Author Archives: scba_admin

2020 Beginning Beekeeping School

The 2020 Surry County Bee School will be held for six Mondays starting on February 3rd.

NC Apiary Inspector Greg Fariss will be teaching the beginning beekeeping class.

Registration is required. Call Surry Cooperative Extension Office to register at 336.401.8025



When:Mondays, February 3 through March 9
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Plus a field day to be scheduled
Saturday equipment work day to be scheduled
Where:Beginning Beekeeping
Surry Cooperative Extension Office
915 E. Atkins Street, Suite 300, Dobson, NC 27017 [ map ]
Cost:Cost of class $25/person (does not include book); children 15 and younger may attend with a registered adult. 
$20 additional fee for bookThe Beekeeper’s Handbook, 4th Edition” by Diana Sammataro. Fee for class and book is payable by cash or check made out to the “Surry County Beekeepers Association or SCBA”

Topics covered will include

  • Introduction to Beekeeping
  • The colony, organization, and life cycle of the honeybee
  • Equipment needed to get started
  • How to assemble equipment
  • Seasonal hive management of the colonies
  • Pests and diseases of the bees
  • Harvesting and processing honey and other hive products
  • A field day to work with the bees (Date TBD)
  • Saturday equipment work day (Date TBD)

Refreshments will be provided.
Door prizes given daily

End of class drawing for:

  • $75 gift card to Blue Ridge Bee Supply
  • One complete 5 frame bee hive (excluding bees)

Download the bee school flyer here:  Beginning Beekeeping School 2020 Flyer

Honeybees and Pesticides Used in Vineyards – January 13, 2020

January 13, 2020
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Surry County Cooperative Extension Office [ map ]

Grapes don’t need bees to be pollinated – they are wind pollinated. Rarely are honeybees seen in the vineyard during bloom. And for the most part, vineyards don’t even have bee hives on their property. So, generally speaking, using pesticides in the vineyards don’t affect the honeybees because the honeybees aren’t showing up.

However, the Surry County Beekeepers have an opportunity to have hives near a vineyard so there have been conversations about if the hives will be affected. Dwight Seal, the Pesticide Division Western Field Team Manager at the NC Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services will be joining us to discuss the effects of the about 25 known pesticides used in the vineyard. This is a great opportunity to learn and get your questions answered.

Some useful links from the NC Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services site:

Bee Yard Planning – November 11, 2019

November 11, 2019
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
NC Farm Bureau Insurance Office, Downstairs [ map ]

Join us as we work out the details of establishing a bee yard at Surry Community College where we will raise NC queens. The first year we will be establishing the bee yard — growing lots of bees so we have strong hives to support queen rearing which will begin in year two.

Getting an operation like this up and running will require planning and support as well as training and resources. This will be a member driven adventure, so please come and help us get this project launched.

SCBA Christmas Party – December 14, 2019

merry-christmasJoin us for the annual Christmas Party on Saturday, December 14th starting at 5:00 pm

We will be meeting at The Central Cafe (formerly The Lantern Restaurant) at 304 North Main Street, Dobson, NC 27017 [ map ].

If you have questions, call Eugene at (276) 251-1217.

Attendees pay for their own meals. As always, there will be a lot of door prizes. You must be an active member to get a ticket for the door prize give-aways.

Door Prizes

Door Prizes! Wow!

Born & Bred in NC Queen Breeding Bee Yard – October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
NC Farm Bureau Insurance Office, Downstairs [ map ]

Have you ever wished you had access to a good queen without either having to drive a long way to get her or to take your chances in the mail? Have you thought about raising some queens of your own but don’t have the equipment or the confidence to try it on your own? If you’ve ever had these thoughts, you are not alone and this meeting is one you won’t want to miss.

A steering committee of members have put together a presentation outlining a plan to create a bee yard on Surry Community College property that will be used to grow bees and breed queens. The presentation will include how members can help and also benefit from this endeavor. The NC State Beekeepers Born & Bred program may also provide support for the project ( learn more here ).

