Read at the August 2017 meeting:


Since everyone is getting a good laugh at the trouble I got into today’s because of what I sure was a feral bee getting into the house (trying to convince the wife that all my bees are marked under their left wing). I want to share a real newbie mistake I made, please keep the laughter to a minimum.

A few days ago I decided that I wanted to try and render five buckets of old comb I have into wax. The wife was gone and I was left to my own devices. Mistake 1.

I find an old pot in the garage that her Chickens were laying eggs in, not really being used. Mistake 2.

I bring it in the house, put some water in it and started it to boil. I find a slotted cooking spoon to dip,out the trash (her good one, of course). Mistake 3.

I get all my other stuff set up and started the melt the comb, now this is old brood comb, drone comb, basically any comb I had gathered up. I start adding comb to the water. I did not realize how bad it would smell, nor did I realize the smell would spread throughout the entire house. Mistake 4.

My solution was to open the windows and doors to air out the house before she got home. Did you know the smell of melting comb attracts bees almost as much as the smell of honey? Well I forgot. Took the bees that are about 60 yards from the house to know what I was doing. Mistake 5.

So now I have combs melting on her stove and the kitchen quickly filling up with bees. I am a beekeeper, I can handle this, not so much. I turn down the heat, and rush to close the doors and windows. The smell returns with a vengeance AND I have a kitchen full of bees that have decided to explore the rest of the house. I am a beekeeper, I can handle this, not so much. Mistake 6.

OK, first problem is the bees, turn off all light and close all the blinds, except for the kitchen. Next get suited, and find my smoker. Hint: smokers in the house is a bad idea, stupid smoke alarms. Open the doors to smoke out the bees, forgetting that the bees outside can still smell the melting comb. Mistake 7.

Now the kitchen is starting to look like a swarm is moving into my kitchen. So how do you catch a swarm, either vacuum them or put a box under them and shake them into the box, out comes the bee vac. I can handle this, I am a beekeeper, I do keep lying to myself. Mistake 8.

The wife gets home…… still full of bees, smoke, me in my suit, smelling of smoke, and the smoke alarms still going off. All in all it was a bad day for me. I am no longer allowed to render beeswax in the house and I am pretty sure she is interviewing sitters for me when she is not around.

September 2017 Tom Miller on lots of bee information

August 2017 Rusty and John regarding increasing honey yields

July picnic

June Museum tour of observation hive

March 9, 2017 TBD

February 9, 2017 Rick will tell us about using wax for candles, lip balm and more

January 12, 2017 Topic speaker from Manassas on queen rearing and more

December 8 was our annual potluck

November 10, 2016

October 13, 2016  See  you at Blandy in the LIBRARY

September 8, 2016  We had a great discussion with 5 members w

August 11 presentation by Charlie:

Also missed Rusty Foltz, VSBA President’s presentation on state affairs and EAS experience

July Picnic/Potluck……if you missed it then you missed it……FUN and good food!

Club Calendar:  JUNE 9 2016 MEETING

“Secrets of the Hive.”  It is a 2015 production, some of which was shot locally at the Virginia Arboretum.  You missed a good film…..if you did not make it.

July – Club Picnic – Date, Time & Place to be determined….

August club meeting second Thursday at our normal spot….7pm Grace Community Church in Winchester.  See home page or below for location/directions.

January 2016

You might have been one of the lucky ones who came to our International Honey tasting at last nights meeting January 14, 2016.  If you did not make it you missed 18 honeys from around the world and better yet you missed Bruce Bryant’s FANTASTIC presentation on sensory evaluation.  Maybe next time……that would be sweet!

Our meeting location changed in the fall of 2015.  Beekeepers of the Northern Shenandoah Valley (BONS) meet at 7:00 PM on the second Thursday of each month at the Grace Community Church 2333 Roosevelt Blvd, Winchester, VA 22601 .