The Virginia State Beekeepers Association 2015 Fall Meeting was held this weekend at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Virginia. This is less than two hours from my house, so I woke up in the wee hours to drive through the beautiful Shenandoah Mountains to attend the meeting.
This was my first VSBA conference, and was please to find a number of beekeepers from my local club also in attendance. It is always nice to have familiar people to sit and talk with, which made the meeting as well as lunch and other down time more enjoyable. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, so the images in these posts are links to related web sites.
It turns out VSBA also sponsors a Master Beekeeper Program. The program aims to promote beekeeping education and knowledge across the state, and has three levels: Apprentice, Journeyman, and Master Beekeeper. Some public service is required, and there is a written and oral exam for each level. Since I continue to enjoy learning about bees, this seems like a good opportunity to continue this process in a more formal way. There is a Spring Meeting in June, so perhaps I will take the Apprentice test at that time.
The speakers did ask that we not share pictures or videos, perhaps that is why I never took out my camera. I made some notes and wanted to share some of the content in the following two posts:
- Dancing Queen: see that girl covers Dr. David Tarpy’s talks on queen quality
- Dancing Queen: watch that scene covers Dr. Ernesto Guzman’s talks on selective breeding and the use of natural oils in the hive.
The speakers were the bulk of the meeting. During a brief business meeting the VSBA membership agree to provide funding for research by Katy Ciola Evans of the University of Delaware. This research aims to measure the effect of mid-summer splits on varroa populations. A number of vendors were also at the meeting plying their wares, and a barbecue lunch was served by the sponsoring group, the Shenandoah Valley Beekeepers Association. The meeting finished before 5 pm, leaving me plenty of time for the drive home.
The song Dancing Queen by the Swedish band ABBA was one of the more popular songs of the 1970’s. The subtitles for the related posts are taken from the chorus, the last line of which reads “See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Dancing Queen.”
If you are not an ABBA fan, though I’m not sure how that’s possible, you may simply appreciate that the song has the word “Queen” in the title. This was a focus in three of the four sessions, so seems an appropriate theme for posts about the conference. While preparing these summaries, I went looking for a song by the rock band Queen and seriously considered the rather awkward title “Bo-bee-mian Rhapsody” based on their popular song Bohemian Rhapsody. So you should at the very least be thankful that I found the hit Dancing Queen to use instead.