Association News

Meeting minutes for January 2017 have been posted…
Click Here!


Highlands Beekeepers will hold its Bi-annual Honeybee Symposium, April 8, 2017, 9am to 5pm, at Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Abingdon VA. For full information and registration, see An info PDF and registration form is available here.

Cost is $40 before March 31; $50 after March 31, or contact Washington County Extension Office, (276) 676-6309.


Mountain Empire Beekeepers Association will offer “Beginning Beekeeping” at Wytheville Community College beginning February 21, 2017. 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 $42 which includes a textbook and handouts. 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. To apply, print the application [available here] and send to the address listed with a check or money order made out to “MEBA”. You can also contact, or call 276-579-2123 for other questions.

Mt. Empire Beekeeper’s Association welcomes anyone who is interested in bees!
You do not have to be an active beekeeper to join.
• Mentorship from experienced beekeepers
• Discounts at local bee supply stores
• Spring workshop: hands-on experience in an apiary, learn from experienced beekeepers
• Guest speakers who provide up-to-date information on apiary research and techniques
• Reduced subscription prices on journals
• Monthly raffles

MEBA Membership Application Form for 2017 been posted…
Click Here!

MEBA 2017 Meeting Schedule

MEBA meets 7:00-8:30 pm on the fourth Thursday night each month, January through October.  The November meeting is on the third Thursday, and there is no meeting in December.  All meetings except for November are held in Room 201, Galax Hall, Wytheville Community College. (November 16 meeting will be in Room 219, Grayson Hall.)

INCLEMENT WEATHER: if WCC is closed to evening classes, MEBA will not meet.

Click here to go to our calendar of events…

Honeybee Fondant

Formula for Late Fall, Winter and Early Spring Feeding on Top of Frames


  •  10 lbs. Granulated Sugar
  •  2 lbs. White Corn Syrup
  •  1 lb. Honey (owner’s or cheapest to purchase)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • Pinch of Mineralized Salt (pink granular salt, available at Southern States; aka “rabbit salt”)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Cold Water
  • 5 to 8 drops Honey-B Healthy (essential oil of lemon grass), or essential oil of peppermint or essential oil of citrus blossom (Use 1 of 3 oils per mix- -not all in same mix) Bees like a variety of food supplements


  • Pot/pan, commercial kitchen type or at least 10 quart canner
  • Candy thermometer
  • Large long-handled wooden spoon
  • 1 dozen plastic containers heavy duty (like deli meats) or plastic freezer bags, 1 gallon size

(Read complete directions before beginning to mix ingredients)

  1. In 3/4 cup of cold water, add vinegar, salt, and drops of essential oil. (Vinegar converts sucrose sugar to dextrose sugar for bees). Pour into pan.
  2. In 1/4 cup of water (warm), add the 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar, stir until dissolved, set aside.
  3. Into a large pan, place the 10# sugar, turn on heat at medium; gradually increase heat to almost high as the sugar melts. Stir continuously to control heat-never let fondant get above 230° F.
  4. After sugar melts, add corn syrup, continue stirring; after sugar and syrup melt and mix, add the 1# of honey, and stir until mixture reaches 230° F.
  5. When mixture reaches 230° F, turn off heat and remove from heat; continue to stir until mixture cools to 200°F, then add the Cream of Tartar, continue to stir.
  6. When mixture cools to 190° F, begin spooning mixture into containers; if placed in plastic bags flatten before Fondant cools.
  7. In the hive, place fondant directly onto frames. Wooden spacer will be required on top of wood ware and beneath the inner cover.

“Queens for Pennies” presented at the June 2016 MEBA monthly meeting.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that? The speaker at our June meeting showed us how; here is the detailed presentation if you missed it, or if you need to refresh yourself on what he shared with us. (Jerry’s Borger’s presentation was based on by Randy Oliver.)

Did you miss out on taking a basic beekeeping class this year?

MEBA teaches a five-week Basic Beekeeping Class each year during February and March. If you are interested in taking our next offering, send a message with your contact information to our secretary at We maintain a list of interested students and will contact you when our next class is schedule.

A PowerPoint presentation, by Connie Armentrout, named 2016 Spring Apitherapy Class, is available here.

Treasurer’s Report for February 2016 is available here

Click here to go to our calendar of events…

A new source for essential oils for bees has been added to our suppliers page. Click here for a PDF with the details.

Since Honey-B-Healthy is needed year-round, here’s a recipe to do-it-yourself.

Makes 1/2 gallon.
5 cups granulated sugar
5 cups water
15 drops spearmint oil
15 drops lemongrass oil
1/2 teaspoon granulated lecithin

• Combine water and sugar in pan and heat until sugar is dissolved; do not boil. Remove from burner and cool.
• When water is tepid, add spearmint and lemongrass oils to sugar water.
• Heat 1/2 teaspoon granulated lecithin in about 3 tablespoons water. Stir until lecithin is dissolved; when it foams, remove from heat and add to sugar water.

Spring treatment:
Add 1 tablespoon of Honey “B” Healthy to 1:1 sugar-water ratio per quart in the spring. This recipe used in early spring stimulates queen bees to lay and simulates an early nectar flow.