HBF Planning Meeting Moved to Monday, 5/23

Good morning RPBBA members,

I hope everyone is having a great Spring season. The purpose of this message is to let everyone know the HBF Planning committee will be meeting tomorrow, 5/23, 7pm at Molly’s Blind Dog Brewery.

4515 W Hundred Rd

Chester, VA 23831

This meeting will NOT be on Zoom. Members who are able to attend are encouraged to do so. It’s crunch time for HBF planning. Each of our committee leaders will be giving an update.

Following tomorrow’s meeting, the HBF PLanning Committee will next be meeting Wednesday, June 1st. Location is TBD and will be on the agenda for discussion tomorrow evening. I will keep the RPBBA Calendar of Events updated accordingly.

Thank you,
Michelle Clark
Communications 🐝

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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Bee Loud, Bee Proud: A Message From Your HBF Chair, Rick Beaudet

We are just weeks away from your Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeeping Association’s (RPBBA) 11th Annual Honey Bee Festival.

Wow, think back to pre-COVID when we presented our last Honey Bee Festival. Thousands of people visited Rockwood Park Nature Center to learn about honeybees from our Buzz Talk speakers, our Bee Smart Stations and the variety of educational demonstrations. We were delighted that many RPBBA partner organizations joined us in advancing our mission. We all loved the family fun radiating from the variety of activities in the Children’s Area, the wonderful music filling the air from the Bee Flats, and the tremendous variety of vendor products related to our mission. The wide variety of delicious baked goods and the many food trucks along with the fantastic comments and wide smiles guests left us with deep gratitude as we packed up for the day. Comments included:

    • “Our favorite Richmond festival”

    • “Thank you, thank you, thank you — my kids loved it”

    • “We’ve been coming for years”

    • “I learned so much and spent even more”

    • “Cool, I realized I can be a beekeeper simply by the choices I make about my yard and the food I eat”

You, RPBBA members, have so much to be proud about. And did we talk about the thousands of seedlings that you have given away over the years that are now grand pollinator trees in our community? Or, the hundreds of people that RPBBA has introduced to beekeeping? Bee Loud, Bee Proud, your club is making a big difference!

Things are falling into place and June 25th will be another great day for our club and our mission. We still have a lot to do and need every member on deck to continue to produce an even better festival each year. There are so many ways to be involved and we hope you will find ways to contribute.

Volunteer

This is your club’s main activity during the year. Therefore, we ask every member to volunteer in some way:

    • give your gift of time and talent in advance of the festival, (for Friday night set-up, the day of the Festival or any combination);

    • there are activities for new beekeepers all the way to the most experienced beekeepers;

    • invite friends and family to sign-up as a volunteer and join you (we have many activities that someone with little to no knowledge of honey bees can assist)

You will work hard, but will also have a lot of fun doing it and we will deepen our relationship with our fellow beekeepers. I have personally made so many valuable contacts by working side by side with other beekeepers. By volunteering and advancing the mission of this club, I am not shy about asking other club members questions or for assistance! Volunteering has definitely made me a better beekeeper.

PLEASE SIGN-UP HERE and remember to ask your family and friends too. Our 11th annual HBF volunteers will Bee Loud and Bee Proud in their free tee shirts which will identify them to our Festival guests!

Calling All Bakers (or you can buy water if you can’t bake)

The RPBBA Bake Sale Tent is a major source of funds that allows our club to produce the HBF each year. Please assist us by baking a few things that can be sold at the RPBBA Bake Sale Tent during the HBF this year. Can’t bake, how about donating a case of water? Cookies, cakes, pies or whatever you want to bake. It’s best not to provide anything baked goods requiring refrigeration or that may melt in the heat. You may provide the baked goods whole or you can place them in individual snack bags ready for sale. Please label the baked goods (molasses cookies, apple pie, blueberry scones, etc.) so that they can be easily displayed. Baked goods and water can be dropped at Rockwood Park Nature Center on Friday night or Saturday morning during HBF set-up or through special arrangement. Many thanks to Alice and Walt McIntyre who are once again leading this awesome effort for our club. wtoyboy12 or (804) 271-9623.

Loan Pop-Up Tents and Folding Tables

Our many educational demonstrations and club areas require more tables and pop-ups than RPBBA has access to (all vendors are responsible for their own equipment). SIGN-UP TO LOAN EQUIPMENT HERE Please label your loaner pop-ups and tables with your full name and telephone number. Please also label the storage containers they come in. The Operations team will treat them as they are their own.

Would You Like Your Capped Honey Extracted?

Once again this year the Education team will be conducting the always popular Honey Extraction Demonstration inside the Nature Center. To do this however, we need members to provide supers of capped honey to be extracted and returned to them. If interested in having your honey expertly extracted, please SIGN-UP HERE and additional details regarding the process will be provided.

We Can’t Have a Drone Petting Zoo Without You

An especially busy Education area each year is the Drone Petting Zoo where children (and their parents) learn about honey bees by having an opportunity to handle drone bees, which do not sting. To do this we need many beekeepers to collect drone bees from their hives the morning of the Festival and bring them to the Education team. If you might be able to help provide Drones and make many children happy, please SIGN-UP HERE and additional details regarding the process will be provided.

Know a Vendor with a Product Related to Your Clubs Mission?

