February Newsletter RPBBA

Hello beekeepers and honeybee enthusiasts,

February is a busy month full of events for Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers. We have the Beginner Beekeeping Class meeting twice this month, Honey Bee Festival planning, our monthly meeting with Dr. Zac Lamas, and the Study Group all happening in February!

๐Ÿ 2023 Beginner Beekeeping Course

The first session of the 2023 Beginner Beekeeping Course was chock-full of information (and people). It truly was โ€œlike drinking from a firehoseโ€. For those of you in the class, donโ€™t stress, there are plenty of people and resources to support you on your beekeeping journey.

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The next session will be held on Saturday, February 11th at 9am at Dandelion Springs Apiary. The address for Dandelion Springs is:

11011 Beaver Bridge Rd

Chesterfield, VA 23838

The course is full and registration is closed. For those enrolled, if you do not have your calendar marked already, you can Add to Google Calendar now. The class meets twice this month, Saturday, February 11th and 25th.

As a reminder, RPBBA practices reciprocity with the Huguenot Beekeeping Association (HBA). Participants who are unable to make a class at RPBBA, may attend and receive the same instruction at HBA. Both clubs offer the same course on alternating Saturdayโ€™s.

2023 Honey Bee Festival Planning

Planning has begun and the date has been set for June 24th at Rockwood Park. We are finalizing team leads and then we ask for volunteers. As you know, we will need a lot of volunteers to make the HBF a success! Beeeeeeee prepared to get involved, itโ€™s great fun!

February Meeting

This month our meeting will be held in conjunction with the Huguenot Beekeepers Association @7pm at the Powhatan Village Building Auditorium located at 3910 Old Buckingham Road, Powhatan, VA 23139. Dr. Zac Lamas will discuss Varroa Mites. This is a presentation that you do not want to miss.

Add to Google Calendar

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VSBA Master Beekeeping Study Group

The study group will be held on Feb 21st at the Chesterfield Library located at 325 Courthouse Road at 6:30pm.

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 pursue certification. The study group is open to all members who want to learn. During the study group 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!

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

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Have You Reserved Your Bees For 2023?

Whether you’re a 1st time beekeeper, or looking to replace a colony that didnโ€™t make it through Winter, there are resources for you to source live bees locally.

For those looking to purchase Nucs, Packages or Queenโ€™s check out our 2023 Resources* The time is now to start reserving your order(s).

*This is simply a list of local suppliers; RPBBA does not endorse or give preference. Buyers are encouraged to do their own research before making their decision to purchase from any supplier.

Bee Vocabulary – โ€œPheromonesโ€

Did you know that the Queen gives off pheromones to prevent workers from developing ovaries?!

The queen regulates the goings-on of the colony by emitting chemical blends (pheromones) from her mandibular glands (saclike glands located inside the head above the base of the mandible). The queenโ€™s pheromones are often called the โ€˜queen signalโ€™. The queen signal is a primer pheromone that keeps the colony in homeostasis (e.g. worker cohesion, inhibition of worker reproduction, and stimulation of worker activities).

When the queen is weak or dies, the low/no pheromonal signal drives workers to rear new queens. If thereโ€™s no young brood present in the colony, the workers become disorganized, stop doing their tasks and begin laying unfertilized eggs. The colony becomes unclean and more susceptible to diseases and prey. The hive population dwindles and in most cases, is doomed.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Beekeepers in the News

Gene DiSalvo and Rick McCormick buzzed into the Anna Julia Cooper School (AJCS) at the end of January to speak with students about the importance of bees. AJCS is a K-8, independent, faith-based, full-tuition scholarship school serving students from limited financial resources in Richmondโ€™s East End.

Rick led 50 minute sessions with Kindergarten, First Grade, Sixth Grade girls and Sixth Grade boys classes. The informal learning discussions featured lots of questions back and forth from both Rick and the students. The students were fully engaged and even the classroom teachers commented about what they were learning about bees! Rick was assisted in these discussions by Buzz, his loyal hand puppet, and Gene DiSalvo, who coordinated these sessions with the AJCS staff.

