February 9, 2012


The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m.
The Treasurer’s Report was approved.

First session of the Master Beekeeper Class is Thursday, February 16, 7:00 – 8:30, PRICE HALL, Virginia Tech.

Donation to Dr. Rick Fell: Jack Price made a motion to send $270 to Dr. Rick Fell for use of his classroom for our BBC. The motion was seconded and approved.

Bee Packages: For those who have paid a deposit on bee packages, the balance is due not later than March 31, 2012.  Bee delivery date is April 17, 2012.

Queen Raising Course: Dr. Fell is interested in presenting a queen raising Course, probably in June.

Minutes of the January 2012 meeting were available; group chose not to have them read again, as they appeared in Mark Chorba’s Newsletter sent to all current members via Thehive. Jack Price proposed they be approved; it was seconded; minutes accepted.

Garden Event, Shawsville, May 5th (Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Request by Marie Goodwin:
Clem VonClaparede and Sue Hossack volunteered to staff this event, to include a live observation hive. Location is Meadowbrook Center, Shawsville.

Classified section in the Newsletter – anything to do with bees, advise Mark and he’ll put it in the Newsletter.  Used equipment must be inspected (Brian Kreowski) before it may be sold.

Mark Needs Info for inclusion in the Newsletter:
The recipe for Candy Boards is in the January issue. He invites stories, news, jokes, cartoons, and additional recipes are welcome, too.

Bulk Equipment Orders:
Dave Knight spoke about money to be saved through bulk orders of bee equipment, pollen patties, wax foundation, etc. Mark has a large barn in which to store supplies for individual sale. This is a considera-tion for the future.

Mike’s planning to make a buying trip to Miller Bee Supply in NC. He’s agreed to pick up supplies for members for a small fee to help pay for his fuel. Get in touch with Mike at 544-382-5430, or email him at jwright@moog.com. Get in touch with him NOW, if interested !!!!

The Carroll County High School is making hive bodies and supers for sale. Contact Alan Webb, at adwebb@ccpsd.k12.va.us for more information.

Pending Legislation, affecting beekeepers, in Richmond: Brian Kreowski informed those present of two bills in the Virginia legislature, SB 354 and HB 300. These proposed bills would give $200 per new hive tax credit – but must be registered and inspected with VDACS to receive credit, of up to $2400. Also would mandate state apiarist to prepare a publication for Virginia beekeepers. For information go to http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+men+BIL

Mark introduced our guest speaker for the evening, BRIAN KREOWSKI, VDACS apiary inspector for our area of Virginia.

Call the regional VDACS office at 276-228-5501 for an apiary inspection if you plan to sell honeybees or used equipment or if you suspect your bees are diseased.

The beekeeper is supposed to provide movable frames. When a hive dies, it is supposed to be closed up to prevent robbing. If you think you have a brood disease, call us. If you think you have Africanized honey bees (AHB), call VDACS. If you have AHB confirmed, you must destroy the hives. A question was asked if AHB, through interbreeding with European bees would become more calm. Brian’s response was possibly, but he didn’t know for sure. Honey-based candy not allowed for use with bees in Virginia; it could be contaminated with American foulbrood spores, and spread contamination to the recipient’s hives. Your hives need to be inspected if you are selling honeybee packages, nucs, hives and/or queens. Any bees purchased from outside of Virginia should be accompanied by a certificate of inspection from the state from which they were shipped. If you’re selling used hives, equipment, etc., the apiary inspector needs to certify the items you are selling are apparently free of disease. If you are buying used equipment, with bees, etc., you should make sure it is certified or arrange an inspection.

Keith Tignor is the state apiarist. Keith can be reached at 804-786-3515 or Keith.Tignor@vdacs.virginia.gov

In 2011, European foul brood (EFB) was confirmed in Wythe, Franklin, Grayson, Montgomery and Pulaski counties. American foul brood (AFB) was confirmed in Franklin, Grayson, Montgomery, and Wythe counties with the destruction of many infected hives. Small hive beetle (SHB) is now confirmed present in Bedford, Carroll, Floyd, Franklin, Grayson, Montgomery, Patrick, and Wythe counties.

You are advised to watch Varroa mite levels and to control them. Varroa mites help spread viruses which will weaken your bees.

If you suspect your bees are experiencing pesticide poisoning – CALL VDACS ASAP and VDACS pesticide investigator, Jim Atwell, Wytheville Office 276-228-5501. It is important to call as soon as possible, so a sample can be taken to test for pesticides.

The food safety inspector for honey house certification is Meagan Musick. Her Roanoke office phone number is 540-562-5641. Honey house inspection regulations were modified by the Virginia legislature in 2011. The changes in the law are as follows:

§ 3.2-5130. Inspections required to operate food establishment.

Private homes where the resident processes and prepares honey produced by his own hives, if: (i) the resident sells less than 250 gallons of honey annually; (ii) the resident does not process and sell other food products in addition to honey, except as allowed by subdivision A 3; (iii) the product complies with the other provisions of this chapter; (iv) the product is labeled “PROCESSED AND PREPARED WITHOUT STATE INSPECTION. WARNING: Do Not Feed Honey to Infants Under One Year Old.”; and (v) the resident certifies in writing annually to the Department that he meets the requirements of this subdivision. Nothing in this subdivision shall increase or diminish the authority of the Commissioner under § 3.2-5102

Dave Knight commented about his experiences with the VDACS Food Safety inspection for a home-based commercial kitchen.

BEAR PROBLEMS : Virginia Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries — will document damage; and tell you to put up an electric fence! If no fence, bear will come back over and over — until removed.
To contact VDGIF Marion Office: M-F 8:15 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 276-783-4860.

Useful websites –

VDACS Apiary Program www.vdacs.virgnia.gov/plant&pest/apiary.shtml

VA Pollination Services: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/plant&pest/pollinator.shtml

Honey Bee Pest Management Guide: http://www.ipmcenters.org/pmsp/pdf/MidAtlanticHoneyBeePMSP.pdf

A questions was asked about using oxalic acid for control of Varroa mite. Currently, this method is not approved for Varroa mite control on honeybees in Virginia. If you do so, and especially if you are using deck cleaner as your source of the acid, you are in violation of Federal Law.
That evening, after the meeting, Brian forwarded the following documents of interest:

File from the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF on constructing an electric fence to protect your apiary from Yogi bear. (See links below.)

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