Association News

Our next MEBA meeting will be Thursday January 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Carroll Hall room 118 WCC.  
*  The January meeting will be “the importance of a queen“ presented by Tim service.
* The February meeting will be “beeswax candle making“ presented by Jerry Borger from Blacksburg.
We are still in need of a president, if anyone is willing to accept the position.


Mountain Empire Beekeepers Association will offer “Basic Beekeeping” at Wytheville Community College beginning February 4, 2020.  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 $45 which includes a textbook.  Families are eligible for a discount. Payment for  the class will be accepted at the beginning of the first class, at which time you will receive your textbook and additional handouts.

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 more information, contact or Cathy Hounshell @ 510-917-0916

For a registration form, contact,

MEBA Members and Basic Beekeeping Students!


Saturday May 11, 2019; 10:00 AM-2:00 PM (RAIN OR SHINE!)

NEW LOCATION!!!  – The workshop will be held at the home of Priscilla and Eural Clippard.

 856 Musser’s Mill Road, Crockett, Virginia 24323

From The Dutch Pantry, 6891 W Lee Hwy, Rural Retreat, VA 24368: Turn right onto Main Street, 0.6 mi. Turn left onto Glenow Road, 0.8 mi.Continue onto State Route 675/4 Seasons Rd, 2.0 mi.Turn right onto State Route 699.Destination will be on the left.  Look for “MEBA” signs at intersections.

* Hands-on hive work will be 10 am-12 noon.  Lunch will be noon – 2 pm.  In addition to the workshop, there will be a raffle for a 4-frame manual honey extractor, a silent auction of bee equipment and other items, and lots of opportunity to meet other beekeepers.

** MEBA will provide meat, cheese, bread, lettuce, tomato, onion, condiments, plates, cutlery, napkins, bottled water, tea and lemonade for lunch.  Please bring a side dish or dessert to share.  There will be restrooms available. Parking will be in the pasture across the road.

*** If you have bee suits, please bring them.  There will be extras available if you don’t have yours yet.

We look forward to seeing each of you then! Please RSVP with this form OR Send info in an email to by May 8.


Thursday April 25 at Galax Hall Room 201 Wytheville Community College.
Speaker: Brad Ohlinger, PhD student at Virginia Tech

Presentation Title: Waggle Dances Communicate Honey Bee Forage Availability in Representative Landscapes in Virginia.
Bio: Brad Ohlinger is a PhD student at Virginia Tech where he is studying honey bee behavior. For his PhD, he is using waggle dances and pollen analysis to monitor honey bee foraging in representative landscapes in Virginia. He aims to use his research to gain a better understanding of the obstacles that bees face in different landscapes and provide recommendations for the effective management of pollinator habitat. Before coming to Virginia Tech, Brad earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Albright College (Reading, Pa) and a Master of Science in Biology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (Bloomsburg, Pa).

Meeting minutes for March 2019 have been posted……
Click Here!

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 2019 been posted…
Click Here!

MEBA 2019 Meeting Schedule

MEBA meets 6:30-8:30 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 are held in Room 201, Galax Hall, Wytheville Community College.

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.

A PowerPoint presentation, by Connie Armentrout, named 2016 Spring Apitherapy Class, is available here.Click here to go to our calendar of events…

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.