Speakers’ and Topics Schedule for 2021

Below is our speakers’ and topics schedule for 2021. We appreciate those who will so graciously share their time and talents to help all of us be better beekeepers.

2021 Monthly Presentations

January                Beekeeper’s Calendar            Jerry Borger

February              Preventing Swarms               Fred Jones

                              Catching Swarms                   Glenn Buss

March                  Splits and Nucs                       Richard Reid

April                    Queen Rearing                        Jim Hill

                              Queens for Pennies                 Jerry Borger

May                     Honeybee Diseases                 Penn State video    (Jim Hill)

June                     Varroa                                       Penn State video    (Jim Hill)

July                       Picnic and/or presentation Ben Crawford    Cindy Turner

August                 TBA

September           Preparing for Winter             Richard Reid

October                Darwinian Beekeeping           (Fred Jones)

November           Adventures With Beeswax     Jerry Borger, Glenn Buss, Morgan Otten


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Informative Internet Videos

We have added a new resource for club members. It is entitled Informative Internet Videos. To access this resource go to the Member Resources tab. Click on it and scroll down to the Informative Internet Videos post. Click on it, and you will find the videos.

If you have a video that you feel that will benefit our membership, send it to jeff@jeffandsue.org. Please include a brief description of the video.

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Join the NRVBA or Renew Current Membership

In order to join the NRVBA or to renew your current membership, there are two options:

  1. You can send a check ($10 Individual/$15 Family) to our mailing address, which is:


PO Box 6

Pilot, VA 24138

  1. You can send money to the club’s PayPal account.  The PayPal ID for the club is our Gmail address, nrvbeekeepersassoc@gmail.com.

Whichever option you use, please send us an email at nrvbeekeepersassoc@gmail.com. Please give us ALL of your contact information, even if it hasn’t changed; name(s), postal address, email address and phone number. (This will save our VOLUNTEERS a lot of time.)

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Zoom Video of the 11/12/2020 NRVBA Monthly Meeting

Click here to view the Zoom recording of our last members meeting.

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November 12, 2020 Meeting: Mike Palmer’s video presentation

Comb Honey Production

Many of you are familiar with Mike Palmer.  Mike began beekeeping with two package hives in 1974 and now owns French Hill Apiaries at St Albans, Vermont where he annually produces over one thousand queens and manages over 1000 production hives and nucleus colonies.  Mike is a prolific writer and has lectured worldwide on his methods of beekeeping.  This is Mike’s presentation at the 2013 National Honey Show.

Carl Lefko will send a meeting invitation prior to Thursday.  This meeting, like the others, will be recorded.

Meeting Agenda


Apiary Report: Bob Whiton

Treasurer’s Audit: Carl Lefko

Election of 2021 Officers: Bill Hendon

What you should be doing with your bees

Featured Presentation:  Mike Palmer

Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

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October 8, 2020 Meeting: Dr. Marcel Durieux will present,

Honey and wound healing.   What do we really know?

I am a hobby beekeeper with an interest in honey bee biology. Because of travel for medical work, I have been lucky to come into contact with beekeepers and beekeeping practices in Africa. I learned things from my readings and experiences that I felt were worth sharing, and that has resulted in a number of lectures.

As a physician I’ve been interested for quite some time in the claims for honey as a wound healing agent – and with the apparent lack of scientific rigor in making these claims. I eventually decided to look through the literature myself, and this talk is the result. It summarizes what we know about honey and wound healing in a manner that is understandable for the non-specialist, and shows what we can honestly claim and what not.

Carl Lefko will send a meeting invitation prior to Thursday.  This meeting, like the others, will be recorded.

Meeting Agenda


  • Apiary report
  • Treasurer’s report

-What you should be doing with your bees

Featured Presentation: Dr. Marcel Durieux

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

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September 10, 2020 Meeting Agenda

September 10, 2020 Meeting:  Richard Reid will present:

Wintering Bees in the Virginia Mountains

Richard Reid is a long-time member, past President, and valued leader of the NRVBA. Richard will talk about the needs and preparation of colonies for winter, including nutrition, ventilation/insulation, mouse protection, cluster size, wind, and diagnosing and reusing resources from deadouts.  Also, some thoughts on how to store supers of drawn comb in winter, fall and winter queen failure, and overwintering nucs. 

Richard started beekeeping when it was easy to be a “bee haver” in the early ‘70s.  Then varroa came in the early 90s and all of Richard’s bees died out by 1995.  He bought his first package of bees and they died in two months.  The equipment was stored for about a dozen years until 2007 when he started beekeeping the second time. 

In an effort to become a full-time beekeeper, Richard tried to retire from a career in construction 6 years ago.  Out of the last dozen years, he has managed to expand his operation each of those years except one.  His management has changed to adapt to problems, but the one constant that makes his operation sustainable is expansion through splitting and utilizing overwintered nucleus colonies.

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.

Carl Lefko will be sending a meeting invitation prior to Thursday.  This meeting, like the others, will be recorded.

Meeting Agenda


Apiary report

Treasurer’s report

-What you should be doing with your bees

Featured Presentation: Richard Reid

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

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August 13, 2020 NRVBA Meeting

Dr James Wilson will present: Bringing the fight to the mite: treatment options and planning in Varroa mite management.

