March 12 Meeting

March 12, 2020 Meeting:  Fred Jones will present, “Swarms: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly”

Fred is an eleven-year beekeeper who unwittingly became introduced to swarming when, in his second year of managing bees, his four hives swarmed at least six times. This will be an entirely different talk from past presentations on the same subject. The focus will be on how we can work with our bees when it comes to the swarming instinct to both help the bees and meet our goals. By gleaning information from research on swarming I hope to provide insight for a variety of beekeeping skills from increasing our chances of catching swarms with bait hives to non-chemical control of Varroa mites.

Please join us on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 6:30 pm at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg

Meeting Agenda

-Business:

  • Treasurer’s report
  • Apiary report
  • Bee package update

-What you should be doing with your bees:  Tips and ideas from     successful Association members.

– Featured Presentation: Fred Jones  

-The Buffalo Jack Raffle: Please note: there will be no intermission so buy your tickets before the meeting or, quietly, any time before the Featured Presentation in the back of the room.   

-Close of formal meeting.  Join in for socializing, refreshments, and a time for asking questions.  Please consider bringing a snack or beverage to share.

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

Posted in NRVBA | Leave a comment

February 13 Meeting

(NB) The webmaster was in Argentina the week of February meeting, and therefore was not able to post the agenda. My apologies …

February 13, 2020 Meeting:  

Dr Holly Scoggins presents:  Garden Plants for Bees

Can a few garden plants carry a hive? Absolutely not! But with some thoughtful plant choices, you can add some pollen and nectar resources plus learn by observing bee foraging behaviors. Holly shares advice on gardening for bees, including a bit of plant physiology, seasonal plant selections, planting tips, and more.

Please join us on Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 6:30 pm at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg

Meeting Agenda

-Business:

  • Treasurer’s report
  • Apiary report
  • Bee Packages
  • Beginning Beekeeper’s Course Update

-What you should be doing with your bees:  Tips and ideas from     successful Association members.

– Featured Presentation:  Dr Holly Scoggins

-The Buffalo Jack Raffle: Please note: there will be no intermission so buy your tickets before the meeting or, quietly, any time before the Featured Presentation in the back of the room.   

Items will include:

Two dozen quart jars for honey (no lids
8-frame screened bottom board (assembled)

10-frame deep box (unassembled)

10 medium frames with plastic foundation (unassembled)

Leather gloves- size medium

-Close of formal meeting.  Join in for socializing, refreshments, and a time for asking questions.  Please consider bringing a snack or beverage to share.

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

Posted in NRVBA | Leave a comment

January 9, 2020 Meeting:

 Jerry Borger presents, Beekeeper’s Calendar

A review of what to be doing, thinking about, and looking for with your hives throughout the year, subject to weather constraints.

Jerry is a Pennsylvanian by birth, spent 28 years in the Air Force, and retired to southwestern Virginia in 2004.  He began beekeeping in 2006 and currently has 11 full-sized hives and 10 double-deep nucs.  He is a two-year past president of the New River Valley Beekeepers’ Association and has managed the Association’s Beginning Beekeeper’s Course for the past nine years. In addition to raising a few nucs and “mini-nucs” to sell each year, he takes honey bees out of buildings, and also sells a couple products he makes from beeswax. He is a big fan of trying new things, particularly enjoys playing with queen castles, and continues to look for new and exciting mistakes to make with his bees.

Please join us on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg

Meeting Agenda

-Business:

  • Bylaws and Handbook revision
  • Treasurer’s report
  • Apiary report
  • So, You Want to Be a Beekeeper?
  • Beginning Beekeepers Course

-What you should be doing with your bees:  Tips and ideas from     successful Association members.

– Featured Presentation:  Jerry Borger

-The Buffalo Jack Raffle: Please note: there will be no intermission so buy your tickets before the meeting or, quietly, any time during the meeting in the back of the room.   

-Close of formal meeting.  Join in for socializing, refreshments, and a time for asking questions.  Please consider bringing a snack or beverage to share.

