Category Archives: Education

NCSBA Summer Conference and Centennial Celebration – July 13-15, 2017

Celebrating 100 Years – Educating for the Next 100! July 13th, 14th & 15th
Embassy Suites Convention Center in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Featured Speakers:

Jon Zawislak
Jon is the apiculture specialist for the University of Arkansas with a strong background in entomology and botany. Extension and beekeeping education are some of his major interests.

Dr. James Wilson
Dr. Wilson is the new faculty apiculturist at Virginia Tech. With an undergraduate degree from NCSU and a PhD from VT, Dr. Wilson has plenty of beekeeping information to share.

Katy C. Evans
Katy was the 2015 recipient of the EAS Foundation for Honey Bee Research Award. This award made possible the research with Dr. Debbie Delaney at the U of Delaware that led to her Master’s Thesis. Katy now works with one of Dr. Tarpy’s former postdocs, Dr. Margarita Lopez-Uribe at Penn State University.

Dr. David Tarpy
Professor and Extension Apiculturist, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, NCSU.

Schedule and Registration Information:

Thursday, July 13, 2017, “Before the Conference Begins”

Master Beekeeper Related Events
10 am We will  present a refresher for “Journeyman and Beyond” 2 hours of preparing to test for Journeyman and Masters exams

Written test for the Certified, Journeyman, and Masters will be given on Friday from 1 pm to 4 pm. NO TEST ISSUED AFTER 2PM and again Saturday from 9am till noon.  NO TEST ISSUED AFTER 10AM.  Bring your own pencil.  NO BOOKS, PHONES OR PAPERS ALLOWED IN THE TESTING AREA.

Please preregister for the testing time you would like and indicate your NCSBA member number and test level to

Not taking the exam but have questions?

Also at 10 am on Thursday, “What you always wanted to know”, Questions & Answer, all about Beekeeping, Ask the “EXPERTS” Moderators will be Master Beekeepers, Diana Almond and Randall Austin along with State Inspector and Master Beekeeper Lewis Cauble and State Inspector and EAS Master Beekeeper Greg Fariss.

Ag and Biotech STEM Camp – June 26, 2017

The Ag and Biotech STEM Camp that Extension and Surry County Schools have been working on will be ready to go the week of June 26. The Surry County Beekeepers have been invited to come talk to the group of middle school students (ages 12, 13, 14) about beekeeping on Monday, June 26 from 10:30 – 11:30 am at Gentry Middle School in Mount Airy.

If you are interested in helping with the presentation, please contact President, Eugene Brown at either (276) 251-1402 or by email at

The Biology of the Varroa Mite – June 12, 2017

Apiary Inspector Greg Fariss

June 12, 2017
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Surry County Cooperative Extension Office [ map ]

State Apiary Inspector Greg Fariss will be back to talk about the biology of the varroa mite (Varroa destructor). The varroa mite is currently the biggest threat to our honey bees and in order to effectively manage them in the bee yard, we need to understand about their biology and the life cycle of the female varroa in particular. Please join us for this excellent presentation.

Bee Yard Day – April 8, 2017

Saturday, April 8th, 10:00 am – 1:00 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.

Bee School 2017

This is the flyer for our new Bee School for Surry County Beekeepers Association. The class will be from February 16, 2017 through March 23, 2017  7 pm to 9 pm.  Interested in bees?  Come see us.

Click here to download a pdf of the flyer: Beekeeping School 2017 Flyer
or click on the picture of the flyer on the left and print.

Blue Ridge Bee Supply Field Day – September 3, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 8.02.04 PMBlue Ridge Bee Supply is holding a bee yard day for their September Practical Beekeeping workshop on September 3rd and members of Surry County Beekeepers are invited to attend. This is a chance for newish beekeepers to get some hands on experience in the hives and to ask questions.

Location: Blue Ridge Bee Supply
270 Hickory Street, Suite 200, Mount Airy, NC 27030
Time: 10:00 am

Also, at 1:00 pm, Dave Simpson will be demonstrating the vaporization method for Oxalic Acid to help control varroa mites.

Highlights from the Summer NCSBA Conference – June 11, 2016

June 11, 2016
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Surry County Cooperative Extension Office [ map ]

Attendees to the NCSBA Summer Conference in Hickory will be sharing highlights from the conference. This years speakers include Dr. Marion Ellis from the University of Nebraska, Dr. Hongmei Li-Byarlay from NCSU, Dr. Vanessa Corby-Harris from the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, Arizona, and beekeeper and queen breeder Jeff Berta who will be sharing his experience with mite biter bees being bred at Purdue University.

2016 Surry County Bee School — Starting March 7th

Apiary Inspector Greg Fariss

Apiary Inspector Greg Fariss

The 2016 Surry County Bee School will be held for six Mondays starting on March 7, 2016. NC Apiary Inspector Greg Fariss will be teaching the class.

This year the bee school is being held in conjunction with NC Cooperative Extension and Surry Community College with a Skill Up Grant through NC Tobacco Trust Funds. Everyone attending must register in advance unlike previous years when members could attend for free.

When: Mondays, March 7 through April 4
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Field day at bee yard to be announced
Where: Farm Bureau downstairs meeting room
112 White Street, Dobson, NC 27017 [ map ]
Cost: $10 per attendee; children 15 and younger
may attend for free with a registered adult. $10 fee is payable at the first class to the “Surry County Beekeepers Association”

Registration is required. Call Surry Community College to register at 336.386.3618.

Topics covered will include

  • Introduction to Beekeeping
  • The colony, organization, and life cycle of the honeybee
  • Equipment needed to get started
  • 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

Refreshments will be provided.

Download the bee school flyer here:  2016 Bee School Flyer

The Honey Files: A Bees Life – February 8, 2016


Join the Surry Beekeepers to watch a short video that takes viewers inside a bee hive to learn more about bees, honey, and pollination, including the different types of bees and their various jobs within the bee community.

This presentation is a good review for everyone and is especially suitable for new and young beekeepers.

Teachers will find this presentation especially helpful and may be interested in downloading the accompanying worksheets at:

Time and Location: February 8th – 7:00 – 9:00 pm at the Surry County Cooperative Extension Office, Dobson, NC [ map ]

Fundamentals of Hive Inspection – January 11, 2016

Join the Surry Beekeepers to watch a short video on the basics of hive inspection and join in on the discussion afterward where experienced beekeepers will share tips and recommendations for caring for bees in our area.

Time and Location: January 11th – 7:00 – 9:00 pm at the Surry County Cooperative Extension Office, Dobson, NC [ map ]