The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

The Virginia State Beekeeper’s Association (VSBA) held its 2017 Fall Meeting on November 4, 2017. This one-day meeting is held each fall at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Virginia. As this is a two hour drive from my house, it makes for a nice day trip. I also received my Apprentice Beekeeper certificate as part of the event. Continue reading

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Each beekeeper you meet is an aspect of yourself

Way back on November 5 the Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA) had their annual Fall Meeting at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Virginia. Speakers for the one-day meeting included Dr. Kirsten Traynor and Dr. Wyatt Mangum. I took some notes and have been meaning to write up a short summary of the event, so here it is. Continue reading

Varroa Mitey, the undefeated, inscrutable to the last

Our local bee club hosted Dr. Meghan Milbrath yesterday. It was free event open to the public and we had some 80 to 100 people show up. Dr. Milbrath spoke on the topic of “Towards Treatment Free” and I thought I would provide a brief summary.

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Dr. Milbrath at the start of her talk. © Erik Brown

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Bee Attitudes

Bee school is finished and the bees are coming. I’ve been trying to read yet another bee book, but my mind wanders to thoughts of actually having bees. My apiary is not quite ready, but with some upcoming days to work on it all should be well.

150326 Bee School Cake Continue reading

Don’t Worry, Bee Happy

On Saturday our Bee School class was invited to the club apiary to visit the bees. The club has three hives hosted at a local monastery for teaching and other purposes. The day started cold but was sunny and in the mid-60s (18° C) by the time we arrived. The pictures tell the tale.

Erik with Group

A shot of me taken by a fellow student, with the class in the background before we went to the apiary.

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All Dressed Up and No Place to Bee

150220 Bee Suit2Well, the good news is that I have managed to purchase the hives, equipment, and clothing I believe is needed to have bees in the spring. The bad news is that it is February in Virginia, with snow on the ground and cold in the air. So the best I can do is take some pictures and keep reading and learning. Here is a picture of me dressed for the bees in my new bee jacket. I was planning to purchase a full-body suit, but am told I would roast in the full heat of summer around here. So a jacket it is.

This past week in bee school we learned about bee diseases and pests, from the tiny viruses to the dreaded mites and the much larger skunks and bears. Continue reading