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