Bee Faire : March 13th 6pm

At the March 13th meeting of the Olympia Beekeepers Association, the club will host some locally-based honey bee vendors for you to visit.

Each vendor will have a table where you can meet with them.

You can learn what they have to offer in 2023, including: nucs and packages, delivery schedules and locations, prices, and more.

Note that our regular business meeting will be streamed (via Zoom), along with the vendor introductions. However, to get the most out of this meeting, it really requires you be here!


6:00 – 6:30: Our regular monthly business meeting.

6:30 – 6:45: Vendors will introduce themselves and give an overview of their offerings.

6:45: The Bee Faire will begin.


Swantown Inn

1431 11th Ave SE

Olympia WA 98501

(Get Directions)

Swantown Inn has limited car park space, but plenty of parking along the street on Central. Please only park in the driveway if you have mobility issues.

For questions or more detail, please email

RESCHEDULED to 21st November 2022 – Annual Meeting


Monday, November 21st, 2022, 6pm to 8pm


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Swantown Inn

1431 11th Ave SE

Olympia WA 98501

(Get Directions)


Swantown Inn has limited car park space, but plenty of parking around the corner on Central. Only park up the drive if you have mobility issues. Please follow directions of parking attendant.

Attending Online?

Annual Membership Meeting
Monday, November 14 · 6:00 – 8:00pm
Google Meet joining info
Video call link:
Or dial: ‪(US) +1 747-253-0824‬ PIN: ‪781 137 246‬#
More phone numbers:


This is our Annual General Meeting where elections will take place. See nominations here.

You are strongly encouraged to bring a jar of your honey. We have had multiple requests to do a honey tasting. We will be providing a way to do this.

Paul Longwell, the Honey Judge, will be showing us how to present and enter your honey for judging at the County Fair (you could also enter the State Fair).

Nathan Allan will be presenting changes to the Web site that have been enacted over the past few months, including our new online membership directory.

We plan on this being a fun night. There may be a couple of surprises as well!

OBA Elections – Nominations

We are holding elections at the November meeting.

We have recently talked with a few of the current board members and nominees and they have decided they would like to decline the nomination. If you are interested please reach out to the President, the association is only as good as it’s volunteers!.

You may nominate yourself or someone else. Preferably before November so we can reach out to that member and discuss the expectations and see their willingness to serve. Currently we have the following nominations;

  • President 
  • Vice President Nathan Allan (Currently Appointed)
  • Secretary Camy Naasz
  • Treasurer David Bruun (Currently appointed President)
  • Membership Catie Holstein
  • Education Chair Gail Booth
  • Outreach Chair Steve Walker
  • Librarian Lynn Phillipi
  • Mentor Chair Brian Henn

This is a exciting time for the club. Coming out of the pandemic, getting members back on track for “Education, Training and Support” is our priority!

Association meeting minutes – March 13, 2023

47 people in attendance – 45 in person, 2 online

  • Introductions from new members

Officer reports

  • Vice President’s update (Nathan)
    • Club needs to decide if we want to be members of WSBA – motion to join and seconded (potential to win money for large and small club of the year, beekeeper of the year)
    • Reminder that we have extra equipment available for sale, including frames with drawn comb
    • Rhonda at Ocean Shores Public Library is looking for someone to give a talk – if you are interested talk to Nathan
    • Yelm is putting on a Pollinator Palooza in May and looking for speakers – talk to Nathan
  • Treasurer’s update (David) – In good financial shape – Checking $4,404.11, Savings $4,580.3
    • If you want to sell honey or volunteer at the Steamboat Island Farmer’s Market, let David or Nathan know – runs every other weekend through August
  • Membership update (Catie)
  • Education update (Gail) – Awarded 6 new certificates to apprenticeship beekeeper class graduates
    • Planning an in-person apprenticeship class at Swantown starting sometime end of April, it will run for 6 weeks of 2-hour classes
    • Swarm list – If you want to be on the swarm list, make sure you indicate that in your membership profile online, including when you will be available to get swarms and how far you are willing to go and how high up you are willing to go – when a call comes in, Gail looks for the person who is closest to the swarm
  • Librarian’s update (Lynn) – located at Swantown Inn and open same hours as the coffee window on the weekends, can also email Lynn to check out a book
  • Mentorship update (Bryan) – Need more qualified mentors – sign up on the website to be a mentor or request a mentor or both. You don’t have to have a ton of experience to be a valued mentor to our new beekeepers.

