Beekeepers swarm to first meeting of 2014

By The Curry Coastal Pilot January 15, 2014 09:32 am


Despite all the hub-bub of preparing for overwintering, the honeybees have been having a field day with all this warm, windless sunshine for months and now into the new year. 

Meanwhile the beekeepers have been busily buzzing about with new activities, including the kickoff of the 2014 Oregon Master Beekeeping Program through Oregon State University (OSU).

The first class, for apprentice beekeepers, was Saturday. 

In addition, the newly elected officers of the Oregon South Coast Beekeepers Association (OSCBA), which gathers on the third Thursday of the month, meets Thursday, Jan. 16, at the OSU Extension Building at the Event Center on the Beach, 29392 Ellensburg Ave., Gold Beach.

What to expect

Russ and Babette Rose, who have honeybees in the Brookings area, and sell local honey, will be making a presentation on “Spring Preparation” as this month’s installment of the vice president’s program. This couple supplied the queen and colony of Italian bees for the observational hive at the Curry County Fair, shown in Artisan Hall by the OSCBA members.

Everyone who has an interest in promoting the well-being of the honeybee is welcome to attend the meeting. Membership is $12 per year per family. Meetings include potlucks, a program and the “What’s the Buzz” among local honeybees and beekeepers, shared at the conclusion of every meeting

Presentations have included new ideas, such as the Styrofoam horizontal hive, shown by Carla Fletcher; new inventions such as the siphon feeder developed by OSCBA member Gary Nuechterleir, which many of the members are now using; and most recently a demonstration of the Perone hive, with its large, 2-foot cube, “no trespassing” brood chamber bee space, enhanced for the curious beekeeper, with the new feature of an observatory window, presented by developer, OSCBA member, Vernon Strength; along with many creations and adaptations by Del Barber and Jim Sorber and associates.

New officers

Founders of the OSCBA, original president Del Barber and secretary, treasurer and reporter Myrna Barber will be swarming off to serve in the Peace Corps, recently appointed to Botswana, Africa.

The newly elected officers are Carla Fletcher, president; Jim Sorber, vice president; and Barbara Fitts, treasurer. Mureen Walker is the newly elected representative for Southwestern Oregon beekeepers on the board of the Oregon State Beekeeping Association.

Master beekeepers

The Oregon Master Beekeeper Program for this year has begun, with the first session on Saturday and the second to be on Saturday, Jan. 25, in the OSU Extension building on the fairgrounds in Gold Beach. The website for the program is

For more information on the OSCBA meetings, send an email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 541-425-1188.