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
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
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.
- Apiary report
-What you should be doing with your
and ideas from successful Association
– Featured Presentations:
Splits and Nucs- Expand and Sustain
Your Beekeeping and
UniqueAdvantages and Opportunities of Queen Castles
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
20 sheets of med crimp-wired wax foundation
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