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Washington State Bee Keepers


Hi everyone,

It wasn’t the bait hive that scored me a SWARM this Saturday !

. A classmate of our beekeeping class n I got a call/text n pix as class ended. . We drove about 25 minutes along some back road in Maple Valley where the call came from. . As usually the report was a little off … Instead just in reach … The swarm was 25’ up n out on small limbs of a maple tree. . When I cut the last little limb it RAIN :honeybee::honeybee::honeybee:’s! . Some in the box but most across the big blanket. Lucky for us … I’d brought a refurbished Observation Hive to show to the class. So my classmate started pouring n scooping bees into the Five framer. . Pretty soon the signal went out n most of the other bees flew n marched into the entrance. I finished cleaning up n returned the 8’ ladder n pole pruner to the home owner. Then we took more pix’s n waited for the stagglers to find the hive too. Nearly dark I finally closed the entrance n secured the hive. . Two days later n modifying the Obs Hive with a super to hold a mason jar top feeder. . Now two days later the “Girls” are doing quit well in my bee yard. . It had been over 55 years since my last swarm capture n it was still as exciting. This was my classmates first !! Amy was in 7th Heaven !! . You can tell from that huge smile.

All in a beekeepers day ! Gerald.


Washington Keepers!

My new hive swarmed a couple days ago and I just found out. I put the package in on 4/13.

I tried to scoop them out of their strong hold and get them back in the hive. See Picts.

The ones that I could capture I dropped back in. I hadn’t been into the hive and they had built out quite a but of comb. Not all the bees left so I hope I didn’t do something bad.

I’m going to try and make a bee vacuum and capture more tomorrow. Any other advice!!




Anyone going to the West Seattle Bee Fest? I haven’t been before, but it looks quite kid friendly. Anyone ever been in years earlier?


I can’t make it due to another obligation. I have visited the park where they have the hive enclosure twice on my lunch breaks. It looks like a very neat place for people to learn about bees.


Hello all. My name is Jon. I am new to the beekeeping scene and I’m looking forward to having my own hive. I am located in the Lake Chelan Valley. My hive will be located in an urban setting. Roof of my garage. It will benefit the local co-op garden and the surrounding apple, cherry, and pear orchards. So far the local bee keepers I have shown the Flow Hive to are excited, as I am, to see how well it works.


Sorry Green ! Just saw your note. I did go to that last Saturday. Nice small community festival.

. . . . Did you get to go ? I was there with my Vietnamese family that lives close. I live between Renton n Issaquah.

I’m looking forward to better weather n next years festival.

TaTa ,



Yes ! It was my first visit to the honeybee display n enclosure in the Demo garden. My Vn family live nearby n visit often. I was impressed how well done it was.


I couldn’t make it this year due to some family obligations but have a reminder on my long range calender for next year. And I do hope for better weather for next year’s festival too.

It is a nice park. The bee display and surrounding gardens are enjoyable and informative. I was going to stop and eat my lunch there earlier this month because I was in the area but there were two bus loads of children on a field trip to the bee display. What a wonderful way to learn about bees. Way better than from a text book.

Seattle City Light is installing a “pollinator pathway” on one of its transmission line right of ways at the south end of Seattle. There is an interesting TEDX talk given by Sarah Bergman on the pollinator pathways that were created in Seattle. It is a 7 minute talk that she gave at the 2014 Seattle TEDX gathering and it’s called The Pollinator Pathway: Connecting Landscapes in the Age of Humankind.



Yes. @Gerald_Nickel I did go, although I think I arrived later in the day than you. It’s a nice setup they have there. And the food was yummy!


In the Seattle area, do you find the solid base boards work better or the screened base board. I was recommended by an experienced (non Local) beekeeper to use the screened board during the summer and solid base board during winter. I wanted to hear what more experienced locals think.


Hi 88,

I stayed at the festival thru 14:00 then headed home ! It was pretty good for a small Festival.

As for the SBB … As I am returning to beekeeping after 55 years away. Many things have changed over my absence …

We did need the SBB back in the 1950 n 60’s. I’ve started with three Nuc’s n all have SBB under them but I keep the slider tightly closed. I am not using it as A.C./cooling but as an impart mite control help.

I have one additional Five frame swarm living in a Nuc hive with a SBB bottom too. I’m going to leave the SBB on into this winter 2016-17. I really don’t think that is a big issue. I did make solid bottom boards in my small

These full 10 frame deeps have SSB under them for mite control only (no ventalation). . . This one new split hive has a solid bottom board only because I ran out of SBB’s but might leave it so to compare actual side by side result as closely as I can. . Here’s the entire Apiary front n back view. .

I’m more concerned with winter condensation in the hive. I’m seriously looking at this issue n a couple of ideas. One is an absorbent material with ventilation n a second is an woodchips absorbent pillow.

That’s some of my thots n ideas. Hope they are helpful !

Later n happy beekeeping,


Thank you for the forum, I look forward to learning and participating :-)!


Hi everyone,
Barbara G here from the south end of beautiful Whidbey. I also purchased a Flow Hive super. I just installed it on a hive at a friend’s lavender field. Can’t wait to see how it does. I sprayed the flowframes with a 3-1 mix of water and the hive’s own honey. I hope that might speed up interest from the girls. Anyone else here from Whidbey?


