SEVEN members of the West Virginia Queen Producers met at 9 am at Allen Leadmon's beeyard in Hurricane, WV for a training session with Adam Finkelstein & Kelly Rausch http://www.vpqueenbees.com/bio.html Imogene Leadmon had a wonderful breakfast spread with coffee, donuts, sweet rolls and everything you could ask for to start your day right [THANKS, IMOGENE!] To say that Allen has an impressive farm would be an understatement. It is truly a beautiful place. We couldn't have asked for a better location to do the training.
Gabe Blatt had brought a tent to put over the two hives we would graft from since there was rain in the forecast, but it turned out to be a great day after all. We proceeded to the Honey House for the morning session and Adam presented his thoughts on how we should be proceeding to raise queens. After the morning session, we went inside the Leadmon home for a lunch spread. Gary Strickland had made his famous brownies with rice crispies, chocolate and all kinds of delicious things in them [THANKS, GARY!]. Gordon & Jean Vernon stopped by the see how things were going and got a good report about our progress.
After lunch it was out to the beeyard to find some frames of eggs to graft from. It was amazing how well Allen's packages had progressed this year in such a short time. The eggs were found and we returned to the Honey House for a lesson in grafting. Mike Stickler took lots of additional photos. Everyone had a chance to graft. Several people also learned about how to use their Nicot grafting kit. Adam & Kelly answered many more qeustions and were very compimentary about our efforts to raise local queens. They felt certain that we could do this in West Virginia.
We all look forward to seeing Adam and Kelly at the HAS meeting in July in Huntington where they will be teaching queen rearing classes and discussing Instrumental Insemination. Additionally, the members of the West Virginia Queen Producers will have a private meal with them to ask follow-up questions and discuss where we go from here.
Thanks to Adam, Kelly, Allen, Imogene, Mike, Gary, Gabe and everyone who helped to make this training such a great success!