October Newsletter – RPBBA

Hello beekeepers and honey bee enthusiasts,
Our bees are finally settling down as we ease into cooler weather. Our hive pests, like the small hive beetle and wax moths, seem to be doing the same. For those who attended the September meeting with Keith Tignor discussing Winter prep, I hope you feel comfortable and have all your questions answered. If anyone out there is still looking for guidance, the club is here with many smiling faces to help. The RPBBA Practical Beekeeping Group (Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers Group) is a great first start for those who use Facebook. You can also come out to a meeting or email us! There is time for some last minute preparations and questions.

RPBBA Calendar of Events
๐Ÿ“… Monday, Oct 10th – RPBBA Meeting @ 7pm
๐Ÿ“… Saturday, Oct 15th – Last Day to Cast a Vote for Board of Directors
๐Ÿ“… Monday, Oct 17th – Study Group @ 7pm

October Meeting

For October, our club meeting will be 7pm, Monday, October 10th at the Rockwood Park Nature Center. Our very own, John Davis, will be giving a presentation. RPBBA is lucky to have John, a master beekeeper; he has a wealth of knowledge and is always helping others with their hives. John will be talking with us at the October meeting on clues to look for in the hive now to prepare for Spring. Spring will be here before you know it. Letโ€™s learn to read our hives, find clues the bees are giving us, and use the Winter months to bee ahead of the bees come Spring. Meeting will begin at 7pm. Doors open at 6:30pm. Add to Google Calendar

Club News – Board of Directors Nominations
Members Theo Hartmann, Jody Conway, Sherry Kelley, and Don Osbourne have been nominated, and willfully accepted, to serve on the Board of Directors of the Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers Association. Following this newsletter, a separate email will be sent to RPBBA members with a link to cast their vote. The Board asks that members approve the slate as shown. Please vote once for the slate of candidates. Voting will continue until midnight, Saturday, October 15, 2022.

๐Ÿ VSBA Master Beekeeping Study Group
For those who have never checked it out, the study group is a great way for RPBBA members to further their beekeeping knowledge. Several members are studying for the annual VSBA Apprentice and Journeyman exams, however there is no requirement for attendees to be pursuing certification. The study group is open to all members who want to learn. The study group is an informal group setting. During their sessions, questions from the VSBA Apprentice Study Guide are posed for the group to discuss and answer together. There is much to learn during open discussion with our peers!

The study group meets monthly on the 3rd Monday of each month. Theyโ€™ll next be meeting Monday, October 17th, 7pm, at the Nature Center. The group will continue to go through the VSBA Apprentice Study Guide questions, provide answers, and discuss. Those interested to attend are encouraged to download the guide in advance and start working through the questions on their own. Add to Google Calendar

Beehive Distribution Program
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is offering their Beehive Distribution Program again this year. Applications for the Beehive Distribution Program (Program) will be accepted October 26, 2022 through November 10, 2022. When the application period opens on October 26, a link to the online application will be made available on this webpage, under a section titled โ€œAPPLICATION.โ€ Recipients of beehive units will be selected at random from qualifying applications. Individuals are encouraged to provide a valid email address with their application since notifications regarding the status of an application will be sent by email. Applications from individuals who were not selected to receive beehive units this year, will not be carried forward to next yearโ€™s Program.

For more information, including how to apply, visit https://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/plant-industry-services-beehive-distribution-program.shtml?fbclid=IwAR2fxdAUa35rbxPp0BWsvbKSwDkALAuNm0rr1M3DZSTOYpA0xAD-6HeeO5Q

Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA)
Reminder: VSBA Annual Meeting and Master Beekeeper Testing
The Fall VSBA meeting will be November 4 & 5th at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, VA. This is also when testing for Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master Beekeeper certifications is completed. If you’re behind on your studying, consider coming to join the RPBBA Study Group mentioned above. Mark your calendar for the VSBA conference: Add to Google Calendar

More information about the VSBA programs can be found on their website: https://www.virginiabeekeepers.org/

Bee Vocabulary – โ€œCorbiculaโ€
Also known as the Pollen Basket. This is a flattened depression on the outside of the beeโ€™s back legs. It is used to carry collected pollen from flowers back to the hive. As the bee returns to the hive the beekeeper can often see full pollen baskets in a variety of vibrant colors.

Beekeepers in the News
What Genetic Sequencing Can Reveal About The Secret Lives Of Bees
If you missed the story, you can read it at: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/how-bee-genomes-can-help-answer-questions-from-conservation-to-climate-change

This Month in the Hive (October)
The bees are settling down for the winter. Varroa mites should be under control. The bees are reducing entrances and drafts with propolis and consolidating stored honey from the outer reaches of the hive to the center. The brood nest is about 8 inches across and egg laying has slowed to 200-300 per day. On cold nights, the cluster forms around the queen, and may remain tight until temperatures rise. Drones are gone by month end in almost all hives.