Hi Barbra G,
I’m a Freshman Newbee and live in Seattle. Grew up in the Issaquah/Fall City area but as a kid Mom would often take us to Whidbey to visit our Great Aunts and my Cousins. We stayed in a permanently parked airstream trailer at the end of Bells Beach Road. We spent so much time over there one year I was able to qualify to show some animals at the fair in Langley. Great fun. Now we regularly visit our friends in Clinton overlooking the ferry dock on the North side and although we don’t live on Whidbey we appreciate her beauty.

Both of my Flow hives swarmed earlier in the year but I was able to catch both of the swarms and now I have four hives “growing”. I’m letting all four hives build up this year and will let them keep their honey to use this winter. I’ll slip the Flow frames on the two Flow Hives next spring. Most of my neighbors bought bee friendly plants this year when they shopped for their gardens this year. I plan on generously sharing the honey with them when I finally harvest my first batch to thank them for their support.

Looking forward to hearing how your hive does in the lavender on Whidbey.


Hi (name?),

I am glad to hear from you. I live across the road from Bells Beach. Small
world. Great news about retrieving the swarms. Nothing like doubling your
hives for free.
I am also planning to let the bees keep all of their honey this year. I
still have 3 gallons of honey from last season. My main goal is to increase
to ten hives from 4 next season. We will see how that goes…
I’ll have to send you a pic of my friend’s lavender field. It’s
I picked up a nuc from Lynnwood yesterday. They are the meanest bees I’ve
ever owned. I am able to work my bees without protective gear. Not
these-way too aggressive. So, I am contemplating a trip to Miller
Compound HoneyBees and Agriculture
in Roy for a replacement queen. Lauri raises and sells amazing queens.
Have you ever seen her Facebook page? Occasionally a couple of us beeks
here on Whidbey place orders and one of us picks them up.

Keep in touch,



I leave the screened bottom boards on year round. It has solved my moisture problem in the winter and the bees are fine. I only cover the screening if it is going to be well below freezing for a few days. I don’t change them out at all. Anyone else?



Returning beekeeping after 55 years away ! As a kid, teenager n young adult I raised honeybees back in the late 1950’s n 60’s. Now I’m back abroad. I bought one full hive set up or so last Fall 2015 n ordered 3 Nuc’s. As of this writing I have 5 hives n maybe a 6th swarm moving into a Observation hive I refurbish n sits with my other 5 fives in the backyard.

I started my newly arrived Flow-hive with a four super Nuc I started from a mid May swarm. Ten days or less after I transferred to Nuc to my “Flow” I needed to add more as they were quickly at 90 full. Being later summer now I contemplated two options. (1) adding a shallow ( didn’t have medium) honey super or so to keep them active n happy or (2) add my "Flow Super with plastic frames. Our big nectar flow here east of Renton is about finished. I’d read enough to know just adding bare Flow-Frames might not fly ,:bulb: so others had doctored their plastic. I choose option (2) “the Flow-Super”. I quickly found a large bar of bee wax (not cheep stuff) n melted it down. Dug around n found two inch wide unused paint rlollet. I really rolled on all the wax I had to both sides the 6 Flow-frames. It was COATEd ! Then I grabbed my squirt bottle n filled with sugar syrup (1:1 ratio I had ready already from another bee project). I soaked those frames until I was sticky n the frames were dripping.

To make a long story a dab shorter. With minutes the colonies sweet tooth found the super. Three days later the bees were really sealing the flow cell cracks with wax. Now a week later … Lots of bees up there still n working the middle three to four frames. I looked with a bright LED flashlight n they are doing it ! Storing nectar now in the middle two for sure. I’m not going to disturb them other than use the view window. I believe my “Flow-Super” is on the way. Not sure how much I’ll get or if they have time to dehydrate the nectar to honey. No problem… As I plan to just feed it back to them this year so they have plenty to winter over.
I’ve got screened bottom boards on all my hives mostly for mite issues. My flow I’m
keeping the board in the upper slot. Not planning on lowering at all. Really doesn’t get COLD enough that I’m concerned that won’t be enough. I’m more interested in controlling the varroa mite population. Those critters get out of hand the games all over n hVe to start again. Im part of Green River Mite Buster research n action plan.

Well, I need to be off to teach my class of older adult Vietnamese their next survive English lesson about the English language…

Ta ta n cheerio,



Sorry you got an aggressive batch of bees. I got my nuc from a guy in Auburn and they are very calm. That helped because my neighbors were a little concerned at first. Now they want to “go see the bees” and have planted bee friendly plants this year. If I need to get a replacement queen I’ll look up Lauri in Roy.

Haven’t been to Bells Beach in many, many years but have fond memories. My relations last name is Wallace. They had a large farm in the area.

Take care,


Well, I have a really gentle queen that will fix that problem (eventually).
Luckily I have no close neighbors but I am sure the bees will find me!


Washginton Bee Keepers,

Happy New Year. I hope that everyones bees are doing well in this cold weather that we have been having. Unfortunately my bees didn’t make it through the summer. My ladies swarmed and I could get them to sustain :frowning: .

I was looking back at the posts and a few of you started with Nucs. Can I ask you where you got them? I got my package from the guys up in Snohomish but I think I want to try a nuc this time around to give them a better start. I have a few frames of wax from the hive that I’ve frozen for foundation, you think I’d have any issue with re-useing them as well?

Thanks for the advise.


Mark Marshall