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AJCS requested that Rick and his bees return to the school in the Springtime. The school is also interested in getting support with their school garden. RPBBA is happy to help them with a Pollinator Garden Starter pack! Itโ€™s great to have beekeepers that are also Master Gardeners ๐Ÿ™‚

Hollee Freeman gave a presentation to close to 200 people at Creative Mornings Richmond where she talked about finding sanctuary when working with bees.

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Thanks to everyone who talks with individuals, as well as, in small and large groups about beekeeping. Every little bit helps people understand the importance of honeybees in our ecosystem and just may encourage folks to become part of the beekeeping community or become bee-friendly in their gardens.

This Month in the Hive (February)

The cluster is still tight on most days. The cluster will break and move on days where the temperature exceeds 57 degrees in the hive. The queen remains in the cluster, and as the days lengthen, she will begin to lay a few more eggs each day. At this point, there are still no drones in the hive and workers will take cleansing flights on mild days.

As the cluster remains centered around the small brood nest, it will migrate upward as the lowest rows of capped brood hatch. The cluster will not quickly move up into new areas of honey after the brood nest forms, and mild days are important to the beesโ€™ ability to move honey/pollen toward the cluster.

Around mid-February, maples begin to blossom and supply nectar and fresh pollen that are extraordinarily valuable to the growth of the hive. The maple blossom continues through mid-March. In areas of higher elevation, the maple blossoms start and end 7-14 days later. The bees will consume about 20 pounds of honey stores and nectar from maples. Alders may bloom in some locations and provide valuable variety in pollen proteins.

Tip: On a day that exceeds 55 degrees, open the hive and quickly check for sufficient food supplies, signs of disease, and to see if the queen is laying. Place a pollen patty near (but not directly on top of) the brood nest. More colonies are probably lost during this time of year than during all other winter months. A colony that is rearing brood will consume about 7 pounds of honey and nectar per week, and if the weather turns bad, a colony with small food reserves can quickly starve to death. Never allow the food stores to drop below 15 pounds. If they have less than 15 pounds of honey, start feeding stored honey or thick sugar syrup (one part sugar to one part water.) Remember, once you start feeding, you need to continue feeding until the bees no longer consume the syrup, or until the end of April.

Consider whether to sign up for that โ€œAdvanced Beekeeper Course.โ€ Attend bee club meetings and get equipment ready for spring. At this time of year, you may be advised to โ€œreverseโ€ the brood boxes on a hive with two brood boxes. It is too early in the year to perform this task with safety, so delay this task until you are confident that warmer weather has arrived. The first week of February may be a good time to add a pollen patty or candy board to a hive that is raising brood. If you enter the hive, you may consider moving a frame of honey from the outside of the hive to an area much closer to the brood nest. Do not place a frame of frozen honey immediately adjacent to the brood nest, however.

Decide now how you are going to deal with the issue of swarms in April, May and June. Read and study the options, and seek advice. Prepare a bait hive now if you are going to use it later in the spring. If you are going to use more equipment to hold queen cells and deal with swarms, then take steps to obtain that equipment. https://buzzwordhoney.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Northern-Virginia-Honeybee-Annual-Cycle.pdf]

Whatโ€™s in Bloom (according to Maymont)

Wintersweet, Witch Hazel, Conifers, Holly in Fruit

https://maymont.org/explore/gardens/whats-in-bloom/

Final Word

If you are not a member of RPBBA, we encourage you to join and bee 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.

With February full of events,we will probably see a lot of each other!

Donโ€™t forget to check out our Calendar of Events to keep up to date.

Hollee Freeman
Communications ๐Ÿ

Check us out at rockwoodbeekeepers.com!
Like us on Facebook!
Join our Facebook RPBBA Practical Beekeeping Group!
Keep up with what RPBBA is doing, see Calendar of Events!

*****************************************************************************
This is the official Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers email. RPBBA will never share your email with anyone outside of the organization or for non-club-related business without your permission. If you wish to update your email or be removed from our email list please complete this form.

RPBBA – January Newsletter

Subj: January Newsletter – RPBBA

Happy New Year beekeepers!

