Thurston County Conservation District Annual Native Plant Sale

Thinking about expanding your native pollinator forage offerings this season? Look no further than the Thurston County Conservation District Annual Native Plant Sale this Saturday, March 6th from 10-3:00 pm at the district office in Tumwater.

There will be displays, special presentations and activities and while you're there, stop by the OBA table and say "hello"! Weather permitting, we'll have our observation hive for an up-close look at our amazing honey bees. Everyone is welcome to attend the free presentations all day, including   "The Amazing Honey Bee" at 11:00. We look forward to seeing you there!

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HB 2478 Critical Update

Beekeepers: The time to act is now to improve bee forage and bee health in the state of Washington!

Please contact your Senator on EHB 2478, and your Representatives about the bee research position at WSU, and do it soon! You can visit:

http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

Input your address for links to your Senator and Representatives. Click on each name for their office phone to leave a message and/or to send an email.

Two items have almost reached the finish line and need a final push!

First item: EHB 2478 (the bee forage pilot project) will be considered by the Senate in a floor vote this coming week, February 29th-March4th. Please call and/or email your Senator and ask for their support in favor of HB 2478. This bill will conduct forage replacement projects around the state to find the best methods to replace noxious weeds with good bee forage. HB 2478 passed 96 to 1 in the House and unanimously from the committees which heard testimony on it. The forage projects in this bill will help promote healthy honey bee and other pollinator populations and thus better serve the needs of pollinated agriculture and the environment.

Second item: The permanent new bee researcher position for WSU has been successfully inserted into the Senate version of this year's supplemental budget. It had been inserted into the House version, but was removed. Speaker Chopp of the House needs the support of all the Representatives to re-insert it and not let it be removed again. Your Representatives must hear of your support! Call and/or email your Representatives before Monday to tell them bee research is vital for bees in overcoming the problems which have led to increasing losses of hives. WSU has the right emphasis on bee research, and a second bee researcher would greatly increase the innovations coming from WSU toward making our bees healthier. The top four states in terms of pollinated acres are California, Washington, Michigan and Oregon. The number of bee researchers in each is 9, 1, 2 and 2 respectively! Washington State University has Dr. Steve Sheppard as the sole researcher, and he's extremely busy serving as the chair of the Entomology Department there. An additional bee researcher, working on ideas applicable and specific to the Pacific Northwest, would greatly contribute to how we can improve our bee populations.

Both items contribute positively for the health and sustainability of our bees. With support from beekeepers, the first item mentioned above has a good chance of passing. The second will not happen without the voice of every beekeeper in the state. 

Now is the time! Please make an effort to improve bee forage and bee research in Washington by contacting your Senator and Representatives.

HB 2478 Has Passed!

HB 2478 passed the House on a vote of 96-1! It was pulled from rules yesterday.

We should let our representatives know we appreciate the Yes vote on this bill. The bee forage pilot project will help landowners know how to successfully replace noxious weeds with good bee forage. Every representative in the House voted in favor of this bill but one.

You can find your representatives by putting your address in at
http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
and clicking on the two Representatives who represent your district to email them, thanking them for their Yes vote on 2478, and for their support of healthy honey bees and pollinators. The only No vote was Rep. Klippert from Kennewick.

The bill now goes to the Senate. Senators will be hearing from us soon. We are waiting to see which committee in the Senate will hear this bill. When the chance comes up again to push the bill ahead, we will let you know.

In other news, the new bee research position for WSU has been included in this year's supplementary budget, thanks to Sen. Warnick and Rep. Blake. We will keep a close eye on this provision. Other states have handfuls of honey bee researchers at their land grant universities; Washington has only one. And we are the number 2 pollination state in the country by acreage! When you have the opportunity, speak to your legislators about keeping this item in this year's budget.

Package bee order information will be coming very soon!

Thanks to all!

Washington state House Bill 2478 – Increase bee forage

A new item that should be on our radar includes HB-2478, a bill that would increase bee forage which got a unanimous recommendation in the House Agriculture committee and is in the House Rules committee. This bill would create a pilot program that would replace noxious weeds with viable forage for bees and other pollinators. You can find a summary of the bill and other pertinent details here:
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2478&year=2015

It would be very helpful to reach out to your state legislators in support of this bill that helps ensure healthy, thriving bee populations. Please take a few moments and send an email to the legislators in your district, which you can find here:
https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill/2478

Asking them for their support and thanking them for their commitment to healthy honey bees, pollinators and the environment can go a long way in getting this bill passed. This legislation is similar to the bill that was introduced last year and stands a much better chance of passing this year.

2015 Hive of the Year

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

Submit your Hive of the Year Entry Now!

It’s harvest season, and it’s time to update your records, spiff up your hives, and prepare for the First Annual Hive of the Year Contest.

Win Big! Prizes for;

  • Oldest Hive
  • Most Productive Hive
  • Prettiest Hive

Pick up entry form at the next meeting or download this form: OBA 2015 Hive of the year entry form.
Enter as many hives as you wish

Entries must be submitted by November Association Meeting.
Winners announced and prizes given at December Meeting.