It is unlikely that the frost will hold off enough to permit much nectar-gathering. In some years, the frost does not come until after October 10 and some gathering of nectar may occur. Asters, daisies, and goldenrod may provide substantial amounts of pollen for winter brood.

Watch for robbing on warm days. Wax moths work diligently to enter the hives at night and lay eggs until a hard frost kills the adult moths. Look for continued egg production and capped brood, as new bees are needed to keep the population strong for the winter.

Combine weak hives. Watch out for robbing this month. Finish feeding for the winter. Remove all honey supers not intended as a source of honey for the winter. Remove Apistan or other chemical strips if you used them, assuming you have had them in for 42 days. Attend your bee club meeting. Install mouse guards, after making sure there is no mouse inside the brood boxes. Reserve packages or nucleus hives for next April. Install the plastic insert on the bottom of the screened bottom board if you use screened bottom boards. If you use solid bottom boards, decide whether to reverse the boards to utilize the small entrance on the “winter” side of the bottom board.
[From https://buzzwordhoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Northern-Virginia-Honeybee-Annual-Cycle.pdf]

Whatโ€™s in Bloom (according to Maymont)
(Camillia) Tea, Osmanthus, Elaeagnus, Rose, Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus, Abelia, Fall Crocus, Sternbergia, Annuals and Perennials, Fall Foliage
https://maymont.org/explore/gardens/whats-in-bloom/

Final Word
If you are a member of RPBBA, you will receive a separate email with the Board of Directors election ballot. Please bee on the lookout for it! If you are not a member of RPBBA, we encourage you to join and be active. You can join on our website.

We are always looking for ways to improve communications in the club. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know.

I hope to see you at the meeting on Monday, October 10th, 2022.

Michelle Clark
Communications ๐Ÿ

Like us on Facebook!
Join our Facebook RPBBA Practical Beekeeping Group!
Keep up with what RPBBA is doing, see Calendar of Events!

September Newsletter – RPBBA

Gooooooood morning beekeepers and honeybee enthusiasts!
We have a bit of warm Summer temperatures left but cooler weather is on its way. Itโ€™s time to start thinking about preparations for Winter. During Fall thereโ€™s much to do and choices to make: possibly a final honey harvest, possibly a need to feed, treat for mites as needed, combine weak hives with strong ones, and the list goes on. Thereโ€™s much to think about. We will be covering all that and more at our meeting this month. As a club there are several opportunities this month to bee social including our annual picnic. More details below.

RPBBA Calendar of Events for September
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Chesterfield County Fair
RPBBA was invited to bring some of our children’s activities to the Chesterfield County Fair. While the fair runs daily through Sept 3rd, we will only have a few members there Sept 1st in the Arts & Crafts building 5 – 10pm. If you were thinking about checking out the fair, itโ€™s a great opportunity to bring the family. Weโ€™ll be bringing some of the much loved childrenโ€™s activities from the Honey Bee Festival. While our children’s activities are free, there is a cost of admission to the fair. Please see their website for details, chesterfieldcountyfair.org. If you come out, stop by and say hello!

September Meeting
Our meeting this month will be 7pm, Monday, September 12th at the Rockwood Park Nature Center. Keith Tignor is coming back to visit and speak with us. Keith is the State Apiarist and Central VA Region State Beekeeping Inspector. He will be talking with us about Fall actions to take to prepare your hives for Winter. Whether this will be your 1st Winter or youโ€™re a seasoned beekeeper, this is good information to have and be reminded. Now is the time weโ€™re raising Winter bees. How can we ensure our hives are strong going into Winter? What do we need to do to manage the space in the hive? How do we properly store equipment? Hope to see you all there 7pm Monday, September 12th at the Rockwood Park Nature Center. Doors open at 6:30pm. Add to Google Calendar

Saturday, Sept 17th, 2022 Club Picnic
If you have not already marked your calendar and RSVPโ€™d the picnic, nowโ€™s the time. Add to Google Calendar We hope all members and their families can join us. A flyer and RSVP link was emailed to RPBBA members. The association will provide fried chicken, soft drinks/water & tableware. Please bring

  1. A Side to Share
  2. Lawn Chairs
  3. A Picnic Blanket

Grills will be set up in case anyone needs them. Alcohol is permitted, BYOB, but please keep in mind this is a family-style event. Fishing is allowed from the pond, BYOP&B, bring your own pole & bait. If youโ€™ve got other fun outdoor games like cornhole or horse shoes, bring ’em!

Call for Volunteers – Nominating Committee
Itโ€™s that time of year again – time to begin our change of leadership. The Board of Directors consists of a maximum of 9 members per by our bylaws and Articles of Incorporation. We have 4 Directors (elected in 2020) whose 2 years terms are coming to an end.

