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HONEY

Welcome to the Central Ontario Beekeepers Association

Save the date! The next meeting of COBA is planned for FRIDAY, 29 December 2017. See Upcoming Events for more details.

Annual Report 2017 AGM - The Year in Review: Read the full document here.

About the Central Ontario Beekeepers Association (COBA)

The Central Ontario Beekeepers Association (COBA) has been representing area beekeepers since 1910. It is a member-driven network of new and experienced beekeepers. Membership includes both hobbyists and commercial beekeepers. Some members manage one or two hives while others have over 500 hives. 

COBA was formed to promote beekeeping, educate beekeepers, liaise with the Ontario Beekeepers Association and the provincial apiarist, and foster community among beekeepers in the region. COBA supports members and those interested in bees and beekeeping through sharing of resources and by providing opportunities to meet and discuss challenges and successes. COBA holds four meetings per year, featuring guest speakers who provide information and research related to bees and beekeeping. COBA also supports the Farms at Work Beekeeping Mentorship Program.

New members are always welcome. To become a member, or for more information, contact the COBA Secretary, secretary@centralontariobeekeepers.ca

 

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Swarms

Swarming is how honey bee colonies normally reproduce - by splitting when the colony becomes too strong.  Unfortunately swarming will also occur if the hive site has become unhealthy due to disease or an infestation by pests such as mites.

 When a hive first swarms out they can be found in a cluster (usually about the size of a football or soccer ball) on tree branches; later in hollow cavities like tree trunks or often in urban places such as BBQ's or garages!

If the bees are inside a wall, or other unseen place (i.e. underground or in an attic) you will probably need to call an exterminator and/or contractor.

Before calling for a swarm catcher, please be sure that they truly are honeybees: not bumblebees, wasps, hornets, etc.   If they are indeed honey bees and in an accessible place, a beekeeper may be able to help by removing them to a modern beehive. 

Please be prepared to pay approximately $75 to $250 dollars. ($75 if the bees are near the ground, up to $250 if they are located high up a tree or other dangerous place.)  

 Please Remember...  1) If you have already sprayed these bees with an insecticide, please do not call a beekeeper as this could be harmful to someone's future honey!

2) When rescuing bees during swarm season, a beekeeper must not only take time out of their busy schedule and expend fuel, they will also have to use equipment that was intended for their own (healthy) bees and instead be used for a colony which will, most likely, not produce any honey crop that year and may not even survive.  

3) Due to less resistance to newer parasites like mites, “wild” bee colonies are endangered.  The beekeeper must presume that all swarming bees are diseased and treat with costly chemicals to prevent transference to his/her other colonies. This risk alone prevents numerous beekeepers from even responding to swarm calls.

Visit our Marketplace Page to contact a beekeeper who may be able to help you