RPBBA Holiday Party and Pot Luck

Ho! Ho! Ho! Or should I say Buzz, Buzz, Buzz?

Time is rapidly approaching for the Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeeper’s Holiday Potluck. Instead of a regular monthly meeting, we get together in December to eat, drink, converse and exchange gifts. The party will be held at the nature center on December 9, 2019 at 7:00 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM).

Below is a form for signups and to let us know what food you will be bringing. Please complete the form so we can have a feel for the number of folks coming and the food that will be available. We ask that you consider bringing either entrees, side dishes or desserts. We usually are a little heavy on the desserts, but it is that time of year. Please bring a dish with enough food for you, your guest and four to five other people.

We will have a gift exchange. Gifts should be less than a $20 value. If the gift is beekeeping related, even better. Please bring the gift wrapped. The gift exchange will be a fun event with some stealing of gifts built into the game. Details will be revealed at the party.

We hope to see you there. This is a great time to just talk bees, have some delicious food and enjoy each other’s company. It is also a great time to show off those family recipes.

Reminder – we will close nominations for the Board of Directors at mid-night on December 2, 2019. If you want to participate at the club leadership level, you may nominate yourself or others. You can send me an email with your nomination (rockwood.beekeepers).

December notes:

Events to Watch for in the Hive – You should stay out of the hive this month. Make sure the entrance and ventilation holes are not blocked. Make sure the mouse guard is not chewed through. Plug any large holes in the brood boxes to prevent drafts.

Tasks to Be Performed – Read a good book on beekeeping; study the latest research reports on bee health. Review what worked well and what you might want to change next year. Request catalogs.

Full calendar can be found at https://buzzwordhoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Northern-Virginia-Honeybee-Annual-Cycle.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2SisVuCaMcUQ5Im3VylV94yLtAtYNHLZ_A1wU1W0uCjD533shCTLjONt0

I look forward to seeing you at the December party,

Don Osborne


Form for party attendance: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1aWT8TpWoXvOmdVMlsEhO43KeVzA-UpgmrFbCye2jHDc/edit

Purdue Ankle Biters and Red Line Mite Mauler Queens – Apple Grove Beekeepers Association

Opportunity to Purchase Purdue Ankle Biter and Red Line Mite Mauler Queens Spring 2020

Apple Grove Beekeepers Association would like to offer the opportunity to purchase Purdue and Mite Mauler queens again this year. We are extending this invitation to members of other regional bee clubs.

John Beers is working with Howard Baldwin, an Ohio queen breeder who supplied open mated Purdue Ankle Biter Queens and Red Line Italian Mite Maulers for $30 plus shipping last year. This year our intention is to drive to Ohio and pickup the queens directly from Mr. Baldwin. Because this group purchase will be performed through the Apple Grove Beekeepers Association we will add $2 per queen to the cost to benefit the club. I estimate $35 per queen will cover all our costs. To ensure delivery for a week between mid-June to mid-July to be specified we will place our order on January 15, 2020. Make checks out to Apple Grove Beekeepers Association. Checks should be mailed to and queens picked up at the home of John Beers, 991 Belle Meade Road, Bumpass, VA, 23024, phone 804-205-4403. All orders and the money for queens must be received by 5 PM on Tuesday January 14, 2020. No orders will be accepted without the full payment.

Purdue Ankle Biter bees demonstrate the behavior of attacking varroa mites and chewing their legs off. This is just one of several behaviors that help bees deal with the varroa mite on their own without treatment. Red Line Italian Mite Maulers have very strong jaws and are able to chew the body of the varroa mites. Minnesota Hygienic and Varroa Sensitive Hybrids (VSH) demonstrate the ability to detect pupa infected with varroa mites after the cells are capped and then to remove them preventing the varroa mites from multiplying in that cell. Russian bees are naturally resistant to varroa mites because they evolved in the presence of the mites. All of these behaviors are genetically transferred to these bees offspring making them better able to deal with varroa mites without treatment.

Why should you consider purchasing Purdue Ankle Biter Queens or Italian Mite Maulers?

1. Improved ability to deal with varroa mites which can reduce stress on the bees.

2. Drones produced by these queens will spread their genetics through the area and to native bees.

3. If you are organic and do not treat these bees have a better chance of survival over time.

4. If you do treat, these bees may not need to be treated as frequently.

5. To make splits with to replace winter losses.

6. To re-queen a hive that is doing poorly.

Making splits to replace winter losses and generate new hives is likely the most common reason someone would do this. Splits are normally made up in July using two frames of brood and a queen or queen cell in a five frame box. We will discuss how to go about this and what is involved at the May-June club meetings.

If you are interested in this opportunity please respond to this email.

For more information: Baldwin’s Bee Bizz, 330-553-9371, baldwinsbeebizz.com

Contact John Beers for more information at 804-205-4403 or applegrovebees@gmail.com

John Beers



Our next monthly Meeting

Greetings Beeks!
It’s time for our next monthly meeting!
Next Monday, Oct 14 at 7:00pm we will gather at the Rockwood Park Nature Center. I hope you can be there.

This month we will be hearing from our very own Rob Wokaty, speaking to us about Winter Prep. Rob is incredibly knowledgeable and always engaging as a speaker. I know you will learn a lot, no matter your experience level.

Hope to see you then!
David Brown

Annual Picnic Saturday September 21

Greetings Beeks!

The annual picnic will be at Gregory Pond (see attached map), Saturday, September 21, 3pm till dusk. We still need volunteers to help with food, drinks, foodware (utensils, plates, napkins, plastic glasses, trash bags, etc), and clean up.

The club will provide chicken – please bring salads and desserts to share. If you prefer a different meat, feel free to bring that along.

Please email Bruce Hamond at comish29 to let him know how many are coming so he knows how much chicken to prepare.

Hope to see you there!

David Brown

501(c)3 Application update

Beek Members:

An application has been filed with the Virginia State Corporate Commission to make the Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers Association a no Stock Non-profit entity. Review and approval is expected to take between one and three weeks. An announcement when the application has been approved will be forthcoming.

This is the first step in becoming a 501(c)(3) entity. Obtaining that status was approved by the membership in the past month or so. Once the state has granted No stock, Non-profit status to the Association, we will file for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.

David Brown