  1. Michelle Clark
  2. Jody Conway
  3. Theo Hartmann
  4. Sherry Kelley

As a club, we can choose to renew the Directors for another 2 year term or replace them with newly nominated and elected members. Jody, Theo and Sherry have all indicated theyโ€™d be willing to stick around for another term if re-elected. The club is in need of volunteers to join a Nominating Committee. Any RPBBA member can make nominations. However the purpose of the Nominating Committee is to receive the nominations, verify willingness to serve with those nominated, and put forth a slate of candidates for election. This committee should have at least 3 members. If you are interested and willing to volunteer as a member of the nominating committee, please email rockwood.beekeepers@gmail.com. The club needs you.

Our club we all know and love, RPBBA, is successful because of volunteers. The Board of Directors role is to select Officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Communications) for next year, vote on club business, and oversee the functions of the club (like the club picnic, Christmas party, selecting a HBF chair, etc). They meet a few times a year, as needed, for discussion. If you wish to nominate someone else for the Board of Directors or even volunteer yourself, please send an email to rockwood.beekeepers@gmail.com. Each person nominated to serve will be contacted to confirm their interest & willingness to serve.

Please consider volunteering or, if you are nominated, please consider serving. We need new ideas, new perspectives and can always use more energy from new people helping. Your involvement in the club helps make RPBBA the best it can bee. Thank you.

Call for Volunteers – 2022 State Fair of Virginia
The Richmond Beekeepers Association will be sponsoring the Virginia Beekeepers Honey Booth. This year as in the past they will need volunteers from all of the bee associations to work the booth. The State Fair of VA runs for 10 days, starting Friday, September 23rd thru Sunday, October 2nd. RPBBA is currently fishing for details and will share more information as it comes. In years past, theyโ€™ve needed volunteers to fill two shifts a day. RPBBA receives a portion of the profits made from the sale of honey and other products of the hive based on the number of shifts our members volunteer. This is a great way to earn money for our club and also meet other beekeepers from the central Virginia area. Bee on the lookout for more information to come throughout this month.

VDACS Beehive Distribution Program
Distribution of beehives through the Beehive Distribution Program has been completed for Fiscal Year 2021-2022. Funding for the Program for Fiscal Year 2022-2023 was approved in the State Budget. Applications for the Program are not being accepted at this time. Dates for an application period will be posted at a later date. Keep watch of their website for updates and more information about the program: https://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/plant-industry-services-beehive-distribution-program.shtml

Bee Vocabulary – โ€œcandy boardโ€
A candy board is a way to feed your bees through Winter. During colder temperatures, the honeybees will form a cluster to keep warm. As they eat through their food stores, theyโ€™ll move upward in the hive. A beekeeper can make a candy board and place it at the top of the hive to supplement feeding to avoid starvation. There are various mixtures for candy boards. Think of it like a large sugar block.

Beekeepers in the News
Busy Bodies
Our very own, Stan and Carla, were interviewed right after the Honey Bee Festival. Richmond Magazine wrote a story, featured in their September 2022 issue. If you missed it in your mailbox, you can view it here.

ARS-Developed Varroa-Resistant Honey Bees Better Winter Survivors
Pol-line honey bees, a type of Varroa mite resistant honey bee developed by the Agricultural Research Service, are more than twice as likely to survive through the winter than standard honey bees, according to a study published in Scientific Reports. The full story can be read at: https://www.ars.usda.gov/news-events/news/research-news/2022/ars-developed-varroa-resistant-honey-bees-better-winter-survivors/

Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA)
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This Month in the Hive (September)
The hive population is dropping. The queenโ€™s egg laying is significantly reduced, and the drones may begin to disappear at the end of this month. Nectar and pollen sources usually reappear after Labor Day. Frost may occur after September 20, and the bees will begin to cluster when the temperature inside the hive drops below 57 degrees.

Asters, daisies, ragweed, clovers, tickseed, and goldenrod may provide substantial sources of nectar if the month has adequate rainfall (4-6 inches) spread over the entire month. Strong hives may make 20 pounds of honey during September. (In some years, 30 pounds of production has been recorded in September.) In years with drought conditions, September can be disastrous for the hive, with the bees consuming the honey and pollen that should be saved for winter.

The brood nest may be about 10 inches across. The queen is active, but laying less than 400 eggs per day. At the end of the month (when colder weather is likely) the workers cease feeding the drones. A few drones will remain at the end of the month, but not many.

