May 14th: Queen Rearing

Join the New River Valley Beekeepers Association at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 14th at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg to learn more about Queen Rearing from two of our members, Jerry Borger and Tim Service.

queenJerry Borger will talk about “Queens for Pennies”. This is a step-by-step presentation reviewing equipment and procedures on how to raise about 10 queens at a time for pennies apiece using a Randy Oliver method of grafting (not the commercial procedure) that can be easily practiced by almost anyone.  No experience or exceptional skills needed.

imagesTim Service will present “Commercial Queen Rearing”.  The production of queens on a commercial level requires many steps that aren’t used by backyard beekeepers.   Tim Service will discuss a few of his methods for producing large numbers of queens at a time, focusing on starting and finishing the cells.

Jerry was raised in Pennsylvania.  He spent 28 years active duty in the Air Force and retired to SW Virginia in 2004. He lives on the side of a timbered mountain with no crops anywhere nearby.  He began beekeeping around 2006.   He is a two-year past president of the NRVBA.  He has managed the Association’s Beginning Beekeeper Course and “So,You Want To Be a Beekeeper” efforts for the past six years or so. He continues to look for new and exciting mistakes to make with his bees.

Tim began keeping bees in 1977, getting his first packages from Sears & Roebuck.  He’s kept anywhere from 10 to 20 hives as a hobbyist until 2011.  That hard winter left beekeepers with a severe shortage of queens that spring.  So he decided to provide a much needed resource in the world of beekeeping.  He’s slowly grown in queen-rearing skills and capacity to the point where it is now his major occupation.  He still does construction work on a selective basis.

We’ll also have our monthly equipment raffle, information on what we should be seeing in our hives this month, and suggested management techniques for spring.

Consider bringing a snack or drink to share.

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