We still have a few vendor spaces available. Have them go to https://rockwoodbeekeepers.com/hbf-vendor-info/ and complete an application. We will close the registration once all spaces are taken.

Bee Loud, Bee Proud on Your Social Media and the Places You Visit

People are always surprised that Volunteers produce a festival of this quality. Bee Loud, Bee Proud and

Your assistance with this is a huge part of our Publicity campaign.

As I see this Festival coming together, I am in awe of the creativity and hard work being done by so many RPBBA members to make your 11th Annual Honeybee Festival a success. Thank you! Get involved if you’re not already and have some fun. And Bee Loud, Bee Proud, you deserve to!!

Rick Beaudet

HBF Chair

2022 Honey Bee Festival

Saturday, June 25th 10am – 2pm
@ Rockwood Park Nature Center
3401 Courthouse Rd, Richmond, VA 23236
Add to Google Calendar

There’s more to celebrate.

Did you know: our Apis mellifera friends, the European honey bee, was first brought to the Americas right here in Virginia in 1622? After being brought to our East coast, it took 231 years before the honey bee reached our West coast. That’s right, the creation of the United States can be found in the footsteps of the honey bee. From Sea to Shining Sea!

This year marks the 400th year since honey bees were brought to America. We intend to celebrate by weaving this very special landmark into our festival this year.


Interested in being a vendor?

Vendor information, including a link to our sign-up form, can be found here.


Volunteer Sign-Up

The Honey Bee festival requires a lot of hands leading up to the festival for planning, the Friday night before for setup, during, & after the festival for takedown. Day of, we need about 50 volunteers to lend a helpful hand. Volunteers do not have to be beekeepers or a member of our club. Volunteers can be kids, family, friends, etc. The only requirement is a willingness to help. We can certainly find a way to use our volunteers and are thankful for all the help we can get. Volunteers are provided a free Honey Bee Festival t-shirt.

Anyone willing to volunteer, please let us know by completing the Volunteer Sign-Up form.

Thank you in advance!

May Newsletter – RPBBA

Hello beekeepers and honey bee enthusiasts!

It’s been quite busy in the apiary. My hive inspections lately are watching for signs of swarming, finding eggs, making sure the queen has space to lay, and adding boxes for honey production. We’re in the thick of it now! I just love getting out in the apiary and smelling sweet honey in the air. It’s so pleasant. There is so much in bloom; our bees are happy happy happy.

May Upcoming Calendar of Events

Monday, May 9th – RPBBA Monthly Meeting, 7pm at Molly’s Blind Dog Brewery
Tuesday, May 10th – Honey Bee Festival Planning Committee, 7pm on Zoom
Monday, May 16th – Master Beekeeping Study Group, 7pm on Zoom
Wednesday, May 25th – Honey Bee Festival Planning Committee, 7pm on Zoom

May Meeting

If swarming has been an issue for your hives, then our May club meeting is for you because we’re talking about making splits! We will be meeting at 7pm on Monday, May 9th at Molly’s Blind Dog Brewery.

4515 W Hundred Rd
Chester, VA 23231

During the meeting our club President and longtime beekeeper, Stan Houk, will be giving a presentation on splits. What is a split? Why do beekeepers make splits? When should I make a split? How do I make splits? Come learn the ins and outs. We’ll have plenty of Q&A time so everyone can leave the meeting feeling comfortable using their new skill in the apiary. Add to Google Calendar

Honey Bee Festival – Saturday, June 25th Add to Google Calendar

The Honey Bee Festival (HBF) is fast approaching. Leading up to the festival, I ask you to consider:

  1. Volunteering Day of the festival we need about 50 volunteers to lend a helpful hand. Volunteers do not have to be beekeepers or a member of our club. Volunteers can be kids, family, friends, etc. The only requirement is a willingness to help. All volunteers receive a free HBF t-shirt. Those interested can let us know by completing the webform on our website: https://rockwoodbeekeepers.com/hbf-volunteer-sign-up/

  2. Spread the Buzz What fun is a festival without attendees? Word of mouth and social media are helpful tools to invite others. We have information about the festival on our website, a flyer, and an event setup on Facebook. All can be shared. Please help to spread the buzz so we can make this year’s festival a success.

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. 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!

The study group meets monthly on the 3rd Monday of each month. They’ll next be meeting Monday, May 16th at 7pm on Zoom. RPBBA members, look for the Zoom link in email following this newsletter. 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

RPBBA Observation Hive Update

The club’s observation hive is bursting at the seams. The queen was pulled April 30th to make a split. 2 queen cells were found in the hive so they are well on their way to raising a new queen. If they should fail to successfully raise a new queen, the original queen will be returned.

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Looking To Expand Your Pollinator Garden?

Regional native plant guides are available that highlight the beautiful variety of Virginia’s native plants. PDF versions are free. Virginia Capital Region native plants provide visual beauty year round. Local native plants support more wildlife species than non-native plants. Native trees, shrubs, and vines that feed the insects, birds, and animals are essential for maintaining biodiversity. Local native plants are adapted to local temperature and rainfall fluctuations. Spraying pesticides for insects or diseases is generally not necessary for native Plants. The guide for RVA area natives can be viewed here: https://www.plantvirginianatives.org/plant-rva-natives

Bee Vocabulary – “Wax Scales”

The wax glands are located in the lower part of the young worker’s abdomen, and release wax when the worker is about 12 days old. About six days later, the gland degenerates and the worker stops comb-building. The wax is discharged as a liquid and hardens to small flakes or scales and sits in wax pockets.