Feeding of syrup and pollen substitutes may be essential if the month is dry. In a good year, it may also be time to do that final harvest for the season. Remember to leave at least 40 pounds of honey for each hive to get through the winter. Remove the queen excluder if you left it on the hives after the harvest. Check on the queen. If you are going to use it, feed and medicate with Fumagillin in syrup to fight nosema towards the end of the month. (Only the first 2 gallons of syrup per hive are medicated if you are using it.) Add chemical mite treatments if you did not do so in August and if you are using those treatments.

Now is the time to use menthol crystals for tracheal mite control, if you are going to do so. Nighttime temperatures are cool enough, and daytime temperatures may fit the instructions. If it is dry, or you made up splits in July, feeding continues until the bees will take no more syrup.

Attend bee meetings and state and local fairs and festivals. Give honey to your bee neighbors, and make sure they understand how good the bees are for gardens, flowers, and the growing environment in general.
[From https://buzzwordhoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Northern-Virginia-Honeybee-Annual-Cycle.pdf]

Whatโ€™s in Bloom (according to Maymont)
Osmanthus, Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, Abelia, Rose, Annuals, Perennials
https://maymont.org/explore/gardens/whats-in-bloom/

Final Word
If you are not a member of RPBBA, we encourage you to join and be active. There is a constant flow of activities within the club to bee as active as you want to bee. You can join on our website.

If you are a RPBBA member, please consider volunteering for the nominating committee, as a Board of Director member, or even as an officer for 2023. Your club needs you!

We are always looking for ways to improve communications in the club. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know.

I hope to see you at the meeting 7pm, Monday, September 12th at the Rockwood Park Nature Center. Our club meetings are open to members and non-members with no pressure to join. I hope you can bee there!

Michelle Clark
Communications ๐Ÿ

Like us on Facebook!
Join our Facebook RPBBA Practical Beekeeping Group!
Keep up with what RPBBA is doing, see Calendar of Events!

August 20, 2022 – National Honey Bee Day

Today is National Honey Bee Day, a day to honor the insect responsible for more than 1/3 of the food the population eats according to Honey Love Urban Bee Keepers. Today is also a way to pay homage to beekeepers, whose labors ensure there are bees to pollinate crops which is crucial to agricultural production across the globe. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, approximately 35 percent of crop production worldwide is directly affected by these bumbling and buzzing friends.

August Newsletter – RPBBA

Hello fellow beekeepers and honeybee enthusiasts!

Have you been in your apiary lately? If so, youโ€™ve probably noticed your sweet Spring honey bees have turned into feisty, defensive, Summer honey bees. The dearth is here.ย  With less pollen and nectar sources available, robbing is all over. Youโ€™re likely also noticing an uptick in hive pests. Now is the time to be testing and treating for varroa mites. Watch for small hive beetles and wax moths.

RPBBA Calendar of Events for August
๐Ÿ“… Monday, Aug 8th – RPBBA Meeting @ 7pm
๐Ÿ“… Monday, Aug 15th – Study Group @ 7pm
๐Ÿ Saturday, Aug 20th – National Honey Bee Day

August Meeting
Our meeting this month will be 7pm, Monday, August 8th at the Rockwood Park Nature Center. RPBBA member, Don Osborne, will be giving a presentation on robbing and how to prevent it. When nectar resources are scarce, bees are more likely to rob other colonies. Weak colonies are particularly prone to being robbed because they are unable to defend themselves from the onslaught of invading bees. There are signs to identify robbing behavior as well as strategies you can implement to help your gals defend their hive.

Don Osborne has been a RPBBA member for several years. He is our current club Secretary and previously held the Communications position. Don has assisted in teaching our Beginner Beekeeping class as well. For those that donโ€™t know Don, he uses honey from his apiary to make mead. He can often be found with a bottle of homemade mead in tow. Iโ€™m sure Don would love to converse about making mead at our meeting next week. Hope to see you all there: 7pm, Monday, August 8th at the Rockwood Park Nature Center. Doors open at 6:30pm. Add to Google Calendar

National Honey Bee Day
Saturday, August 20th is National Honey Bee Day 2022 in the United States. National Honey Bee Day (formerly National Honey Bee Awareness Day) is an awareness day when beekeepers, beekeeping clubs and associations, and honey bee enthusiasts from across the United States celebrate honey bees and recognize their contribution to humans’ everyday lives as a means of protecting this critical species. National Honey Bee Day also pays homage to beekeepers, whose labors ensure there are well-managed, healthy bees to pollinate crops.

Sample And Control Of Varroa Mite And Hive Beetle Workshop
A workshop on the life cycle and control of the Varroa mite and small hive beetle is being held Wednesday, August 17, 2022, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, at Randolph Farm near Colonial Heights, VA. Topics to be covered include how to inspect for these and other honey bee pests and various integrated pest management strategies to control them. Following a presentation at the Extension Pavilion, participants will move to the bee yard on Randolph Farm for demonstrations on how to inspect a hive to identify, sample and control these pests. Further information and registration is available at https://www.ext.vsu.edu/events/2022/08/17-mites.

