April 13th Meeting: Hardy Survivor Stock

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 13th April at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg when Judge O’Hanlon from West Virginia will talk about producing queens and hardy  survivor stock.

Dan O’Hanlon has been a beekeeper & queen producer in West Virginia for many decades.  He is an officer in his local bee club and the founder of the West Virginia Queen Producers, an organization dedicated to supporting local queen producers.  Dan led the effort to pass the first bill in the nation granting beekeepers immunity from civil liability.  Dan was selected as the 2011 Beekeeper of the Year by the WV Beekeepers Association.

We will 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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March 9th Meeting: Swarms, Splits and Nucs

Swarms, splits and nucs: Management from a hobbyist’s perspective.

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 9th March at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg when NRVBA member Bob Whiton will talk about managing swarms, and making splits and nucs. Maintaining a small apiary is difficult as the beekeeper is annually faced with either disastrous losses or an unmanageable surplus of bees. Nucs provide the flexibility needed to stabilize the backyard apiary without large investments of money or space.

Bob has kept two or three hives in his back yard for 11 years without treatments.

 

We will have our monthly beekeeper raffle and a “what should you be doing with your hives this month” discussion, and discuss new wording for our bylaws.

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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February 9th meeting: Building your own hives

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 9th February at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg when NRVBA members Richard Reid, Jim Hill, Glenn Buss and Jerry Borger will show us various aspects of woodenware construction, including how to make and assemble your own bee keeping equipment.  They will review the check list of basic beekeeping equipment needs.

We will have our monthly beekeeper raffle and a “what should you be doing with your hives this month” discussion, and discuss new wording for our bylaws.

Please consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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January 2017 meeting on Thursday 12th

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 12th January at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg when Mark Bennett from Dadant in Chatham, VA will be our speaker.  He’ll be discussing what’s new in beekeeping equipment, what equipment/supplies to consider for gearing up for spring, items for queen-rearing, and perhaps a few sideline areas, like candle and soap-making.

If you’re planning on doing some splits for the first time this year, or maybe raising some queens, etc., you might want to consider ordering a nuc box or two, or maybe a queen hotel or doublescreen.  Or perhaps you just need regular woodenware.

He’ll be bringing his van, so if you would like to place an order for any beekeeping supplies, call the Dadant Chatham number, (877-220-8325), place your order and ask that Mark bring it with him–no shipping charge.  He should have it available for pickup a few (~about 15) minutes before our meeting starts.

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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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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