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

Posted in NRVBA | Leave a comment

Join the New River Valley Bee Keepers’ Association

We are a dedicated and fun-loving community of beekeepers and invite you to join us. Our members are a friendly and amiable bunch comprised of both novice and veteran apiarists. So whether you are just starting out or have been keeping bees forever, sign up! Our dues are exorbitantly priced at $10.00 for an individual annual membership and $15.00 for a family annual membership. Did I mention that our memberships last a year? What a deal! All you need to do is click on this link (https://nrvba.org/join-the-nrvba/), and voilà you or you and your family are on your way. Hurray!

Posted in NRVBA | Leave a comment

So You Want to be a Beekeeper? – Great!

Members of the New River Valley Beekeepers’ Association (NRVBA) will present “So, You Want To Be a Beekeeper” sessions at regional library branches in January 2020 (see dates and locations below) addressing all aspects of getting started in beekeeping (costs, equipment needed, time required, procedures for acquiring and keeping bees, expectations for honey harvest, etc.)  Presentations last approximately one hour and are free.  No sign-up or pre-registration required.  Address questions to Jerry Borger, 540-557-7789.

Christiansburg                                   Shawsville

Saturday, 11 January at 1:30 pm          Sunday, 12 January at 1:30 pm

Christiansburg Library                         Meadowbrook Public Library   

125 Sheltman Street                             267 Alleghany Spring Road

Dublin

Saturday, 11 January at 10:30 am        (note: time is different from other       

Free Memorial Public Library              presentations)                           

300 Giles Ave

Floyd                                                   Blacksburg

Sunday, 19 January at 1:30 pm            Sunday, 26 January at 1:30 pm

Jessie Peterman Library                       Blacksburg Library

321 West Main Street                          200 Miller Street             

______________________________________________________________________________

Beginning Beekeeper’s Course, 2020

Those interested will be able to sign up for a Beginning Beekeeper’s Course in person at one of the sessions described above or on-line at nrvba.org.  The course lasts two Saturdays, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, 8 February and 11 April 2020.  Cost is $60 per student and includes a beginner’s book, course materials, and lunch; $30 for additional family members who share the book and course materials. The course will be held at 220 Price Hall on the Virginia Tech Campus and will include (weather permitting) a hands-on session in the NRVBA apiary. Seating is limited and pre-registration not later than    31 January 2020 is mandatory.  Click this link to reserve your spot: https://app.loveadmin.com/EventsLink/394dd2a26f81b362bd0823b8235785bf.htm. Registration will close on 31 January or when the class is full, whichever comes first!  Address questions to Jerry Borger, 540-557-7789.

November 14th Meeting:  

Jerry Borger presents, “Beeswax Candle-Making”

Jerry is a Pennsylvanian by birth, spent 28 years in the Air Force, and retired to southwestern Virginia in 2004.  He began beekeeping in 2006 and currently has 11 full-sized hives and 10 double-deep nucs.  He is a two-year past president of the New River Valley Beekeepers’ Association and has managed the Association’s Beginning Beekeeper’s Course for the past nine years. In addition to raising a few nucs and “mini-nucs” to sell each year, he takes honey bees out of buildings, and also sells a couple products he makes from beeswax. He is a big fan of trying new things, particularly enjoys playing with queen castles, and continues to look for new and exciting mistakes to make with his bees.

Please join us on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 6:30 pm at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg

Meeting Agenda

-Business:

  • Treasurer’s report
  • Apiary report
  • So, You Want to Be a Beekeeper?
  • Beginning Beekeepers Course
  • 2020 meeting topics

-What you should be doing with your bees:  Tips and ideas from     successful Association members.

– Featured Presentation:  Jerry Borger

-The Buffalo Jack Raffle: Please note: there will be no intermission so buy your tickets before the meeting or, quietly, any time during the meeting in the back of the room.   

Items will include:

10 medium frames w/ plastic foundation (assembled)

A 10-frame ventilated inner cover

A J-hook hive tool

Metal votive 6-candle mold with wicks

An 8-frame medium box {assembled and painted) w/8 each one-piece frames/foundation

-Close of formal meeting.  Join in for socializing, refreshments, and a time for asking questions.  Please consider bringing a snack or beverage to share.