Space is limited to 30 participants.

All participants going to the bee yard must bring their own bee suit and wear light-colored clothes, gloves and closed-toe shoes. Please do not wear fragrances or perfumes. If you are allergic to bee venom, you must bring your own Epipen.

For more information, contact Tracy Porter at (804) 481-2566 or tporter@vsu.edu.

Bee Vocabulary – โ€œRobbingโ€
Western honey bee workers can invade and steal honey/nectar from other colonies or sugar/corn syrup from feeders used to deliver syrup to other colonies. This is called “robbing” behavior. Robbing behavior typically involves the collection of nectar and honey, but not pollen or brood.

Beekeepers in the News
City Bees Rva Shares The Science, History And Importance Of Beekeeping
Thereโ€™s a lot of buzz about a new program in Richmond. It aims to teach kids about the world of honey bees. If you take a trip to the Sankofa Community Orchard, you will discover more than 20,000 honey bees working together. The bees are a part of a new experience in the city of Richmond called City Bees RVA.

If you missed the story, you can read it at: https://www.nbc12.com/2022/07/28/city-bees-rva-shares-science-history-importance-beekeeping/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=news_tab&fs=e&s=cl#l66hexpunokst28hmg

Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA)

This Month in the Hive (August)
The colonyโ€™s brood growth rate is slowing down. Drones are still around, but the workers will soon lose interest in feeding them. Outside activity slows down as the nectar flow decreases and stops. Much of the flight activity is water-gathering, pollen collection, and orientation of new bees. On hot evenings and nights, the bees may drape the front of the hive, making them especially vulnerable to skunks.

Smartweed, ironweed, Joe Pye weed, milkweed, thistles, heartsease, chicory, clethra, pepperbush, dandelion, blueweed, and some asters and daisies may provide a small nectar flow. Clovers, soybeans, alfalfa, sunflowers, and common vetch continue to offer nectar, but there are few concentrated plantings of these cultivated crops in Northern Virginia. Cucumbers, melons, carrots, and pumpkins need honeybees for pollination this month. Net honey production is unlikely in August due to heat and drought. The hive may consume 10 pounds of stored honey or syrup during a dry August.

Watch for a failing queen, especially a queen that is more than 1 year of age. Egg laying should continue at the rate of 400-500 eggs per day, and the brood nest should be at least 14 inches across. Watch for wasps and hornets attacking the hives to steal away live bees for the purpose of feeding their brood. If you may have harvested too much of the hiveโ€™s honey, examine the hive to make certain there is at least 10 pounds of capped honey before you go on vacation.

There is not much chance of swarming this month. Do not expend much energy catching a swarm that escapes in August, as it will not build up enough to survive the winter. Watch out for robbing. Re-queening of all hives with queens from the prior year is done in this month or in early September. Queens may be a little less expensive this time of year, especially if they were reserved in April or May. Watch for wax moths and small hive beetles; ruthlessly combine hives that are too weak to defend against them now. Take losses now, rather than in the winter.

The bees that are born in August will have to carry the hive through the early winter. Make certain that the hive has enough pollen and honey to generously feed new brood. Skinny August bees will not make it to February.

Many chemical mite treatments should be applied in early August, if they are going to be used. Carefully read the instructions and consider the temperature forecast before any treatment is applied, however. Honeybees may not be able to tolerate harsh chemical treatments combined with high temperatures. However, it is also not wise to allow Varroa mites to parasitize the bees that you hope will carry the hive into early winter.

[From https://buzzwordhoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Northern-Virginia-Honeybee-Annual-Cycle.pdf]

Whatโ€™s in Bloom (according to Maymont)
Crepe Myrtle, Rose, Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, Abelia, Annuals, Perennials
https://maymont.org/explore/gardens/whats-in-bloom/

Final Word
If you are not a member of RPBBA, we encourage you to join and be active. Our club operates 100% on volunteers. There is a constant flow of activities within the club to bee as active as you want to bee. You can join on our website.

We are always looking for ways to improve communications in the club. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know.

I hope to see you at the meeting 7pm, Monday, August 8th at the Rockwood Park Nature Center. Our club meetings are open to members and non-members with no pressure to join. Come on out if you can make it.

Michelle Clark
Communicationsย ๐Ÿ

Like us onย Facebook!
Join ourย Facebook RPBBA Practical Beekeeping Group!
Keep up with what RPBBA is doing, seeย Calendar of Events!

July Newsletter – RPBBA

Hello beekeepers and honey bee enthusiasts!
How did you like the Honey Bee Festival? We have received so much positive feedback. Itโ€™s really a special event and has given me extra pride in our club and our mission. The day certainly couldnโ€™t have happened without many helping hands. Thank you again to all of our volunteers! I hope everyone has had some time to rest and recuperate from the buzz of preparations and day-of tasks.

