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  1. 5 points
    So once again the bees found themselves in a place they don't belong...a front porch column. And once again Kristina forwarded my name to the homeowners! I was SSOOOO tempted just to plug the vent holes they were using and take the entire column back to my bee yard and stand it up next to my other colonies but instead I did the standard removal.
  2. 4 points
    Bee Land, Thank you for contacting LBA about having some honey bee hives on your property. Many of our member beekeepers are looking for opportunities to establish colonies of honey bees at "out yards" such as yours since they lack the necessary space on their own property. It's great that you thought to mention the vineyard and that they don't use chemical sprays. Beekeepers are keenly interested in the area surrounding their hives, especially the first mile and a half radius that bees typically forage for pollen and nectar. You might be reluctant to post the address of the property here, but identifying a nearby road junction would help those who might be interested to determine if it would be within range of their own home. Also, please understand that the beekeeper would need nearly unlimited access to that property in order to maintain and monitor the health of the bees. If one of your objectives is to gain some tax relief under the Loudoun County Land Use Program that should also be discussed. As you may have noticed on our LBA website, all our meetings are open to the public. Please stop by sometime and talk to some of us about your interest in bees. This coming weekend we're also hosting an informal open house for new beekeepers who will be attending our classes. There will be several experienced beekeepers on hand hosting displays of beekeeping equipment. I encourage you to attend just to check things out and ask a few questions. We beekeepers love to talk about bees! Open House Date: Saturday, February 11, 2017, 10am-1pmLocation: Loudoun County Extension Office classroom, 30 Catoctin Circle SE, Leesburg, VA, 20175 Good luck in your quest for a beekeeper in need of a place to keep more honey bees.
  3. 4 points
    This turned out to be a really fun evening. After enjoying a wonderful meal and chatting with new friends, I began with a PowerPoint slideshow I put together earlier this summer, but that was promptly sidelined when I started answering the many questions the members of the Hamilton Ruritan Club had about bees. It was rewarding to see the looks of fascination on so many faces as I responded to questions about the role of the queen, workers, and drones, and how honey bees contribute to so many aspects of our lives & economy. Many laughs were had, and I was encouraged when I pointed out that I had reached the end of my allotted time, they said, "Keep going, keep going!" Karen Kazmark also asked if I would be willing to come back and talk to them again next year when I would be able to bring my Observation Hive of live bees. I agreed, of course. A chance to talk about bees with people who want to hear about them? Yeah, baby! On a technical note, I brought my own laptop, but also had my PowerPoint on a USB flash drive. They had a bigscreen HDTV on the wall, which already had an HDMI cable connected. I was able to plug the HDMI into my laptop and run from there. These are important details to iron out with any of these public outreach venues prior to the event. Finally, just another plug/upvote/kudos to those who set up and run the LBA website and forums. It's so great that members of the community who are not beekeepers or LBA members can still reach out and connect. I don't have much visibility on what other beekeeping clubs are doing across the country, but joining LBA and getting involved in these forums has not only made me a better beekeeper, but has made me feel more in touch and less isolated as a beekeeper. Getting new members and those taking our beekeeping classes to get involved in the forums ought to be a "foot stomping" point in the classes.
  4. 3 points
    Zafar, I would strongly advise you to do a lot of reading before trying to install livestock (bees/animals) in your back yard. Also, take the LBA beekeeping course, arrange your equipment, and prepare for this adventure in animal husbandry. This is a bit more complicated than getting a puppy or kitten from the animal shelter. Beekeeping Basics_agrs93.pdf Please start by reading the attached Beekeeping Basics pdf. Once you've read that you can visit our queen and nuc sellers forum to see who has bees available. https://www.loudounbee.org/products-and-services/buy-nucs-and-queens.html/ Best of luck!
  5. 3 points
    I hope this reply comes in time to help your project! You may find it difficult to get this information, as it is not common for hobby beekeepers in Loudoun County to maintain liability insurance. As far as I know, the reason most beekeepers don't have insurance is because we don't have to. This creates a pretty limited market for it, so you might have trouble getting a quote. My guess is any quote you get would be for a general personal or business liability policy, not a product specific to beekeeping. Further, Virginia passed a state law last year limiting liability for beekeepers, provided they comply with a set of beekeeping best practices they defined with the help of the beekeeping community. That law was HB 535, and you can read it here: http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/3.2-4411.1. The best practices can be found here: http://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincode/title2/agency5/chapter319/ For links to other regulations related to beekeeping that may be of use for your project, check out LBA's Beekeeping Regulations page.
  6. 2 points
    Shelley, I'd be happy to have you shadow me as I work my hives. You can reach me at 703.965.6216 or CGBees@gmail.com. There may be other LBA members who are closer to you, if that's a consideration. My bee yard is two miles south of the Loudoun/PW county line, just off Route 15. April and May can be the most wonderful time of the year to work honey bees, and some sunny weekend day in May would work best for me. Even if you don't end up visiting my bee yard, I'm attaching/linking a few resources to give you some background material as you do research for your novel. First, I strongly encourage you to watch the amazing documentary, More Than Honey. One of the commercial beekeepers featured in that documentary is John Miller. The 2011 book, The Beekeeper's Lament gives his perspective on beekeeping and the problems honey bees face in the modern era. Ms. Rusty Burlew maintains a pretty good beekeeping blog here: https://honeybeesuite.com/ The attached Beekeeping Basics, from PennState, gives some concise and accurate information about beekeeping that I would encourage you to reference if you have any questions while you write. Of course, pretty much any of us here would probably be willing to proofread any beekeeping scenes in your draft for accuracy. In any case, good luck with your novel! Beekeeping Basics_agrs93.pdf
  7. 2 points
    Molly - I will defer to any of our Beekeepers in the Ashburn area for a tour but your list of plants is a good start. This site used to have a list of plants, shrubs and trees that were recommended as preferred bee-friendly plantings. I'll check for that list. Dandelions, clovers, maples, black locust, autumn olive, forsythia....the bees have a broad appetite. So another way to approach this is any of our native plants and grasses, avoid GMOs and don't spray would be a good start. Other resources would be the Loudoun Master Gardeners and Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve off Evergreen Mill Road. Several years ago they took an acre and planted it as a pollinator garden and there is an observation hive of bees in the Stone House. I seem to recall several of the elementary schools in the Ashburn area also took an area and planted them as gardens.
  8. 2 points
    I highly recommend that you enroll in the bee class as shown on the home page www.loudounbee.org next winter before embarking on this journey. Meanwhile, there's a lot of reading you can do and videos you can view on YouTube to help get you oriented. Beekeeping is not a trivial endeavor and while we all learn as we go, it's imperative to have a good basic understanding before getting started.
  9. 2 points
    I spoke with Karen on the phone this afternoon. She said she got the idea of contacting the club for a speaker when she read the article on LoudounNow.com that featured several of our LBA members. A great example of one community outreach effort leading to another. Knowing what piqued her interest also gives me a better idea of how to outline a 20-minute "bee talk." Sadly, given the time of year and weather conditions I'll not likely be taking my Exhibition Hive. When I'm confident about my knowledge of a subject I'm comfortable speaking in front of a group. I'd encourage any other member considering doing these kind of events to do a "ride along" on some of these. Pretty low-stress, friendly crowd, free food!, and members of our own community. It sounds like this tends to be a little bit more senior crowd, mainly farmers or retired farmers - kindred spirits of beekeepers. I'm looking forward to it.