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Beekeepers in the News

Virginia Living Museum Expert Gives Tips About Choosing Plants To Attract Pollinators Ahead Of Native Plant Sale

Master beekeeper Andy Westrich, the volunteer beekeeper at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, discusses pollinator friendly planting and warns of harmful pesticides. If you missed the story, you can read it at: https://www.13newsnow.com/article/life/virginia-living-museum-native-plant-sale-tips-attracting-pollinators/291-9c813862-0a2c-45a0-b7f7-76894b9eee7f

Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA)

Save the Date for the VSBA Spring/Summer meeting.

8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Saturday, June 11th
@ Blue Ridge Community College
1 College Lane
Weyers Cave, VA 24486

Speakers will include Dr. Dewey Caron, Monica Schmitt, and Dr. James Wilson. VSBA will be having their Spring Business meeting, updates from our State Apiarist and EAS Representative as well as Testing for the Virginia State Master Beekeeper Program. Participants are encouraged to register here: https://www.virginiabeekeepers.org/event-4739646

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

This Month in the Hive (May)

Now the hive is really buzzing. The nectar and pollen should begin to come into the hive thick and fast. This is the peak of the egg laying season for the queen. The hive should be bursting with bees. The brood nest will extend across 7-8 frames and may reach into 2 full brood boxes in the strongest hives by month end.

This month Tulip Poplar, Black Locust, Wild Blackberry, Privet, Persimmon, yellow rocket, and Sweet Clover will bloom. Alsike Clover, Crimson Clover, Ladino (White Clover), Black Gum, poison ivy, Vetch, Holly, and Raspberries will also bloom this month. At the end of the month, hawthorn hedges will add their nectar.

A strong hive may collect and store as much as 7 lbs of nectar per sunny, bright day. The bees will combine the nectar with enzymes they produce, and place the nectar in honeycomb cells to evaporate the nectar and age it into honey. Honey will be capped when it reaches 83-84% sugar. A strong hive working on a good nectar flow in May can cap as much as 80 pounds of mature honey during this month.

If the queen has over-wintered with the hive, then watch for signs of swarming. Look for queen cells. Make certain that the queen has enough room to lay 800-1000 eggs per day, and that she may do so for the entire 21 day cycle for production of a worker. This will mean that a queen in peak fertility will need at least 1 deep and 1 medium super for brood production. (Many beekeepers provide 2 deep brood boxes for this purpose.) If the brood production area has become honey-bound (more than ½ the brood frames are more than ½ full of honey), then provide a larger brood nest or remove honey frames and substitute foundation.

Watch for a failing or disappeared queen. If all the brood is drone brood, then the queen is failing, or has disappeared and been replaced by laying workers. If this occurs, you should combine the queenless hive with a queenright hive or take other steps to requeen the hive.

At the end of May, look out for wax moths. These 1/2 inch wide, gray moths sneak into the hive at night and lay eggs in corners and other places where the bees are unable to remove the eggs. The adult moths will be harassed and forced to leave a strong hive, and eggs will be covered with propolis if not removed. In a weak hive, the eggs will hatch and begin a path of destructive chewing and defecating through the brood combs. Combine weak hives, reduce the size of the brood box, or reduce the entrance to discourage moth entry to weak hives.

Inspect the hive weekly. If you reversed the brood boxes earlier in the year, you may need to do so a second time in May or June. Consider doing so if the lower brood box is nearly empty of brood and the upper brood box is crowded. Attend your bee club meetings and useful workshops you can find. Make certain that each hive has more than enough supers to store the honey harvest. Make notes of which flowers/trees/shrubs bloom at which times. Order labels, bottles and caps. Buy, reserve or borrow extracting equipment for late June or July. Order queens for July hive splits. Put out a wax moth trap; for directions, click here. Note however, that a MAAREC publication on wax moths states “so far a trap effective against the wax moth has not been developed”.

On strong hives, remove the mouse guard if you have not yet done so, unless you are using a mouse guard made of 1/2 inch hardware cloth, which does not obstruct air or bee movement.

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

What’s in Bloom (according to Maymont)

1st Week: Maple, Birch, Oak, Cherry, Pear, Silver Bell, Crabapple, Dogwood, Redbud, Camellia, Pearlbush, Sweet-Breath-of-Spring, Forsythia, Boxwood, Flowering Quince, Barberry, Azalea, Periwinkle, Narcissus, Candy tuft, Violets, Tulip, Pansy, Wildflowers

2nd Week: Crabapple, Silver Bell, Cherry, Dogwood, Redbud, Boxwood, Flowering Quince, Wisteria, Barberry, Lilac, Azalea, Periwinkle, Narcissus, Candy tuft, Violet, Pansy, Tulip, Wildflowers

3rd Week: Azalea, Dogwood, Cherry, wisteria, Violet, Pansy, Tulip, Lilac, Barberry, Periwinkle, Candy tuft, Wildflowers

4th Week: Azalea, Dogwood, Wisteria, Violet, Pansy, Tulip, Lilac, Periwinkle, Candy tuft, Wildflowers

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

Final Word

If you are a member of RPBBA, this month’s Zoom links will be emailed following this newsletter. 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. Meetings are open to non-members also. Come meet some other beekeepers and find out what RPBBA is all about.

