Art in the Garden: Seasons of Bees and Blooms

ArtInTheGardenlogosmall

Currently on display through August 31st: “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 during July and August. 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

The bee images have been described as strikingly beautiful and provide the opportunity to cherish nature’s beauty at eye level. The bees are displayed on AluminArte metal prints using Image Wizards’ high definition photographic imaging to enhance the exquisite microscopic details, depth of field and background illumination of the images.

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. 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. Faculty and staff only may park in F/S spaces.

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

Posted in NRVBA, Products & services, special events | Leave a comment

NRVBA Summer Picnic Saturday 11th July Nellie’s Cave Park10:00 – 3:00

OK, it’s time to take a break from cracking open all those hives, and enjoy some summer socializing!  For those of you not familiar with Nellies Cave Park in Blacksburg, just crank this into your GPS

Nellies Cave Park, 1900 Grissom Lane, Blacksburg, VA 24060
imageThis is the site where we have been before, and it has cover in case it rains. No plan B for inclement weather.

The club will provide:

Fried Chicken
Hamburgers & Hot Dogs
Buns
Relishes/onions/mayo/cheese/mustard/ketchup
Potato salad
Beans
5 Gallon coolers with ice tea/lemonade
Paper plates/cups/utensils/napkins

This is a pot luck gathering beyond this.  Bring desserts, salads, drinks, additions to above list. Game items/frisbees/volleyballs/etc.  Please RSVP to Jack Price (wp25244@west-point.org) with a head count so we can be sure to have enough inventory!

Remember there is no meeting at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg in July.

Posted in meetings, special events | Leave a comment

June 11th: Palmerisms!

Please join the New River Valley Beekeepers’ Association at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, June 11th at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg

Richard Reid will present a program that consists of seven short videos by Mike Palmer.  The videos include – Identifying Queenless Colonies, Catching a Hive before it Swarms, Importance of Local Queens, Inspecting a Hive, Opinion on Package Bees, Queens Have Handles, and Queen Marking.  Each video is taken in the beeyard, and usually as he works the bees.   There are lots of practical nuggets of info embedded in his talks.

We’ll 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.

Posted in meetings, NRVBA, speakers | Leave a comment

May 14th: Queen Rearing

Join the New River Valley Beekeepers Association at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 14th at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg to learn more about Queen Rearing from two of our members, Jerry Borger and Tim Service.

queenJerry Borger will talk about “Queens for Pennies”. This is a step-by-step presentation reviewing equipment and procedures on how to raise about 10 queens at a time for pennies apiece using a Randy Oliver method of grafting (not the commercial procedure) that can be easily practiced by almost anyone.  No experience or exceptional skills needed.

imagesTim Service will present “Commercial Queen Rearing”.  The production of queens on a commercial level requires many steps that aren’t used by backyard beekeepers.   Tim Service will discuss a few of his methods for producing large numbers of queens at a time, focusing on starting and finishing the cells.

Jerry was raised in Pennsylvania.  He spent 28 years active duty in the Air Force and retired to SW Virginia in 2004. He lives on the side of a timbered mountain with no crops anywhere nearby.  He began beekeeping around 2006.   He is a two-year past president of the NRVBA.  He has managed the Association’s Beginning Beekeeper Course and “So,You Want To Be a Beekeeper” efforts for the past six years or so. He continues to look for new and exciting mistakes to make with his bees.

Tim began keeping bees in 1977, getting his first packages from Sears & Roebuck.  He’s kept anywhere from 10 to 20 hives as a hobbyist until 2011.  That hard winter left beekeepers with a severe shortage of queens that spring.  So he decided to provide a much needed resource in the world of beekeeping.  He’s slowly grown in queen-rearing skills and capacity to the point where it is now his major occupation.  He still does construction work on a selective basis.

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

Consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

Posted in beekeeper education, meetings, speakers | Leave a comment

Resources for swarm prevention and splits

Mike Bush PresentationRichard Reid gave an interesting presentation on swarm prevention and splits on Thursday (9th April). The presentation came from Michael Bush’s website. To access the PowerPoint presentation itself go to bushfarms.com/beespresentations.htm and click on “Swarm Prevention and Splits” on the left hand side. You will need PowerPoint or PowerPoint Viewer in order to watch it, so  I have also converted it to pdf which does not need PowerPoint:  click here for that printout.

