Association News

Spring 2015 Beginning Beekeeping Classes To Be Held

Mountain Empire Beekeepers Association will offer “Beginning Beekeeping” at Wytheville Community College beginning February 17, 2015.  The five-week class will be held on Tuesday  evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm in Room 201, Galax Hall. The class cost is $40 which includes a textbook.  Families are eligible for a discount.

It is not necessary to have bees to take the class.   Students will be assisted in obtaining bees and equipment.   Additionally, new beekeepers can be assigned a mentor during their first year of beekeeping.

This popular class fills quickly.  For an application, click HERE or contact Mickey Cunningham at 276-579-2123 or


In Memoriam 

Mountain Empire Beekeepers lost one of its members on June 25, 2013, Sharon Ratcliff. She was the previous Vice President and Secretary of the association and will be missed. In her memory, MEBA donated $50 each to the American Diabetes Association and American Cancer Society.

Diabetes Letter                 Cancer Letter

2013 Spring Workshop

What an enjoyable and educational day! The rain held off just long enough to finish the workshop before it started to downpour. This year we got to see how an observation hive was set up, how queens were introduced to a hive, and how nucs were made. Thanks go out to all the volunteers for helping with set up and hive demonstrations!! And to Mr. Clippard for allowing the use of the beautiful Cove Spring Farm.

2012 August Picnic Potluck in Atkins

This summers picnic almost didn’t happen, but in the end everything worked out well! The picnic was hosted by one of our club members, with their park-like backyard. The association provided hamburgers and hot dogs while members brought their own potluck dishes. Everyone had a wonderful afternoon!

Firing up lunch

MEBA Members

2012 Mountain Empire Spring Workshop

The May 19th workshop was a great success this year, with beautiful weather and tolerant bees. Eural Clippard was kind enough to allow us the use of his farm on Crockett’s Cove Road in Wytheville.

Spring Workshop getting underway

Queen and Drone Cells

Workshop hives

A great end to a productive day

Custom Beehive at West Wind Winery

David Daugherty and Warren Strittmatter made a beehive modeled after an old farmhouse on the grounds of West Wind Winery in Max Meadows. The beehive was donated to Paul Hric, an owner of West Wind Winery, and a beekeeper.

West Wind Hive

Africanized Honeybees in Georgia (posted Jan 2011)

Keith Tignor, Virginia state apiarist, has mentioned that Africanized honeybees (AHB) have been found in Georgia. A quote follows:

“The finding of a feral AHB population in Dougherty County, GA, raised concerns among beekeepers, and apiarists, throughout the east coast. Virginia’s beekeepers obtain 61% of their out of state queens and 79% of their packages and bees from Georgia. The establishment of a feral AHB population in that state would increase the risk of this pest breeding with the queen and nuc production colonies and spreading to other states. At this time my counterpart in Georgia is conducting surveys for AHB. I expect to receive further information on the status of the Georgia honey bee population at an apiary inspectors meeting in January. In response to the Georgia announcement I distributed copies of the Beekeeping Best Management Practices at the Virginia State Beekeepers’ Association meeting last month [November].”