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 everyone at the meeting on Monday, May 9th at Molly’s Blind Dog Brewery!

Michelle Clark
Communications 🐝

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

April Newsletter – RPBBA

Hello beekeepers and honey bee enthusiasts!

This is such a beautiful time of year here in Virginia. All the blooms are coming out and that means our happy, healthy honey bees will be preparing to swarm before you know it. We need to step up the frequency of our hive inspections and bee on the lookout for signs of swarming. Manage the space of your hives. This is a good time to make splits. Crowded hives lead to swarming; add another box on top as needed. Colonies in our area are already swarming. Keep the RPBBA Swarm Line handy to share with friends, neighbors, anyone who may need help with a swarm. Discourage the use of pesticides; bees are our friends 💛🖤💛🖤💛

RPBBA Swarm Line

(804) 404-BEE1 or (804) 404-2331

April Calendar of Events

Monday, April 11 – RPBBA Monthly Meeting 7pm at Molly’s Blind Dog Brewery

Tuesday, April 12th – Honey Bee Festival Planning Committee 7pm on Zoom

Monday, April 18th – Master Beekeeping Study Group 7pm on Zoom

Wednesday, April 27th – Honey Bee Festival Planning Committee 7pm on Zoom

April Meeting

Our April meeting 7pm Monday, April 11th at Molly’s Blind Dog Brewery, 4515 W Hundred Rd in Chester. We are planning a fun, interactive, meeting where we’ll have a panel discussion and even a game focused around our beekeeping knowledge. This event will be tailored to all experience levels. If you’re a newbee don’t be afraid to jump right in! Add to Google Calendar

Honey Bee Festival – Saturday, June 25th

The Honey Bee Festival (HBF) is fast approaching. June 25th will be here before we know it. We are currently looking for

  1. Volunteers. Help is needed either Friday evening (June 24th) with setup, or day of the event (June 25th), or both 😁 Volunteers can be anyone, not just RPBBA members. Beekeeping experience/knowledge not required. Those interested can let us know by completed the webform on our website here: https://rockwoodbeekeepers.com/hbf-volunteer-sign-up/

  2. Vendors. Space is available for single or double space and food trucks. Certificate of Liability Insurance required. More details, including fees, and an application form can be found here: https://rockwoodbeekeepers.com/hbf-vendor-info/

Bee Vocabulary – “Brood Nest”

Bees will use the available cells across frames for various purposes. They will use some cells to store pollen or honey. Other cells will be created for worker, drone or queen cells, which are collectively called the brood nest.

LIST: Common Beekeeping Terms You Should Know – Backyard Beekeeping

Beekeepers in the News

Social Patterns That Resist Varroa Mite Seen in Honey Bees for First Time

In the search for new avenues to protect honey bees (Apis mellifera) from Varroa mites, researchers have identified breeds of A. mellifera that show signs of “social apoptosis,” a defense mechanism common in Asian bees that are resistant to Varroa infestation.

If you missed the story, you can read it at: https://entomologytoday.org/2022/02/24/social-apoptosis-varroa-mite-resistance-honey-bees/?fbclid=IwAR2RRjTl0P56d7BvqKvDy2S6tdl_ZGCynEWhF90V1gTX5cNHdi-AUrNdtlA

Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA)

Mark your calendar now for the VSBA Spring/Summer meeting.

8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Saturday, June 11th

@ Blue Ridge Community College

1 College Lane

Weyers Cave, VA 24486

Speakers will include Dr. Dewey Caron, Monica Schmitt, and Dr. James Wilson. Participants are encouraged to register Here: https://www.virginiabeekeepers.org/event-4739646

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

This Month in the Hive (April)

On cold days, the bees continue to form a cluster. The brood nest may be as much as 10 inches in diameter, however, and all the bees may be needed to prevent brood death due to chilling on the coldest nights. The brood nest continues its slow migration upward into empty honeycomb. The bees continue to bring pollen and nectar into the hive. The queen is laying several hundred eggs per day at the beginning of the month, and the population is growing fast. At the end of the month, the queen will lay 800-1000 eggs per day. The worker population will double this month. Drones will number above 200 by month end.

A congested hive in April will lead to swarms in the last week of April and early May. Congestion exists where the combination of honey, pollen, brood and bees fills 80% or more of the available space. In a congested hive (for reasons about which there is no consensus) the worker bees begin to raise new queens in April. This is done by building “swarm cells” – peanut-like wax cells that often hang down between brood supers, or on the face of brood frames. From egg deposition to hatching is 16 days for a new queen. A hive that is storing honey by April 20 is a hive to watch for swarming.

Henbit, wild mustard, dandelions, redbuds, pears, cherries, “Japanese” magnolias, plums, shadbush, chickweed, and many ornamental shrubs will provide substantial amounts of pollen and sufficient nectar for brood production on sunny days. Many hives that have consumed sugar syrup in March will cease taking it in early April. By mid-April, apples, peaches, crab apples, American holly and autumn olive may begin to supply ample amounts of nectar and some very strong hives will begin to make and cap honey. At the end of the month, nectar flows will be strong from many sources.

Pick up and install packages of bees or nucleus hives. Packages are delivered in Northern Virginia each week during April and early May. Nucleus hives may be available, but they should have been requested or ordered in the prior year.

