We'll still be virtual...learning about turning honey in to mead!
One of the things we can do with our surplus honey is make mead! Mead isn't a sticky sweet drink that you drink in a goblet only at Renaissance festivals. Our knowledge of mead does owe a lot to the SCA and Renaissance groups, but that's not where it ends. Mead making falls into the wine making side of brewing and mead can go from dry to sweet and everywhere in between as much as any white wine.
Many members have expressed an interest in mead making, and a new club member recommended that Martin Doczka, an experienced brewer and past president of DC Home Brewers (http://blog.dchomebrewers.com/), speak to us about making mead.
So this Monday at 7, we'll get together on Zoom and learn about mead making. Martin will talk about the history of mead, the fundamentals of mead making, and best practices for making the best meads.
Meeting details will be sent out via email prior to the meeting.
Have you seen a swarm of honeybees?
It's swarm season - and beehives are swarming - making new colonies.
If you see a swarm of honeybees, don't worry, they're at their gentlest when they swarm. Send us an email and we will get someone out to take a look, remove it, and give it a new home.
Just click this link to send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Distance Learning for Beekeeping Clubs
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.
Club Membership Renewals: With the new year, comes time to renew club memberships (See Registration link on right side of this page.). 2019 was the first year in which our membership fees and donations exceeded our expenses. We used the extra income to purchase some club equipment, including two oxalic acid vaporizers available for club member use.
The club is growing rapidly, and we have plans to expand outreach along with purchasing more equipment and books for members to use in this year. One of our main goals is to provide members with the equipment, tools, and training needed for us to become a truly self-sufficient and sustainable club. Each year we get a little bit closer to that goal.
Thank you to everyone that has already renewed their membership for 2020; we appreciate your continued support.
PSA: Prophylactic Oxalic Acid Treatment: Right at the beginning of the year is an excellent time to do prophylactic mite treatment using oxalic acid vaporization. The club has two OA vaporizers that anyone is welcome to borrow. Please send Nate an email if you’re interested in treating your hives during this period. With the new vaporizer it takes about 30 minutes to treat a yard of 8 hives (as long as you have an extension cord or access to an outlet). With the old vaporizer it takes about 10 minutes per hive to treat.
Upcoming Club Meetings: The January meeting we will have Carol Ivory, a Master Gardener, speak to us about native plants that are beneficial to our bees as well as other native pollinators. In February we will have Beth McClelland, our area’s representative from VDACS, talk about the state inspection program and hive diseases and pests. She will also expose us to the spotted lantern fly, a new invasive species we should be on the lookout for.
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.
2019 Annual Honey Extraction Party!
2019 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