually Watershed Festival was a huge and phenomenal success. They had the observation hive there which was another big hit with the visitors.

Observation hive report: Tim thanked Mareen and Alex for bringing the hive to all of the events that we have had and its always a huge hit and thank you for all their hard work. Mareen let the club know that this would probably be the last observation hive of the season as it is getting to cold.

Governor’s Mansion- Duane let the club know that they are doing well as he had inspected them on October 11th. There are 2 hives there with lots of bees and honey. In one of the hives that were treated for mites had 5 per hundred and the other had 3 per hundred.

Bob Smith let the club know that he had an application for the Bee Culture Magazine if anyone was interested to come see him at the break. He also let the club know that with Tim’s fast track course there will be 2 full courses in before packages arrive. He also liked the idea of having the graduation at the November meeting to incorporate them into the club. The Journeymen class has been meeting for 3 to 4 months now at Roger and Kitties house. If you are a certificated apprenticeship beekeeper and are interested in becoming a Journeyman there will be a new cycle starting up again so contact Roger and Kitty.

It was brought up by a member about if there was going to be a Christmas Party. David said that it typically happens at the December meeting and at the November meeting we will talk more about it and take suggestions.

Tim let the club know that Duane received 2nd place at the Washington State Fair for his Amber honey that he harvested from the Governor’s Mansion.

Break at 7:54 pm. Refreshments provided and raffle tickets sold.

Meeting came back to order at 8:14 pm.

Member Thomas provided our educational portion of the meeting. He did a presentation of his flow hive that he tried out for the first time this year.

Duane let the club know that there was going to be a Beyond Pesticide Hearing for the spraying of Neonicotinoids on the shellfish crop at Willapa Harbor on October 10th at the Lacey Community Center. Beekeepers are encouraged to attended to give a voice against the spraying to help save the bees.

Paul informed the club that the Washington State Beekeepers Association is in the testing phase of their Apprenticeship Class. They are hoping to have it approved by March. They are going to be redoing the Journeyman program as well to be detail specific to Western or Eastern Washington.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:53 pm.


September 11th, 2017 OBA Meeting Minutes

Olympia Beekeepers Association

September 11th, 2017

Chinook Middle School

Meeting called to order at 7:16 pm.

Mechele asked if any changes or corrections needed to be fixed on the minutes from August’s meeting. Duane motioned that the minutes be kept the same, seconded by Tim and motioned carried unanimously.

There was no beeline published for this month.

Officers Report:

Membership Chair Duane McBride: We are now in the new bee year. We have 60 paid members before the meeting started and with the members that paid tonight we are probably close to 70. The bee year dues start September 1st to August 31st, 2017.

Treasurer’s report  David Bruun: Savings account $4570.50, Checking account $3358.72 and cash on hand $22.83.

Past President Laurie Pyne: Mansion bees are doing great. We re-queened one of the hives in July and it survived. This week we will start treating for mites.

Vice President Tim Weible: Shared with the club that John Callender a former student of his from Centralia College was going to be relocating out of state and is selling all of his supplies including his apiaries. He passed around a list with all of the items and his phone number for people to contact him with questions or to purchase.

Airport Hive- Frank was not available at the meeting for a report.

The sustainability in prisons project gave an update on their progress. The club is now teaching at Stafford, Cedar Creek and Washington Corrections Center. The inmates receive the certification of completion of the course. Mechele mentioned that members could co teach to help earn Journeyman hours and Paul offered to have another person assist in teaching with him.

Ernie reported that the library is doing well and feel free to check out a book.

Ernie also gave a report on the sustainability group and what they discussed during their meeting. They talked about Varroa mites and how to prepare your hives for the winter. Always be thinking one to two seasons ahead.

Kitty and Roger talked about the mentorship program and that if you are looking for a mentor to see them and fill out a form.  They also are the program coordinators for the Nisqually Watershed that is September 30th, 2017 from 10 am to 4pm. They are looking for volunteers to help during the event. It is very family oriented and a lot of people come through.

Observation hive report: They survived the fair are healthy. They are talking about bringing it to the Nisqually Watershed.

Mechele let the club know that the ballots for Beekeeper of the Year and the Mark Savage Lifetime Achievement Award were available on the front table to vote on during the break.

We are still looking for a program/volunteer coordinator and a committee for our by-laws.

Gail talked to the OBA in regards to the future of the Education. She talked about a few years ago several people including her and Bob meet with Louie Matej, as he was certifying all certificates for the state. The President at that time Gary disbanded the Education Committee. Through the state they formed the Master Beekeepers Association where Gary tried to stop them. This created two separate groups certifying certificates. The Master Beekeeper group wants to change the way the course is taught. They would like to see no tests, they attend classes and show that they are proficient and gain the experience to earn the certificate.