Generally, it should be understood that swarms are not good for honey production. Hive bodies should be reversed when the likelihood of 4 or more days of consistent cold (45 degrees or less) weather has passed, or around April 1 in most years. This will reduce congestion by encouraging the queen to expand egg-laying upward and outward into empty brood frames.

Remove any feeders where the syrup becomes moldy. Remove a feeder when 1 quart is not consumed in 1 week.

Place a bait hive for swarms nearby if you have decided to use such a hive. Be prepared to place a queen excluder and honey supers on top of the hive by the 4th week in April. On a warm and still day, do a complete inspection of the hive. Can you find any evidence of the queen? Are there plenty of eggs and brood? Is there a compact pattern to her egg laying? If not, locate a new queen and replace any weak or failing queen.

The final touches should be put on new hives and supers that will soon be full of bees and honey. Package bees should be installed as early as possible this month to take advantage of the heavy nectar flows at month end. Watch out for evidence of swarming (queen cells; live queen with no fresh eggs; queen that is reduced in size to fly with swarm). Remove frames with queen cells to a nucleus hive (with at least 2 frames of bees) or cut the queen cells from the frames and use them to requeen weak hives, or destroy them.

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

What’s in Bloom (according to Maymont)

1st Week: Maple, Birch, Oak, Cherry, Pear, Silver Bell, Crabapple, Dogwood, Redbud, Camellia, Pearlbush, Sweet-Breath-of-Spring, Forsythia, Boxwood, Flowering Quince, Barberry, Azalea, Periwinkle, Narcissus, Candy tuft, Violets, Tulip, Pansy, Wildflowers

2nd Week: Crabapple, Silver Bell, Cherry, Dogwood, Redbud, Boxwood, Flowering Quince, Wisteria, Barberry, Lilac, Azalea, Periwinkle, Narcissus, Candy tuft, Violet, Pansy, Tulip, Wildflowers

3rd Week: Azalea, Dogwood, Cherry, wisteria, Violet, Pansy, Tulip, Lilac, Barberry, Periwinkle, Candy tuft, Wildflowers

4th Week: Azalea, Dogwood, Wisteria, Violet, Pansy, Tulip, Lilac, Periwinkle, Candy tuft, Wildflowers

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

Final Word

If you are a member of RPBBA, this month’s Zoom links will be emailed following this newsletter. If you are not a member of RPBBA, we encourage you to join and bee active. You can join on our website. Meetings are open to non-members also. Come join us!

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 everyone at the meeting on Monday, April 11th at Molly’s Blind Dog Brewery!

Michelle Clark
Communications 🐝

Like us on Facebook!
Join our Facebook RPBBA Practical Beekeeping Group!

March Newsletter – RPBBA

Hello beekeepers and honeybee enthusiasts,

Are you ready for Spring yet? It won’t bee long before the nectar flow is on and swarm season begins. On warm days like today, my hives are steady bringing in fresh pollen. I often see honey bees around the garden drinking water where there’s dew. If you do not have your equipment for Spring ready to go, it’s crunch time. Pull boxes from storage; assemble extra frames. Apply a fresh coat of paint to the outside of boxes as needed. You do not want to be in the middle of a hive inspection and realize you need equipment that’s not ready to go.

Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeepers Calendar of Events

Saturday, March 5th – Beginner Beekeeping class day 4 at Dandelion Springs Apiary

Monday, March 7th – Board of Directors Meeting on Zoom

Tuesday, March 8th – Honey Bee Festival Planning 7pm on Zoom

Monday, March 14th – RPBBA Monthly Meeting 7pm on Zoom

Monday, March 21st – Study Group meeting 7pm on Zoom

📢 March Meeting

This month Keith Tignor will be joining us for a Spring setup talk. Keith is the State Apiarist and Central VA Region State Beekeeping Inspector. He has come to talk to our club many times and always has great information to share. In this month’s talk he will also discuss swarm prevention & splits. We hope you can join us Monday, March 14th at 7pm on Zoom! Add to Google Calendar

Call for Volunteers – Honey Bee Festival

We have set the date for this year’s Honey Bee Festival. Mark your calendar now for Saturday, June 25th. Add to Google Calendar The Honey Bee festival requires a lot of hands leading up to the festival for planning, the Friday night before for setup, during, & after the festival for takedown. Day of, we need about 50 volunteers to lend a helpful hand. Volunteers do not have to be beekeepers or a member of our club. Volunteers can be kids, family, friends, etc. The only requirement is a willingness to help. We can certainly find a way to use our volunteers and are thankful for all the help we can get. Volunteers are provided a free Honey Bee Festival t-shirt.

Anyone willing to volunteer, please let us know by emailing us at rockwood.beekeepers. Thank you in advance!

📢 Calling All Swarm Chasers

On rockwoodbeekeepers.com, the club has a form which receives requests to remove a swarm. Sometimes swarms can be easily removed; other times it requires an extensive cut-out. Emails are routed to active members in the club who have expressed interest. These are immediate and you should have the flexibility to drop everything and help on short notice. If you are not already on the swarm list and would like to be, signup here. Even if you do not have the experience to go get the swarm yourself, you might want to tag along with an experienced beekeeper to see how it is done.

Beehive Distribution Program – Beekeeping Classes

The Virginia Cooperative Extension and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services are sponsoring in-person lectures at the VSU Randolph Farm Pavilion large classroom, followed by hands-on demonstrations at the VSU Randolph Farm Bee Yard.

