Bee Informed National Loss Survey

The 2014 Honey Bee Winter Loss and Management Surveys are underway now through the end of April. Go to the survey to participate.

Designed to take 20 minutes, the 2 surveys from Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) are aimed at looking for relationships between colony loses and colony management and/or other factors that may influence colony health. Participation in this research is voluntary and responses will be kept confidential. In any publication or presentation resulting from this research, no personally identifiable information will be disclosed.

The BIP Colony Loss Survey has expanded from just a winter loss survey after reports from commercial beekeepers losing 25% of their colonies last summer. In order to include these losses BIP is monitoring total annual hive losses. The National Management Survey is conducted annually in conjunction with the Colony Loss Survey.

Additional information on the survey and BIP activities is available at BeeInformed.org.

Top Bar Hive Class in DC

The DC Beekeepers group is offering Dr. Mangum’s Beginning Top Bar Hive workshop on Saturday, March 29 at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in NE Washington DC. It is all day and $50 (the book is not included).

Students will require the equivalent of a completed short course or a year’s experience to benefit from this course.

New Meeting Location

As of February 2014 we will meet at His Village Church, 128 West Culpeper St., Culpeper. It is across from the public parking lot and next to the bike store.

Coming from the North on Rt. 29 in town it will be one block after the light at Davis St. Turn right onto West Culpeper St.

Coming from the South on Rt. 29 in town it will be one block before the light at Davis St. Turn left. If you wish you can turn left onto Davis, turn left onto West St. and turn left in one block onto West Culpeper St.

Observation Hive Resource

Frank Linton, who has been keeping honey bees in an observation hive since 2005, has put together a list of sources of information on observation hives.

2014 Beekeeping Meet-and-Greet

We need volunteers to bring desserts and/or snacks to the “Meet-and-Greet” on Sunday February 2, 2014. Remember when you were new to beekeeping? Remember how nice and reassuring it was to talk with some experienced club members in a relaxed social setting with tasty homemade snacks before the class started? We need you to come welcome potential new beekeepers and/or bring a food item for the event. Please volunteer by contacting Karen Hunt (kahu9@juno.com, (540) 937-4792).

Sustainable Honeybee Program Fundraiser

Sustainable Honeybee Program (SHP) is having a fundraising event that will run from November 1st, 2013, through March 31st, 2014, with the objective to raise funds for SHP operations and to add quality queens to local club queen rearing activities.

Please see the flyer for details.

Observation Hives Talk

The presentation in October 2013 by EAS Master Beekeeper Frank Linton on observation hives was really interesting. Frank also briefly talked about ways to monitor colonies using technology.

Wintering Nucs

Billy Davis of Sustainable Honeybee Program, Inc. gave an excellent presentation on wintering nucs at our last meeting.

Sustainable Honeybee Program, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit organization led by Billy Davis, a certified EAS Master Beekeeper. Learn more at http://www.sustainablebees.org.

Herbicide Reduction

If you are a Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) member and you do not want herbicide applied to plants and trees on your property, you can request that a standing “no spray” order be placed on file for your property by calling 1-800-552-3904, and providing your address and phone number. REC denotes your address as “no spray” on the map provided the contractor, and is supposed to then come out and flag your property with small signs saying NHA (no herbicide application) to inform contractors prior to spraying in your area.

Winter Loss Survey 2012 - 2013: Preliminary Results

The Bee Informed Partnership, in collaboration with the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is releasing preliminary results for the seventh annual national survey of honey bee colony losses.

View the winter loss survey results at the Bee Informed website.

Virginia Beekeeping Supply Sale

Virginia Beekeeping Supply is offering everything in stock at 5% off until August 30th, 2013.

Virginia Beekeeping Supply
101 West Marshall Street
Remington, VA 22734
(540) 905-5563

Presentation on Top Bar Hives

The Rappahannock Beekeepers Association (RBA) is hosting Wyatt Mangum for a Top Bar Hive presentation, and have generously extended an invitation to NPBA members to attend.

They have room for about 140 people. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to the RBA president Irving West at ikwest60@aol.com so that they can plan accordingly.

The Rappahannock Area Beekeepers will be hosting:

Wyatt Mangum - Presentation on Top Bar hives
Thursday July 18, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Dorothy Hart Community Center
408 Canal Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Parking is located at the rear of the building. Please email Irving West at ikwest60@aol.com with any questions.

Picnic

We had a great picnic in June! The weather cooperated long enough for Ann to open and work a couple hives. We had great food and company. Thanks to all who came out, provided food for the potluck, and contributed prizes for the Chinese auction.

Mite Control Survey Request

The following comes from Katy Evans, a graduate student at the University of Delaware:

“My name is Katy Evans, I am a graduate student at the University of Delaware under Dr. Deborah Delaney. I am currently working on a Master’s degree and my project focuses on helping the local beekeeping community reduce and better manage mite populations and varroa vectored viruses in a non-chemical fashion. Specifically, I will be testing the efficacy of splitting and swarming of hives to keep mites below harmful levels while increasing the overall colony survivorship. If effective this strategy will be developed into an IPM practice for beekeepers in the mid-Atlantic region and it will greatly benefit the beekeeping community in that it will reduce the amount of time and costs beekeepers must spend on varroa control treatments and alleviate the need for additional control tactics. I will be hosting field days, training sessions, and creating web-based and printed material to share my data and IPM practices with the local beekeeping community. To better design the IPM practices it is important to know how many beekeepers currently treat for mites and I have composed a survey to find out the strategies beekeepers are using to control for mites. I have uploaded a survey to the UDEL sponsored survey website Qualtrics, and would greatly appreciate it if you could extend my message to members of your beekeeping organization.”

Bee Informed

From Keith Tignor:

“Later this month the Bee Informed Partnership in association with state and federal apiary services will conduct two online surveys. One is on winter losses; the other is on management practices. Participation in the surveys is totally anonymous. There is only enough information gathered to break down the survey responses into specific sub-segments such as: regions of the country, size of operation, participants in crop pollination, etc.

The surveys begin March 29 and remain open until April 15. By then, participants will know a lot about their wintering success. The results from past surveys are available through the Bee Informed Partnership website. Besides data summaries, there are graphics of the data. You can access information from thousands of beekeepers on what worked to keep bees healthy and productive, and what didn’t.

I encourage you to take the time to participate in these surveys. Last year more than 500 beekeepers from Virginia took part in the surveys. Each year the number of participants in the state has grown by 20%. Let’s keep this trend going. Take part in the surveys starting next week at http://beeinformed.org/; and, encourage fellow beekeepers to participate in the surveys.”

Small Hive Beetle

State apiarist Keith Tignor gave a great presentation in March on the small hive beetle.

Package and Nuc Guidelines

Regional inspector Bob Wellemeyer provided a page of guidelines on the care and installation of packages and nucs.