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

-Business:

  • 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

-Business:

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

-Business:

  • Apiary report
  • Annual business meeting
  • SYWTBAB/BBC
  • 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

-Business:

  • 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

EXTRACTOR CHECKOUT AND USE GUIDELINES

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!

IMPORTANT: READ THIS FIRST – Power Extractor

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!

EXTRACTOR CLEANING PROCEDURES

EXTRACTOR

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.

FILTERS,

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.

BUCKETS,

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.

DECAPPING KNIFE

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.

FINALLY

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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May 14, 2020 Meeting Agenda

May 14, 2020 Meeting:  Jim Hill, NRVBA Treasurer will present: 

Queen Rearing, Slightly Simplified.  

Jim Hill is originally from the DC area and lived in Alaska for 30 years after being assigned there as an Air Force F-4 pilot.  Jim is a retired aviator with experience in the Air Force (F-4), Army (fixed wing and helicopters, long story) and a number of civilian flying jobs.  He intercepted Russian jets off the coast of Alaska and later, after the fall of the Soviet Union, flew some of the first air ambulance flights to bring critically ill patients from the Russian Far East to U. S. hospitals for treatment.  Jim retired from the military in 2005 and moved to Virginia where his mother lived on the farm in Pilot that he, and his wife, Marilyn, now own.  

Jim’s maternal grandfather was a beekeeper in Dungannon, in Scott County, VA.  When he was growing up in Alexandria, VA they always had a big jar of his honey in the house.  That planted a seed, so to speak.  After resettling here, he had the space and the time available to take up beekeeping.  Having seen a newspaper notice about the NRVBA, he took the Beginner Beekeeping Course in 2007 and has had bees since then.

The topic of Jim’s presentation is Queen Rearing, Slightly Simplified.  He will give a brief overview of the “classic” Doolittle queen rearing method

(grafting).  He will follow by showing how he raised queens last year in a slightly simpler way.  The main points Jim will convey are that queen rearing does not have to be complicated, grafting is easy and the whole process is a satisfying and fun way to make your beekeeping more sustainable.   

Please join us on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 6:30 pm on Zoom.  A meeting invitation, with connection information, will be sent to members prior to the meeting.    

Meeting Agenda -Business:

▪   Treasurer’s report

-What you should be doing with your bees

– Featured Presentation: Jim Hill

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

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Hive Equipment Loans

Due to you know what (Covid-19) the board has decided to suspend all equipment loans for the time being. This includes the hive carrier, the honey extractor, and the teaching hives. When we receive further guidance from the proper authorities, we will resume loaning the association’s equipment.

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April 9, 2020 Meeting

Richard Reid will present:

Splits and Nucs – Expand and Sustain your Beekeeping

Richard will explain the basics for sustaining your apiary using your own bees to ensure that you always have bees to work with, and in the process, give you a higher degree of understanding of your beekeeping hobby, sideline, or business.  The goal is more satisfaction and enjoyment from your beekeeping.

Richard Reid started beekeeping when it was easy to be a “beehaver” in the early 70s.  That first spring, the trial by fire consisted of catching 9 swarms out of the handful of broken down hives at the rental house in Giles County.  He thought tanging was the way to make a swarm settle down from their flight.  A couple bee classes, and books and pamphlets, were all that was needed to harvest honey and make splits every year.  Then varroa came in the early 90s.  All Richard’s bees died out by 1995 and he ordered his first package of bees.  It died in two months.  The equipment was stored for about almost a dozen years until 12 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 almost 5 years ago. It’s been a little up and down, but out of the last 12 years he has managed to expand his operation each of those years except one.  The management has changed to adapt to problems, but the one most important thing that makes his operation sustainable is expansion through splitting and utilizing nucleus colonies.

Please join us on Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm on Zoom.  A meeting invitation, with connection information, will be sent to members prior to the meeting.   

Meeting Agenda

-What you should be doing with your bees

– Featured Presentation: Richard Reid

-Emory B. Altizer, NRVBA President

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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

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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

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