Paul gave input in regards to the Washington State Beekeepers as he is part of a committee of 20 people who are working to redo the whole program. The program is looking into a commercial type frame work and you will be in the program from the beginning to the end of your certification.

Break at 7:56 pm. Refreshments provided and raffle tickets sold.

Meeting came back to order at 8:11 pm where Phil ask that we take a moment of Silence for the people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attack, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

OBA member Bernard Brady provided the club with an example of what Chalk Brood looks like from a hive. Chalk brood attacks the pupa stage and kills it. This piece of the bee then looks like a piece of chalk. There is no cure for chalk brood, it doesn’t kill a hive only weakens it.

Phil provided the club with an update on the Bee Gyms and that they are working properly and he still has a few available.

Ernie showed the club a wooden hive stand that he had made to use in his apiary. This stand could hold frames and hive boxes, it works great for splits. He encouraged members to take measurements and make them for themselves to use.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:42 pm.

August 14th, 2017 OBA Meeting Minutes

Olympia Beekeepers Association

August 14th, 2017

The Lutheran Church of The Good Shepherd

Meeting was called to order by Mechele at 7:14pm.

Mechele let the club know that the Beeline went out and it was a little different with fun pictures from the fair included. The beeline highlighted the agenda for tonight’s meeting.

Mechele mentioned that membership dues are due now.

Mechele asked if any changes needed to be made to the July meeting minutes. Vice President Tim moved to have the minutes recorded as written with no corrections, it was seconded and the motioned carried.

Next month’s meeting will be back at Chinook Middle School, where the award voting will take place.

Mechele asked Colleen Lynch to come up and talk to the association in regards to information about the Olympia’s Farmers Market. Colleen informed us that they currently have no honey vendor for next year’s farmers market. She was able to talk to the Olympia Farmer’s Market board about what it would take to have a have a honey vendor. They have to be able to know where the honey is actually coming from. They have to come out and inspect your hives as to where the honey came from. They didn’t really give us a NO; it is just a difficult situation and how to approach it. They are open to having someone apply for the spot and see how they can make it work. The club’s input was it would be good to have a presence for not only our club but how to become a beekeeper. They also need to see a rough business plan; the number of hives and the pounds of honey that you can produce that must be verified. It was mentioned that this task could be a possible board positon where they dedicate their time to the Olympia Farmer’s Market and trying to see how we can get a honey vendor in for next year.

We have an upcoming event at the Nisqually Water Shed on September 30th, 2017 between 10 am and 4 pm. Stephanie told the club that this event is geared towards families and it allows us to educate them on bees and provide information to them.

Officer Reports:

Treasurer’s report David Bruun- Savings account- $4570.50, Checking account- $2711.52, cash on hand- $19.84. Mechele let the club know that we are adding $984.00 in cash from the sales of honey at the fair.

Dues are coming up to be paid so the total will increase.

Membership Chair Duane McBride- reported that we have 204 paid members currently.

Mechele let the club know that when Jack was first involved in the club that there were only 16 people in the beginning.

Eloise will be donating books to the club for our library.

Secretary report Shelby Albert- Nothing to report at this time.

Vice president Tim Weible- Mentioned to the club that the fair was a big hit and thanked everyone who volunteered and helped out to make it a success.


Governor’s mansion- Laurie let the club know that they will be re-queening one of the hives with a Laurie Miller Queen, Jeff and her will check it tomorrow to see if she survived the new placement. If not they are going to see if there is any way that they could combine with airport hive with the walk away spilt that they have.

Observation hive- Mechele wanted to know how they were able to keep the bees so calm and less stressed during the fair. The couple that manages the hives let us know that they ensured that the frames had honey and pollen to minimize stress by rotating queens to that box. They combined two colonies and transferred the queen successfully as they were not happy with the laying pattern.

Ron and Phil had the observation hive at the Grays Harbor; they only had a couple of issues with the hive. Some kid put his finger near the vent hole and got stung.

Grays Harbor had a lot of people as they are on the fair way which drew a lot of attention. Thank you to all who volunteered to help out.

Mechele gave a summary of the Thurston County Fair and how we did as a club on honey sales. We averaged 3 cases a day of a 12 oz. jar. We sold the 12 oz. jars for $7 each. The honey cost $1.80 a pound, 0.50 Cents per jar. We had assorted honey sitx which we sold for 4 for $1 and then we had a case of original honey for people that stopped by the booth to observe.

Currently the club provides the port with 30 pounds of honey. Our plan is to renegotiate with the port for honey. Typically the port auctions off the honey.

