August Newsletter – RPBBA

Hello fellow beekeepers and honeybee enthusiasts!

Have you been in your apiary lately? If so, you’ve probably noticed your sweet Spring honey bees have turned into feisty, defensive, Summer honey bees. The dearth is here.  With less pollen and nectar sources available, robbing is all over. You’re likely also noticing an uptick in hive pests. Now is the time to be testing and treating for varroa mites. Watch for small hive beetles and wax moths.

RPBBA Calendar of Events for August
📅 Monday, Aug 8th – RPBBA Meeting @ 7pm
📅 Monday, Aug 15th – Study Group @ 7pm
🐝 Saturday, Aug 20th – National Honey Bee Day

August Meeting
Our meeting this month will be 7pm, Monday, August 8th at the Rockwood Park Nature Center. RPBBA member, Don Osborne, will be giving a presentation on robbing and how to prevent it. When nectar resources are scarce, bees are more likely to rob other colonies. Weak colonies are particularly prone to being robbed because they are unable to defend themselves from the onslaught of invading bees. There are signs to identify robbing behavior as well as strategies you can implement to help your gals defend their hive.

Don Osborne has been a RPBBA member for several years. He is our current club Secretary and previously held the Communications position. Don has assisted in teaching our Beginner Beekeeping class as well. For those that don’t know Don, he uses honey from his apiary to make mead. He can often be found with a bottle of homemade mead in tow. I’m sure Don would love to converse about making mead at our meeting next week. Hope to see you all there: 7pm, Monday, August 8th at the Rockwood Park Nature Center. Doors open at 6:30pm. Add to Google Calendar

National Honey Bee Day
Saturday, August 20th is National Honey Bee Day 2022 in the United States. National Honey Bee Day (formerly National Honey Bee Awareness Day) is an awareness day when beekeepers, beekeeping clubs and associations, and honey bee enthusiasts from across the United States celebrate honey bees and recognize their contribution to humans’ everyday lives as a means of protecting this critical species. National Honey Bee Day also pays homage to beekeepers, whose labors ensure there are well-managed, healthy bees to pollinate crops.

Sample And Control Of Varroa Mite And Hive Beetle Workshop
A workshop on the life cycle and control of the Varroa mite and small hive beetle is being held Wednesday, August 17, 2022, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, at Randolph Farm near Colonial Heights, VA. Topics to be covered include how to inspect for these and other honey bee pests and various integrated pest management strategies to control them. Following a presentation at the Extension Pavilion, participants will move to the bee yard on Randolph Farm for demonstrations on how to inspect a hive to identify, sample and control these pests. Further information and registration is available at

Space is limited to 30 participants.

All participants going to the bee yard must bring their own bee suit and wear light-colored clothes, gloves and closed-toe shoes. Please do not wear fragrances or perfumes. If you are allergic to bee venom, you must bring your own Epipen.

For more information, contact Tracy Porter at (804) 481-2566 or

Bee Vocabulary – “Robbing”
Western honey bee workers can invade and steal honey/nectar from other colonies or sugar/corn syrup from feeders used to deliver syrup to other colonies. This is called “robbing” behavior. Robbing behavior typically involves the collection of nectar and honey, but not pollen or brood.

Beekeepers in the News
City Bees Rva Shares The Science, History And Importance Of Beekeeping
There’s a lot of buzz about a new program in Richmond. It aims to teach kids about the world of honey bees. If you take a trip to the Sankofa Community Orchard, you will discover more than 20,000 honey bees working together. The bees are a part of a new experience in the city of Richmond called City Bees RVA.

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

Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA)

This Month in the Hive (August)
The colony’s brood growth rate is slowing down. Drones are still around, but the workers will soon lose interest in feeding them. Outside activity slows down as the nectar flow decreases and stops. Much of the flight activity is water-gathering, pollen collection, and orientation of new bees. On hot evenings and nights, the bees may drape the front of the hive, making them especially vulnerable to skunks.

Smartweed, ironweed, Joe Pye weed, milkweed, thistles, heartsease, chicory, clethra, pepperbush, dandelion, blueweed, and some asters and daisies may provide a small nectar flow. Clovers, soybeans, alfalfa, sunflowers, and common vetch continue to offer nectar, but there are few concentrated plantings of these cultivated crops in Northern Virginia. Cucumbers, melons, carrots, and pumpkins need honeybees for pollination this month. Net honey production is unlikely in August due to heat and drought. The hive may consume 10 pounds of stored honey or syrup during a dry August.

