November Newsletter – RPBBA

Hello Beekeepers and Honeybee Enthusiasts!

If you have hives now, I hope they are going into the season healthy and with plenty of stores. As the average daily temperature drops, I’m noticing less activity outside my hives. On a few warmer days, I’ve opened my hives and supplemented the girls with food offerings. On my to-do list, I still plan to fill my top feeders with pine shavings to help soak up moisture in the hive and provide insulation.

November Meeting

Our November meeting will be on the 8th at 7pm in the Nature Center classroom. During the meeting we will be sharing a VSBA Presentation from Frank Linton entitled Observation Hives. Do you want to be a better beekeeper? Get an Observation Hive. There will be time for discussion following the presentation. Add to Google calendar Meeting begins at 7pm; doors open at 6:30pm. See you there!

RPBBA will continue to follow the current CDC recommendation:

  • Not fully vaccinated: You should wear a mask in indoor public places.

  • Fully vaccinated: Wear a mask indoors if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.

As of today, November 1st, Chesterfield County has high community transmission. Please bring a mask to wear. The club will have masks on hand to provide if needed. [Source: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view]

Due to the soon to start renovation at the Nature Center, this will be the last meeting we are able to meet in the classroom. For future meetings, watch for details on location.

Club News – Board of Directors Nominations

Members Dennis Marshall, Steve Syrett, Stan Houk, Rick McCormick, and Kyree Tanner 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, Friday, November 12, 2021.

🐝 2022 Beginner Beekeeping Course

The Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers Association (RPBBA) is holding their annual Beginning Beekeeping Course over 4 Saturdays from end of January to beginning of March. Attendees will receive instruction on the basics of beekeeping, the various equipment including hive components and tools, diseases and pests, what to expect in the first year, how to purchase and install your bees, sources of pollen and nectar, and (weather permitting) a hands on field day in the club’s apiary. Class dates will be Jan 22, Feb 5, Feb 19, & Mar 5th alternating Saturday’s with the Huguenot Beekeepers Association (HBA). Participants who are unable to make a class at RPBBA, may attend and receive the same instruction at HBA. The course is $100 through Jan 8th and $115 thereafter. We are limited to 40 participants; enrollment includes a 1-year membership to RPBBA. For more information, including a signup form, please see our website rockwoodbeekeepers.com/beginner-beekeeping.

2022 Honeybee Festival

Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers is excited to announce that we will be once again having the Honeybee Festival in the Summer of 2022. We need to start planning and we need volunteers to work to plan the festival. If you would like to be involved with the festival planning committee please contact the festival coordinator, Rick Beaudet via email richard.beaudet@honeywell.com. Thank you.

Bee Vocabulary – “Apiculture”

This is the technical term for beekeeping or the maintenance of bee colonies. Beekeeping, as an industry, is also called Apiculture.

Beekeepers in the News

New Nectar: Could Artificial Pollen Make Life Sweeter For Bees?

After studying the honeybees used to pollinate almond trees for many years, Prof Geraldine Wright, a biologist at the University of Oxford, realised that unless this pollen substitute was actually tailored to the specific nutritional needs of a honeybee colony, colonies can fail altogether. If you missed the story, you can read it at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/dec/28/new-nectar-could-artificial-pollen-make-life-sweeter-for-bees

Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA)

Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers Association member, Carla Park, is making headlines of her own. Following the Virginia State Beekeepers Association Fall conference in Smithfield, Carla brought back news: she is the new VSBA President!

Members who want to check out the announcement or obtain more information about the VSBA programs, can do so on their website: https://www.virginiabeekeepers.org/

This Month in the Hive (November)

The cold weather has arrived and will send the bees into a cluster that is broken open only when the temperature inside the hive rises above 57 degrees. The bees take cleansing flights on warm days. The cluster moves very slowly into empty honey cells and toward food sources when temperatures inside the hive exceed 42 degrees.

This is the month to make certain of sufficient winter stores. On a warm day, heft the hive and add honey frames or supers to bring each hive up to 40 pounds of stored honey. It is probably too cold to feed syrup. If the summer and fall were drought-stricken, and you have a starvation problem, consider feeding a pollen substitute in the form of a patty.

Stay out of the hives in November unless there is an emergency. The queen should stop laying by the end of November. The population is steady, with a few bees lost each day.

Learn how to make candy boards and pollen patties in case they are needed in January and February. Order bee gifts for yourself and friends for the holidays. Take your long-suffering spouse out to dinner to say thank you for tolerating the bees all year. Store and organize extra equipment for the winter. Keep snow and ice from blocking entrances and ventilation holes in the hives. Reserve packages or nucleus hives for next April if not already done.

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

What’s in Bloom (according to Maymont)

Elaeagnus, Holly in fruit, Bamboo, Abelia, Annuals, Perennials, Fall Foliage

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. You can join on our website. If you are a honeybee enthusiast looking to get started, check out the Beginner Beekeeping course. This is where I got my start. 😀

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, November 8th at 7pm.

Michelle Clark
Communications 🐝

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One thought on “November Newsletter – RPBBA”

  1. Awe shoot I messed up the email address in my post about the festival. It should have been richard.beaudet@honeywell.com

    Could you please send out an addendum when you have a minute? Thanks so much. You are awesome.

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