The Beekeeping Seminar is presented by Virginia State Beekeepers Association, Southeast Region. Guest speakers are Samuel Ramsey, entomologist and PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, and Master Beekeeper Erin MacGregor-Forbes.
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 varroa 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 be providing 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 a 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 focused on increasing communication between beekeepers at all levels and improving beekeeping practices through high quality education 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 be providing two presentations:
- Artificial Swarming
- Backyard Queen Rearing/Overwintering Nucs – First Steps for Beginning Your Own Program
Schedule of Events
8:00 - 9:00 am: Vendor Setup
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 – 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 – 4:30 pm: Panel Q&A (Erin MacGregor-Forbes & Sammy Ramsey)