April 11th Meeting

April 11th Meeting:  Splits and Nucs- Expand your Beekeeping and the UniqueOpportunities of Queen Hotels   All in One Night!

Please join us on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 6:30 pm at the Montgomery County Health and Human Services Building at 210 Pepper St., Christiansburg  for two veteran beekeeper’s presentations on methods for increasing and sustaining your apiary using your own bees!

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 a dozen years until 10 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 a little less than 4 years ago.  It’s been a little up and down, but out of the last 10 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 utilizing nucleus colonies.

Splits and Nucs – Expand and Sustain Your Beekeeping.  Richard will give you 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.

While nucs and splits are traditional “increase” tools each beekeeper should be familiar with, Jerry will review some of the unique advantages and opportunities offered by Queen Hotels/Queen Castles, along with how to deal with a hiccup or two when using them.

Jerry is a Pennsylvanian by birth, spent 28 years in the Air Force, and retired to southwestern Virginia in 2004.  He began beekeeping in 2006 and routinely maintains a roughly even mix of full-sized hives and double-deep nucs, totaling about 20.  He is a two-year past president of the New River Valley Beekeepers’ Association and has managed the Association’s Beginning Beekeeper’s Course for the past nine years. In addition to raising a few nucs and “mini-nucs” to sell each year, he takes honey bees out of buildings, and also sells a couple products he makes from beeswax. He is a big fan of trying new things and particularly enjoys playing with queen hotels.

Meeting Agenda


  • Treasurer’s report
  • Apiary report
  • Education update
  • Apparel Committee
  • July Picnic

-What you should be doing with your bees:  Tips and ideas from     successful Association members.

– Featured Presentations: 

Splits and Nucs- Expand and Sustain Your Beekeeping and

UniqueAdvantages and Opportunities of Queen Castles  

-The Buffalo Jack Raffle: Please note: there will be no intermission so buy your tickets before the meeting or, quietly, any time during the meeting in the back of the room. Items will include:

 J-hook Hive tool

 Varroa Easy Check (alcohol wash) kit

 Increase Essentials book by Connor

 10 sheets of med plastic foundation, with 10 unassembled med frames

 20 sheets of med crimp-wired wax foundation

-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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