Varroa mites are the single largest threat to honey bee colonies in the United States. Dr. James Wilson, Extension Apiculturist at Virginia Tech, will walk us through the treatment options available to us in this all-important battle. Colony cycle, honey supers, nectar flows, and mite levels all come into play in making these decisions. Join us to learn more about how we can deal with these pests of our bees.

James Wilson joined the Virginia Tech faculty in January 2017 as the new Extension Apiculturist. His duties include Extension efforts throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and teaching the Bees and Beekeeping class and Insects in Human Society class on campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. James grew up in Southport North Carolina and earned his BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Science from NC State in 2008. During his studies at NC State he became engrossed in the smaller wildlife of the region, especially insects. James went on to earn his MS in Entomology with Dr. Rick Fell at Virginia Tech, researching forensic entomology in wildlife poaching, while trying to learn as much about bees as he could on the side. After his Master’s, James worked with Dr. Tom Kuhar, Vegetable Entomologist at Virginia Tech, on the Integrated Pest Management of Cucurbit Production in Virginia. His dissertation research focused on pest and beneficial insect interactions as well as the qualification of pesticide exposure risk to honey bees. Currently, James is working on identifying the pollinators at play in Virginia cucurbit production to enhance pollinator safety and crop production. James maintains Virginia Tech’s research and teaching apiaries and is looking forward to expanding the impact of Apiculture Extension throughout Virginia and surrounding states. For more information on Apiculture Extension in Virginia and ongoing research on bees in the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech, please follow the Bee Group at VT on Facebook.

Please join us on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 6:30 pm on Zoom.  A meeting invitation, with connection information, will be sent to members prior to the meeting.   

For this meeting, we will have the featured presentation will before the business meeting

Meeting Agenda

Featured Presentation: Dr James Wilson


  • Apiary report
  • Annual business meeting
  • Treasurer’s report

-What you should be doing with your bees

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

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June 11, 2020 NRVBA Meeting Agenda

Morgan Roth will present Varroa and IPM.

Morgan Roth, PhD student, Molecular Physiology and Toxicology Laboratory

I graduated with my B.S. in Zoology (minor in Chemistry) from Liberty University in spring of 2017, and began my M.S. work at Virginia Tech in the fall of 2017. Throughout my M.S. work, I focused on two honey bee pests: Varroa mites and small hive beetles. My Varroa project included sampling at apiaries in three geographic regions of Virginia and performing resistance testing using amitraz (Apivar), coumaphos (CheckMite), and tau-fluvalinate (Apistan). I also tested enzyme activity in the mites I collected from these areas to help better understand resistance differences between the locations. For my small hive beetle project, I started a lab colony of beetles and did in vivo (whole insect) and in vitro (enzyme activity in the insect nervous system) testing of several known and experimental insecticides. I also had opportunities to publish several fact sheets and a review article dealing with Varroa mite history and management, as well as write a blog post for Entomology Today about Varroa biology and management tactics (all of which are free, open-access). In spring of 2019 I graduated with my M.S. and started work on my PhD in Entomology at Virginia Tech in the fall of 2019. My future projects include more studies focused on small hive beetle behavior and physiology, and the potential for using fungicides and repellents to help with small hive beetle control, and I hope to graduate in spring of 2022. 

Please join us on Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 6:30 pm on Zoom.  A meeting invitation, with connection information, will be sent to members prior to the meeting.   

Meeting Agenda


  • Treasurer’s report

-What you should be doing with your bees

– Featured Presentation:

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

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Honey Extractor Covid-19 Policy


Anyone picking up the extractor should bring an individual with them to assist in loading the extractor

All parties are required to wear a mask during exchanges

All buckets, screens, knife, decapping tool should be washed with hot soapy water as per the instructions below

Wipe the the extractor gate outside and the motor control knob with Lysol wipes

Remember to limit your use of the extractor to Three days days!


Extractor: You must use the speed control on the motor to advance the basket when loading frames.
DO NOT move it by hand as this will strip the gear box and void the warranty. Read the enclosed operating instructions.

Electric Knife: Turn knife off between decapping frames to prevent it over-heating and burning honey/wax on knife. DO NOT immerse the knife in water.
Use caution when handling the knife, it is capable of both burning and cutting the skin!



Using very hot (may want to heat water on stove if your tap water doesn’t get very hot) water, wash the rack, rack base, and both interior and exterior of the extractor drum, taking care to remove all the wax residue you can. Be careful NOT to get the motor wet. Do NOT disassemble the extractor.

Rinse and repeat until the unit is clean.


Pour hot water over each filter in the opposite direction the honey flowed through (i.e., back flush the filters). (Recommend doing this outdoors so heavy wax residue doesn’t contribute to clogging your indoor plumbing.) Repeat the hot wash until wax and honey is removed.


Clean all buckets and lids with hot water, removing all the wax residue.
Pay special attention to the ”honey gates,” making sure they get completely cleaned without damage.


Never immerse the knife in water. It will ruin the knife and void the warranty.
Clean the knife before and after each use with a damp cloth. Clean knife while knife is still warm. Remove all wax, including burned on wax (black or dark brown).

When done correctly, knife should be completely silver in color, with no dark or discolored residue. You may use a kitchen sponge/scraper, if necessary, but do not use a harsh scraping material like steel wool.


Dry all parts thoroughly and review the inventory list to make sure all parts are accounted for before storing in box(es) prior to passing extractor and accessories on to the next user.

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