Our local club, The Beekeepers Guild of Southeastern Virginia, hosted the state spring meeting this weekend here in Chesapeake. It was a great opportunity to learn from some amazing beekeepers, including Wyatt Mangum and Dennis van Engelsdorp (UMD).
One of my favorite workshops was entitled "Why Treat for Varroa" by Buddy Marterre. I had already pretty much decided I wasn't interested in treating... There's no hard evidence that the confectioner-sugar method works, and you need to do it four times each fall... and everything else involves chemicals that I sure don't want in the hives. But I went in to the workshop open to hearing what Dr. Marterre had to say. For the first half, he discussed the pros and cons of different treatments. And then he presented us with results from his own hives, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he'd stopped treating years ago. This is right in line with Dr. Fell from Virginia Tech, who says he doesn't treat his own hives, either. I realized, then, that the title of the talk should have been "Why Treat for Varroa?" Amazing how much difference a question mark makes! Click on the link above to read through the presentation if you're interested.
I am now really excited to attend the Eastern Apicultural Society Conference in August. Donna Rae and I are planning to go to PA together and between the workshops and the company, it guarantees to be a blast.