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Welcome to the Beekeepers Guild of Southeast Virginia (BGSV). We meet on the 2nd Monday of the month at 7:00 PM in Towne Hall, a wing of Towne Bank located at 137 Mt. Pleasant Rd.,Chesapeake, VA  23322.   The public is invited to join us for socializing and the meeting.

8 August's meeting will be a hybrid meeting; in-person and virtual; however, we are still limited to 30 for in-person attendance based on Towne Bank's policy. If you would like to attend August's meeting in person, please sign-up at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0549afa92aa1fe3-august. To attend August's meeting virtually on the 8th at 7 pm, follow the link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86235578409. Please allow some extra time as the Zoom site may require updates. You can log in 30 minutes prior to meeting start time.

 

The WSDA killed about 85 hornets that were nested in an alder tree by vacuuming them out of the tree. The queen hornet was not in that group, but they do believe they killed her when they pumped carbon dioxide into the tree to kill the stragglers followed by foam sealant and shrink wrap around the tree. Sven-Erik Spichiger, an entomologist who directed the nest eradication, said it is unknown if the hornets will establish a toehold in Whatcom County and begin to migrate to other areas of the U.S. and that it still looks optimistic that the WSDA is ahead of this to keep further nesting out. (Lewis, 2020)

The Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia) have found their way into the United States. Although not aggressive towards humans, these hornets present an additional threat to honey bees. The first siting in the United States was on 8 Dec 2019 by a resident in Blaine, Washington. The WSDA confirmed its identity as an Asian Hornet. This insect has not been found in Virginia or in the U.S. outside of Washington state.

Asian Giant Hornet

While Asian hornets feast on a variety of insects, they do have an appetite for honey bees. These hornets will attack individual honey bees throughout the season; however, in the summer and early fall, they become very aggressive against the entire hive. A few hornets will attack the entire hive, then take over the hive and begin taking the brood back to their own colony to feed their young.

Asian honey bees have figured out a highly effective way to repel these hornets and eliminate the scouts before a mass attack can happen. Several hundred bees will engulf the hornet and begin to create a temperature of about 117°F for approximately 20 minutes which is lethal to the hornet. Unfortunately, this also kills some honey bees as well.

We do hEuropean Hornetave European hornets that may look similar to these and do go after honey bees individually; however, the size and coloring set them apart. The main differences to tell them apart is the Asian giant hornet’s head is nearly all yellow whereas the European Hornet is reddish brown that transitions to yellow around the face. If you believe you have seen an Asian giant hornet, try to take a picture or safely collect it and send it to your county Virginia Cooperative Extension office. A list of local Extension offices is listed at https://ext.vt.edu/offices.html. There is wealth of information via the internet on Asian giant hornets. The sites used for this article were:

https://cms.agr.wa.gov/WSDAKentico/Documents/PP/PestProgram/WSUAGHBeekeeperAdvice.pdf

https://agr.wa.gov/departments/insects-pests-and-weeds/insects/hornets/beekeeping

https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=41403

https://www.ento.vt.edu/News/Asian_Giant_Hornet.html

Lewis, S. (2020, November 01). Washington state captures two murder hornet queens alive, days after destroying first known nest. Retrieved November 01, 2020, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/murder-hornet-washington-scientists-capture-asian-giant-hornet-queens-eradication-nest/

Where you can find us next...

  • Virginia Honey Bee Festival 2022

    VHBF logoJoin the Beekeepers Guild of Southeast Virginia at the Norfolk Botanical Garden for a fun filled day on Saturday, August 20th from 10 AM to 4 PM.  The annual Virginia Honey Bee Festival features honey and hive products for sale, activities, vendors and great information. The Norfolk Botanical Garden is located at 6700 Azalea Garden Road, Norfolk, VA 23518. Click here for directions.  

    Learn how to keep bees and purchase plants to create a bee-friendly yard. Taste honey samples, look inside a working bee hive under glass and visit the many interactive displays.  Great activities for the entire family include beeswax candle rolling and the busy bee beanbag toss! Kids that come dressed as a bee get a free honey stick! Special activities also in the Children’s Garden. Don't miss the food trucks on the patio. 

    The Honey Bee is a sweet deal and so is the Honey Bee Festival!  View video highlights from 2012 for what to expect at this event. 
     
     
  • 2022 VBMG's Fall Gardening Festival

    The Beekeepers Guild of Southeast Virginia will be hosting a booth at the Virginia Beach Master Gardener's Fall Gardening Festival located on the grounds of the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center.  Admission and parking are free.  The event features horticultural speakers, tours of the display gardens and arboretum, a plant and bake sale, and free demonstrations on building Bluebird houses, Mason bee houses and more. The last time this event was held, over 2,000 people attended the festival!

    Festival hours are 8:30  AM to 3:30 PM on Saturday, September 24, 2022 with a rain date of September 25, 2022. 

    Guild members will be providing education on the importance of honey bees, offering children's activities and selling local honey and hive products.