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

Posted in NRVBA | Leave a comment

October 10th Meeting: Observation Hive with Josh Wolfer

Notes from Josh:

I have been a beekeeper since the spring of 2017.

I began with 2 packages and several weeks later started my observation hive with a supersedure cell from one of them.

I have had bees in it ever since and have learned a tremendous amount because of it.

My goal is to encourage everyone to use an observation hive as part of their beekeeping journey.

A few things we’ll cover are: what is an observation hive, are they hard to care for, what can I learn, and other ideas.

Please join us on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 6:30 pm at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg

Meeting Agenda

-Business:

  • Treasurer’s report
  • Apiary report
  • Hokie BugFest October 5th
  • Annual Meeting

             Treasurer Audit

              2020 Officer Election

-What you should be doing with your bees:  Tips and ideas from     successful Association members.

– Featured Presentation:  Josh Wolfer

-The Buffalo Jack Raffle: Please note: there will be no intermission so buy your tickets before the meeting or, quietly, any time during the meeting in the back of the room.   

Items will include:

Med 8-frame assembled box with one-piece frames and foundation

10 assembled med frames with plastic foundation

J-hook hive tool

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

Two division board plastic feeders (takes the place of a frame)

Frame grip

-Close of formal meeting.  Join in for socializing, refreshments, and a time for asking questions.  Please consider bringing a snack or beverage to share.

Posted in NRVBA | Leave a comment

September 12th Meeting

September 12th Meeting: Preparing for winter with Dr Rick Fell and Richard Reid

Dr Fell will present the biology of the wintering honeybee and Richard Reid will discuss the practical aspects of wintering colonies in our area.

Dr. Richard Fell is a retired professor of entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.  He is still involved as a professor emeritus.

Dr. Fell has contributed significantly to the understanding of entomology through his research, extension work in apiculture, and by conducting training workshops for beekeepers focusing on colony management, queen production, and the pests and diseases affecting honey bees.

Dr. Fell has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses ranging across the full entomology curriculum, placing strong emphasis on standards and student learning. He has also taught study-abroad courses in South Africa, Mali, Ecuador, Belize, and the Dominican Republic.

More recently, he served as interim head of the Department of Entomology.

Richard Reid is a long-time member and valued leader of the NRVBA.  He started beekeeping when it was easy to be a “beehaver” in the early ‘70s.  Then varroa came in the early 90s and all of Richard’s bees died out by 1995.  The equipment was stored for about a dozen years until 10 years ago when he started beekeeping the second time. 

 
In an effort to become a fulltime beekeeper, Richard tried to retire from a career in construction a little less than 4 years ago.  Out of the last 10 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 utilizing 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.

Please join us on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 6:30 pm at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg[E1] 

Meeting Agenda

-Business:

  • Treasurer’s report
  • Apiary report
  • Apparel Committee            
  • Montgomery Museum Heritage Day   August 24th   Bob Winton
  • Hokie BugFest October 5th
  • Annual Meeting October 10th

-What you should be doing with your bees:  Tips and ideas from     successful Association members.

– Featured Presentations:  Dr Rick Fell and Richard Reid

-The Buffalo Jack Raffle: Please note: there will be no intermission so buy your tickets before the meeting or, quietly, any time during the meeting in the back of the room.   

Items will include:

24 invertible plastic 1-lb honey jars

A medium 10 frame box, unassembled

A Varroa Easy Check kit

8-frame medium box assembled and painted with, one piece plastic foundation

10 deep frames with plastic foundation; unassembled

-Close of formal meeting.  Join in for socializing, refreshments, and a time for asking questions.  Please consider bringing a snack or beverage to share.

