Winter Apprentice Level Class

NOTE: New Apprenticeship Class starts February 8th going through to April 5th.

If you are somewhat new to beekeeping, want to start beekeeping, or want to refresh your knowledge and skills about beekeeping, the Apprentice Level course is for you!

This course will be held online from February 8th through April 5th, Wednesday evenings at 6 pm. A hands-on and in-person session will be scheduled during the course as well. 


The course fee is $50. As always it requires current membership to Olympia Beekeepers Association. 

The fee includes receiving your certificate on successful completion of the course.

Book Review – The Orchard Mason Bee

The Orchard Mason Bee; The Life History, Biology, Propagation, and Use of a North American Native Bee (Osmia lignaria propinqua Cresson)

by Brian L. Griffin and Illustrated by Sharon Smith and the Author

3rd printing 2011  Knox Cellars Publishing, Bellingham, WA

Here is a great resource for “How To” capture and raise these mild mannered pollinators in your own backyard. The lifestyle and habitat for the Orchard Mason Bee fits our native area, and can assure that you have pollination when apples, pears and other crops need it, even in the most fickle spring weather.

This short book is well referenced. It gives understandable explanations for the “bee science” as they develop and adapt to your yard. Presented with perfect science projects for young children, too. All the dimensions for making “Bee Boxes” of your own are given, or you can find ready made options for habitation.. 

But the Orchard Mason Bee does not make honey. These bees live as neighbors in a common area, but are not “social” or in need of leadership. They are not a hive, but a significant pollination crew. The Mason Bee will integrate into your garden without displacing your current pollinators. Not bad when we are looking at significant climate change stressing all of our crop cycles. 

Cascade Venom Collection – AKA The Bee Man

In late summer we all see a lot more yellow jacket, hornet and wasp activity.

The OBA does not provide removal services for anything other than honey bees.

If you need help identifying, then removing anything else, and you have not sprayed the offending insects, then you can call Cascade Venom Collection for free removal. Remember that in your time of greatest need, so too are there others with exact same problem. Therefore do not expect for this to be an instant fix.

For contact details go to their web site: www.cascadiavenomcollection.com

The web site has a fantastic guide to help you identify whatever it is you may have.

Northern Giant Hornets (AKA Murder Hornets)

We had the pleasure of hosting, Cassie Cichorz from Washington Department of Agriculture, Plant Protection-Pest Program for an update on the Northern (Asian) Giant Hornet. 

Recently given the common name “Northern Giant Hornet”, they are currently only reported in Northern Washington State, however could theoretically hitch hike to our area.

For more information visit the WSDA web site. You will find reporting tools, identification photos, instructions on what to do if you find one (don’t kill it, they capture and track them using a radio antenna).