Update from Jeff Ott – Beekeeping Today Podcast

  • Peter Nelson of the film called “The Pollinators” (available for download on Apple) – shared a DVD with the club that Jeff will add to the library
  • Free podcast mug given away!

Reminder! Everyone please register your hives with the state! You will only be protected as a beekeeper if your hives are registered. Also if you live in the city of Olympia, this registration is required to have bees in city limits. Registration is due by April 1 each year.

Introductions from vendors and start Bee Faire!

Hive Choices

Article by Debra Langley-Boyer, Member of OBA and President of Belfair & Beyond Beekeepers.

Debra presented the following information at the February 2023 General Meeting.

Which hive is best for you?

Honeybee’s can use a great variety of places for their hive.  Beekeepers provide hives for the bees as a convenience to the beekeeper.  Different style hives are used successfully all over the world.  The challenge is deciding what type of hive(s) will you use.  Many places have laws, such as in the United States we need to have some sort of removable frame (comb).  Beekeepers need to be able to examine hive for disease.  This article is just a quick look at some possibilities.  It explores a few of the pros and cons of some hives.  As well as questions the beekeeper needs to ask themselves when choosing a hive style.  

A beekeeper that has been around should be able to help you with general bee care.  Not all beekeepers will know exactly how every hive style works.  They can help you check brood or disease by looking at comb.  They do know if a hive needs space for brood or honey.  They may not know that a particular hive differences from Langstroth such as moving frames not adding boxes.  Details of how to work each hive is not universal. 

I cannot recommend that new beekeepers use any hive that has not been around for many years (50 to 100).   Learn about bees first in a tried-and-true hive style.  Then experiment.  Some of the experiments do not work in the end.  Bees will always behave like bees.  The hive style is about the beekeeper accessing the bees. 

Many hive styles can work for a new beekeeper.   Choose a hive style for you not another beekeeper.  Most hive types have potential adjustments to make it work for you.  All styles have beekeepers that love that one type of hive.  I recommend different hives for different people.   Think about the items below before choosing a hive.

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  • Nice size cavity to build comb, lay brood, and store honey for winter.
  • Protection from weather and predators.  
  • Food source.

Beekeeper wants and needs: Some questions to ask and think about.

  • Why honeybees?  Products -Honey, pollination, wax or just love bees?  
  • Food – what will your bees eat?  Look at local plants.
  • Location -What protection do you need for weather (rain, snow, sun, wind)  or predators (bear)?  Where will hives be located?
  • Finances – Beekeeping is expensive.  Some hives initially cost more than others.  A picture containing old

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  • Physical (your capabilities) – What shape are you in for lifting heavy hives? Or alternative method.
  • Purchase equipment – Some equipment is easy to find others not. Build?
  • Assistance needed /available – mentor and classes?
  • Aesthetics (looks) – What do you like?
  • How to keep bees (time/treatment)– natural? Spend lots/little time working bees? Inspection – how often can you do it?  
  • Mobile – Do you plan on moving hives often?
  • Space  –number of hives, place to put hives 

Hives:  -very general information.  Many more hive styles to choose from. History shows us hives have been around for hundreds of years.  People have been using and inventing the whole time.  
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New styles, designs and decorations continue to develop.  Hives are generally vertical or horizonal, stacking or one size, frames or bars, foundation support or not and a variety of extras (feeders, insulation …)

  • Langstroth – (frames and vertical boxes)
    • Size of frames and boxes (deep, medium shallow – 5, 8 or 10 frame). Can add boxes to top for more space.  No protection (can add shelter, lids, covers).  Heavy lifting or moving one frame at a time per box.  Easy to get parts.  Common hive in U.S.  Mobile with lifting and truck.  
    • Long Langstroth – single long horizontal box. Limited space. Lift one frame at a time. Not so mobile. 

