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       The purpose of the organization shall be to promote the general interest in the pursuit of bee culture. This is accomplished by promoting awareness about honey bees, their fight for survival, what can be done to aid their survival and the support of beekeepers. This is achieved through Newsletters, Spring and Fall Conferences, involvement with West Virginia Agriculture and Conservation Day at the Legislature activities which promote the honey bee and products of the hive, and far more widely via this website which has the power to reach a global readership.

Hello Fellow Beekeepers,

      As the new year begins we the officers want to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the support thus received.  In assuming these offices, we realize the obligation that we have to function as effectively and responsibly in growing the West Virginia Beekeepers Association.  In attempting to do so, we have encountered numerous beekeepers throughout the state who are making this goal a reality.

      Please allow us to take a moment to outline some of our plans for 2016 under the direction of our new president, Paul Cappas of Morgantown.  The year starts with preparations for Ag Day in Charleston on January 20, giving us access to our State representatives to discuss current needs and legislation, hoping to improve beekeeping in West Virginia.  The next event on the calendar is the Spring conference hosted by Corridor G in Chapmanville on April 9.  Michael Bush, author of The Practical Beekeeper, will be the main speaker.  The fall conference, held at Jackson's Mills, will be presented on September 23-24 with Clarence Collison, author of Bee Culture's monthly column What Do You Know? slated as the guest speaker.  And don't forget the Honey Bee Expo, very professionally produced by the Mid-Ohio Valley Beekeepers Association, this year held on January 30th with author Stephen Repasky and Dr. Greg Hunt and Krispin Given.  Attendance at the conferences not only exposes you to the ideas of current celebrities in beekeeping, but it also gives you access to numerous vendors and affords you the opportunity to share ideas with fellow beekeepers.  In addition, attending as a member of the WVBA, you are given a reduced tuition.  These programs are presented for the benefit of our members, and you are cordially invited to attend.

      New programs are in the developing stages with plans to implement them during this year.  Using the Master Beekeepers, we hope to offer FREE half day programs throughout the state on various topics including backyard queen rearing, control of pests, and colony management in various seasons.  With the help of local clubs, the instructional program would be provided to membership at no cost.  Attempts are being made to produce uniform teaching tools for each club to assist in your novice programs.  Under the leadership of Paul Cappas, we are working with the Vet Centers to determine our role in assisting veterans in become beekeepers.  A call has gone out in search of members who are veterans and who would like to assist in this program as mentors.  If you are interested, you are strongly invited to contact Paul at paulcappas65@gmail.com or call him at 304-291-0608.

      As you can see, with your help, there are things happening throughout the state that involve you as a member of the West Virginia Beekeepers Association.  As members, you are heartily invited to attend, participate and benefit from these functions.  Please follow us at wvbeekeepers.org.  We very much look forward to seeing you.

With wishes for a prosperous beekeeping year ahead,

Paul Cappas, President
Chuck Cienawski, Vice President
Mark Lilly, Secretary
Steve Roth, Treasurer 

WVBA Encourages Cross-pollination of Beekeeper Skills, Experience

            Have you ever been inspired by something you learned from a visiting beekeeper who showed you how to do something that amazed you, something that changed and improved the way you keep bees? Of course you have. We all have. We each know a lot, but there’s a lot more to learn. The WVBA Education Committee is now working to find some of the skills and experience we have among our club members and establish a process to exchange these skills in a visiting guest speaker program. Please see our initial announcement, below, and please consider reading this before your next club meeting. The information, experience, and expertise held by our club members could benefit other beekeepers.

            We beekeepers join groups such as this because we want to learn more about how to keep our bees alive and thriving by sharing information with other beekeepers. Our clubs have a lot of expertise, mostly acquired the best way, through hands-on experience.

            To share this experience more broadly and to benefit all the beekeepers in West Virginia, the WVBA Education Committee would like to ask each club to identify two things: persons in your club, or known to your club, with expertise in particular areas of beekeeping, and topics club members want to know more about. Examples might be methods of controlling varroa mites and other parasites, queen grafting, colony splitting and dividing, making nucs, candle making and other uses of beeswax, etc.

            We would like to match up this expertise with clubs who want to learn more about particular aspects of beekeeping. To do this, we’re gathering names and contacts for folks in the WVBA circle who have knowledge and experience and who would consider visiting other clubs to share it with them. We propose offering a small stipend to these traveling speakers, to encourage such informational cross-pollination visits.

            Please share with us a list of persons with various beekeeping expertise within your club or known to your club, and a list of topics your club would like to host a speaker on. Please contact WVBA President Paul Cappas ( paulcappas65@gmail.com ) or Kirby Vining ( secretary.PHBA@gmail.com ). Thank you.


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