Watch for a failing queen, especially a queen that is more than 1 year of age. Egg laying should continue at the rate of 400-500 eggs per day, and the brood nest should be at least 14 inches across. Watch for wasps and hornets attacking the hives to steal away live bees for the purpose of feeding their brood. If you may have harvested too much of the hive’s honey, examine the hive to make certain there is at least 10 pounds of capped honey before you go on vacation.

There is not much chance of swarming this month. Do not expend much energy catching a swarm that escapes in August, as it will not build up enough to survive the winter. Watch out for robbing. Re-queening of all hives with queens from the prior year is done in this month or in early September. Queens may be a little less expensive this time of year, especially if they were reserved in April or May. Watch for wax moths and small hive beetles; ruthlessly combine hives that are too weak to defend against them now. Take losses now, rather than in the winter.

The bees that are born in August will have to carry the hive through the early winter. Make certain that the hive has enough pollen and honey to generously feed new brood. Skinny August bees will not make it to February.

Many chemical mite treatments should be applied in early August, if they are going to be used. Carefully read the instructions and consider the temperature forecast before any treatment is applied, however. Honeybees may not be able to tolerate harsh chemical treatments combined with high temperatures. However, it is also not wise to allow Varroa mites to parasitize the bees that you hope will carry the hive into early winter.


What’s in Bloom (according to Maymont)
Crepe Myrtle, Rose, Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, Abelia, Annuals, Perennials

Final Word
If you are not a member of RPBBA, we encourage you to join and be active. Our club operates 100% on volunteers. There is a constant flow of activities within the club to bee as active as you want to bee. You can join on our website.

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

I hope to see you at the meeting 7pm, Monday, August 8th at the Rockwood Park Nature Center. Our club meetings are open to members and non-members with no pressure to join. Come on out if you can make it.

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!

July Newsletter – RPBBA

Hello beekeepers and honey bee enthusiasts!
How did you like the Honey Bee Festival? We have received so much positive feedback. It’s really a special event and has given me extra pride in our club and our mission. The day certainly couldn’t have happened without many helping hands. Thank you again to all of our volunteers! I hope everyone has had some time to rest and recuperate from the buzz of preparations and day-of tasks.

RPBBA Calendar of Events for July
📅 Monday, July 11th – RPBBA Meeting @ 7pm
📅 Monday, July 18th – Study Group @ 7pm

July Meeting
This month, we are going to use our meeting as a time to recap on the Honey Bee Festival with our Planning Committee and jot down notes for next year. Some things to keep in mind:
💡 What went well?
💡 What didn’t go so well? How can we do better next time?
💡 Ideas for next year?
We will be meeting at the Nature Center, yay! Add to Google Calendar

🐝 VSBA Master Beekeeping Study Group
For those who have never checked it out, the study group is a great way for RPBBA members to further their beekeeping knowledge. Several members are studying for the annual VSBA Apprentice and Journeyman exams, however there is no requirement for attendees to be pursuing certification. The study group is open to all members who want to learn. The study group is an informal group setting. During their sessions, questions from the VSBA Apprentice Study Guide are posed for the group to discuss and answer together. There is much to learn during open discussion with our peers!

The study group meets monthly on the 3rd Monday of each month. They’ll next be meeting Monday, July 18th, 7pm, at the Nature Center. The group will continue to go through the VSBA Apprentice Study Guide questions, provide answers, and discuss. Those interested to attend are encouraged to download the guide in advance and start working through the questions on their own. Add to Google Calendar

Bee Vocabulary – “Afterswarm”
The first swarm to leave the parent colony with the mother queen is called the primary swarm. If the colony is still crowded from subsequent brood emergence when the first virgin queens emerge, another swarm may launch. This is an afterswarm and is sometimes referred to as “cast” swarms. These swarms are usually smaller and are accompanied by a virgin queen.

Beekeepers in the News
RPBBA made the news several times in June both before and after the Honey Bee Festival! In case you missed these segments, here are the links.

🍯 June 20th on NBC 12
11th Annual Honey Bee Festival

🍯 June 21st on WRIC ABC 8
Honey Bee Festival Returns To Chesterfield This Week

🍯 June 21st on WTVR CBS 6
2022 Honeybee Festival Will Have Fun For The Whole Family

🍯 June 25th on CBS 6
Learn About Hives At Honey Bee Festival In Chesterfield

🍯 June 26th on WRIC ABC 8
2022 Honey Bee Festival Returns to Rockwood Park

In other honey bee news,
Honeybees Join Humans As The Only Known Animals That Can Tell The Difference Between Odd And Even Numbers

This Month in the Hive (July)
On hot and humid nights, you may see a curtain of bees cooling themselves on the exterior of the hive. Swarming is still possible, but it becomes less likely as the month advances. The Varroa parasitic mite continues to increase its population at the expense of the bees, and it will require some type of treatment or management, soon. The bees continue to raise 3000-5000 replacement bees per week in July, and may consume a larger amount of honey and pollen than is collected if the month is dry. The stronger hive populations will peak at 50,000-60,000 worker bees.