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  • AZ (Slovenian or American)  (frames and vertical chambers)
    • In bee house, opens like cabinet to work bees, frames slid in and out like books on shelf,
    • Has great protection (bee house).  Cost more -last longer. No lifting -only frame.  Few use AZ hive in U.S.  Travel – trailer.  Cannot add extra chambers.
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  • Top Bar (Kenya)(bars in one long horizontal chamber )
    • Limited space. No protection (can add shelter, lids, covers).  No lifting –one bar at a time.  Comb on bars, no support.  Few use. Harder to move.  Good natural wax when crushing for honey. Viewing window.
    • Notes from Tina who has top bar.  They offer a Zen feel with beekeeping.  Hive must be kept level.  A picture containing tree, person

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  • Warre’ (bars and vertical boxes)
    • Can expand for more space.  Add new box to bottom. No protection (can add shelter, lids, covers).   Lifting.  Small boxes (about 8 bars).  Comb on bars, no support.  Can get tall.  Few use.  Mobile with lifting and truck.  Natural growth for bees (top honey bottom brood).  Viewing window. Good natural wax when crushing for honey.
    • Notes from Shaari who has Warre’ hives.  Hive builds down.  Hard for chemical mite treatment and inspection.  Hive must be kept level.  Correct comb as soon as you see it.  
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  • Cathedral (notes from Angela Baker -Women in Beekeeping ’21)
    • Smaller hive – space limited – tend to swarm
    • Materials hard to find – splits hard
    • Bars fiddly to get started (empty tend to sip down into hive)
    • Comb more stable in warm weather than top bar because of 3 sides.
  • Layens  (horizontal- long frames)

  • Apimaye (horizontal stacking, insulation, plastic)
  • Flow  (stacking, honey flow box,)

Quick look at these hives.       1 = poor   5=great

HiveCavity sizeProtection CostProduct findLiftingEquipmentMentorTravel
Top Bar33-4435432

Association meeting minutes – February 13, 2023

28 people in attendance – 22 in person, 6 on Zoom

  • Introductions from new members

Officer reports

  • Treasurer (David) – In good shape; savings has $4,579.95, checking has $4,407.17
  • Mentors (Bryan) – So far, 9 mentees that have filled out papers and asked for a mentor – need more mentors! 45 people want mentors but haven’t filled out the paperwork, 12 are willing to mentor but haven’t filled out the paperwork; Bryan has come up with a way to streamline the paperwork online via fillable form – look for updates coming soon
  • Library (Lynn) – Library has moved to Swantown Inn and has many new books! Let Lynn or Nathan know if you want to check something out. Coffee window open Fri-Sun 8am-12pm if you want to come and read without checking out.
  • Membership (Catie)
    • 5 Lifetime members
    • 72 paid members through 12/31/2023. This is an increase of 29 paid members from last month. Of the 72 paid members:
      • 20 are new members (If the date joined field reflects the correct date the person joined)
      • 9  are renewing members 
    • 85 members are currently listed as expired as of 12/31/2022 or 01/01/2023
      • A decrease of 9 from last month.
    • New membership representative – I want to make sure I’m providing value added information in my report to the members. If there is additional membership related information would you like to know or would be helpful – let me know.
  • Education (Gail) – Just started a new apprenticeship class last week with 20 students (full class) – filled up in 2 weeks
  • Vice President (Nathan) – next month’s meeting will be a Bee Faire with vendors here to network with and place bee orders.

Special Guest: Debra Langley-Boyer – Hive Choices: Which hive is best for you?

Equipment for Sale

The Association has some used equipment for sale. It is all in great condition. Contact Nathan Allan for details.

  • Deep Box 10 frame? $13
  • Medium Box 10 frame? $10
  • Frame? $2
  • Drawn frame? $4
  • Frame with honey? $20
  • Hive cover? $16
  • Hive base (screened)? $15
  • Hive base (solid)? $7
  • Hive stand? (Frank made with treated 2 by 4s) $20
  • Complete Hive set up (2 deeps and 2 mediums)
    • Option One – for packages (Includes 6 drawn frames and 2 honey frames) $150
    • Option Two – for nucs (Includes 4 drawn frames) $110
    • Note we do not have any bottom boards. Recommendation is to purchase screened bottom board.