Topics for the first class will include honey bee biology, getting started in beekeeping, hive components and construction, beekeeping equipment, and feeding and caring for bees. The second class will cover how to open a hive for inspection, how to install package bees in a hive, and methods for collecting swarms to start a new hive. Additional topics covered in the two classes include nucleus hives, queen management, and integrated pest management. The workshops are intended for individuals with no beekeeping experience up to 5 years of experience.

Classes will run from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm on March 23 and April 27. Class size is limited and registration is required. There is no charge for participating in the classes. Further information and registration is available at:

March 23 – Preparing For Honeybees: https://www.ext.vsu.edu/events/2022/03/23/preparing-honeybees

April 27 Hive Inspection And Expansion: https://www.ext.vsu.edu/events/2022/04/27-hive-inspection

Bee Vocabulary – “Split”

If you have a large, healthy hive, it is possible to create a new colony from it by making what is called a split. The basic concept of making a split is that you take a portion of an established colony and transfer it to a separate hive thereby creating two colonies. There are many reasons for making a split. Some beekeepers make splits to increase their apiary or to sell to other beekeepers. Others use splits as a form of swarm control, mite control or to reduce the size of a large colony.

Beekeepers in the News

Wild Weather Leaves Virginia Beekeepers In Sticky Situation

Virginia beekeeper, Maureen Anderson, addresses the stinging impact of temperature change. Check out the full story here: https://www.wtvr.com/news/local-news/wild-weather-leaves-virginia-beekeepers-in-sticky-situation

Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA)

Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS) Divelbiss Award – 2022 Nominations Open

At each annual conference, the Eastern Apicultural Society presents the Charles and Evelyn Divelbiss Education Award. This award is presented to that person or couple who has—over a period of years—reached out to the non-beekeeping public to explain the value of honey bees in our lives. The nomination process is easy. Write a letter outlining how the candidate has reached the public over the years. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2022. Nominations and letters of support should be emailed to Secretary. More information can be found here: https://www.virginiabeekeepers.org/resources/2022%20Divelbiss%20Solicitation%20letter.pdf

This Month in the Hive (March)

The days become longer and the queen steadily increases her rate of egg laying. The brood nest will expand and very slowly migrate upward into areas where honey has been consumed. More brood means more honey, nectar and pollen are consumed. A few drones begin to appear at the end of the month. The bees will continue to consume honey stores. They will also bring in a fair amount of nectar and pollen, but not as much as is consumed.

The hive may consume as much as 7 lbs per week (net of inflow) when cold, rain, snow, or icy conditions prevail. Prevent starvation by making certain that food supplies are sufficient. Maple nectar and pollen continue to be very important to population buildup. Willows may bloom in wet, sheltered valleys. In some parts of Northern Virginia, plantings of ornamental and exotic shrubs will supply small amounts of pollen. Crocus, daffodil, and other flowering bulbs will supply some pollen. Boxwood, quince, hackberries, forsythia, and elms will supply variety in the pollen sources. Some early dandelions may bloom at the end of the month.

Wet, cold, ice, snow, wind and blowing rain describe those parts of March that are not sunny and 50 degrees. Make sure the hive does not tilt backward. It should slightly tilt forward to shed rain from the bottom board.

The brood nest is now 6-8 inches across, and may extend across several frames. As much as 75- 100 cells of drone brood may be seen at the end of the month.

If using a screened bottom board, you should resist the urge to remove the insert. Leave it in until consistent warmer weather arrives in late April. In late March, you may consider reversing the deep brood supers, or the medium supers that some beekeepers use for brood. This will allow for a better distribution of the brood, and stimulate the growth of the colony. If the brood nest extends across the brood supers, do not reverse until there is a large enough population to keep both halves of the brood nest from death due to chilling.

On a sunny day early in the month, when there is little wind and the bees are flying, have a quick look inside the hive. A temperature above 54 degrees should do for this task. Remove frames for a quick inspection. Inspect for disease and see that the queen is laying. Eggs laid in January and February will all be hatched into new workers by March 20, and the population will be much higher than in January. Add a pollen patty if you have not yet done so.

Look for drone brood along the bottom edges of frames with brood. Remove some drone brood with a cappings scratcher and look for Varroa mites. If you find Varroa in 30% or more of the drone brood cells, then research how to perform a mite count, and whether to treat for mites. Check for remaining honey and pollen stores. Food stores can run dangerously low until a heavy nectar flow starts. It may be necessary to continue feeding the hive.

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

What’s in Bloom (according to Maymont)

2nd Week: Maple, Elm, Star Magnolia, Cornelean Cherry, Mahonia, Forsythia Pieris, Sweet-Breath-of-Spring, Crocus, Jonquil, Periwinkle, Pansy, Wildflowers

3rd Week: Maple, Elm, Star Magnolia, Cornelian Cherry, Mahonia, Forsythia, Flowering Quince, Sweet-Breath-of-Spring, Pieris, Crocus, Jonquil, Pansy, Periwinkle, Wildflowers

4th Week: Maple, Elm, Magnolia, Callery Pear, Cornelian Cherry, Sweet-Breath-of-Spring, Mahonia, Pieris, Forsythia, Boxwood, Flowering Quince, Crocus, Periwinkle, Narcissus, Pansy, Candytuft, Wildflowers

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. Please bee on the lookout for the Zoom links this month. I will bee sending the link for the HBF Planning committee, our monthly meeting, and the study group altogether following this newsletter. Board members will receive a separate emailed link for their Board of Directors meeting.