Mechele thanked Paul for allowing us to sell honey at the Thurston County Fair and also all the volunteers who helped out.

There were only a couple of signs sold while at the fair. There are a couple of garden groups that are interested in the signs.

Annie provided the club with an update on the Survey responses. She received 50 Survey responses back by email and phone. There was a lot of good feedback that was received to be used in the long term for our goals. She let us know that she was able to sit down and interview Jack and in 1968 he produced 32,000 pounds of comb honey. When he was first involved in the OBA there were only 16 members. Annie was wondering if any members knew exactly when the club originated. Someone mentioned 1990-1991.

Mechele let the club know that she has come across some old Beelines that use to get mailed out to members. Mechele wanted to know if we wanted to vote on putting the old Beelines on our website for members to view. Annie motioned that we vote to put the beelines on the website, David seconded the motion, all approved and the motion carried.

7:55pm Break

Phil let those members that ordered a bee gym that they were available for pick up during the break.

8:14 Raffle

8:21pm Meeting resumed

Mechele brought it to the clubs attention that our name on Beekeepers is two separate words not combined. We can file an Amendment with the Secretary of State to change the name for $20. This would allow consistency both for our UBI and Federal Identification Number.  Annie motioned that we spend the $20 to correct our name, Tim seconded the motion, motion carried to make the name change.

The OBA has its own phone number of 360-515-7274, it is $9 for unlimited extensions which will allow for people to call in to the direct line and choose to speak to the Vice president or the Treasurer. They can leave a voicemail which can then be transcribed into an email at no extra expense.

Software discussion- Mechele mentioned to the club about possibly looking into getting a software database that could help track inventory and members that we have. The database system is called Wild Apricot. This database would allow us to keep all the information, have an online inventory and could allow sending out mass emails to members of upcoming events and meetings. This program would allow up to 10 administrators. With this new database suggestion there is still some unsureness of how it will work and not a lot of people on board. We will discuss at another time once we can show how the program will benefit our association. We will try to establish a task force with a board member, non-board member and the website chair Nathan as to how our website can do the same functions as the new software.

Annie is going to work on our strategic plan as an association and present to the club so our members can vote on the plan.

Memberships were brought up again and that they should be good for a specific day an example would be that of dues begin paid June 1st to June 1st the following year.

Paul brought up that pro-rating the membership is mentioned in the by-laws and back in 2013 it was dues at the beginning of January and now the dues are due in August and there was not vote to accept that and no current rule for the membership dues.

At the next meeting we will hold the award selections once we are back at Chinook.

Meeting adjourned at 9:02pm




July 10th, 2017 OBA Meeting Minutes

Olympia Beekeepers Association

July 10th, 2017

The Lutheran Church of The Good Shepherd


Meeting was called to order at 7:15pm.

Mechele asked members if they all received the minutes which were broadcasted on the website. The secretary’s minutes for the June meeting were recorded as written, no corrections.

Officers Report:

Membership Chair Duane McBride- reported that we had 200 paid members as of the meeting.

Treasurer’s report David Bruun- Savings account $4570.39, Checking $3782.61 and cash on hand $19.84.

Vice president Tim Weible- Nothing new to report at time of meeting

Secretary Shelby Albert- nothing to report at time of meeting

Mechele said that the Beeline went out the morning of the meeting. It was asked if the email list is updated with new members email to receive the Beeline.

Mechele asked the club if they all were at the previous meeting to know who Annie our intern was, some did not know who or what she was doing. Mechele asked Annie to give a brief description as to what she is doing for the club.

Annie explained that she is working on gathering data from board member surveys and general member surveys to gather insight to help the club determining a 2 year and 5 year strategic plan.


Past President Laurie spoke to the club about the Governor’s mansion bee project. The hives were doing very well and building up nicely. Supers were added to the hives a couple of weeks ago.

Laurie also asked the club if any of the members have heard the news from Beyond Pesticide. The Department of Ecology is requesting to spray a neonicotinoid out on the Willipa Bay Oyster Farm. The spray would be used to help with getting rid of the burrowing shrimp that can kill the oysters. There will be a public forum opening soon to have people make comments on the issue and express how the feel about the spray. The more vocal we can be the better it will help. So please make a comment when the public forum opens.

Swarm List- Gail- The swarm calls that she has been getting are for swarms that are 40 to 50 feet in the air.

Also she talked about potentially starting a Journeyman class. She wants to get an idea of how many people have serious interest in attending. It would start in September and run one time a month. For those that were definitely interested in the program were to write their name on a list at the break. In order to take the Journeyman class a person/member must be finished with their Apprenticeship course. It takes 3 years to get Journeyman status, the fair can count as hours needed towards reaching that goal.

