2020 changed so much. It's almost been an entire year since we had our last meeting in person, and we were lucky to have the ability to finish our 2020 beginner class with a virtual field day.
We considered doing a 2021 beginner class virtually, but becuase so many virtual classes already exist, we did not see the value in reinventing the wheel, spending 2 hours a week reviewing slides online.
So, instead, this year we are going to try something new, which we hope works out even better than before. We're holding twice monthly beginner meetings starting February 22nd.
The meetings will be about 1 to 2 hours, every two weeks, and will follow a basic cirriculum which will be available in a few days. Topics will include :
- Do I really want to become a beekeeper? (The challenges and rewards of keeping bees)
- What are the state and local regulations?
- What equipment do I really need?
- Where can I get bees?
- What happens when I open a beehive?
- Taking care of your first beehives.
- Basic biology.
- Diseases, their identification and prevention.
This meeting is intended to augment one of the existing online classes and provide a forum for discussion. Completion of the Penn State, Cornell, or equivalent online class before the March meeting is expected. These classes are a few hours long, and can be easily completed in a few evenings.
Beyond covering the basic tasks of getting equipment, locating bees, and setting up a hive, the meetings will continue into the summer as a regular check-in so that we can share observations and answer questions as the season progresses.
If you're interested, please register for the beginner meeting at https://fairfaxbees.org/_registration
There is no fee for the meeting, but please also register as a club member.
2021 Membership is now open and we request that members pay their 2021 dues soon. Membership comes with privileges, such as access to club equipment, library, and club resources like field days, along with the good feelings associated with helping your local club.
We have big plans for 2021, including a new meeting specifically for beginners. We are purchasing additional extractors as they were in such high demand last year, along with additional veils, equipment, and tools for club members to borrow. As soon as we can start to assemble in small groups we will begin field days again. We are also going to setup a forum for users to exchange nucs and equipment, as well as report and sign up for swarm capture.
Please renew your club membership soon at https://fairfaxbees.org/_registration
This month we're going to talk about prepping for splits and basic split techniques, how to read dead outs (lots of people, sadly, are losing hives during this time), and preparing for the Spring honey flow.
Please make sure your hives still have adequate food stores. It's completely safe to gently pull the inner cover off and inspect the location of the cluster to see how much capped honey the cluster is in contact with (You can see capped honey without removing frames - a flashlight may help.). Try not to linger, but also take a peek at the underside of the inner cover to see if there's any significant moisture build up.
Continue to make sure you have exposed top ventilation in the hives. If you haven't done that by now this winter, you would likely have experienced hives sufficate in the recent snow storms when bottom entrances were snowed shut.
See you on the 15th!
Check out the new link on our Resources page!
Fairfax Club Member Interviewed by Washington Post
We are proud to announce that one of our youngest club members, Maia Timm, is featured in a Washington Post article about kids and bees!
Read the article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifesty...
Resources to Help You Plan Your Native Garden
Everyone knows that the European honeybee has taken terrible hits in recent years. What is less well known is that the 400+ species of native bees in Virginia are under serious threat from the actions of human beings. Not only are native bees important pollinators of many food crops, they play an essential role in our ecosystem as a whole. Bees and a whole array of less noticeable animals - including many species of flies, ants and beetles - pollinate the majority of the plants we see around us. In other words, they ensure the survival of most of the plant kingdom.
Want to save the bees? This task is far more complicated than you might guess. We have the Gardening for Bees guide (prepared by plantnovanatives.org) and other tips and tricks on our Resources tab.
Thank You to Our Board
Thank you to our current board for continuing their commitment to serve the Club. Our 2020 board will be: President - Nate Muller, Vice President - Wendy Meeusen, Secretary - Heather Mason, Treasurer - Raul Puertas, and Member at Large - Anna Freska.
2021 Club Registration
About Our Club
Fairfax Beekeepers is a group of beekeepers mainly from northern and western Fairfax County that meet monthly to promote responsible honey bee keeping in our urban and suburban environment.
Our goal is to maintain a local group of beekeepers, both new and experienced, that can assist each other in continuing their education. Experienced beekeepers mentor new ones; we share resources including honey extractors, equipment, bees, queens; and encourage each other to grow as beekeepers.
Most of our members are from Reston, Herndon, Great Falls, Sterling, Chantilly, Centreville, Vienna, and Oakton. We mix meetings of open discussion with guest speakers and demonstrations that focus on hive health and management. Our members often contribute volunteer time to local outreach endeavors, as well as the 4-H Bee Club.
As a small group, our focus is primarily on individual beekeepers supporting each other. However, if you want more involvement in the NOVA beekeeping community, there are other larger organizations in the area that are listed on our Resources page. Many of our members are members of those organizations, as well. Please check them out; these larger clubs offer excellent speakers, educational opportunities, and a significant amount of community outreach.
Join us on Facebook!
Fairfax Bees Facebook
Fairfax Beekeepers meets the second Monday each month. Meetings are open to the public and involve open discussion about beekeeping and hive management. Members can discuss problems they've had, exchange ideas and observations, and support each other as fellow beekeepers.
Board of Directors
President: Nate Muller Vice President: Wendy Meeusen
Secretary: Heather Mason Treasurer: Raul Puertas
At Large: Anna Freska