November 10th Meeting: “A History of Top Bar Hives”

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 10th November at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg  when Dr  Marcel Durieux will give a talk “From ‘appropriate technology’ to ‘balanced beekeeping’: a history of the top bar hive.”

topbar

Top bar hives have recently become popular in the western world, but the system has a very long history and in fact revolutionized beekeeping by allowing management and inspection for the first time. In this talk, Dr Durieux gives an overview of the history of the top bar hive, touching on items as diverse as other hive systems in use prior to the invention of the movable-comb hive, top bar hive use in Greece in the 1600s, the development of the Kenya top bar hive for African beekeeping, and the current interest in the system as a part of “balanced beekeeping”.

Marcel Durieux MD, PhD is professor of anesthesiology at the University of Virginia, and a backyard beekeeper with an interest in bee biology. Much of his academic research focuses on improving outcomes after surgery. Another part of his professional work involves teaching in developing countries, which has led to an ongoing collaboration with beekeepers in Rwanda. Prof. Durieux has published several articles in our beekeeping journals.

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

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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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, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm: the first will be 4 February 2017 to enable students to learn how to acquire honey bees and equipment in time to get them for use in the spring of 2017; the second date is 8 April 2017 and will include how to handle and care for honey bees along with (weather permitting) 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 26 January 2017 is mandatory.

Address questions to Jerry Borger, twoltcols@verizon.net 540-382-1798.

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October 13th: Honey Tasting

Please join us at the next meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday October 13th at the Montgomery County Health and Human Sejarrvices Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg  when   member and NRVBA Secretary Sue Hossack will give directions for making creamed honey.

We will also have a tasting of members’ honey so bring a jar or two to share!

 

The equipment raffle will be held and we will be discussing what we should be doing to help the bees prepare for winter.

Please consider bringing a drink or snack to share. 

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September 8th meeting: The AZ Hive

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday September 8th  at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg  when long-time member and past-president Mark Chorba will talk about “The AZ Hive- Beekeeping from another point of view”

Slohive2The AZ hive is an old way of the beekeepers of Slovenia (Mark’s ancestral home). This hive originated there in the mountains and valleys of Slovenia and has been preserved till today.  Not so readily available it is however being brought into America by a few people who want a different way to keep bees.  The Langstroth is however still superior. These AZ hives are built to fit into a “bee house” and are grouped together closely, brightly painted and easy to work.  They don’t come apart like Langstroths or other hives . The hive sits in the exterior wall of the house with the front facing out. It has a door on the back (inside the house) and once opened, the frames of bees slide out to be inspected. Honey is stored above and is removed the same way. No more lifting heavy hives or supers. Any bees that fly out can go out through the window and return to the hive in the front.

Mark reports that he does  have one of these hives, but is waiting until next spring to set it up properly and to add bees and get a better assessment.

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

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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August 11th Meeting: Learning About Risk from Well-Trained Bees

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday August 11th  at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg  when PhD candidate James M. Wilson will talk about “Learning About Risk from Well-Trained Bees.”

Pesticide risk to non-target organisms can be easily thought of as the combination of exposure to the pesticide and the toxicity of that pesticide.  If there is not a route of exposure then the risk is very small.  Conversely, if the toxicity of the pesticide is minimal, then risk is as well.  James has been working on a new insecticide that is very specific in what insects it affects.  Because the insecticide label will include use on pollination-dependent fruit crops there has been concern about its potential effects on honey bees.  He has built high tunnels, which are typically used as temporary greenhouses, to use as flight cages for the bees he wanted to study.  He introduces nucleus colonies of bees to this structure and trains them to artificial feeders.  Then he introduces the insecticide in question and records what happens.  To hear more, please come to the meeting  and find out!

James is originally from coastal North Carolina and majored in Fisheries and Wildlife Science at NC State.  He started his masters in entomology with Dr. Rick Fell on forensic entomology in wildlife in January of 2009.  Through his research and teaching assistantships, he has gained all kinds of experience in beekeeping.  He most recently taught the Bees and Beekeeping lecture and lab sections this spring semester at Virginia Tech.  He is currently finishing up his PhD in entomology on an integrated pest management approach to cucurbit production in Virginia.  This has led him down the path of assessing risk of new and common insecticides to pollinators and honey bees in particular.  He has come to enjoy the mountains as his new home and loves to fish and mountain bike throughout the area and seasons.

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

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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Summer Picnic, July 23rd 2016 at Nellie’s Cave Park, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

OK, it’s time to sign up for the summer picnic, and  take a break from cracking open all those hives.  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
nelliescave (https://goo.gl/nkJ9Mg) for the Google map.

The shelter contains 12 tables and seats approximately 100. Shelter has water, electricity, restrooms, playground, grill, eight horseshoe pits, basketball court, athletic field.Handicapped accessible.

This 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, side dishes. drinks, additions to above list. Game items/frisbees/volleyballs/etc. Please sign up so we can get a head count to be sure to have enough inventory!

 

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Next Field Day: June 23rd at 5:30pm

The next field day at the association’s beeyard will be held on Thursday evening, 23rd June, at 5:30 p.m. We are trying to vary the day and time of these field days so that everyone will have a chance to participate.

Directions to the NRVBA Apiary – Take the Prices Fork exit off the Rt 460 bypass in Blacksburg. Go west on Prices Fork, away from town. It is about 1.5 miles to the stoplight at Old Mill Rd. Take a right and go 0.7 miles to the gate on the left. Pull in to park.  If you are coming from the Radford direction on Prices Fork turn left on Old Mill Rd at the light directly across from the Prices Fork entrance to Blacksburg High School.

Here’s a Google Maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/M7Xj46MgF472

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June 9th Meeting: Honey Extraction Techniques

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 9th June at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg  when long time member Jerry Borger will discuss honey extraction techniques.

extract

Jerry will briefly introduce production of various types of honey, then focus on extraction (including a few innovations), bottling, and labeling of liquid honey by backyard beekeepers.

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

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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May 12th Meeting: “Honeybee House Hunting”

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 12th May at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg  when Dr  Marcel Durieux will give a talk on Honeybee House Hunting.

Swarm

This talk is based on Professor Tom Seeley’s book “Honeybee Democracy”, which describes his research into how a swarm locates a new nesting site.  Dr Durieux will summarize the scientific data, focusing on those areas that are of most interest to the general beekeeper. Also discussed will be some of the history on how this research came to be. An article on building a bait hive will also be discussed.

Marcel Durieux MD, PhD is professor of anesthesiology at the University of Virginia, and a backyard beekeeper with an interest in bee biology. Much of his academic research focuses on improving outcomes after surgery. Another part of his professional work involves teaching in developing countries, which has led to an ongoing collaboration with beekeepers in Rwanda. Prof. Durieux has published several articles in our beekeeping journals.

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

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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April Meeting: Dwight Porter on Queen Rearing

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 14th April at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg  when South Carolina-based Russian queen and bee breeder Dwight Porter of Porter Farm Honey Bees will talk about his queen production operation and making splits. He is always happy to answer questions. He is a former member of the Russian Queen Breeders Association and a former officer in the Pickens County Beekeepers Associations.

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.

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

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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