Fall Meeting Update!

We have posted a lot of new information about the upcoming Fall meeting --here--.

We have a preliminary agenda, a list of current vendors, information on nearby hotels that offer special rates and a proposal for a grant for Brenda Travers' research. More information will be posted as it becomes available!

VSBA Tag: 

2014 Fall Meeting Date Finalized!

The Fall Meeting location and date have been finalized -

Saturday, November 8, 2014 at Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave, VA.

More information will be posted soon!

Master Beekeeper Program of the Virginia State Beekeepers Association

On June 22, 2013 the Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA) membership voted to develop a VSBA Master Beekeeper Program (MBP). The membership also voted that Mr. Frank S. Walker would be the program Chairman.

The Chairman will develop a VSBA MBP Committee and introduce them in the VSBA Fall Newsletter, on the VSBA web page and to the membership at the VSBA fall membership conference held November 2, 2013. The committee will be composed of the VA State Apiarist, the current VSBA President and mostly other VSBA members who have successfully completed a Master Beekeeper certification with other beekeeping associations.

The MBP committee will assist with all aspects of the program, including testing, grading and reporting the results. Additionally, the MBP Committee will keep a data base for all levels mentioned above, and be responsible for issuing the proper certification certificates to the VSBA beekeepers for each level completed. Certificates will be presented at the annual Spring and Fall VSBA membership conference.

At this time, and subject to change, the Master Beekeeper Program of the VSBA consists of 3 levels, namely: the QUALIFIED beekeeper level; the CERTIFIED beekeeper level, and the MASTER BEEKEEPER level. The requirements for each level are being established and once completed will be posted on the VSBA website www.virginiabeekeepers.org, under the heading Master Beekeeper.

The VSBA MBP is not affiliated with the VA MBP managed through Virginia Tech (VT).  However, all VSBA beekeepers who have successfully completed testing at the Qualified & Certified levels of the VA MBP, can notify the VSBA MBP Chairman in writing that they want their testing certifications to be transferred to the VSBA MBP. All requests must also include a copy of the VT Certificate of Completion for the level completed. The VSBA MBP Committee will approve all requests received on or before December 31, 2013. After this date, all beekeepers must enter the MBP at the Qualified Beekeeper testing level.

Frank S. Walker
VSBA MBP Chairman
E-mail: mail@norfolkbeekeeper.net

VSBA Tag: 

Fall Meeting Scheduled!

The VSBA Fall meeting date has been set for Saturday, November 9 (note the new date - SECOND Sat in Nov) at Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave, Va.

Mark your calendars - more details to follow!

VSBA Tag: 

VSBA Master Beekeeper Program Testing for Summer Meeting

VSBA Master Beekeeper Program (MBP)

Testing Schedule for the June 21 -22, 2013 VSBA meeting in Chesapeake, VA.

Registration:  Can sign up in advance (click here for application) OR register at the meeting.

Cost: $25.00 for the Qualified or Certified testing. This includes the written and practical hive inspection testing which will be held on another date and at another location. Make checks payable to VSBA.

Written Testing (Qualified and Certified levels) - Friday June 21 & Saturday June 22, immediately following conclusion of the meeting program in the auditorium.

Practical Testing for those who have taken the Qualified or Certified Written testing in the past:

Schedule: Practical "In hive" testing - Friday June 21, 2013 from 10 am - Noon in VA Beach, VA.

For further information, please contact VSBA MBP Coordinator:
Frank S. Walker (757)641-5933 or e-mail: mail@norfokbeekeepers.net

VSBA 2013 Spring Meeting Agenda

VSBA MEETING  -JUNE 21 & 22, 2013


Friday, June 21

registration - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
meeting 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Opening Remarks
Dennis Van Engelsdorp (topic TBA)Wyatt Mangum – “Colony Usurpation”
Dennis Van Engelsdorp  (topic TBA)
Dr Troy Anderson The Decline of Honey Bees in Virginia:

Saturday, June 22

Funding Update for Bee Grant

            During the 2013 General Assembly short session we dealt with getting the Beehive Grant funding back in the budget and two bills that affected honey producers.  The information below includes some repetition of information that was in my last update.

          The Virginia General Assembly held its veto session on April 3rd.  Governor McDonnell had until midnight May 3rd to sign the 2013 budget.  As you know from my last update in February, Governor McDonnell proposed removing the funding for the Beehive Grant from the 2013 budget.  Senator Deeds and Delegate Ed Scott both introduced a budget amendment to reinstate the funds and Senator Hanger was a co-sponsor.  During the veto session Governor McDonnell left the funding in the budget. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is responsible for overseeing the grant.  Those who have applied for hive grant funding should hear from Keith Tignor in the near future on where you stand on getting funding. 

            If you plan to participate in the “Hive Grant” you must buy the equipment BEFORE applying for a grant.  You will need to show proof of purchase to meet the grant requirements and you will need to pay taxes on the money that you may receive as income.  Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.  If setting up a hive is totally dependent on getting grant money, you might want to check with Keith as to the likelihood that you will receive the money.

          Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter from Woodbridge, VA, introduced HB1839 (by request).  If I understood this bill correctly it would exempt private home and farm producers of certain foods, including honey, from the food laws and regulation provided the food was sold to the end consumer and labeled with proper disclosure.  I called Delegate Lingamfelter to find out more about the bill and who made the request.   I did not get an answer from him on that question.  The legislation was tabled in Committee by a voice vote.  If anyone who lives in Delegate Lingamfelter district can find out who requested that he introduce this bill I would like to know.

            Delegate Robert D. Orrock, Sr., from Thornburg, VA, introduced HB1852.  This legislation dealt with new exceptions to a required inspection by VDACS prior to manufacture, storage, or sale of home produced foods.  The only effect that it has on beekeepers who take advantage of the 250 gallon exception is that they will no longer need to make an annual report to VDACS.  You may see the final language at this link at line 5: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?131+ful+CHAP0285

            As a reminder to those who are under the VDACS “Not Inspected” section of the food law, please remember that you should have your label reviewed by VDACS for the language as specified in Chapter 285 of the Code of Virginia (see the link above).  Also, although the facility where the honey is being processed does not need to be inspected the area must meet the requirements specified under the food processing regulations.  Contact the Office of Food Safety and Security at 804-786-3520 if you have any questions.  You may send your labels for approval to: Virginia Department Agriculture & Consumer Services, Office of Food & Security, 102 Governor Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

Lannie Ballard

VSBA Legislative Chairperson

VSBA June 2013 Meeting Registration

Registration form for the 2013 VSBA Summer meeting.


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