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

With March full of events, I hope to see everyone several times this month on Zoom!

Michelle Clark
Communications 🐝

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

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, and the Study Group all happening this month. Even though it’s cold out, our bees are clustering, and we’re all sheltering from Omicon, there is much to do. Several of our events are on Zoom. The newsletter may seem out of order this month, however I’ve got it in order by event date. I encourage everyone to check out our Calendar of Events.

🐝 2022 Beginner Beekeeping Course

With the first class date completed, the course will continue on Saturday, February 5th at 9am at Dandelion Springs Apiary. The address for Dandelion Springs is:

11011 Beaver Bridge Rd

Chesterfield, VA 23838

Registration for the course 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 5th and 19th.

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 Saturday’s.

2022 Honey Bee Festival Planning

Planning has begun. The committee met in January on Zoom. Much was discussed including fresh ideas for the festival, a date (spoiler Jun 25th), how to incorporate the 400 year anniversary of honey bees coming to America, committees, a theme and more. The HBF planning committee will continue meeting monthly on the 2nd Tuesday each month. This means the committee will be on Zoom Tuesday, February 8th at 7pm. The link to join the HBF meeting will be emailed to all RPBBA members following this newsletter. Please be on the lookout. Add to Google Calendar

February Meeting

This month our meeting will be Monday, February 14th at 7pm on Zoom. Petra Ahnert will be our Guest Presenter. Petra is owner of Beehive Alchemy, a skin product company, and also the title of a series of books she wrote. She is part of the VSBA Guest Speaker Series. Petra will be speaking about something all hives have, but we don’t know much about: propolis and also a little about pollen. We also will be talking about the 11th Annual Honey Bee Festival, plus discussing late winter prep and taking your questions. Please join us Monday, February 14th at 7pm on Zoom! Add to Google Calendar All RPBBA members will receive an email following this newsletter with Zoom links for the month.

VSBA Master Beekeeping Study Group

As you may have guessed, the study group meeting will also be on Zoom. 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. 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!

The study group meets monthly on the 3rd Monday of each month. They’ll next be meeting Monday, February 21st at 7pm on Zoom. RPBBA members, look for the Zoom link in email following this newsletter. 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

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Have You Reserved Your Bees For 2022?

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

For those looking to purchase Nucs, Packages or Queen’s check out our 2022 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 – “Requeening”

Requeening is when the beekeeper ‘disposes’ of the previous queen and replaces her with a new one. There are several situations in which requeening is needed or can be beneficial. Elderly or poor performing queen, overly defensive “hot” hive, brood disease, and splitting a hive are all reasons a beekeeper may requeen.

Beekeepers in the News

Size Matters For Bee ‘superorganism’ Colonies

Like neurological systems and human social groups, new research on bees offers clues to how biological collectives make choices under dynamic conditions.

You can read the full article here: https://americanbeejournal.com/size-matters-for-bee-superorganism-colonies/

This Month in the Hive (February)

The cluster is still tight on most days. The cluster will break and move on those 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. There are still no drones in the hive. Workers will take cleansing flights on mild days. About the 20th of February, maples begin to blossom and to supply nectar and fresh pollen that are extraordinarily valuable to the growth of the hive. The maple blossom continues to mid-March. In areas of higher elevation, the maple blossoms start and end 7-14 days later. Alders may bloom in some locations and provide valuable variety in pollen proteins.

The cluster will remain centered around the small brood nest, which migrates 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 bees’ ability to move honey/pollen toward the cluster.

The bees will consume about 20 pounds of honey stores and nectar from maples.

On a day that exceeds 55 degrees, open the hive and quickly check for sufficient food supplies, for 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 “Advanced Beekeeper Course.” Attend bee club meetings and get equipment ready for spring. At this time of year, you may be advised to “reverse” 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.

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

What’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. Please bee on the lookout for the Zoom links this month. I will bee sending the link for the HBF Planning committee, our monthly meeting, and the study group altogether following this newsletter.

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, I hope to see everyone several times this month on Zoom!

Michelle Clark
Communications 🐝

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

Monday, Study Group Will Be On Zoom

Hello Hello everyone,

I hope you are well and keeping warm. Please see the below update from Stan regarding Monday’s Study Group.
—–
Hi Everyone,
     Carla and I really enjoy doing the Study Group along with John Davis. My hopes are to expand it  back to both levels (apprentice and journeymen). That depends on your participation.
     Unfortunately we feel for safety reasons the Study Group needs to also go on Zoom. For how long, we don’t know. I think we are doing better getting used to the format. We had a large group for the Club Meeting last week and a little smaller one for the Honey Bee Festival Planning Committee. Both, I feel, went smoothly. This coming Monday, Study Group will be on Zoom only. This is not what I would prefer, but I will do it out of concern for everyone. Just like I hate wearing a mask, I’ll do it for everyone’s sake. I’ll be driving back from Indiana, but barring unforeseen problems I’ll see you all  Monday Night.
     Thanks.

