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
📅 Monday, Oct 10th – RPBBA Meeting @ 7pm
📅 Saturday, Oct 15th – Last Day to Cast a Vote for Board of Directors
📅 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. Let’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.

🐝 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. They’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 “APPLICATION.” 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 year’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 – “Corbicula”
Also known as the Pollen Basket. This is a flattened depression on the outside of the bee’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]

What’s in Bloom (according to Maymont)
(Camillia) Tea, Osmanthus, Elaeagnus, Rose, Rose of Sharon, Hibiscus, Abelia, Fall Crocus, Sternbergia, Annuals and Perennials, Fall Foliage

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 🐝

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