packing nucs Buy Tickets HerePresented by the Virginia State Beekeepers Association, Southeast Region
Saturday January 27, 2018, 8:30am 5:00pm
Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Training Academy, 411 Integrity Way, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Samuel Ramsey, entomologist and PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, and Master Beekeeper Erin MacGregor-Forbes, will be our guest speakers.

Samuel Ramsey is a PhD student at Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp's lab at the University of Maryland. He studied entomology at Cornell University focusing on predatory/parasitic insect behavior. His current work focuses on the effects of honey bee parasites on individual and colony level survivorship specifically targeting Varroa destructor and Nosema ceranae. His work on Varroa, showing that the mites feed on the vitellogenin in bees fat bodies, not on the hemolymph, which helps explain why hives with high mite counts crash in the fall and winter as the bees do not have body fat reserves to overwinter. This research is impressive and important for beekeepers and how we treat mites.

Sammy will give two presentations:

  • Drivers of Colony Loss: What We Don't Know Can Hurt You
  • Varroa Feed on Hemolymph and 2 Other Alternative Facts

Erin MacGregor-Forbes may be a familiar name to many as the result of her helpful how-to beekeeper YouTube videos. Erin is an EAS certified Master Beekeeper. She is the Chairman of the Eastern Apicultural Society where she focuses on increasing communication between beekeepers at all levels and improving beekeeping practices through high-quality educational programs. Erin's passion is working with the bees' own instincts and behaviors to create thriving colonies. She has received three grants from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) to compare honey bee colony strength and survivability between nucleus and package started colonies.

Erin will give two presentations:

  • Artificial Swarming
  • Backyard Queen Rearing/Overwintering Nucs First Steps for Beginning Your Own Program


8:30 - 9:30 am: Check In

9:30 - 9:45 am: Opening Greeting

9:45 - 10:45 am: Erin MacGregor-Forbes - Artificial Swarming as a Management Tool
Explains the concepts behind artificial swarming - why is this good for your colony?
How to physically perform an artificial swarm with your colony
Managing the colonies after the "swarm"
Apiary Impacts of utilizing this technique

10:45 11:00 am: Break

11:00 - 12:00 am: Samuel Ramsey - Drivers of Colony Losses: What We Don't Know Can Hurt Us
Describes our current state of knowledge as researchers and beekeepers on colony losses
Discusses what conclusions we can take from best management practices and data
What ever happened to Colony Collapse Disorder?
Separates fact from rumor and misconception

12:00 - 1:00 pm: Lunch provided in Cafeteria

1:00 - 2:30 pm: Erin MacGregor-Forbes - Backyard Queen Rearing / Overwintering nucleus colonies - First Steps for Beginners
How to start rearing queens in your apiary
Mating nucleus options and choices and other tools you will need
Building summer nucs for wintering over
Managing nucleus colonies in winter

2:30 2:45 pm: Break

2:45 - 3:45 pm: Samuel Ramsey - Varroa Feed on Hemolymph and 2 other Alternative Facts
Explains our earlier reasoning for believing Varroa feed on hemolymph
Presents research that shows Varroa feed on Fat Body tissue
Discusses how this form of feeding impacts honey bees
Discusses how this impacts our management of Varroa and options we may have for management in the future

3:45 4:30pm: Panel Q&A (Erin MacGregor-Forbes & Sammy Ramsey)

Seating is limited; please register early. 

Directions: Take I-64 West to I-264 East. Exit on Birdneck Road. Take a right at the bottom of the exit ramp. Stay to the right. At traffic light, turn right onto Americus, and then a quick right into Integrity Way. Look for a red brick building with a sign reading "Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Training Academy". The Integrity Way address does not always work in GPS or mapping applications. Please use 411 Birdneck Road, Virginia Beach 23451.