The July Meeting of RVBKs is on!

Bees don’t take off for holidays and neither do the River Valley Beekeepers. We will have our July meeting on the first Monday of the month as usual. We will be talking some more about harvesting honey and Glen Holmes is going to talk about Small Hive Beetle control.

Spring Nectar Flow Celebration is June 24th!

The annual nectar flow celebration is today!  It’s at Baker’s Acres, 10625 Maddie Road, Dardanelle. It starts at 4:30 pm. Bring a side dish or a desert.  Burgers, hot dogs, tea, and lemonade will be provided. If you haven’t notified Kara at 479-280-4013, you should do it now.

Young Beekeepers

Youth Beekeeper Sponsorship Program

With about one third of the food we eat dependent on pollination by honeybees, it is easy to see that honeybees are vital to our food chain and important to our society.  The honeybee’s importance makes it essential that new beekeepers be recruited.  In light of this, the River Valley Beekeepers’ Association is partnering with Central Beekeepers Supply and Concord Farms, in announcing a Youth Beekeeper Sponsorship Program.

The program involves selecting one female student and one male student from the River Valley area for participation in the program. Candidates must be students in grades 10, 11 or 12 and must submit for evaluation a 500 to 750 word (approximate) essay on any one of the following topics:

  • Why do you want to be a beekeeper?
  • The value of bees and bee products in our economy
  • The place for bees in our society and culture

In addition, candidates must have parental consent and be reasonably assured that they are not allergic to bee stings. Candidates must submit their application and essay to the River Valley Beekeepers’ Association no later than January 31st, 2017.  Candidate selection is based on essay quality as judged by the River Valley Beekeepers’ Association.

Winning applicants will get:

  • Wooden ware for one complete starter hive from Central Beekeepers Supply
  • One nucleus bee colony or bee package from Concord Farms
  • Basic tools and protective gear from River Valley Beekeepers’ Association
  • One year free River Valley Beekeepers’ Association membership
  • Mentoring from the River Valley Beekeepers’ Association

Wining applicants are expected to:

  • Provide written consent from parent or guardian
  • Provide a suitable location for their hive
  • Attend at least 6 River Valley Beekeepers’ Association monthly meetings in 2017
  • Attend the River Valley Beekeepers’ Association free beginning beekeeper class (recommended but not required)
  • Manage their hive for a minimum of one year from the time of receipt of the bee nucleus or package
  • Return bees, wooden ware and equipment to the River Valley Beekeepers’ Association should they choose not to or fail to fulfill the above expectations.

Download the application.

2017 Beekeeping Class

Free Beekeeping Class!

The River Valley Beekeepers are conducting a Beginners Beekeeping Class again this year. The classes are on February 21st  and 28th.  The classes will be conducted at the West Side Church of Christ 201 N Waco Ave., Russellville, Arkansas from 6:00 to 8:30 pm.

  • Beekeeping equipment
  • Bee life cycle
  • Beekeeping terminology
  • Installing new bee colonies
  • Hive inspections
  • Pests and parasites

Those attending both nights will be eligible to win a beehive starter kit! Must be present to win.

If interested, please RSVP to:
Central Beekeepers Supply
479-968-4044 or 479-264-0708 or 479-264-6529


Propolis Varnish recepie

 Multi-million dollar violins made by Stradivarius were varnished using varnishes made from propolis.

Propolis varnish provides a warm, durable finish for any wood project. Here’s a recipe from a craftsman who refinishes museum quality violins.

1. Combine all ingredients in the following list in a glass jar at room temperature. Cover the jar with a lid. Allow mixture to stand for a week or more while shaking at regular intervals.

-4 parts blond shellac

-1 part manila copal (a soft resin)

-1 part propolis

  1. filter solution through a few layers of cheesecloth or nylon stocking before using. NOTE: The manila copal resin is available from specialty varnish suppliers.

Essential Oil Recipe – Thanks Alan !

Essential Oil Recipe
(Homemade Honey-B-Healthy)
5 cup Water
2 ½ lbs Sugar
⅛ tsp Lecithin granules
30 drops Essential oils (total)
Examples of essential oils:
Step 1
Bring water to boil. Add Lecithin to boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Lecithin is difficult to dissolve. Continue stirring until dissolved.

Step 2
Turn off heat. Add sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.

Step 3
Wait until mixture cools. Adding essential oils to hot syrup will cause them to evaporate.

Step 4
Add essential oils. A little goes a long way. The total amount is 30 drops. I use Spearmint and Lemongrass. Lemongrass may also be used as a swarm attractant in the spring.
This makes about 2 quarts. DO NOT FEED THIS TO BEES WITHOUT DILUTING. Add 1 teaspoonful (5ML) per quart of feeding syrup.

The internet is a good source for reading about the benefits from essential oils. Try this link.

The Lecithin and essential oils may be found online, compounding pharmacies ( C&D Drug), or possibly nutrition stores.