Late June and July are harvest times for the Northern Virginia beekeeper. After supers and frames are removed for extraction, the best practice is to return the supers and frames to the hives for cleanup. The bees may manage to store 5 pounds or more of honey during July, but they will eat more than they collect if the month is dry. Continue inspections of the hive to make sure the hive is healthy. Catalpa, bee bee tree, linden, milkweed, butterfly weed, horsemint, fireweed, and globe thistle will bloom. Heartsease and smartweed bloom this month, starting in damp bottomlands. Cucumber, melons, some soybean varieties, sunflowers, some vetches, verbena, and clover will supply supplemental nectar or pollen, where cultivated. If you can find a field of alfalfa, soybean, or buckwheat in bloom, these plants are major nectar sources and produce distinctive honey flavors.

Watch for bees fanning droplets of water to cool the hive. Especially around the harvest, watch for robbing activity near the entrance. Look for a falloff in egg production, as the brood nest shrinks gradually down to about 60-75% of its peak size.

Make sure the water source for the bees is clean and accessible. Harvest honey. Return wet supers to the hives. After the supers are cleaned of honey by the bees, remove excess supers and stack them with moth-repellent PDB crystals. Watch for signs of robbing and take steps to discourage robbing if it starts. Select perfect frames of comb for honey competitions. Attend the club picnic. Learn how to filter and bottle honey for the most competitive local and state fair honey judging. Decide if, when and how you are going to treat for Varroa. Order any supplies or equipment that you need for mite treatments.

If you are going to make splits to overwinter, the first half of July is the last time to do it. You will need to be prepared to feed any split during the dry months of July and August. About half the time, you will need to feed splits in September and October as well.

What’s in Bloom (according to Maymont)
Crepe Myrtle, Rose, Daylily, Annuals, Perennials, Buddleia, Rose of Sharon, Abelia

Final Word
Between the VSBA semi-annual conference, the Honey Bee Festival, the work out in the apiary, honey extracting (the list goes on), it’s been a busy 30 days. I hope all are able to make Monday’s meeting to recap the festival. It’ll be a big help to have our notes when it comes time to begin planning for next year.

Speaking of the festival, we had many folks interested in keeping bees come by and say hello at the club tent. If you see a fresh face at the meeting, introduce yourself. One of my favorite things about RPBBA is the welcoming environment our members create; we have a wonderful, helpful, and kind community.

If you are not a member of RPBBA, we encourage you to join and be active. You can join on our website.

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

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!

Upcoming EAS Conference – Details Available

Hello Regional Virginia Clubs,

I am your Virginia delegate and Board Member to the Eastern Apicultural Society. EAS powers-that-be have asked me to ask you to forward and post or make available the following notice to regional and local clubs. A downloadable copy is attached as well.

EAS will be great this year and in a beautiful location! We have all been knocked back by Covid-19 one way or the other. Let’s pull our great beekeeping community back even closer and support our great EAS organization!

EAS is extending an invitation to attend the 2022 EAS Conference “Being Social Again” that will be held at Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY. There will be a Short Course from Monday, August 1st to Wednesday, August 3rd and the Main Conference from Wednesday, August 3rd to Friday, August 5th! The Short Course features pathways for all levels of expertise as well as a Queen-Rearing day-long workshop and a Microscopy session. Morning plenary sessions, afternoon breakout pathways, dinners, social events, auctions, a children’s program, travel to a commercial beekeeper and the Cornell University Botanic Gardens and Mann Library Bee Collection are all offered during this jam-packed week of bee information, socializing and being connected!

Details may be found on the EAS website at: secretary. Registrations for attendees (both individual registration and volunteer registration) are now open and will be taken through June 30th. A separate registration is available for vendors. Volunteering details are outlined in the Journal and on the EAS 2022 Conference site.

Current members of the EAS may also go to the EAS Journal link on the EAS website at: to find information on the program schedule, volunteer opportunities, accommodations, conference features and a highlight of some of the local Ithaca and Finger Lakes area attractions.


EAS 2022 Ithaca Conference Planning Committee

Until then, Happy Beekeeping!

Anne Fraser

Virginia EAS Director
Strasburg VA

22-5-24 EAS is extending an invitation to your membership to attend the 2022 EAS Conference.docx

RPBBA Needs You!

