April meeting: Planting for pollinators with Holly Scoggins

hollyfindsanacornNRVBA member and Virginia Tech horticulture professor Holly Scoggins will talk about gardening for honey bees at our April 10 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.”

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.

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New info center for TheHive listserv users published

The New River Valley Beekeepers Association has established a dedicated information page for TheHive listserv, the association’s online discussion forum.

The listserv is available to every dues-paying association member and allows beekeepers to ask and answer questions, read relevant scientific research and news, advertise beekeeping services and products and discuss successes and challenges with their own bees.

The new information page includes instructions on how to manage your subscription (daily digest or individual emails), as well as newly promulgated rules and etiquette that govern use of the listserv.

Please read over the new terms of use, and send any questions to one of the moderators listed on the information page.

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Honey bee package delivery date set

NRVBA member Clem Von Claparede hands out honey bee packages in April 2012. Photo courtesy of Matt Gentry.

NRVBA member Clem Von Claparede hands out honey bee packages in April 2012. Photo courtesy of Matt Gentry.

Those who have ordered honey bee packages from the New River Valley Beekeepers Association should prepare to pick them up on April 20.

These are three-pound packages of Italian bees with a young queen coming from Gardner Aparies in Georgia through Dadant. Pickup will be at 10:15 a.m. in the parking lot of the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg.

Package orders can still be placed online. Prices are $90 each for NRVBA members, and $100 each for nonmembers. Nonmembers may join the association for $10 and receive the member discount.

To pay by mail, contact NRVBA Treasurer Jack Price at 540-745-3411.

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May queen rearing & grafting workshop is FULL

Virginia Tech honey bee researcher Richard Fell.

Virginia Tech honey bee researcher Richard Fell

The New River Valley Beekeepers Association, in cooperation with the Virginia state apiarist’s office and Virginia Tech’s entomology department will offer a day-long queen rearing workshop from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sat., May 31. The class is now full.

State Apiarist  for Virginia, Keith Tignor.

State Apiarist for Virginia Keith Tignor.

Richard Fell, emeritus entomology professor and honey bee extension specialist, and state apiarist Keith Tignor will teach a daylong, hands-on short course covering the biology of queen rearing. Students will have a chance to practice grafting techniques, but the bulk of the class will focus on information important for any method of raising queens. Read the course syllabus for more information.

Classroom portions of the course will be held at 220 Price Hall on the Tech campus in Blacksburg. The hands-on session will be held at the Tech apiary and research station off Prices Fork Road.

Courtesy of Richard Reid

Courtesy of Richard Reid

A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Tuition is $20 for NRVBA members and $40 for nonmembers. Registration is closed.

Questions or interest in future workshops can be sent to NRVBA Program Director Tonia Moxley, 540-320-6838.

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March meeting: Dwight Porter on queen rearing

honey bees, queens, beekeeping, Blacksburg, Christiansburg, New River Valley Beekeepers Association, Russian bees

South Carolina queen and bee breeder Dwight Porter will give a talk on raising queens for the hobbyist.

In some areas, bees have begun to bring in pollen. Despite the continued snow and cold, spring really is on its way. It’s time to start planning for the beekeeping season.

The March 13 (Read the minutes from this meeting) New River Valley Beekeepers Association meeting will continue with a series of speakers who will discuss methods for queen rearing, nucleus hive making and other issues related to establishing more self-sufficient apiaries.

Join us at 6:30 p.m. at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg, where South Carolina-based Russian queen and bee breeder Dwight Porter of Porter Farm Honey Bees will talk about his methods of queen rearing and give suggestions for how hobbyists can get started making small numbers of queens for themselves.

We will also have our monthly beekeeper raffle and a “what should you be doing with your hives this month” discussion.

Bring a snack or drink to share and join us for another exciting year with the bees.

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Feb. meeting has been rescheduled

The NRVBA Executive Committee has rescheduled this month’s meeting for 6:30 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 19 at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building, 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg.

