February 11th Meeting: Nucs and Splits

Please join the New River Valley Beekeepers’ Association at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, February 11th 2016 at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg when Richard Reid, NRVBA Past President will talk on “Nucs and Splits- Expansion Model Beekeeping”.

Richard Reid started keeping bees in 1973.  His landlord charged him with taking care of 10 beat up old hives that came with the property.  He caught 9 swarms that first spring.  He was part beekeeper and part beehaver until 1995 when the last of the hives had died out from varroa mites.  He bought his first package of bees.  They were dead in two months.

Eight years ago he jumped back into beekeeping again.  Every spring after the honey production colonies are set up, he is splitting hives and raising queens in every way he can. Most years the limiting factor is lack of boxes for more splits.  Based just outside of Blacksburg, Richard enjoys operating Happy Hollow Honey for honey and nuc production, and he raises a few extra queens for sale after the splits are made.

We will also have our monthly equipment raffle, information on what we should be seeing in our hives this month, and suggested management techniques for the spring.

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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2016 Bee Packages for Sale

Bee packages for 2016 are now for sale. Prices are $100 for members, $110 for non-members. To order bee packages, go to our website http://nrvba.org/. Click on ‘For Members’ on the menu bar, and select ‘Bee Packages’.

The direct link is  https://secure.west-point.org/nrvba

Package delivery will be sometime in April, details will be announced shortly.

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January 14th 2016: Bee Toxicology

Please join the New River Valley Beekeepers’ Association at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, January 14th 2016 at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg when Jen Williams, Masters student will give a presentation on “Bee Toxicology and Observations Regarding the  Bayer Bee Care Center Program”.

Jen is originally from northern Virginia, and is currently a Mjen_for_web_480pxwasters student at Virginia Tech. She will defend her thesis in March and then start her doctorate, in the hope of one day working in the agrochemical industry.

She did a short internship at the Bayer Bee Care Center.  Her talk will focus on her current master’s research about the effects of a common-use herbicide on the honey bee antioxidant system, risk assessment regarding pesticide exposure to bees, and an overview of her time at the Bayer Bee Care Center.

We will also have our monthly equipment raffle, information on what we should be seeing in our hives this month, and suggested management techniques for the fall.

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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Beginning Beekeeper’s Course 2016

Members of the New River Valley Beekeepers’Association will present a Beginning Beekeeper’s Course at 220 Price Hall on the Virginia Tech Campus, Blacksburg, VA. The course covers everything a beginner needs to know to start keeping honey bees, and lasts two Saturdays from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. The first will be 6th February 2016 to enable students to learn how to acquire honey bees and equipment in time to get them for use during spring 2016. The second date is 9th April 2016 and will include how to handle and care for honey bees along with hands-on time in an apiary.  Cost is $55 for the first member of a family, $25 for each additional member (with a single set of books/handouts).

Those interested can sign up at  https://secure.west-point.org/nrvba

Pre-registration not later than 30th  January 2016 is required.  Address questions to Jerry Borger (twoltcols@verizon.net), 540-382-1798.

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November 12th: Apiforestation: The Future of Beekeeping

Please join the New River Valley Beekeepers’ Association at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, November 12th at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg when Tammy Horn Ph.D. will give a presentation on  Apiforestation: The Future of Beekeeping.

(C) Chris Radcliffe, photographer.

(C) Chris Radcliffe, photographer.

After growing up as involuntary labor on a pig farm, Tammy Horn was determined never to do anything with science, math or agriculture when she went to college.  She became an English professor, eventually winding up as the National Endowment of Humanities Chair of Appalachian Studies.  She also, purely by happenstance, became a beekeeper and wrote Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation in 2005 and Beeconomy: What Women and Bees Teach Us about Local Trade and Global Markets  in 2012.  In this role, she became aware of how surface mining was impacting habitat in Eastern KY, where she was born.  In 2008, she started Coal Country Beeworks with a generous gift from beekeepers.  She worked with four coal companies until she was named the KY State Apiarist in 2014.  In her role as State Apiarist, she continues to advocate for forest-based beekeeping, and tries to find time to finish the bee trilogy with her third bee book, Apiforestation, The Future of Beekeeping. 

We will also have our monthly equipment raffle, information on what we should be seeing in our hives this month, and suggested management techniques for the fall.

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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So, You Want To Be A Beekeeper? 2016 Sessions

bee2How much does it cost?
How much honey will I get?
Can I make beeswax candles?
How much time does it take?
Won’t the neighbors object?
Is honey really as good for you as they say?
How important are honey bees for pollination?

Now is the time to get answers to all these questions and more.