RPBBA Calendar of Events for July
๐Ÿ“… Monday, July 11th – RPBBA Meeting @ 7pm
๐Ÿ“… Monday, July 18th – Study Group @ 7pm

July Meeting
This month, we are going to use our meeting as a time to recap on the Honey Bee Festival with our Planning Committee and jot down notes for next year. Some things to keep in mind:
๐Ÿ’ก What went well?
๐Ÿ’ก What didnโ€™t go so well? How can we do better next time?
๐Ÿ’ก Ideas for next year?
We will be meeting at the Nature Center, yay! Add to Google Calendar

๐Ÿ VSBA Master Beekeeping Study Group
For those who have never checked it out, the study group is a great way for RPBBA members to further their beekeeping knowledge. Several members are studying for the annual VSBA Apprentice and Journeyman exams, however there is no requirement for attendees to be pursuing certification. The study group is open to all members who want to learn. The study group is an informal group setting. During their sessions, questions from the VSBA Apprentice Study Guide are posed for the group to discuss and answer together. There is much to learn during open discussion with our peers!

The study group meets monthly on the 3rd Monday of each month. Theyโ€™ll next be meeting Monday, July 18th, 7pm, at the Nature Center. The group will continue to go through the VSBA Apprentice Study Guide questions, provide answers, and discuss. Those interested to attend are encouraged to download the guide in advance and start working through the questions on their own. Add to Google Calendar

Bee Vocabulary – โ€œAfterswarmโ€
The first swarm to leave the parent colony with the mother queen is called the primary swarm. If the colony is still crowded from subsequent brood emergence when the first virgin queens emerge, another swarm may launch. This is an afterswarm and is sometimes referred to as โ€œcastโ€ swarms. These swarms are usually smaller and are accompanied by a virgin queen.

Beekeepers in the News
RPBBA made the news several times in June both before and after the Honey Bee Festival! In case you missed these segments, here are the links.

๐Ÿฏ June 20th on NBC 12
11th Annual Honey Bee Festival
https://www.nbc12.com/video/2022/06/20/th-annual-honey-bee-festival/?fbclid=IwAR0BA8YmcwjKcBVN5b1fiiSiUhSRdAvCbwneM-CIOHuxGcY_KC3qdAlKLeA

๐Ÿฏ June 21st on WRIC ABC 8
Honey Bee Festival Returns To Chesterfield This Week
https://www.wric.com/news/local-news/chesterfield-county/honey-bee-festival-returns-to-chesterfield-this-week/

๐Ÿฏ June 21st on WTVR CBS 6
2022 Honeybee Festival Will Have Fun For The Whole Family
https://www.wtvr.com/news/local-news/2022-honeybee-festival-will-have-fun-for-the-whole-family

๐Ÿฏ June 25th on CBS 6
Learn About Hives At Honey Bee Festival In Chesterfield

๐Ÿฏ June 26th on WRIC ABC 8
2022 Honey Bee Festival Returns to Rockwood Park
https://www.wric.com/news/local-news/chesterfield-county/2022-honey-bee-festival-returns-to-rockwood-park/

In other honey bee news,
Honeybees Join Humans As The Only Known Animals That Can Tell The Difference Between Odd And Even Numbers
https://theconversation.com/honeybees-join-humans-as-the-only-known-animals-that-can-tell-the-difference-between-odd-and-even-numbers-181040?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR1zsR1VntRsjL3aNhBA0WiQgn0DTz6aEucA0tBaRdfEjALthBuWY_e48w0#Echobox=1651471660

This Month in the Hive (July)
On hot and humid nights, you may see a curtain of bees cooling themselves on the exterior of the hive. Swarming is still possible, but it becomes less likely as the month advances. The Varroa parasitic mite continues to increase its population at the expense of the bees, and it will require some type of treatment or management, soon. The bees continue to raise 3000-5000 replacement bees per week in July, and may consume a larger amount of honey and pollen than is collected if the month is dry. The stronger hive populations will peak at 50,000-60,000 worker bees.

Late June and July are harvest times for the Northern Virginia beekeeper. After supers and frames are removed for extraction, the best practice is to return the supers and frames to the hives for cleanup. The bees may manage to store 5 pounds or more of honey during July, but they will eat more than they collect if the month is dry. Continue inspections of the hive to make sure the hive is healthy. Catalpa, bee bee tree, linden, milkweed, butterfly weed, horsemint, fireweed, and globe thistle will bloom. Heartsease and smartweed bloom this month, starting in damp bottomlands. Cucumber, melons, some soybean varieties, sunflowers, some vetches, verbena, and clover will supply supplemental nectar or pollen, where cultivated. If you can find a field of alfalfa, soybean, or buckwheat in bloom, these plants are major nectar sources and produce distinctive honey flavors.

