Wintering Bees in the Virginia Mountains

Richard Reid has graciously shared his presentation entitled “Wintering Bees in the Virginia Mountains.” You can view it by going to the tab entitled “Member Resources” and then by clicking on the menu item “Presentations.” The presentations are listed in alphabetical order. Since the file is quite large, be patient and give it time to load. Remember to give Richard a pat on the back.

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Queen Rearing Basics

Jim and Jerry are going to present the topic of queen rearing basics at our upcoming Zoom meeting this Thursday night. They plan to share methods with us that are appropriate for the small-time beekeeper. Jim mentioned that there is an hour and ten minute video Queen Rearing Basics that was recorded as part of the Penn State Pollinator series. Please be sure to watch this video before Thursday. Of course, if you cannot attend, watch the Penn State video at your leisure.

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Bee Package and Queen Ordering Instructions

The information to either order bee packages or queens is in the PDF document below.

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Appeal to Members

Welcome to spring, when young (and old) people’s thoughts turn to love…of beekeeping!!
For our new members, as was explained in the first session of the Beginning Beekeeper’s Course, the best number of colonies to start with is two.  Not one(you lose too many options, too much flexibility), not three (can easily become overwhelming), but two. It’s not too late to change your plans, but time is getting short.

As a reminder, the NRVBA has arranged purchase and subsidized the re-sale to NRVBA members of 130 packages with a required purchase of a replacement VSH queen. To date, less than a fifth of that number has been spoken for. Additionally, the NRVBA has arranged purchase and subsidized the re-sale to NRVBA members of 100 VSH queens (without packages).  Only about 80 percent of these have been claimed. Since our suppliers require an advanced downpayment, in a few days we will have to go back to them and drastically reduce our order.  This may also mean we will have to drive to Chatham to get our packages rather than have them delivered to Christiansburg, since we may not have a large enough order to make it “worth the trip” for our supplier.
The Association made these arrangements to inject some VSH traits into the local environment.  The more VSH offspring drones available to mate with VSH (or even non-VHS) daughter queens, the more mite-resistant our local queens will become.  Unfortunately, this is not a single year effort.  We began last year, with members purchasing 165 (NRVBA-subsidized) VSH queens.  

The NRVBA Board of Directors strongly believe this is a long-term effort worth pursuing, and collectively urge you to reconsider your plans and see if more packages or VSH queens are a good fit.Best Wishes!

Carl Lefko, President NRVBA

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Informative Internet Videos

For those of you who are new to our association, we offer a resource that includes informative Internet videos. These have been contributed by our membership. They cover the gamut of the art and science of beekeeping. To find them select the Member Resources tab and then pick the category Informative Internet Videos. They also serve as a great resource for the experienced beekeeper as well. Of course, if you have found a resource that may be of interest to our membership, simply add it to the Hive List Serve.

To check out our latest post click this link.

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Virginia Cooperative Extension Workshop

Sharon shared this Virginia Cooperative Workshop. Its focus it upon beekeepers with less than five years experience. To take part, you must first register. It will be a free Zoom call. Click on the following link to register.

Topics will include bee ecology, hive components and construction, beekeeping equipment, bee nucs, bee packages, feeding and caring for bees, integrated pest management and colony collapse disorder.

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2021 NRVBA NUC Suppliers

The beekeepers on this list have all volunteered to make nucs available to beginning beekeepers, and we are grateful for their support.  However, all financial transactions are between the buyer and seller, and the NRVBA does not provide any warranty for purchases.

Alissa Carter.  a84smith@gmail.com   Blacksburg

  • Five frame medium and deep nucs and 10 frame deep nucs.
  • VSH Italian queens
  • $185/$245

Miranda Cox-Pitts.   coxmiranda1992@gmail.com  304 308 0953. Bland/Blacksburg

  • Five frame deep nucs
  • $145

Jerry Borger.   twoltcols@verizon.net   540-557-7789, 1260 Running Buck Rd, C-burg.

  • Five frame deep nucs
  • Overwintered, VSH Italian queens
  • $185

Brian Craig.   briancraig05@icloud.com  540-250-9954

  • Five frame nucs, mostly deeps, a few mediums
  • Overwintered, marked queens, local mutts from Floyd and Carroll Counties
  • $175

Herman Hearn.  hermanandtheresa@gmail.com  540-558-8509  2941 Blackberry Lane              Hiwassee, Va 24347

  • Five frame nucs, deep and medium
  • Italian queens
  • $185

Fred Jones.   fcjiiiart@gmail.com   Pilot

  • Five frame deep nucs, a few mediums
  • Mostly Carniolans, some Italian
  • $170

Jeff Miller.  hortman48@verizon.net   540-250-6264.  383 Coal Hollow Rd. Christiansburg VA  24073-6721.

  • Five and 10 frame medium nucs.
  • VSH Carniolan
  • $125/$225

Brian Murphy.  murphybr@vt.edu   Craig Co.

  • Five frame deep and medium nucs
  • Carniolan stock
  • $180.  Order by Mar. 1

Richard Reid, Happy Hollow Bees.   rkereid@comcast.net

  • Five frame medium nucs
  • $175.    Order by Mar. 1

Noah Renno.  Appalachian Bee Farm, 149 Mountain View Lane, White Gate VA, 24134.  phone 540-922-5378. email bees@emypeople.net            

  • Five frame deep nucs
  • Survivor mix, mostly Italian
  • $175 (inc. box)

Josh Wolfer.   joshlwolfer@gmail.com  1702 Beaver Creek Rd Floyd

  • Five frame medium nucs
  • Overwintered, marked VSH queens, Italian and Carniolan
  • $175.    Orders beginning March 1.

Mark Donovan; T/A Donovan’s Honey Hill; 2294 Pony Farm Rd. Maidens, Va. 23102 Beebuddybench@gmail.com 804 339 7820

  • Overwintered 5 frame medium nucs are $225. 
  • 2021 5 frame medium nucs are $180. 

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Observation Hives: A Presentation by Frank Linton of the Virginia Beekeepers Association

The Virginia State Beekeepers Association will host a presentation by Frank Linton on March 10, 2021 at 7:00 pm.

Observing Honey Bees at Home

You cannot be a good beekeeper if you don’t know much about bees. And it is hard to learn much about bees when they are hidden away in an opaque wooden box on the far side of the yard. It doesn’t matter what you are trying to learn – French, air guitar, or beekeeping – if you don’t do it three times a week, you won’t get anywhere. But if you inspect your colonies three times a week… no, not a good idea. So, what to do? One possibility, one I learned a lot from, is to keep a small colony in a glass hive in your house, an observation hive. I kept an observation hive in the room where I spent a lot of time and every time their tone changed, I took a look. I saw more in a year than many backyard beekeepers see in a lifetime. And every year is different. In this talk I will show you how to keep bees in an observation hive and learn from them.

Go to the VSBA website for more information.

Zoom Access

Meeting ID: 985 5642 5722

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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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