Also here is a link to the Mike Palmer video that Richard  had hoped to include. There are some very good points about swarming in this 10 minute video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3QlLUcT2SQ

 

Posted in beekeeper education, speakers | Leave a comment

April 9th Meeting: Swarming and Splitting

Please join the New River Valley Beekeepers Association at 6:30 p.m. on Thurs., April 9th at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg, for a talk by NRVBA President Richard Reid about swarming and splitting.  The talk will include a PowerPoint by Michael Bush and a 9 minute video by Mike Palmer describing and showing a strong nuc that is in swarm preparation.
Richard says:
“I started beekeeping in 1973 when my new landlord said I needed to take care of the dozen beat up old hives up in the pasture.  We caught 9 swarms that spring and chased unknown numbers of them in flight while we banged on pots and pans to try to get them to land.  I learned later that’s called “tanging”.  It didn’t work.
     In the 70’s I took a YMCA Free University beekeeping class from Dr. John Amos, Dr. Rick Fell’s predecessor, who sold Dadant equipment out of his shed on Price’s Fork Rd.  I read some of Richard Taylor’s beekeeping books.
     I caught swarms and bought old hives from ads in the Trading Post.  We harvested honey most years.  Varroa and tracheal mites came in the late 80’s and early 90’s, causing my bees to start dying out and by 1995 the last hive died.  I ordered my first package ever; it died in two months.  I quit beekeeping until 2008 when I decided to start again.
     For 12 years a swarm had been living in a stack of my old supers under the workshop.  I decided those must be great bees since they had no help from people and were surviving on their own.  I started reading about bees and cleaned up my old equipment in preparation for moving that colony into a new box.  They died out in February that year during a cold snap.
     When construction work is not distracting me, you can find me in one of my beeyards where I manage somewhere north of 100 colonies and nucs for honey, queen, and nuc production.”
Posted in beekeeper education, meetings, NRVBA, speakers | Leave a comment

March 12th meeting: Planting for pollinators with Holly Scoggins

bees1NRVBA member and Virginia Tech horticulture professor Holly Scoggins will talk about gardening for honey bees at our March 12 meeting.

Join fellow members at 6:30 p.m. at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building, 210 Pepper Street, Christiansburg, VA.

Holly’s talk will cover “great garden plants that honeybees (and other pollinators) can’t resist!” she said. And she would know. Holly not only teaches horticulture, she directs Tech’s Hahn Horticulture Garden and co-owns a Giles County blueberry farm.

Download a copy of Holly’s pollinator plant handout from the meeting.

Holly will show us how to “grow as many (or few) bee-friendly plants as your garden space allows to help provide nectar and pollen from spring until fall.”

In addition,  Richard Reid will give a report on a Symposium he is attending.

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

Consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

Posted in beekeeper education, meetings, NRVBA, speakers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

February 12th Meeting: Introduction to Top Bar Hive Beekeeping

top bar broodJoin the New River Valley Beekeepers Association at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, February 12th at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg to learn more about Top Bar Beekeeping

Our own Tonia Moxley will be discussing why she chose top bars, the hive design she builds and some tips for getting started.

Tonia is going into her fourth year as a beekeeper, She has overseen a total of about 15 colonies, passed the first level of the Virginia Master Beekeepers certification and passed Dr Rick Fell’s Honey Bees and Beekeeping course at Virginia Tech (A big accomplishment). She has been a member of NRVBA for going on four years and has been program director for 2.5 years, As program director she brought big name beekeepers (Michael Bush and Larry Connor) to the NRV and has given talks on beekeeping and pollinators to community groups around the area.

top bar winterIn addition to Tonia’s talk, we’ll have the monthly equipment raffle and a discussion of managing colonies through the winter.

Please bring a drink or snack to share.

Posted in beekeeper education, NRVBA, speakers, meetings | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

January 8th Meeting

Join the New River Valley Beekeepers Association at 6:30 p.m., Thurs., January 8th 2015 at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg .

A 30 minute video of Ann Harman speaking at The National Honey Show in England from Oct 2014 will be shown. Her talk is about Sugar and our bees. This includes- Sucrose inverting to Glucose and Fructose, High Fructose Corn Syrup- what are the pros and cons, What is HMF and how is it formed, Making your own fondant, and a brief mention of making creamed honey. Ann is from northern VA and has been very involved with the VA State Beekeepers Assoc, EAS, and ABF for quite a while.

 

One of our members will also talk about making creamed honey.

We’ll have the monthly equipment raffle and a discussion of managing colonies through the  winter.

Posted in beekeeper education, meetings, NRVBA | Leave a comment

Beginning Beekeeper’s Course

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, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm: the first will be 7 February 2015 to enable students to learn how to acquire honey bees and equipment in time to get them for use this spring; the second date is 11 April 2015 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 and/or view a syllabus on-line at https://secure.west-point.org/nrvba
Pre-registration not later than 1 February 2015 is mandatory. Address questions to Jerry Borger, twoltcols@verizon.net 540-382-1798.

Posted in beekeeper education, NRVBA, Products & services, special events | Leave a comment