September Newsletter

September, 2020

It looks like we are in this social distancing thing for the long haul. The children are going back to school mostly virtually, so we will be doing some virtual learning as well. We have a really good program lined up this month that you won’t want to miss.

September’s Meeting

The club will hold a Zoom video conference meeting at 7:00 PM on Monday, September 14, 2020. Our speaker this month will be Dr. Dewy M. Caron. Dr. Caron is a highly sought-after speaker, professor and Extension Entomologist. Hobby beekeepers know him best for his text book Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping.

Building a strong colony to Overwinter

Labor Day is the traditional time to think about fall management. Conventional wisdom says the stronger the better and, although generally true, we can also overwinter some resource (nuc) hives. Langstroth wrote 160+ years ago to take winter losses in the fall. So, we will discuss how we can build stronger colonies to overwinter plus seek to overwinter a nuc or two. Will also include a bit of biology of overwintering and the level of losses to expect as a VA beekeeper.

If you need to brush up on how Zoom video conferencing works, you can go through their tutorials at: :

Bee Vocabulary

Pheromones – a chemical or mixture of chemicals that is released by an individual and affects the behavior or psychology of another individual of the same species. Pheromones can be divided into two distinct types. Releaser pheromones cause rapid changes in behavior. For example, alarm pheromone engages other bees to help defend the nest. Primer pheromones cause long-term changes in both physiology and behavior. Brood pheromone for example, suppresses worker ovary development.

This Month in the Hive (September)

The hive population is dropping. The queen’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.

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 40-60 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.

[Adapted from:]

What’s in Bloom

Osmanthus, Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, Abelia, Rose, Annuals, Perennials. 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.

Final Word

If you are a member of RPBBA, you will receive a Zoom invitation closer to the meeting date. 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.

As I’ve said before, I am 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.

Don Osborne


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