     Your President,

     Stan Houk 
 
—–
Thank you,

Michelle Clark
Communications 🐝
 
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RPBBA Monday Will Be On Zoom

Good morning everyone,

Happy Friday! Our club President would like to share a letter to all. Please see below.
—–
Hi Everyone…
Many of us were excited about the first Meeting of the new year. However Covid has been increasing with a highly contagious variant. Locally and around the state, cases have skyrocketed. Therefore we have decided to temporarily go back to Zoom meetings. Michelle will be setting up the Zoom format and will send out a link.

Since the early closing time of the library won’t be an issue, start time will be the normal time at 7:00pm Monday, January 10, 2022. 
VSBA Master Beekeeper Director Frank Walker will be our live Zoom speaker talking about the Master Beekeeper Program, which is the basis for our monthly Study Group. We will also be talking about the Beginning Beekeepers Program and the 11th Annual Honey Bee Festival.
 
I’m very sorry about the cancellation of the meeting, but safety must come first. Please plan to join in on Zoom as this is a very important meeting. We are researching about recording our meetings for future viewing, whether they be in person or on Zoom, plus the ability to broadcast our in-person meetings on Zoom also.
 
Construction at the Nature Center is going slow, so we may need to have a different location for some of the future meetings. Hopefully the Courthouse Library will be available.
 
Please let us know if you have trouble using Zoom and maybe we can help you….  Stay safe and we hope to see you all on ZOOM…
Stan Houk, President
Thank you,
Michelle Clark
Communications 🐝
 
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Keep up with what RPBBA is doing, see Calendar of Events!

January Newsletter – RPBBA

Hello beekeepers and honeybee enthusiasts,

Welcome to the New Year. I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season. We had several warm days. I was able to get out and take a peek in my hives on Christmas eve and enjoy seeing the honeybees coming and going on Christmas day. I am happy to report I have not yet had any winter losses this season. Yay! I am keeping my fingers crossed it stays that way. For those wondering when it’s okay to pop open the hive: as a rule of thumb, if it’s not warm enough for the bees to be flying then it’s not warm enough to open the hive.

January Meeting

Due to the ongoing renovation at the Rockwood Park Nature Center, our meeting this month will be at 6:30pm in the North Courthouse Library. Our group has a conference room reserved. The library closes at 8pm, thus the earlier start time.

6:30pm on Monday, January 10th

@ the North Courthouse Library

325 Courthouse Rd, Richmond, VA 23236

We will have Frank Walker join us as a guest speaker to discuss the VSBA Master Beekeeping program. Frank is the originator and director of the VSBA Master Beekeeping program. He is also club President of the Norfolk Beekeepers. We hope you can join us to hear his talk on Monday, Jan 10th at 6:30pm. Add to Google Calendar

2022 Honeybee Festival Planning

It is festival planning time once again. We have a lot to do. Rick Beaudet is gathering troops for a planning committee to begin meeting. The first meeting will be Tuesday, January 11th at 7pm on Zoom. If you are interested to help out planning and have not already volunteered please email Rick at rick@beaudets.org to share your interest. Rick will be sending the Zoom invitation to those interested here at the start of January. Please mark your calendar now for the Zoom meeting. Add to Google Calendar

🐝 2022 Beginner Beekeeping Course

It’s almost time for our annual Beginner Beekeeping course to begin. Enrollment is still open; we do have space for additional participants. The course is $100 through Jan 8th and $115 thereafter.

Class dates are 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.

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.

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.

ISO RPBBA Members Willing to Bee a Mentor

It’s been a while since the club has renewed our list of willing mentors. With the 2022 Beginner Beekeeping course starting in a few short weeks, we need willing mentors. A mentor’s purpose is to help other members with things like installing packages/nucs, in-hive help, capturing swarms or general questions.

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.

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

Ever so often, the question pops up- how do I get started? Where can I get my bees? We’d like to update the 2021 Resources list for sharing with those who inquire (and our incoming Beginner Beekeeping class).

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

Click here to have your information added to our 2022 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.

Bee Vocabulary – “Invertase”

An enzyme produced by the honey bee which helps to transform sucrose to dextrose and levulose.

Beekeepers in the News

Life Lessons From Beekeepers – Stop Mowing The Lawn, Don’t Pave The Driveway And Get Used To Bugs In Your Salad

Beekeepers talk of “seeing like a bee”. “Part of the psyche of people who work with insects is that they are very observant, and passionate about their environment”. This passion leads many beekeepers to change parts of their lives to better help bees and the wider environment. Here are the main lessons learned from time spent researching and working with beekeepers.

https://theconversation.com/life-lessons-from-beekeepers-stop-mowing-the-lawn-dont-pave-the-driveway-and-get-used-to-bugs-in-your-salad-164591

This Month in the Hive (January)

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. 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. 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. 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.

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.

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.)

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. Don’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]

What’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. If you are a honeybee enthusiast looking to get started, check out the Beginner Beekeeping course. There is still space. This is where I got my start; I highly recommend it.

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

While we’re on the topic of feedback: RPBBA leadership is also interested to hear from some of our less active members. We know Covid-19 changed things for many of us. If there are other factors that have impacted your participation within the club, we’d love to hear from you. We want RPBBA to bee the best it can bee for all of our members. Whatever the feedback, let us hear it, please.

I hope to see you at our 1st meeting of 2022 on Monday, January 10th at 6:30pm in the North Courthouse Library.

Michelle Clark
Communications 🐝

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

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