Watch for bees fanning droplets of water to cool the hive. Especially around the harvest, watch for robbing activity near the entrance. Look for a falloff in egg production, as the brood nest shrinks gradually down to about 60-75% of its peak size.

Make sure the water source for the bees is clean and accessible. Harvest honey. Return wet supers to the hives. After the supers are cleaned of honey by the bees, remove excess supers and stack them with moth-repellent PDB crystals. Watch for signs of robbing and take steps to discourage robbing if it starts. Select perfect frames of comb for honey competitions. Attend the club picnic. Learn how to filter and bottle honey for the most competitive local and state fair honey judging. Decide if, when and how you are going to treat for Varroa. Order any supplies or equipment that you need for mite treatments.

If you are going to make splits to overwinter, the first half of July is the last time to do it. You will need to be prepared to feed any split during the dry months of July and August. About half the time, you will need to feed splits in September and October as well.
[From https://buzzwordhoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Northern-Virginia-Honeybee-Annual-Cycle.pdf]

Whatโ€™s in Bloom (according to Maymont)
Crepe Myrtle, Rose, Daylily, Annuals, Perennials, Buddleia, Rose of Sharon, Abelia
https://maymont.org/explore/gardens/whats-in-bloom/

Final Word
Between the VSBA semi-annual conference, the Honey Bee Festival, the work out in the apiary, honey extracting (the list goes on), itโ€™s been a busy 30 days. I hope all are able to make Mondayโ€™s meeting to recap the festival. Itโ€™ll be a big help to have our notes when it comes time to begin planning for next year.

Speaking of the festival, we had many folks interested in keeping bees come by and say hello at the club tent. If you see a fresh face at the meeting, introduce yourself. One of my favorite things about RPBBA is the welcoming environment our members create; we have a wonderful, helpful, and kind community.

If you are not a member of RPBBA, we encourage you to join and be active. You can join on our website.

We are always looking for ways to improve communications in the club. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!!

Michelle Clark
Communications ๐Ÿ

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Keep up with what RPBBA is doing, see Calendar of Events!

Upcoming EAS Conference – Details Available

Hello Regional Virginia Clubs,

I am your Virginia delegate and Board Member to the Eastern Apicultural Society. EAS powers-that-be have asked me to ask you to forward and post or make available the following notice to regional and local clubs. A downloadable copy is attached as well.

EAS will be great this year and in a beautiful location! We have all been knocked back by Covid-19 one way or the other. Letโ€™s pull our great beekeeping community back even closer and support our great EAS organization!

EAS is extending an invitation to attend the 2022 EAS Conference โ€œBeing Social Againโ€ that will be held at Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY. There will be a Short Course from Monday, August 1st to Wednesday, August 3rd and the Main Conference from Wednesday, August 3rd to Friday, August 5th! The Short Course features pathways for all levels of expertise as well as a Queen-Rearing day-long workshop and a Microscopy session. Morning plenary sessions, afternoon breakout pathways, dinners, social events, auctions, a childrenโ€™s program, travel to a commercial beekeeper and the Cornell University Botanic Gardens and Mann Library Bee Collection are all offered during this jam-packed week of bee information, socializing and being connected!

Details may be found on the EAS website at: secretary. Registrations for attendees (both individual registration and volunteer registration) are now open and will be taken through June 30th. A separate registration is available for vendors. Volunteering details are outlined in the Journal and on the EAS 2022 Conference site.

Current members of the EAS may also go to the EAS Journal link on the EAS website at: https://easternapiculture.org/eas-membership/eas-journal/ to find information on the program schedule, volunteer opportunities, accommodations, conference features and a highlight of some of the local Ithaca and Finger Lakes area attractions.

Sincerely,

EAS 2022 Ithaca Conference Planning Committee

Until then, Happy Beekeeping!

Anne Fraser

Virginia EAS Director
Strasburg VA

22-5-24 EAS is extending an invitation to your membership to attend the 2022 EAS Conference.docx

RPBBA Is In The News

We are thankful for Bill Fitzgerald and the team at WTVR CBS 6 News for welcoming our very own Bruce Hamon to talk about the
๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿ๐Ÿฅณ ๐‡๐จ๐ง๐ž๐ฒ ๐๐ž๐ž ๐…๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐š๐ฅ
๐š‚๐šŠ๐š๐šž๐š›๐š๐šŠ๐šข, ๐™น๐šž๐š—๐šŽ ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿป๐š๐š‘ ๐Ÿท๐Ÿถ๐šŠ๐š– โ€“ ๐Ÿธ๐š™๐š–
@ ๐š๐š˜๐šŒ๐š”๐š ๐š˜๐š˜๐š ๐™ฟ๐šŠ๐š›๐š” ๐™ฝ๐šŠ๐š๐šž๐š›๐šŽ ๐™ฒ๐šŽ๐š—๐š๐šŽ๐š›
๐Ÿน๐Ÿบ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿท ๐™ฒ๐š˜๐šž๐š›๐š๐š‘๐š˜๐šž๐šœ๐šŽ ๐š๐š, ๐š๐š’๐šŒ๐š‘๐š–๐š˜๐š—๐š, ๐š…๐™ฐ ๐Ÿธ๐Ÿน๐Ÿธ๐Ÿน๐Ÿผ

If you missed the segment airing, you can find it here: https://www.wtvr.com/news/local-news/2022-honeybee-festival-will-have-fun-for-the-whole-family

RPBBA Is In The News

So kind of NBC12 to invite Stan Houk and Carla Park on to talk about the 400th anniversary of honey bees coming to America ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ’ฏ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ โค๏ธ๐Ÿค๐Ÿ’™ and the 11th Annual Honey Bee Festival coming ๐“๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐’๐š๐ญ๐ฎ๐ซ๐๐š๐ฒ 10am-2pm @Rockwood Nature Center. Add it to your calendar and weโ€™ll see you there!

If you missed the LIVE interview, you can locate it here: https://www.nbc12.com/video/2022/06/20/th-annual-honey-bee-festival/?fs=e&s=cl

RPBBA Needs You!

Hi everyone,Our favorite festival is nearing. Our planning committee is tying a bow on their preparations to make this year a success. I have been so impressed with their efforts and equally impressed seeing the number of volunteers willing to help man a station at the festival. 100+ volunteers, wow!

There are a few areas in which we would like to see more sign-up’s.

  1. Bake Sale Current sign-up count is 12. Of those, we have 4 commitments to donate cases of water. We could use more water and more baked goods. Bringing water is a great (and easy) way to contribute without any baking skills necessary.
  2. Drone Supply Our festival allows kids the unique opportunity to pet drones. To do this, we need members to help supply drones from their colonies.As the kids pet the drones, they fly away and we pull another. Current sign-up count is 1 (for an estimated supply of 20 drones). We are in desperate need of more members to supply drones.
  3. Honey Extraction Current sign-up count is 3. Everyone loves the sweet taste of honey. It’s such an interesting process for the public to see how honey is extracted from the hive. Members are welcome to bring their own supers to be extracted by our festival volunteers during the festival.

The Honey Bee Festival is our opportunity to share our love and fascination of honey bee’s with the public. I await the 25th with pleasure and plan to bring my own family to enjoy the festivities. I look forward to seeing you all there!

Thank you,

Michelle Clark
Communications ๐Ÿ

Like us on Facebook!
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Keep up with what RPBBA is doing, see Calendar of Events!

RPBBA: A Message From Your Club President, Stan Houk

Hi Everyone,

Two important Club events are happening in June.

1) One of the best Honey Bee Experts, Dewey Caron, in the country will be guest speaking at our June 13th Meeting in Powhatan at 7:00pm.

Powhatan Village Building Auditorium
3910 Old Buckingham Rd
Powhatan, VA 23139

This is being held jointly with Huguenot Beekeepers.

2) The 2022 400th Anniversary of Honey Bees Coming to America Honey Bee Festival at Rockwood Park on June 25th.

Please come to both events! We will finalize the details of the HBF at the Monday Meeting and need your participation of some kind in the Festival.

Our Charter Mission is educating the public about honey bees and their role in our environment. Our best way is through the Honey Bee Festival. Together, we can do ANYTHING, but we need help from EVERYONE!

There’s still time to become a part of it.

a) Please plan to donate to our bake sale with homemade cookies or other non-refrigerated baked goods. These must be packaged for individual sale. Cookies are simple. Please note: Many people have allergies and refrain from using nuts. Label accordingly.

b) Not a baker? Donate a case of water that can be sold at the booth as we are expecting over 3000 to 4000 attendees.

c) Do you have some time to give? Help us set up Friday night (5pm), Saturday morning early (7am), or help take down afterwards (2pm). Your gift of time will assist tremendously.

This Saturday, June 11th, I will be at the Virginia State Bee Conference at the Blue Ridge Community College, manning a booth of historical info about the 400th Anniversary of Honey Bees Coming to America and inviting beekeepers from around the state to attend our Honey Bee Festival. This is the only 400th celebration in the state (and maybe the country). Let’s make it one for the history books!

I hope to see you this Monday night in Powhatan and at the Honey Bee Festival.

Thanks,
Stan Houk
President of RPBBA

2022 Honey Bee Festival Flyer for printing.pdf

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