Hi everyone,Our favorite festival is nearing. Our planning committee is tying a bow on their preparations to make this year a success. I have been so impressed with their efforts and equally impressed seeing the number of volunteers willing to help man a station at the festival. 100+ volunteers, wow!

There are a few areas in which we would like to see more sign-up’s.

  1. Bake Sale Current sign-up count is 12. Of those, we have 4 commitments to donate cases of water. We could use more water and more baked goods. Bringing water is a great (and easy) way to contribute without any baking skills necessary.
  2. Drone Supply Our festival allows kids the unique opportunity to pet drones. To do this, we need members to help supply drones from their colonies.As the kids pet the drones, they fly away and we pull another. Current sign-up count is 1 (for an estimated supply of 20 drones). We are in desperate need of more members to supply drones.
  3. Honey Extraction Current sign-up count is 3. Everyone loves the sweet taste of honey. It’s such an interesting process for the public to see how honey is extracted from the hive. Members are welcome to bring their own supers to be extracted by our festival volunteers during the festival.

The Honey Bee Festival is our opportunity to share our love and fascination of honey bee’s with the public. I await the 25th with pleasure and plan to bring my own family to enjoy the festivities. I look forward to seeing you all there!

Thank you,

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!

RPBBA: A Message From Your Club President, Stan Houk

Hi Everyone,

Two important Club events are happening in June.

1) One of the best Honey Bee Experts, Dewey Caron, in the country will be guest speaking at our June 13th Meeting in Powhatan at 7:00pm.

Powhatan Village Building Auditorium
3910 Old Buckingham Rd
Powhatan, VA 23139

This is being held jointly with Huguenot Beekeepers.

2) The 2022 400th Anniversary of Honey Bees Coming to America Honey Bee Festival at Rockwood Park on June 25th.

Please come to both events! We will finalize the details of the HBF at the Monday Meeting and need your participation of some kind in the Festival.

Our Charter Mission is educating the public about honey bees and their role in our environment. Our best way is through the Honey Bee Festival. Together, we can do ANYTHING, but we need help from EVERYONE!

There’s still time to become a part of it.

a) Please plan to donate to our bake sale with homemade cookies or other non-refrigerated baked goods. These must be packaged for individual sale. Cookies are simple. Please note: Many people have allergies and refrain from using nuts. Label accordingly.

b) Not a baker? Donate a case of water that can be sold at the booth as we are expecting over 3000 to 4000 attendees.

c) Do you have some time to give? Help us set up Friday night (5pm), Saturday morning early (7am), or help take down afterwards (2pm). Your gift of time will assist tremendously.

This Saturday, June 11th, I will be at the Virginia State Bee Conference at the Blue Ridge Community College, manning a booth of historical info about the 400th Anniversary of Honey Bees Coming to America and inviting beekeepers from around the state to attend our Honey Bee Festival. This is the only 400th celebration in the state (and maybe the country). Let’s make it one for the history books!

I hope to see you this Monday night in Powhatan and at the Honey Bee Festival.

Stan Houk
President of RPBBA

2022 Honey Bee Festival Flyer for printing.pdf

June Newsletter – RPBBA

Hello beekeepers and honey bee enthusiasts!

We have a very busy month ahead. As if our apiaries and swarms weren’t keeping us busy enough, it’s crunch time for the Honey Bee Festival. Soon, we will all be enjoying the day we’ve been looking forward to all year. The HBF Planning Committee will be meeting weekly this month. Current plans are for Zoom meetings (starting tonight). However keep an eye and ear out. If that changes, the club calendar of events will be updated accordingly. I look forward to seeing everyone’s smiling faces several times this month.

Calendar of Events


June Meeting

This month we will be having a special combined meeting with the Huguenot Beekeepers. Dr. Dewey Caron will be speaking to us all about Reading the Colony. What signs can we get from our honey bees? That’ll tell us what’s going on in the hive and inspire our hive management.

We will be meeting at 7pm on Monday, June 13th at the Powhatan Village Building Auditorium.

3910 Old Buckingham Rd
Powhatan, VA 23139

Dr. Dewey Caron is Professor Emeritus, Entomology & Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware. He is also Affiliate Professor, Horticulture Department, Oregon State University. He is the author of Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping. The standard beekeeping (apiculture) textbook used to teach college students and beekeepers the science and practice of bees and beekeeping. Widely considered the most complete beekeeping textbook, covering a vast array of topics of bee biology and colony management. Add to Google Calendar

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

The Honey Bee Festival (HBF) is just around the corner. The Planning Committee needs our help to make this success. The top 6 things you can do to help out are

  1. Choose something to bake for the Bake Sale

  2. Get a FREE Volunteer T-shirt

  3. Loan the club my Canopy/Table

  4. Allow RPBBA to Extract My Honey Supers For Me

  5. Pull Drones From My Hives

  6. Invite friends on social media

Bumblebee Jamboree

The Bumblebee Jamboree is kicking off National Pollinator Week, June 18th at Maymont. This is a free event hosted by Chesterfield County Cooperative Extension Volunteer Master Gardeners. Follow the Pollinator Path at Maymont by taking a self-guided stroll through the Children’s Farm. Mark your calendar now and bring the kids out! Click here for more information.