Fall Field Day – September 21, 2019

Saturday, September 21, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: Albert Cockerham’s bee yard, 504 Arlington Street,
Mount Airy, NC 27030 [ map ]
Bring protective clothing and your smoker if you want help learning to light it and keep it going.

This is a chance for new beekeepers to get your hands in a hive, to ask experienced beekeepers questions about what you are seeing (or not seeing) and to gain some confidence working with bees. Mentors who will come to you are in short supply so please take advantage of this opportunity to get hands on help with the bees. This is also a great chance to get to know other beekeepers and for them to get to know you so when you have questions, you’ll have people you can call.

In case of rain, our rain date will be September 28th. If you have questions, please contact Eugene Brown at 276-251-1217 or cell at 336-648-7659.

Q & A Round Table – September 9, 2019

September 9, 2019
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
NC Farm Bureau Insurance Office, Downstairs [ map ]

Do you have questions that you’d like to get answered? Or have you seen things in your hives that you wonder if others are seeing as well? This session is specifically for answering questions and sharing information. So bring your questions and interesting experiences to share with the group.

This is also a good time to brush up on lighting your smoker. You’ll find that different beekeepers have different ways of getting their smoker going and keeping it going. Even old dogs can learn new tricks when it comes to smokers, so if this is an area that has been frustrating to you, bring your smoker along.

If you can’t make it to the meeting but still have questions, send your questions to foragers@surrybeekeepers.org.

Don’t forget that there will also be a bee yard day toward the end of this month. Check back for updates on that event.

Summer Picnic – August 3, 2019

Date:  Saturday, August 3rd
Time:  5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: 251 County Home Rd, Dobson, NC 27017
[ map ]

Join us at the Fireplace Pavilion at Fisher River Park in Dobson for our annual picnic. This year we will be having bbq chicken and hotdogs. The club will provide everything but sides. Plan on eating around 5:00 pm.

If you plan on attending please leave us a comment on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SurryCountyBeekeepers/ to let us know and how many are going to be coming with you. If you plan on bring a side please leave that in you comment as well. You may also sign up at the next meeting (July 8th). We look forward to seeing everyone at the park.

Mite Treatments: What should you use? – July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
NC Farm Bureau Insurance Office, Downstairs [ map ]

This meeting will be an overview of some of the existing mite treatments and discussion about which treatments work best under different conditions. Some of the treatments covered will include:

Treatments that can kill varroa in the cells:

  • Formic acid
  • Thermal solutions like the “Mighty Mite Killer” product from the Bee Hive Thermal Industries.

Treatments that kill varroa on the bees and generally require multiple treatments:

  • Various methods of using Oxalic Acid
  • Treatments that primarily use thymol oil as the active ingredient like Apiguard or Api Life Var

All natural treatments using essential oils (recipes will be available for those interested).

A more comprehensive overview of commercial mite treatments available may be found at the Honey Bee Health Coalition: https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/HBHC-Guide_Varroa_Interactive_7thEdition_June2018.pdf

NCSU Field Honey Bee Laboratory Update – NC Senate Budget

Dear Fellow Beekeepers,
 
We are one step closer to achieving our longtime goal of building a new field honeybee laboratory for the North Carolina State University Apiculture Research Program.
 
That came this week when a $2 million-dollar appropriation for the project was included in the North Carolina Senate budget proposal.
 
This is not the end of the matter, however. The Senate Budget must be reconciled with the House budget, which does not include that proposed funding. Now we need your help once again. Please contact local your General Assembly Representative and remind them how important honeybees are to our economy and the environment. And specifically ask the to push their leaders to keep the Bee Lab Funding in the budget.
 
Your calls and contact with your representatives were a major factor in getting this far. So, please keep working towards this goal.
 
Thank you for all your help, we’re not done yet. Your involvement and support are critical now more than ever.
 
Regards,
 
Paul Newbold
President, NCSBA