2019 Youth Sponsorship Program

The River Valley Beekeepers’ Association is happy to announce we are once again conducting a beekeeping scholarship for young aspiring beekeepers. Two Junior or Senior High School students from the River Valley will be selected for the program from applicants entering our essay contest. Selected applicants are provided with everything needed to get started in beekeeping. Click on the link below for more information and a copy of the application.

Congrats to the RVBKA Youth Beekeeper Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to Ashlyn Ward and Jesse McClellan, recipients of the River Valley Beekeeper’s Association 2018 Youth Beekeeping Scholarships.

Ashlyn is from London and being active in 4-H is not new to taking care of critters.  She looks forward to adding beekeeping to her experience. She is especially interested in learning about bee behavior and will enjoy getting out into nature more.

The River Valley Beekeepers wishes her well in this new endeavor.



Jesse is from Solgohachia (north of Morrilton). He is interested in the different products we use that come from the honey bee and the impact bees have on our society and culture. But perhaps more than anything, he wants to connect with his family heritage as Jesse’s grandfather used to raise bees in Arizona.

We wish you the best of luck.


Our thanks go to program sponsors Central Beekeepers Supply and Rural Route Farms for supplying the woodenware and the bees.

Report on Spring Beekeeper Conference

by Ron Schwartz

I recently attended the Arkansas Beekeepers Association Spring Conference held in Searcy. I’d like to encourage all Arkansas beekeepers to attend these conferences. Your local association may contain a wealth of knowledge, but these conferences expose you to speakers and information that you will not get locally.  They are well worth the time and effort to attend.

The main presenters were Ralph “Buddy” May and David Burns. Buddy is from South Carolina and spoke of dribbling Oxalic Acid for varroa control, the value of propolis, and beekeeper mentoring. David spoke of beekeeping forensics (actually how to keep from having to do it), feral colony removal, and honey bee nutrition.

There are several things I took away from the conference:

  • Propolis is valued by many for its health properties. I’ve been mostly just cussing this stuff and throwing it away. No more!
  • I haven’t been near aggressive enough in controlling varroa.
  • Mentoring is essential for new beekeeper success.

The Fall conference will be held the last weekend in October in Little Rock. You are encouraged to make plans to attend.

Pulaski County Farm Bureau Youth Beekeeping Scholarship

The Pulaski County Farm Bureau and Bemis Honey Bee Farm want to encourage three young adults to begin keeping honey bees by giving them everything they need to start right.  The Young Farmer and Rancher Beekeeping Scholarship is open to all Arkansas resident (not just those in Pulaski County) with an interest in beekeeping, who do not already own honey bees.

The applicant should be actively engaged in their community and have an interest in joining the Farm Bureau.  Interested applicants simply need to submit an application with a brief personal statement on why beekeeping is an interest, and include a letter of recommendation from a non-family member.  Applications are due by April 1, 2018.  Three applicants will be chosen, and the awards presented on April 28, 2018, at the 5th Annual Bee Day at Bemis Honey Bee Farm.

Winners will receive a free 1-year membership in the Pulaski County Farm Bureau, an introductory training course at Bemis Honey Bee Farm, a 3-lb. package of honey bees, and a complete beekeeping starter kit.  The kit includes one complete hive, a beekeeping jacket and veil, a smoker, hive tool and bee brush, and a book on beekeeping.  The total prize package is worth $550.

2018 ABA Spring Conference Planned for Searcy

This year’s Spring ABA Conference will be held February 23-24 at the Harding University Campus in Searcy, Arkansas.

Our special guest speakers this spring will be Ralph “Buddy” May from South Carolina, and David Burns from Illinois. Both of our guests are hardworking, practical, full-time beekeepers, with lots of wisdom, tips and tricks to share with us about their experience and success in the bee business. Visit arbeekeepers.org for more information.

February Meeting News

We had a great turnout for the February meeting. Head count was 57.

The club welcomes Justin Lowe of Rural Route Farms, a local commercial beekeeper and supplier of nucs and queens.

Attendees were reminded of the upcoming Beginner Beekeeping class on February 20th and 27th.

Attendees were reminded of the Spring meeting of the Arkansas Beekeepers Association to be held in Searcy on February 23rd and 24th. Checkout arbeepers.org for more information.

The next meeting will be the first Monday in March. Hope to see you there.