Virginia State Beekeepers Association
Virginia State Beekeepers Association
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VSBA 2017 Spring Meeting

June 16 & 17, 2017
Ferrum College
215 Ferrum Mountain Road
Ferrum, Virginia 24088

Note: VSBA members and expired members can register online through brown paper tickets at

This year’s spring meeting is being hosted by the Moonshine Beekeepers Association and will be held at Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia. Speakers include: Dr. Diana Sammatero, retired researcher at the USDA-ARS Carl Hayden Honey Bee Research Center and author of The Beekeepers Handbook; Dr. Rebecca Masterman, University of Minnesota Bee Squad Associate Program Director; Dr. Lisa Horth, Associate Professor of Biology at Old Dominium University & VSBA grant recipient; Samuel Ramsey, PhD student at Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp's lab at the University of Maryland; Marc Puckett, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; Theo Hartman, Broodminder Citizen Science Project; Virginia beekeepers Mike Church, John Davis and Licho Berrouette, as well as workshops Saturday afternoon.

Registration on Friday, June 16 will open at 12 noon with the meeting beginning at 1pm. Registration will re-open on Saturday morning at 8:00am. The meeting will begin at 8:45am. There will be speaker presentations, a business meeting with elections, the State Apiarist’s Report and an update on the Master Beekeeper Program. See agenda within newsletter for topics of presentations and workshops.

We are offering a buffet style dinner Friday evening for $9 per person with more presentations following dinner. A buffet style lunch is available for $9 on Saturday. Lunch and dinner can be purchased at the meeting.

The Meeting Committee has contacted several hotels in the area for group rates:

Comfort Inn Smith Mt. Lake, 1730 N. Main St., Rocky Mount, VA 24151,(10 miles from venue) 540-489-4000 has rooms available for $70 per night, plus tax for two double beds. This rate includes a hot breakfast. You must mention Virginia State Beekeepers Association for the group rate. The group contract expires Wednesday, June 7, 2017.

Holiday Inn Express, 395 Old Franklin Turnpike, Rocky Mount, VA 24151 (11 miles from venue), 540-489-5001 has rooms available for a rate of $129 per night, plus tax for a king bed or two queen beds; $135 per night, plus tax for a suite; and, $159 per night, plus tax for a suite with whirlpool. You must mention Virginia State Beekeepers Association for the group rate. The group contract expires Thursday, June 1, 2017.

Ferrum College Dorm Rooms - $65 per day per person including meals. Register for these rooms on the VSBA Registration form or online at brown paper tickets website.
As with all locations, there is an occupancy capacity so we advise that you pre-register if possible.

Hope to see you there!
Deb Parker, VSBA Meeting Chair


bee swarm

Do you have a large bunch of bees hanging around too close to your family and habitat? Would you like them moved but don’t want to hurt them if they are Honey Bees? Great!

First, if they are hanging from a tree, or any type of overhang, and the bees are all exposed, they are likely Honey Bees. If they are in the ground, or are building a paper like nest, then they are not Honey Bees (probably Yellow Jackets , Wasps or Hornets). The classic beekeeper (keeps Honey Bees) is not usually going to deal with Wasps, Hornets or Yellow Jackets so call the exterminator (or, if you can, learn to live with them..I do). The beekeeper will, however, be happy to rescue exposed Honey Bees. If the Honey Bees are in your living structure, they are more difficult to remove and there are fewer beekeepers with the expertise to remove them.

The key thing, if they are Honey Bees, is don’t panic. When Honey Bees swarm, they are much more passive because they’re goal is to get to a new site and set up a new hive. Beekeepers have been known to put their hands on, and in, a swarm and not be stung. Also the bees are looking for a new spot so they are not likely to hang around exposed for long (24-48 hours).

To have a beekeeper remove bees from your property look under “Local Groups” on this website. There is a map with markers locating the local clubs in our state. Click on the marker and you will see contact information for the officers in that club. The local club may have a website listing those who will rescue swarms. At the very least, the president, or other officers, may know of someone in the club who can help you.

I hope this information is helpful and thank you for helping us – the VA State Beekeepers’ Association – preserve the Honey Bees in our state. After all, Virginia is where it all “bee-gan”! (Honey Bees are not native to North America. They were brought here by colonists in the early 1600’s).

Best wishes,
Rusty Foltz – President
The VA State Beekeepers’ Association

The VSBA is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting and advancing beekeeping in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Membership in the VSBA is open to beekeepers and non-beekeepers, alike. Annual membership dues are $12.00 per individual/family or $10.00 through local associations. In addition to other benefits, members receive a quarterly newsletter.

Promoting Knowledge and Fellowship
Among Beekeepers in the Commonwealth of Virginia

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