Top of mind for beekeepers isโ€“how did the bees do with the sudden cold snap we had a couple of weeks ago? Hopefully everyoneโ€™s bees are hanging in there! In the event that some hives didnโ€™t make it, donโ€™t fret, there will be plenty of opportunities to begin again. Several club members will be selling nucs and queens as the spring approaches. There are also quite a few conferences, classes and other events on tap to get us ready for spring. Bring it on!

Jan. RPBBA Calendar of Events

๐Ÿ“… Monday, Jan 9th – RPBBA Monthly mtg @ 6pm. Topic: Pheromones with Dr. James Wilson at LaPrade Library. (note the change in time for this month. Meet & Greet from 6-6:30 pm. Meeting officially starts at 6:30).

๐Ÿ“… Friday, Jan 14th – Last day to sign up for the Beginner Beekeeping class for the low cost of $100. Price increases to $115 after 01/14. This is an important step for new beeks and veteran beeks who would like to brush up.

๐Ÿ“… Tuesday, Jan 17th RPBBA Study Group. 7-8pm @North Courthouse Road Library (note the change in date for this month). Open to all members.

๐Ÿ“…Saturday, Jan 28th – 1st day of the Beginner Beekeeping class.ย 

2023 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

๐ŸHistory, Hive organization & location, ๐ŸWoodenware and equipment,

๐ŸDynamics of the Colony, ๐ŸDiseases, Pests and Predators,

๐ŸGetting Started, ๐ŸThe Beekeeping Year, ๐ŸFloral Sources, and ๐ŸBee Field Day (hands-on apiary day)

Class dates will be Jan 28, Feb 11, Feb 25, & Mar 11 alternating Saturdayโ€™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 21st and $115 thereafter. We are limited to 40 registrations; enrollment includes a 1-year membership to RPBBA. For more information, including a signup form, please see our website rockwoodbeekeepers.com/beginner-beekeeping.

Club News – 2023 Officers Announcement (in case you missed it in Dec. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Board of Directorsโ€™ has installed the following slate of Officers for the 2023.ย 

Stan Houk, President

Sherry Kelley, Vice President

Theo Hartmann, Treasurer

Don Osborne, Secretary

Hollee Freeman, Communications

John Davis, Membership

Jody Conway, Registered Agent

The Membership role is new. This position was created with the intention of having a club member as a go-to for prospective RPBBA members and new members as well as a familiar face for our more experienced beekeepers to keep in touch. We know there are a lot of questions when youโ€™re new to the club and/or new to beekeeping. Seasoned beekeepers know the learning never ends. Filling in a Membership role will also be a help for our Communications director who is often the first point of contact for many.

The Board of Directors is still on the hunt for a Honey Bee Festival Chair. If you have an interest, or questions, reach out and let us know. The club could use a helping hand to lead the charge. I realize the role is intimidating. Help is available; we promise, we will not let you fail.

Have You Reserved Your Bees For 2023?

Whether you’re a 1st time beekeeper, or looking to replace a colony that didnโ€™t make it through Winter, there are resources for you to source live bees locally.

ย 

For those looking to purchase Nucs, Packages or Queenโ€™s check out our 2023 Resources for Nucs, Packages & Queens*. The time is now to start reserving your order(s).

*This is simply a list of local suppliers; RPBBA does not endorse or give preference. Buyers are encouraged to do their own research before making their decision to purchase from any supplier. The Virginia Bee Law requires that honey bees on combs, hives and equipment with combs must be accompanied by a certificate of health issued by the Office of Plant Industry Services prior to being sold in Virginia. For information on this, please visit the VDACS website.

ISO RPBBA Members Willing to Bee a Mentor

A Mentorโ€™s purpose is to help other members with things like installing packages/nucs, in-hive help, capturing swarms or general questions.

With the 2023 Beginner Beekeeping course kicking off in January,we will soon have new-beeโ€™s looking for assistance. If you are a RPBBA member and willing to bee a Mentor, please sign up here. You must be willing to have your contact information shared with other RPBBA members.

The goal is to create a current list of willing mentors, with their general location, to share with those ISO a Mentor near them.

Bee Vocabulary – โ€œtorporโ€ as in: Iโ€™m not dead (yet), Iโ€™m just in torpor.

