High Country Bee, 5th ed., Vol. 2, February, 2016

The National Weather Service pegged this one! I sit admiring the snow pouring from the heavens. As you have heard me say before, I have 2 seasons: bee and ski. This is going to make for some darn fine skiing. I’ve several trips booked for this month and will be attempting to wring the best value for my season pass. Dates I will be out of town are February 4-7, February 11-12, and February 22-26.

Typically, I put on feeders in February right around President’s Day weekend and the transition to “bee” begins. The extended cold weather and ice pack have been hard on both the bees and me. Dysentery/Nosema apis are making their presence known in nearly all the beeyards. Now that spring is nearing, the bees will be able to make more frequent cleansing flights and these problems should correct themselves.

Have you got your bees ordered? If not, you’d better get after it! As is the norm anymore, bee overwintering losses continue to pressure package and nuc providers. A list of all members offering packages and nucs can be found here.

There are some severe problems with package production that are beginning to emerge. Here’s a news update from Koehnen’s (courtesy of Miles McGaughey and Archie Mitchell). For those of you who do not know who Koehnen’s is, they are a large package bee supplier.


Koehnen & Sons had 240 hives stolen in Colusa County this week. All boxes, lids, frames and pallets are branded with 42-14. There are pictures of the hives attached. The hives were stolen either Monday or Tuesday night of this week. Please take a very careful look at the pictures and if you see hives that fit the description, don’t hesitate to check for brand numbers and call the Sheriff’s department and Koehnen’s office to alert them. Koehnen’s can be reached at 530-891-5216. You can also feel free to email me at jpendell11@gmail.com or castatebeekeepers@hotmail.com and we can pass along the information for you.

These hives could easily be anywhere in California. It is very likely that the hives will be destroyed after pollination season to cover up the crime. In the interest of both justice and saving the bees, it is critical we all do our part to locate these hives.

Description: All the hives are 10-frame double deeps. The boxes are branded on the top cleats. The pallets have metal on the corners. Some of the feed cans and boxes were taken as well. The feed cans are painted green and slightly rusty. The feed can boxes are branded too and most of them hold 8 cans (some may hold 4). The bees are Italian and have Cordovan genetics (most will appear light colored and/or slightly reddish).

Location: The hives were taken from 2 yards, both located north of Colusa on the east side of the river. One yard was about 2 miles from the river and the other about 3 miles from the river.

Thief Description: Based on the tracks, it looks like a Hummerbee forklift may have been used to move the hives. The trucks appear to have dual tires. It is suspected that either 2 big trucks or 3 smaller trucks were used to move the hives.

Please share this information with your club, almond grower and in your community.

National Meeting Update

As noted last month, I was unable to make the ABF or the AHPA conferences this year due to the Good Food Award weekend being the following week (more info below). Laurent Cilia was kind enough to attend as the Colorado delegate. For those of you who have attended the meetings before, you know that delegates sell raffle tickets. Laurent won the raffle for 50 queens! We will be selling these queens to raise money for the CSBA. Stay tuned! My understanding is there will be a joint conference next year in Galveston.

Important Dates to Remember

The dates have been set for both the Summer Bee College and the Winter Meeting. The CSBA Summer Bee College will be held on June 10th in Silt/Rifle and the Winter Meeting—which will probably also be a College—will be held on November 5th at Kirk Hall at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

National Pollinator Week is June 20-26, 2016.

Demand for education and outreach from the public continues to challenge our volunteer pool. We need far more help on this front than we currently receive. Please consider assisting your club or community.

Other Calendar Updates

New Mexico Beekeepers Association Annual Meeting is this weekend!

http://nmbeekeepers.org/nmbka-conference-schedule/. Mark Winston is the featured speaker. Did you miss him at the Healthy Bee / Bee Healthy WAS conference? Then you missed a treat! Mark’s book, Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive was the 2015 Governor-Generals’ Literary Award for Nonfiction. This is the Canadian equivalent of a Pulitzer.

If you are interested in the woodenware being offered in the For Sale section below, this might be a great place to pick it up!

Carl Hayden Bee Research Center Open House in Tucson

The 2nd Annual Open House at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center will take place on March 18, 2016 from 8:30am to 4:00pm. There will be short research presentations, hands-on demonstrations and tours of the laboratories.

Please mark the date on your calendar, and look for upcoming registration information. Hope to see you this year.

USDA-ARS Carl Hayden Bee Research Center

2000 E Allen Rd

Tucson, AZ 85719

(520) 647-9107


Wyoming Bee College

March 19-20 in Cheyenne, WY


I was in San Francisco in mid-January to receive a Good Food Award for “Rose Honey from the Heart”, a collaboration with Happy Heart Farm CSA in Fort Collins. Thousands of fresh rose petals were steeped in our delicious alfalfa honey for several months to make the award-winning product. There were only 5 Colorado companies that won awards.

The Awards ceremony is held at the Herbst Pavilion at the Fort Mason Center, which is a HUGE facility. The front quarter is partitioned off for the awards ceremony. Keynote speakers were Alice Walters, famed CA chef, and Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food International. There are 13 product categories from spirits and chocolate to pantry and charcuterie. I was selected to speak for the honey category winners. My talk was exceedingly well received.

After the ceremony was complete, the remainder of the Pavilion was opened and the award winning products were served. It was a ball! My favorite in the chocolate category was lavender crack—deadly (and, by no coincidence, addictive)!

Emily Brown from AZ Queen Bee had sent me the information on the contest last year and I decided to enter. You should consider entering yourself! It is a lot of fun—and not just because I won! I will put the call for entries announcement in my newsletter this year, too. Here’s some info and some links:

The Good Food Awards celebrates the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced. We grant awards to outstanding American food producers and the farmers who provide their ingredients. Seedling Projects 501 (c) 3 organizes the Awards in collaboration with a broad community of food producers, food writers and passionate food-lovers. Find more information at: seedlingprojects.org and goodfoodawards.org.

For Sale

Standard 9 5/8" full depth Langstroth with frame spacers (9 slots) and cleats on the outside. Painted white and in very good shape, a lot of recent comb, last year or so, plus older comb. I am placing two new frames (rite cell wooden foundation) in each super too. There is no junk.

Everything is tight, no big holes, nails protruding, split wood or peeling paint. I'd like $70 each and have about 50, plus tops and bottoms, but my focus is the supers.

Bee strong in 2016!

Phill Remick



Apiary Consultant


Beekeeping Supplies

Of Interest

ABF Conversation with a Beekeeper, tomorrow, February 2nd, featuring Jonathan Lundgren. http://www.abfnet.org

February Colorado Proud Newsletter—these really are worth reading!

EPA registered Pesticide Products Approved for use against Varroa Mites in Bee Hives.

I have a client looking for 2 Colorado raised and over-wintered nucs (not nucs that are for sale in CO with new queens). If you have 2 to sell, please contact me directly at 970-213-3099 or president@coloradobeekeepers.org.

David Hackenberg loses 90% of his bees again!

Go Broncos!

As always, thank you for being a member.

Beth Conrey

President, CSBA