Bee Vocabulary – “Bee Space”

3/8-inch space between combs and hive parts in which bees build no comb or deposit only a small amount of propolis. Bee spaces are used as corridors to move within the hive.

Beekeepers in the News

Millions Of Bees Were Dying On A Tarmac. Local Beekeepers Ran To Help

A beekeeper in Atlanta was having a relaxing Sunday when a frantic call came in from a beekeeper in Alaska. She had an urgent plea: Could he rush over to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on a rescue mission? About 5 million honey bees were languishing in limbo on a hot tarmac because the airline had sent them to Georgia instead of Alaska.

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

Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA)

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:

More information about the VSBA programs can be found on their website:

This Month in the Hive (June)

Hives that haven’t swarmed will be boiling with bees. The brood nest will extend across two supers. The population of the strongest hives exceeds 50,000 workers. The queen’s rate of egg laying may drop a little this month. The queen is moving around the brood nest, laying eggs in cells that have been cleaned from prior use.

Sumac, clovers, strawberries, wild blackberries, speedwell, linden trees, chestnut, chokeberry, huckleberry, grape, holly, blackhaw, honeysuckle, and many ornamentals will provide nectar flows. June is generally a good month for honey production in Northern Virginia, but most of the nectar flows are over by the end of the month. A strong hive may cap as much as 30-40 pounds of honey in June, if good nectar flows are nearby and moisture is sustained in the soil. If soil moisture persists into July, you may want to plan on a small second harvest later in the summer.

Heat can be a serious challenge for the hive at this time. Look for bees bringing in water and placing it around the hive to evaporate for the cooling effect. Watch for swarm cells. Watch for wax moths, ants, mice and small hive beetles attacking the combs. If a hive is so weak in June that it can not defend itself against beetles, ants or moths, then you should consider combining it with a much stronger hive.

Watch for supers above the queen excluder where all the center frames in the super are full of capped honey. Move the full center frames to the outside edges of the super, and move less full frames to the center. This will assist the bees to fill and cap all the frames completely.

Inspect the hives weekly to make certain the hives are healthy and the queen is doing her job. You do not need to see a queen if you see a good pattern of eggs, wet larvae (or “worms”) and capped brood. Supers full of honey may be removed at any time you are prepared to begin extraction or keep them in the freezer. (You do not want to store supers of honey for more than a day or two at room temperature, due to ants, spiders, wax moths, and dust.)

Make sure your bees have a source of water within 200 feet of the hive. You may increase your hives by splitting strong colonies after the harvest. There is a slight chance of a need to add more honey supers this month. Keep watching for swarming which may still occur.

Decide if your hives are going to have an upper entrance. If so, you may want to drill a 1 inch circular hole in a super (not close to a handle), which hole can be guarded by the bees in summer and plugged with a cork during the winter. Some beekeepers screen over the hand hole in the inner cover, and then prop up the hive cover slightly to provide ventilation, but not enough to permit access to rodents and large insects.

Confirm queen orders for July hive splits.


What’s in Bloom (according to Maymont)

1st Week: Magnolia, Tree Lilac, Rhododendron, Azalea, Nandina, Smoke Tree, Rose, Waterlily, Daylily, Yucca, Annuals, Perennials, European Linden, Mock Orange, Weigelia, Laburnum, Calycanthus, Abelia

2nd Week: Magnolia, Golden Raintree, Mimose, Rose, Azalea, Nandina, Hydrangea, Sourwood, Waerlily, Daylily, Annuals, Perennials, Catalpa, Tree Lilac, Abelia, Calycanthus

3rd Week: Magnolia, Golden Raintree, Mimosa, Sourwood, Rose, Azalea, Daylily, Annuals, Perennials, Catalpa

4th Week: Magnolia, Golden Raintree, Mimosa, Sourwood, Rose, Azalea, Daylily, Annuals, Perennials, Catalpa

Final Word

If you are a member of RPBBA, the Zoom links for this month 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.

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!

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!
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.

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.


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 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!

%d bloggers like this: