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Keeping bees in Shenandoah Valley, VA
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Thymeenough
New Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:42 am    Post subject: Keeping bees in Shenandoah Valley, VA Reply with quote

Hi. I am a new/ wanna be beekeeper in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and I'd like to connect with other local natural-minded keepers.

Last edited by Thymeenough on Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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Merlinspop
Foraging Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Posts: 117
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings! I'm down river (always seems odd saying that about a North flowing river) of you. I'm a newbie, too, shaking in my first package this coming Sunday. Happy to compare notes with you.

B
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DavesBees
Silver Bee


Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Posts: 564
Location: USA, Maine, Bucksport

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love it when a plan comes together.
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Thymeenough
New Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi B. Good luck with your bees, very exiting!
I recently installed my first package and a week later all but a dozen are gone. I'm trying to learn whether there was something I could have or shouldn't have done. Gold star honeybees has some useful info/video on how to improve your chances of them settling in.
I'm afraid it may be too late to order more bees this year so I'm trying to find whether there's a local swarm list I can be added to.
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Merlinspop
Foraging Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Posts: 117
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How far are you from the Panhandle? I can ask the guy who is bringing the packages this weekend up if all are spoken for if you want.
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Thymeenough
New Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd love for you to see if there's a package available still! Thanks. I'm in Rockingham County, along the I-81 corridor. If it works out, let me know when and where they're arriving. It would certainly be closer than driving to Georgia!
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Merlinspop
Foraging Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Posts: 117
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PM Sent. He's probably driving down there today, so I figured that it's be much faster for you to call him directly.
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Thymeenough
New Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much! It looks like this may be the perfect solution for me.
Happy hiving!
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Merlinspop
Foraging Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Posts: 117
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me know if he could help you out!
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Merlinspop
Foraging Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Posts: 117
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's got 6 packages still available as of this afternoon. Give him a ring.
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Thymeenough
New Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for the contact. Somehow we didn't connect this weekend, but I'm on his list for a package may 6. How did your hiving go?
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Merlinspop
Foraging Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Posts: 117
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad I could get you in contact with him.

So far, so good with my colony. I added an extension to the little tab so I could hang the queen a little further down from the bars, hoping that they'll release her and I can retrieve the cage before they get come that far down and buggered up around the cage.

I did get a bit too cocky when I saw that there was a baseball sized cluster still (or maybe reformed) inside the package that I set in front of the hive. I decided to reopen the hive and re-dump them in. By that time I had put on a dark purple LSU sweatshirt and took off my veil. Either these Georgia bees took offense to LSU, or they didn't like my clumsy work and one of them gave me a poke right on the end of my nose! Other than that, though, so far so good. They're taking syrup (I'll need to refill tomorrow) and flying around getting to know their new territory. Either Thursday, or more likely Friday, I'll go back in, refill the feed, check to see if the queen's been released (or release her myself), get the cage out, and do a quick check of the comb. I think I'll wear the jacket with zip on veil for that visit!
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Thymeenough
New Bee


Joined: 14 Apr 2011
Posts: 6
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 5:31 pm    Post subject: Pp Reply with quote

Pop, have your bees established well?
Just got mine today. Any insights to share?
Thanks again for the contact!
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Merlinspop
Foraging Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Posts: 117
Location: West Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you got them!

No real insight to share. Mine are doing fairly well. They have 6 bars of comb well drawn out with a good deal of capped brood, and some larvae. I didn't see eggs today nor did I find the queen and they were quite testy compared to previous visits.

They've barely taken any of the syrup I've been giving them, so I just removed the feeder altogether, at least for now.

I'd say go on and install them and hope they do well. Give them 10 bars' worth of space and access to feed if they'll take it. If you hang the queen cage, be sure to put an extension on it so it's not too close to the bar so they don't draw too much goobered up comb in the 4 or so days it takes for her to be released and you retrieve it.

Have fun and keep the updates coming!
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snotboogie
New Bee


Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Posts: 2
Location: wv, USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:56 pm    Post subject: Gunther Hauk Reply with quote

This great old fellow maintains a bee sanctuary in Floyd. http://www.spikenardfarm.org/. He has been my homebase for bee inspiration.
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Wildflower_VA
Scout Bee


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 407
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello!

I am in the Shenandoah Valley in Augusta County, near the Rockbridge County line. I would love to be able to stir up some interest in sustainable top-bar beekeeping, but am not having much luck.

One thing good that has come about in our area is that as of fall of 2011, we have a bee supply store that has come to Fishersville. The name is Valley Bee Supply, located on Route 608 right off Interstate 64, near the intersection of Rt. 608 (Tinkling Springs Rd.) and Route 250. The owner is currently taking orders for packages and nucs for pick-up at the end of April. He has acquired 100 packages of Italians and 100 nucs. That's sure better than driving to another state. http://www.valleybeesupply.com/

I am going to place my order for a package of bees soon, and plan to take Phil's book with me and other information on top-bar hives/natural beekeeping and try to get this guy interested. He has sold one top-bar hive, but has had so little interest in top-bar beekeeping that he doesn't see the need in our area.

We need to get people interested and network to try to bring together a group in our geographical region to promote low impact, sustainable beekeeping. So far the people interested are scattered and I haven't found a way to come together. I am open to suggestions.
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Maryland Beekeeper
Scout Bee


Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 259
Location: Columbia, Maryland, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 3:44 pm    Post subject: Mid-Atlantic Natural Beekeeping Reply with quote

Hi all. Back @ the Bees after a 25 year hiatus. Been sayin I was gonna get back into it for years after having to destroy an apiary w/ foul brood, now that I got a couple goin I realize I shoulda done it long ago, feels great, especially w/ these TBH's. Anyway, I vac'd a feral hive out of a guys soffit and installed them in the front of a 3' Kenyan w/ 19" TB's almost two weeks ago. Outwardly they look ok but I'm gettin the feeling they might have lost their queen. Next to them I have a Ware that I installed a package of Italians in last week and they're goin gangbusters. Hopefully I'll get another cut out soon and if this feral colony is indeed queen less I'll merge the two. Got two more huge (4') Africans built, one Kenyan one Tanzanian, and ready in hopes of more cutouts or swarms. So I'm off and running, glad for the internet this go-round.
Happy Hiving
Drew
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Uwe in USA
Guard Bee


Joined: 08 May 2013
Posts: 69
Location: Arlington, Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:05 pm    Post subject: Hi, I am new to bekeeping Reply with quote

Hi I am new to beekeeping here in Arlington, VA close to Washington D.C
I am a pipe and or cigar smoker and wanted to ask if it is okay to smoke a pipe or a cigar instead of using the smoker. I just thought I could catch two flies with one swap but I don't want the bees to die of second hand smoking. lol Wink
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Wildflower_VA
Scout Bee


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 407
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Hi, I am new to bekeeping Reply with quote

Uwe in USA wrote:
Hi I am new to beekeeping here in Arlington, VA close to Washington D.C
I am a pipe and or cigar smoker and wanted to ask if it is okay to smoke a pipe or a cigar instead of using the smoker. I just thought I could catch two flies with one swap but I don't want the bees to die of second hand smoking. lol Wink


Hi again, Uwe! Don't know about smoking bees with a pipe, but if you are looking for members closer to you, you should also post on the "Maryland" thread.
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ShenandoahVa
New Bee


Joined: 26 Mar 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:58 pm    Post subject: Back Creek Valley, Shenandoah neighbor Reply with quote

Hello to the locals. Smile
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Wildflower_VA
Scout Bee


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 407
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Back Creek Valley, Shenandoah neighbor Reply with quote

ShenandoahVa wrote:
Hello to the locals. Smile


Hello back atcha!! Welcome to the forum!!
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ShenandoahVa
New Bee


Joined: 26 Mar 2014
Posts: 2
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Back Creek Valley, Shenandoah neighbor Reply with quote

Wildflower_VA wrote:
Hello back atcha!! Welcome to the forum!!


lol, thankya. wo0t Very Happy
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NetComrade
Nurse Bee


Joined: 21 Apr 2014
Posts: 36
Location: Paw Paw, WV, USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone using Warre hives?
I am in Morgan County, but drive though Winchester every week.
My bees don't seem to be starting out great. See my post in "Urgent Help"
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Wildflower_VA
Scout Bee


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 407
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NetComrade wrote:
Anyone using Warre hives?
I am in Morgan County, but drive though Winchester every week.
My bees don't seem to be starting out great. See my post in "Urgent Help"
I don't know anyone using Warre hives in the Shenandoah Valley--sorry.

Since this is a global forum, with just a few Americans, you should fix your profile to include your state and USA. Had I not clicked on your post under the Shenandoah Valley heading I wouldn't have known what 'Eastern Panhandle' you were referring to.
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Robee
Scout Bee


Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 326
Location: USA, Augusta County, Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am also in the Valley, in Augusta County, just a few feet from Rockingham county. Laughing
I have stirred a little interest in top bar beekeeping, first by letting a couple of neighbors check out my hives. Then I sold 2 foundationless Langstroth box hives to a couple of other fellows. They moved one of my top bar hives and also went into it a little to check it out. Then they asked me if I would sell them one that is presently empty. I told them no but if they buy the materials, I will throw one together for them.
Glad to see a growing interest here in Va.
Robert
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Wildflower_VA
Scout Bee


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 407
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robee wrote:
I am also in the Valley, in Augusta County, just a few feet from Rockingham county. Laughing

Robert
Hello stranger!! Good to see you posting again. I've missed you!
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Wildflower_VA
Scout Bee


Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 407
Location: USA, VA, Shenandoah Valley

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 4:44 pm    Post subject: Virginia Top-Bar Beekeepers Group on Facebook Reply with quote

Christy Hemenway has started a top-bar beekeepers group on Facebook for each state. I just joined the one for Virginia yesterday. There are few members as yet, but I would love to see this group become very active. So far I am the only member from the Valley.

Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Virginiatbh/


..
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Robee
Scout Bee


Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 326
Location: USA, Augusta County, Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been doing much this year, just like last year but getting stronger. Smile Glad to see you are still here too.
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Robee
Scout Bee


Joined: 15 Jan 2008
Posts: 326
Location: USA, Augusta County, Virginia

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been doing much this year, just like last year but getting stronger. Smile Glad to see you are still here too.
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kateowp
New Bee


Joined: 26 Jul 2014
Posts: 2
Location: USA- Richmond, VA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:17 pm    Post subject: newbie thinking about starting a hive Reply with quote

Hi all,
I'm not in the Shenandoah (in Richmond VA) but hoping for some help. Does anyone know if Warre hives are "legal" in VA? I saw that state law requires beekeepers to "provide movable frames with combs or foundation in all hives"- does this exclude Warre? I was thinking of applying to the beekeeping grant fund for hive $ but saw that in order to be eligible I must purchase a hive box (not a problem), frames (guessing a top bar doesnt count), and foundation (sigh). Has anyone been able to use the VA Beehive Grant Program to buy a Warre hive?
Thanks,
Kate
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