April Bee Club: Bait Hives!

April Bee Club!

Mark your calendars for April 7. From 10am to noon, we’ll be gathering at the Camas Library at 625 NE 4th Ave. in Camas, in the upstairs meeting rooms. There will be a $10.00 materials fee, and you may make more than one, if you wish.

We’ll be having a “crafty” bee meeting, making bait hives for catching swarms this spring! We’ve purchased two cases of recycled paper plant pots that are light-weight and sturdy enough for a season of “hunting” for bees.

I’ll be bringing propolis water to spray the interiors with, plus lots of old comb for you to place inside (bees love to be where other bees have been before. I think they like the smell of old comb as much as we do…).

I’ll also bring my lemongrass essential oil, to mimic the queen smell. Oh, and zip ties to fasten the pots together. You’ll go home with a bait hive to hang, and we expect your reports on whether bees found them enticing over the next couple of months!…

In bee world right now, we have so many lovely plants in bloom, but few days where bees can fully access their nectar and pollen. Rain can destroy the nectars of some plants, and it dilutes most others. Pollen, soggy, is not something bees appreciate.

Still, I can see swarm preparations happening in my hives. One hive has flying drones now, and another has started a small beard that grows a bit each day. All hives are bringing in lots of pollen when they can—so I know that so far, we have queens in all my hives.

My top bar hive went from 1/3rd full, to stuffed in the past few weeks. And the mason bees in my yard are already making new spring nests.

Hopefully, the day after Bee Club, many of you will be attending Jacqueline’s awesome swarm catching class in Battle Ground. And by Monday—you’ll be on your way to bees!

For those of you with active hives, try and resist the urge to look in on them right now. They are very busy, and as queen cells are being constructed and tended, you don’t want to be agitating the cells or the bees.