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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Join the NRVBA or Renew Current Membership

In order to join the NRVBA or to renew your current membership, there are two options:

  1. You can send a check ($10 Individual/$15 Family) to our mailing address, which is:

NRVBA

PO Box 6

Pilot, VA 24138

  1. You can send money to the club’s PayPal account.  The PayPal ID for the club is our Gmail address, nrvbeekeepersassoc@gmail.com.

Whichever option you use, please send us an email at nrvbeekeepersassoc@gmail.com. Please give us ALL of your contact information, even if it hasn’t changed; name(s), postal address, email address and phone number. (This will save our VOLUNTEERS a lot of time.)

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Zoom Video of the 11/12/2020 NRVBA Monthly Meeting

Click here to view the Zoom recording of our last members meeting.

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November 12, 2020 Meeting: Mike Palmer’s video presentation

Comb Honey Production

Many of you are familiar with Mike Palmer.  Mike began beekeeping with two package hives in 1974 and now owns French Hill Apiaries at St Albans, Vermont where he annually produces over one thousand queens and manages over 1000 production hives and nucleus colonies.  Mike is a prolific writer and has lectured worldwide on his methods of beekeeping.  This is Mike’s presentation at the 2013 National Honey Show.

Carl Lefko will send a meeting invitation prior to Thursday.  This meeting, like the others, will be recorded.

Meeting Agenda

Business:

Apiary Report: Bob Whiton

Treasurer’s Audit: Carl Lefko

Election of 2021 Officers: Bill Hendon

What you should be doing with your bees

Featured Presentation:  Mike Palmer

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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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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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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