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

Posted in NRVBA | Leave a comment

August 8th Meeting: Zac Lamas, Summer Prep for Winter Success

Zachary Lamas is a PhD student in the vanEngelsdorp Lab at the University of Maryland. Zach’s background includes managing honey production and nucleus colonies for Mike Palmer at French Hill Apiaries in St. Albans, Vermont, and his own queen and nuc businesses in New York and North Carolina. He is also establishing a new nuc and queen operation in Maryland. He has taught in Mexico, Brazil, and Cuba, and has given talks to the American Beekeeping Foundation. Come learn about queens and how to get your colonies to the queen right position that will help them thrive.

ZAC SAYS: • Colonies with preexisting conditions aren’t going to do well during a period of stress- i.e. winter.  So, let’s take care of everything in our control during the midsummer- while time and warm weather are still a resource we still have- mites, queens, nutrition, body cavity. • We want to actively and effectively manage our varroa. This means not waiting until our worker bee and brood population are damaged before we react. We want to think of it this way- the damage we see is actually caused several reproductive cycles prior. • Time is a resource. In our apiaries we requeen way before the fall. Often queens with issues are not producing a lot of bees. Why wait until just before winter to requeen? Requeen so the new queen has a lot of time to build up a huge winter population! *Feed- Honey in the comb where the bees can have access during cold snaps is what we want. Let’s talk about efficient feeding!

*From Montgomery County Beekeepers Association, Maryland website

Please join us on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 6:30 pm at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg[E1] 

Meeting Agenda

-Business:

  • Treasurer’s report
  • Apiary report
  • Apparel Committee            
  • Montgomery Museum Heritage Day   August 24th   Bob Winton

Posted in NRVBA | Leave a comment

July 27th NRVBA PICNIC!!

Our annual picnic will replace the regular July meeting.  Please join us at 1:30 at Nellies Cave Park in Blacksburg.  The Association is providing meats, drinks, plates, napkins, etc.  Please bring a dish to share.  You may want to bring your own folding chairs and please bring a trash bag to help with cleanup.

Please join us on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 6:30 pm at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg for our next regular monthly meeting.  Zachary Lamas from the Department of Entomology, University of Maryland will be our speaker.

Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

Posted in NRVBA | Leave a comment

June 13th Meeting

June 13th Meeting: Queen Management: Problems and Replacement with Dr Richard Fell

Richard Fell is a retired professor of entomology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech but is still involved as a professor emeritus.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1979, Fell has contributed significantly to the understanding of entomology through his research and extension work in apiculture and by conducting training workshops for beekeepers that focused on colony management, queen production, and the pests and diseases affecting honey bees.

In addition, Fell advised numerous students on master’s degree and doctoral dissertations and helped them develop successful careers in both academic and industrial settings. He taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses ranging across the full entomology curriculum, placing strong emphasis on standards and student learning. He has also taught study-abroad courses in South Africa, Mali, Ecuador, Belize, and the Dominican Republic.

More recently, he served as interim head of the Department of Entomology.

Fell received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Cornell University.  At Cornell he studied under the well-known academic and author Roger Morse.  While there he had associates and connections with Tom Seeley, John Harbo, Mike Burgett and John Ambrose in addition to co-authoring research along with Roger Morse.  He is also well known for research in Virginia on Nosema, and more recently he is part of a research team awarded a grant to study the honey bee gut microbiome.

Please join us on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 6:30 pm at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg

Meeting Agenda

-Business:

  • Treasurer’s report
  • Apiary report
  • Apparel Committee
  • NRVBA Picnic   July 27th   Lori Kuszmaul                  
  • Montgomery Museum Heritage Day   August 24th   Bob Winton

-What you should be doing with your bees:  Tips and ideas from     successful Association members.

– Featured Presentation:  Dr. Richard Fell

-The Buffalo Jack Raffle: Please note: there will be no intermission so buy your tickets before the meeting or, quietly, any time during the meeting in the back of the room. Items will include:

1 ea pair leather gloves, Sz Med

1 ea 8-frame screened bottom board

1 ea 8-frame assembled medium box with one-piece plastic frames/foundation

10 ea assembled deep frames with plastic foundation

1 ea frame grip

-Close of formal meeting.  Join in for socializing, refreshments, and a time for asking questions.  Please consider bringing a snack or beverage to share.

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

Posted in NRVBA | Leave a comment