2016 Sessions are as follows:

Sunday, January 10 @ 1:30 pm
Blacksburg Library,  200 Miller Street
Presenters Bob Whiton and Glenn Buss

Sunday, January 17 @ 1:30 pm
Christiansburg Library,  125 Sheltman Street
Presenters Jerry Borger and Luke McCoy

Sunday, January 17 @ 1:30 pm
Jessie Peterman Library, 321 West Main Street, Floyd
Presenters Clem Von Claparede, Sam and Jack Price

Saturday, January 23 @ 1:30 pm
Meadowbrook Public Library, 267 Alleghany Spring Road, Shawsville
Presenters Fred Jones and Jebb Brumback

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For more information contact Jerry Borger, twoltcols@verizon.net

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October 8th. Honey and Wound Healing

Image2Please join the New River Valley Beekeepers’ Association at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, October 8th at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg when Dr Marcel Durieux will talk  on “Honey and Wound Healing: What Do We Really Know”.

The talk reviews the current evidence for beneficial effects of honey as a wound healing “drug”. Professor Durieux will first look at the laboratory data of its effects against bacteria, and the mechanisms behind those effects. Then he will discuss the clinical studies of honey when used for the treatment of wounds, both acute (such as burns) and chronic (such as diabetic wounds).

Marcel Durieux MD, PhD is professor of anesthesiology at the University of Virginia, and a backyard beekeeper with an interest in bee biology. Much of his academic research focuses on improving outcomes after surgery. Another part of his professional work involves teaching in developing countries, which has led to an ongoing collaboration with beekeepers in Rwanda. Prof. Durieux has published several articles in our beekeeping journals.

We will also have our monthly equipment raffle, information on what we should be seeing in our hives this month, and suggested management techniques for the fall.

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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“How Bees Make Honey” (and a club honey tasting) on September 10th

Virginia Tech honey bee researcher Rick Fell

Virginia Tech honey bee researcher Rick Fell

Ever wondered how honey bees actually make honey from nectar?  Or about its composition or protective systems?  These topics and more will be covered in the presentation on “How Bees Make Honey” by Virginia Tech entomology emeritus professor Dr. Richard Fell.  

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday September 10th at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building, 210 Pepper St.,

We will also have a tasting of members’ honey so bring a jar or two to share! Dr. Fell will also bring a couple of unusual honeys to include in the tasting.jar

The equipment raffle will be held and we will be discussing what we should be doing to help the bees prepare for winter.

Please consider bringing a drink or snack to share. 

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Last Week to View Buzzing Bee Images

ArtInTheGardenlogosmall

Currently on display through August 28th: “Seasons of Bees and Blooms” with NRVBA member Deana B. Marion

The Peggy Lee Hahn Garden Pavilion is buzzing with big, colorful bee images by Deana B Marion until August 28th at 10 a.m. The show debuts Deana B’s macro photos and features close-up images of honey bees,  bumble bees, and friends in their natural environment on a variety of seasonal blooms. bee

If you haven’t seen it yet please make the opportunity to go, the pictures are fantastic say Richard Reid, NRVBA President and Sue Hossack, NRVBA Secretary.

The Hahn Horticulture Garden is located at 200 Garden Lane (off Washington Street) – Virginia Tech – Blacksburg, VA.  Visitors are welcome to view the displays in the Peggy Lee Hahn Garden Pavilion Gallery from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (with the exception of Wednesday, August 26th from 11 – 1 and Thursday, August 27th from 4 – 4:30). You may want to call ahead to confirm there is not a private event in the Pavilion that day. Be sure to pick up a Visitor’s Permit from Parking Services or the VT Visitor’s Center. F/S spaces are for faculty and staff only.

For more information visit http://www.hort.vt.edu/hhg/artinthegarden

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August 13th, Varroa Mite Monitoring

Please join the New River Valley Beekeepers’ Association at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, August 13th at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg when Jackson Means will talk on varroa mite monitoring.

varroaMonitoring is the first step in any control program for Varroa destructor, a serious pest of the European honey bee.  When properly informed, a beekeeper can apply treatments in an intelligent and efficient manner, and control Varroa without causing undue harm to their bees.  Jackson will speak on the three main methods of monitoring for V. destructor, his research on the subject as a masters student at Virginia Tech and some current advances in our understanding of this important pest.

varroa2

Jackson Means has been beekeeping for four years as part of his graduate education at Virginia Tech.  He recently completed his masters on Varroa monitoring and the development of a sustainable Varroa control program.  This past spring semester Jackson taught the undergraduate course Bees and Beekeeping at Virginia Tech as the instructor of record.  Currently he is working towards his PhD in millipede taxonomy (an admittedly large change from bees) and would be happy to discuss millipedes as well as bees!

We will also have our monthly equipment raffle, information on what we should be seeing in our hives this month, and suggested management techniques for the summer.

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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