The talk by Russian queen breeder Dwight Porter was postponed due to weather and will be rescheduled for later this spring.

On Feb. 19, there will be presentations on backyard queen rearing methods.

Those who have ordered nuc and queen rearing equipment through the club will be able to pick it up.

Commercial pollen patties will be available for purchase for those who need them.

As usual, we will have a short discussion about what we should be doing with our hives this month, announcements and other club business.

In March we will return to our regular meeting schedule of the second Thursday of the month. The speaker will be announced at the beginning of March.

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Queen rearing, take one, at Feb. meeting

honey bees, queens, beekeeping, Blacksburg, Christiansburg, New River Valley Beekeepers Association, Russian bees

South Carolina queen and bee breeder Dwight Porter will give a talk on raising queens for the hobbyist.



NOTE: This meeting was canceled due to a snow storm. We are working to reschedule with Dwight for later in the spring.

The Feb. 13 New River Valley Beekeepers Association meeting will feature the first in a series of speakers over the coming year, who will discuss methods for queen rearing, nucleus hive making and maintenance and other issues related to establishing more self-sufficient apiaries.

Join us at 6:30 p.m. at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg, where South Carolina-based Russian queen and bee breeder Dwight Porter will talk about his methods of queen rearing and give suggestions for how hobbyists can get started making small numbers of queens for themselves.

We will also have our monthly beekeeper raffle, snacks and a “what should you be doing with your hives this month” discussion.

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2014 honey bee packages for sale

honey bees, italian, packages, blacksburg, christiansburg, virginia, new river valley beekeepers association

Honey bee packages are now for sale for spring 2014.

The New River Valley Beekeepers Association is again this year offering honey bee packages for sale at a discount to members and at full price for nonmembers.

These are # 3 packages of Italian bees with a young queen (approximately 3 pounds) coming from Gardner Aparies in Georgia through Dadant. They are due to arrive in Christiansburg in April 20 or 21. As we get closer to the delivery date the exact date will be posted.

Package prices are $90 each for NRVBA members and $100 each for nonmembers. Nonmembers may join the association for $10 and receive the member discount.

Purchase packages or join the association online through our secure server at https://secure.west-point.org/nrvba.

To pay by mail, contact NRVBA Treasurer Jack Price, 540-745-3411.

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2014 officer elections to be held Jan. 9

vote

The NRVBA will hold the first meeting of 2014 on Jan. 9 and will take up the election of officers for the coming year. Be there to cast your vote, and bring your checkbook to renew your association membership!

Dues are $10 for an individual and $15 for a family. Checks are accepted, or renew online at https://secure.west-point.org/nrvba.

As always, we meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg.

We will also talk about what to do with your bees this month (there are things to do!), and we’ll discuss one of our priorities this year: training members to make their own nucleus colonies and breed their own queens for self-sufficiency.

If time permits, we’ll watch a video presentation by commercial queen and nuc producer Michael Palmer given at the 2013 National Honey Show in Great Britain on the how and the why of sustainable apiaries. Palmer runs French Hill Apiaries in St. Alban’s, Vermont near the Canadian border.

Please bring some snacks to share and join us for a new year of adventures with honey bees.

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2014 Beginning Beekeeper class dates set

The New River Valley Beekeepers Association will offer its popular two-day Beginning Beekeeper class on Feb. 1 and April 5, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 220 Price Hall on the Virginia Tech campus.

The Feb. 1 session will include classroom instruction on a number of topics, including equipment, techniques and pests and diseases. The April 5 session includes a hive inspection demonstration session at the Tech apiary.

Cost is $55 and includes a beginner book, course materials and lunch. Two family members may share the book and course materials for a combined $80 fee. Pre-registration not later than Jan. 26 is required.

An online registration form for our Beginning Beekeeper’s Course is here:

https://secure.west-point.org/nrvba/

For more information, call Jerry Borger at 540-382-1798.

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