Friends, please resist the temptation to knock on the outside of your hives to see if they are alive. Torpor is a natural state of decreased physiological activity. By knocking on your hives, you will disrupt their torpor state and you may just kill them off without even knowing it. Here are some interesting nuggets to keep in mind:ย 

  • Honeybees keep the hive temp in the cluster btw 54-57 degrees F.
  • When you knock on the hive, the temp rises to about 80 degrees for about 5+ hours.ย 
  • Approx ยฝ cup of food stores are needed to maintain this temp.

We want our ladies to waste their valuable energy during these cold months. Soโ€ฆbuy an inexpensive stethoscope if you feel the overwhelming urge to listen for activity OR just be patient. Spring is coming.ย 

Beekeepers in the News (This info. was in the Dec. newsletter but we will give it another run since Drs. Wilson and Lamas are coming to speak with us.)

Could Carbon Dioxide Be a New Tool Against Varroa Mites?

If you missed the story, you can read it at:

https://entomologytoday.org/2022/08/02/carbon-dioxide-varroa-mite-management-honey-bees/

Citizen Science: Predicting Varroa Infestation in Virginia

Dr. Zac Lamas and Dr. James Wilson are working together along with Virginia beekeepers in 2023 to see if a new sampling methodology can predict mite infestations months before they actually occur. The project is simple, easily adoptable, and can be done by beekeepers of all skill levels. They need hobbyist beekeepers across Virginia to join in.

More information and a signup form below๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

Varroa is the leading cause of death of honey bee colonies. Despite years of research there is much we still don’t know about mites. New findings from the University of Maryland and USDA-ARS suggest an alternative sampling method may allow beekeepers to detect Varroa earlier than current sampling methods, nor does the new method require beekeepers to sacrifice handfuls of worker bees in the process. But we need your help!

Here is your chance to be a scientist! Beekeepers across Virginia are invited to join a citizen science project in 2023. Your participation will provide valuable data. We want to know if our new method works in Virginia, and if it in fact, can predict fall mite infestations months beforehand.

You do not need to provide much to participate. All you need is to sample a few of your own colonies each month, and then submit the results on a monthly questionnaire. Our team at Virginia Tech will provide instruction material, monthly zoom sessions, and Q&A support via e-mail.

๐’๐ข๐ ๐ง๐ฎ๐ฉ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž๐ž ๐ข๐ง๐ฏ๐จ๐ฅ๐ฏ๐ž๐: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScW3ZUau6kO6G1EQfYhrbBBWtSsTmGKfSx6z5tgIq5y_1Y5Pw/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0&fbclid=IwAR3hDc800XbRhR6Ud40jlieGrgJ_dTcDhV4sAN-W-efAwNlMEgP72BT5I5w ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ

Heart of Virginia Beekeepers 1st Annual Conference

The Heart of Virginia Beekeepers are hosting their FIRST annual beekeeping conference for the central region! The conference will feature two seminars from keynote speaker, Dr. David Tarpy, professor and extension specialist of honey bee biology and beekeeping at NC State University. His seminars will delve into diagnosing queen problems and coming out of winter. There will also be a selection of breakout sessions from which to choose, including integrated pest management, varroa treatments, reading the frame, commercial beekeeping, Slovenian style beekeeping, a forum on swarm prevention, and the indispensable nuc.

Sat, January 14th, 8:30am โ€“ 4:00pm

@Longwood University 201 High Street Farmville, VA 23909

For more information, including registration, visit

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/heart-of-virginia-beekeepers-1st-annual-conference-registration-440627598007

There are early admission tickets available though Dec 15th.

Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA)

Save the Date: Spring Meeting

June 10th 8:30am – 5pm &

June 11th 8:30am – 2pm

@Sweet Briar College 134 Chapel Dr Sweet Briar, VA24595

This Month in the Hive (January)

The Hive

This month the queen is surrounded by thousands of workers. She is in the midst of the winter cluster, where the temperature at the center is about 88 degrees F. At the periphery of the cluster, the temperature will drop to 42 degrees on the coldest nights. The worker bees continuously move in and out of the center of the cluster. The bees in the cluster flex their wing and thorax muscles to generate heat, and they consume honey that was stored in the previous year.ย 

The cluster will continuously move upward into new honey if it is available. On a day that reaches 45 degrees or more in the hive, the bees may be able to move the cluster upward or horizontally into new honey, or they may be able to move honey toward the cluster from other parts of the hive. On a warm day (50 degrees or more) the worker bees will leave the hive to take a cleansing flight, during which they defecate away from the hive. The workers will wait weeks for a warm day if necessary before flying.ย 

The queen will usually begin laying a small number of worker eggs in the 3rd full week of January (about 28 days after the winter solstice), and some worker brood will begin to appear at the center of the cluster at that time.ย 

Food Consumption & Storageย 

A strong hive may consume 15-20 lbs of honey in January if the weather is consistently cold or wet. Stored pollen will be in demand in the hive after brood rearing commences in the third full week. On a warm day, a few bees may fly out and collect small amounts of pollen from witch hazel and winter aconite. Bees may visit a gardenia in bloom in a garden. These pollen sources are miniscule compared to the bounty waiting later in the year.ย 

Events to Watch For in the Hiveย 

If there is heavy snow, make certain the entrance to the hive is cleared to allow for proper ventilation. Check the weight of the hive by placing one hand under the back of the bottom board and lifting it up. If it feels as if most of the honey is gone, you may need to start feeding the hive this month. Once you start feeding, you must continue feeding until the bees are gathering pollen and nectar on their own. Unless you are confident that a hive is starving, do not open a hive at less than 55 degrees Fahrenheit (without wind chill.)ย 

Tasks to Be Performedย 

This is a great time to catch up on reading those bee books you received as holiday gifts, or that you requested on inter-library loan. Donโ€™t forget to attend your next club meeting and start ordering, assembling, and repairing the equipment you might need for this coming season. If you have not done so, go ahead and order that package of bees or a nucleus hive, if needed, from a reputable supplier.

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

Whatโ€™s in Bloom (according to Maymont)

Wintersweet, Witch Hazel, Conifers, Holly in Fruit

[From: maymont.org/explore/gardens/whats-in-bloom/]

Final Word

If you are a member of RPBBA, donโ€™t forget to pay your dues. The amount is miniscule compared to the vast array of knowledge from mentors, study groups and meetings. If you are not a member of RPBBA, we encourage you to join and bee active. You can join on our website. If you are a honeybee enthusiast looking to get started, check out the Beginner Beekeeping course. Itโ€™s worth itsโ€™ weight in gold.ย 

We are always looking for ways to improve communications in the club. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please let me know.ย  I am planning do feature a member each month starting in Feb. Stay tuned.

I hope to see you at the meeting on Jan 9th at 6pm. Bring your bee stories!

Hollee Freeman
Communications ๐Ÿ

Check us out at rockwoodbeekeepers.com!
Like us on Facebook!
Join our Facebook RPBBA Practical Beekeeping Group!
Keep up with what RPBBA is doing, see Calendar of Events!

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This is the official Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers email. RPBBA will never share your email with anyone outside of the organization or for non-club-related business without your permission. If you wish to update your email or be removed from our email list please complete this form.

RPBBA UPDATE: Change of Venue for Holiday Party

Hey RPPBA members,
Please take notice that our annual holiday party venue is changing. It will now be at the Nature Center.

The party will still be Monday, Dec 12th at 7pm. The only difference is the venue. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in public parks. We hope that this change does not affect anyone’s decision to attend. We know everyone enjoys when we meet at Molly’s; the space is unexpectedly unavailable.

RSVP link for those that may need it: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409044babae2aa5fa7-2022

Thank you!

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!

December Newsletter – RPBBA

Good evening beekeepers!

It may be a slow month in the apiary but there is much to share this month. Rockwood Beekeepers, there is much to look forward to. Weโ€™ve got a party, study group, speakers for January and February lined up, Beginner Beekeeper classes beginning next month, several signups, a citizen science opportunity, and multiple conferences on the horizon for those interested. I predict a VERY full Spring. Keep your eyes peeled for quite a bit of information and opportunities to bee involved in this months newsletter.

RPBBA Calendar of Events
๐Ÿ“… Monday, Dec 12th – RPBBA Annual Holiday Party @ 7pm
๐Ÿ“… Monday, Dec 19th – Study Group @ 7pm

December Meeting – A Holiday Potluck
In the place of our December meeting we will be having a holiday potluck.

7pm on Monday, December 12th
@Mollyโ€™s Bicycle Shop
4515 W Hundred Rd, Chester, VA 23831

The brewery will be closed except for our group. The association will provide fried chicken, tableware, water, & soft drinks. Beer will NOT be available for purchase; this event is BYOB. We plan to have a white elephant gift exchange. To participate please bring a wrapped gift (under $20). Attendees are asked to RSVP and let us know what you plan to bring. To RSVP, go to SignUpGenius. Please leave the dish you intend to bring in a comment. The more the merrier. I hope to see you there! Add to Google Calendar

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2023 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
๐ŸHistory, Hive organization & location,
๐ŸWoodenware and equipment,
๐ŸDynamics of the Colony,
๐ŸDiseases, Pests and Predators,
๐ŸGetting Started,
๐ŸThe Beekeeping Year,
๐ŸFloral Sources, and
๐ŸBee Field Day (hands-on apiary day)

Class dates will be Jan 28, Feb 11, Feb 25, & Mar 11 alternating Saturdayโ€™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 21st and $115 thereafter. We are limited to 40 registrations; enrollment includes a 1-year membership to RPBBA. For more information, including a signup form, please see our website rockwoodbeekeepers.com/beginner-beekeeping.

Club News – 2023 Officers Announcement
The Board of Directorsโ€™ met on November 28th over Zoom. 2023 Officers were discussed and selected. The following slate of Officers will be installed January 1st.

Stan Houk, President
Sherry Kelley, Vice President
Theo Hartmann, Treasurer
Don Osborne, Secretary
Hollee Freeman, Communications
John Davis, Membership
Jody Conway, Registered Agent

The Membership role is new. This position was created with the intention of having a club member as a go-to for prospective RPBBA members and new members as well as a familiar face for our more experienced beekeepers to keep in touch. We know there are a lot of questions when youโ€™re new to the club and/or new to beekeeping. Seasoned beekeepers know the learning never ends. Filling in a Membership role will also be a help for our Communications director who is often the first point of contact for many.

The Board of Directors is still on the hunt for a Honey Bee Festival Chair. If you have an interest, or questions, reach out and let us know. The club could use a helping hand to lead the charge. I realize the role is intimidating. Help is available; we promise, we will not let you fail.

Will you be selling nucs, packages or queens this year?R2Ag1Cyz6TenVN1uNXRUjv998sgMqD46MWJPvT8oRYobHa9zK0lBqnvQk8hf8mgbJiqKfuYBOHm3CZUvXoYoez10ut5tRbz4A2SLUgZ1Wnpbi9-wcu4AFdPTwoC7_4BrYJxYEWLYqSmZexTZ2peNWg3duHhyUq8fT7Hkcw5tfGiq_PSEJ2lQ5fcIDrXORQ

Ever so often, the question pops up- how do I get started? Where can I get my bees? Weโ€™d like to update the 2022 Resources list for sharing with those who inquire (and our incoming Beginner Beekeeping class).

If you plan to have bees for sale next year, tell us your plans.

Click here to have your information added to our 2023 Resources*.

*This is simply a list of local suppliers; RPBBA does not endorse or give preference. Buyers are encouraged to do their own research before making their decision to purchase from any supplier.

ISO RPBBA Members Willing to Bee a Mentor
A Mentorโ€™s purpose is to help other members with things like installing packages/nucs, in-hive help, capturing swarms or general questions.

With the 2023 Beginner Beekeeping course kicking off in January,well soon have new-beeโ€™s looking for assistance. If you are a RPBBA member and willing to bee a Mentor, please sign up here. You must be willing to have your contact information shared with other RPBBA members.

The goal is to create a current list of willing mentors, with their general location, to share with those ISO a Mentor near them.

Bee Vocabulary – โ€œwaggle danceโ€
A series of figure-eight movements performed by a bee to indicate the direction and abundance of a distant food source. In this dance, the bee walks in a circle, turns around, then walks the same circle in the opposite direction. She repeats this many times. Sometimes, the bee includes a little waggle as she’s turning around.

Beekeepers in the News
Could Carbon Dioxide Be a New Tool Against Varroa Mites?
If you missed the story, you can read it at:
https://entomologytoday.org/2022/08/02/carbon-dioxide-varroa-mite-management-honey-bees/

Citizen Science: Predicting Varroa Infestation in Virginia
Dr. Zac Lamas and Dr. James Wilson are working together and with Virginia beekeepers in 2023 to see if a new sampling methodology can predict mite infestations months before they actually occur. The project is simple, easily adoptable, and can be done by beekeepers of all skill levels. They need hobbyist beekeepers across Virginia to join in.

More information and a signup form below๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

Varroa is the leading cause of death of honey bee colonies. Despite years of research there is much we still don’t know about mites. New findings from the University of Maryland and USDA-ARS suggest an alternative sampling method may allow beekeepers to detect Varroa earlier than current sampling methods, nor does the new method require beekeepers to sacrifice handfuls of worker bees in the process. But we need your help!

Here is your chance to be a scientist! Beekeepers across Virginia are invited to join a citizen science project in 2023. Your participation will provide valuable data. We want to know if our new method works in Virginia, and if it in fact, can predict fall mite infestations months beforehand.

You do not need to provide much to participate. All you need is to sample a few of your own colonies each month, and then submit the results on a monthly questionnaire. Our team at Virginia Tech will provide instruction material, monthly zoom sessions, and Q&A support via e-mail.

Signup to bee involved: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScW3ZUau6kO6G1EQfYhrbBBWtSsTmGKfSx6z5tgIq5y_1Y5Pw/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0&fbclid=IwAR3hDc800XbRhR6Ud40jlieGrgJ_dTcDhV4sAN-W-efAwNlMEgP72BT5I5w ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ

Heart of Virginia Beekeepers 1st Annual Conference

The Heart of Virginia Beekeepers are hosting their FIRST annual beekeeping conference for the central region! The conference will feature two seminars from keynote speaker, Dr. David Tarpy, professor and extension specialist of honey bee biology and beekeeping at NC State University. His seminars will delve into diagnosing queen problems and coming out of winter. There will also be a selection of breakout sessions from which to choose, including integrated pest management, varroa treatments, reading the frame, commercial beekeeping, Slovenian style beekeeping, a forum on swarm prevention, and the indispensable nuc.

Sat, January 14th, 8:30am โ€“ 4:00pm
@Longwood University 201 High Street Farmville, VA 23909

For more information, including registration, visit
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/heart-of-virginia-beekeepers-1st-annual-conference-registration-440627598007

There are early admission tickets available though Dec 15th.

Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA)
Save the Date: Spring Meeting
June 10th 8:30am – 5pm &
June 11th 8:30am – 2pm
@Sweet Briar College 134 Chapel Dr Sweet Briar, VA24595

This Month in the Hive (December)
The bees are in a tight cluster now. Egg laying has halted. There will be flights on sunny days with temperatures over 50 degrees. Weeks after the winter solstice, the queenโ€™s egg laying will recommence, but not this month.

The hive may consume 10-12 pounds of honey during this month, depending on the weather. Mild weather may actually cause more honey consumption due to increased movement.

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.

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.

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

Whatโ€™s in Bloom (according to Maymont)
Holly in fruit, Wintersweet, Winter Tree Silhouettes

[From: maymont.org/explore/gardens/whats-in-bloom/]

Final Word
If you are not a member of RPBBA, we encourage you to join and bee 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. ๐Ÿ˜€

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 holiday party on Monday, December 12th at 7pm.

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!

RPPBA Members Shape Young Minds at Falling Creek Elementary

Dennis Marshall, Kandi Chamberlain and Richard McCormick were spotted buzzing around at Falling Creek Elementary. Students learned the role bees and other pollinators to make the food we eat.

A video of the day can be found here: https://youtu.be/Vz4T1RacYr0

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.

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

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