Observation Hive: They received 2 packages back in April to start the hives off. They were able to split the hives to make 4 hives now. They have a lot of different things happening in the hives which will make great comparisons. They also said if any members have frames they would like to loan for the fairs coming up that would be greatly appreciated.

Volunteers are still needed to help at the Grays Harbor Fair which runs from August 9th through the 13th.

Nathan spoke on Paul’s behalf for the Thurston County Fair. Volunteers are needed tremendously for this event. If you have signed up please see him to get tickets and packets of how to open and close the booth.

Also, Nathan mentioned about the Beeline that if you go to the website and subscribe to the newsletter and it won’t let you do it that means you are already getting it. If you don’t receive be sure to check your spam folder.

Airport Hives- Frank reported that these hives are very successful. They are up to 5 hives know which include one walk away split that they did. He will be harvesting honey in the near future from supers that are on these hives. After harvesting the honey they will do an alcohol wash to check for mites and that will be all for the harvesting season. If any members have any spare hardware, especially supers, please let Frank know.

Glen told members that being a part of the county fair is fun. Mostly questions asked are where the queen is and can I have a honey stix. He also mentioned that the tubes of concrete used to secure the tents are missing and if someone has them please just drop them off at Mechele’s house.

Mechele also said again that this is an all call for any equipment, hardware or any other items that were borrowed from the club to be turned in so we can do inventory. Also, if anyone can make weights for the tents as well would be great.

Mechele formally introduced to the club the co-chairs of the sustainability group which are Thomas Mani and Ernie Schmidt. They both spoke a little bit about what the group is used for. Ernie told the members that at their meeting tonight they discussed what everyone had done for splits and how successful they were. Ernie also said that they had a member show a vertical swarm trap that they had made. Thomas said that this group helps to share experiences and stories to help members be successful.

Mechele let the OBA members know that Paul Longwell is President of the Fair board. We are now able to take money for signs and honey at the fair Paul and Laurie were able to get the fee waived. We also were able to get a square and chip reader from our merchant services at the bank to take credit cards. We will have local wildflower honey for sale. The sole purpose to selling these items is to build up our revenue for the club.

Paul was able to get a write up in The Olympian about the Olympia Beekeepers Association selling signs and honey at the fair. Our booth was named the Agricultural Choice for the Year at the fair. No food handlers cards are needed to sell the honey.

The summer picnic was mentioned to the club about wanting to have one this year either in the evening into dusk or on a Saturday weekend. Also National Honey Bee Day is August 19th or 20th. It would be great to celebrate this as well at our picnic.

Bob Bennett will speak after the break about entries into the state fair.

7:56pm Break

Meeting resumed at 8:20 pm.

Mechele let the club know that we are still accepting nominations for the Beekeeper of the Year award and the Mark Savage Award. Nominations will be accepted until after the next bee meeting. Are hope is to hand out the awards at our summer picnic.

Bob Bennett talked to the club about the honey show at the state fair. Members can go to to get the guidelines and fill out the online entry for the fair. There 13 varieties to enter into at the state fair. The dates to bring up entries are August 29th 10 am to 8 pm and August 30th 8 am to 8 pm. Judging will take place August 31st and there is not participation in judging from the public. Judges are already picked out and have criteria that they base their decision on. Ribbons will be given out and awarded that day and contestants notified. The state fair runs from September 1st through the 24th closed Tuesdays and the 6th. The 24th is the last day to release the entries back to the proper contestants. There are different categories that a member can enter into.  There are 9 different categories for honey which must be entered in a one pound queen line jar for judging. Members could also enter comb honey, chuck honey, pollen and wax. The bee exhibit will be in the J barn where the sheep and wool use to be.

Andy is the state fair coordinator and at next month’s meeting he will have a sign-up sheet and tickets for those who volunteer. Shifts are 4 hours and free parking.

There are calendars up at the front table that helps explain what your bees are doing at different months of the year and what you should be doing to help them during that month. Also what you can be doing to prepare for what’s coming next.

Prison outreach program is going well. We will be adding the Washington Corrections Center to the list to start a class in October. You have to be a journeyman in order to teach a class. Paul had 25 prison members in his class.

Mechele also mentioned that we are working on creating fast track courses that will be 2 different quarters for 6 weeks. VP Tim Weible addressed more of what this would entail as he would be the teacher for this course. It would be at an off-site location with one 6 week course, (one night per week), in the Fall and one 6 week course, (one night per week), in the Spring. If you are interested in this course or questions please ask Tim.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:45pm.