Category Archives: Local Beekeeping

Honeybees and Pesticides – January 13, 2020

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

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 about 25 pesticides. 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 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.

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 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 ).

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.

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

Honey Extracting Workshop – June 10, 2019

June 10, 2019
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
NC Farm Bureau Insurance Office, Downstairs [ map ]

It’s been a good spring for nectar and honey, so there are lots of new beekeepers wondering how to extract the honey from their hives. Join us for a demonstration of various ways to process honey from your bees. We’ll have a 4 frame honey extractor and other tools available for you to try out and learn more about.

If you have honey that needs to be extracted, bring your frames and jars and let the group help you out.

Also, don’t forget that the club has it’s own extractor that was donated by Blue Ridge Bee Supply that you can borrow. [ details here ]

Treating Bees with Oxalic Acid – May 13, 2019

Ox-man-2WMay 13, 2019
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Surry County Cooperative Extension Office [ map ]

Dave Simpson will join us to explain everything you need to know about using the vaporization method with oxalic acid.  You’ll learn about what equipment you need, why you need to wear protective clothing, and why the number of times you need to treat are affected by what’s happening in the hive.

For folks who are not interested in purchasing the equipment necessary for vaporization but would like to try using oxalic acid in their hives, the drench (or dribble) method is also available.  Instructions are available under the “Resources” tab or by click this link:

 

Queen Rearing Overview – January 14, 2019

January 14, 2019
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Surry County Cooperative Extension Office
915 E. Atkins Street

Suite 300 [ map ]
Note: This is the new location!

Davie Simpson will be presenting on the basics of queen rearing. Bring your questions and stories of past experiences.

We’ll also be renewing memberships for the year and talking about the upcoming bee schools. Please join us and help kick off this new year.

Races of Bees – October 8, 2018

October 8, 2018
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Surry County Cooperative Extension Office [ map ]

Some of the most well-known races of bees include:

  • Italian Bees, Apis mellifera ligustica.
  • Carniolan Bees, Apis mellifera carnica.
  • Caucasian Bees, Apis mellifera caucasica.
  • German Black Bees, Apis mellifera mellifera.
  • Africanized Honey Bees, Apis mellifera scutellata and its Hybrids.

How do you know which one is the best one for you? Join us for our meeting tonight when Paul Madren will be doing a program on the different races of bees.

Protective measures of beehives during hurricanes

Hi everyone,

With track of hurricane Florence poised to make a significant impact on North Carolina, there are some important considerations for beekeepers who may be affected by the heavy rain and winds. Please further disseminate to your local network of beekeepers and share this link:

https://entomology.ces.ncsu.edu/2017/09/protective-measures-of-beehives-during-hurricanes-2/

First, make sure hive equipment is secured to resist strong winds. A simple brick on the top lid is likely to be insufficient to keep the lid from flying off in winds above 50 mph. A lidless hive can cause problems for the bees by introducing moisture and letting heat escape. Strapping the lid down with ratchet straps or securing with duct tape might be in order, particularly for outlying yards. The same is true for hive boxes, particularly if they are relatively new (i.e., the bees have not yet propolized them together sufficiently). Also consider removing unnecessary boxes (e.g., top-hive feeders) to minimize the wind profile.

Second, be sure to have the hives on sturdy stands or level ground. Entire beehives can be blown over by strong winds, particularly when they are fairly tall with many honey supers or are otherwise top heavy. If the hives are on tall or insecure stands, you can move them onto (dry) level ground temporarily to lessen the chances that they topple. Importantly, if you’re using solid bottom boards, be sure to have your hives tilting forward so that rain water does not pool and collect on the floor of the hive.

Third, beware of falling trees and tree limbs. These can be particularly problematic for beehives since they can completely crush all equipment and kill the entire colony. It is also hard to prevent with some sort of barrier or cover because of the sheer weight of many trees, so if you apiary is in a wooded location you may need to move the hives temporarily.

Fourth, make sure the hives are not in low-lying areas or those prone to flooding. River banks can be useful apiary locations because of their proximity to fresh water, but in flooding conditions entire apiaries can be tragically swept away. Be sure to move any beehives in flood plains until the waters have subsided. Beehives on the ground but in recessed areas can cause water to flood the entrances and may even suffocate the bees if not given an upper entrance.

Finally, following heavy rains like hurricanes, various local and state agencies have traditionally sprayed regions with stagnant water to control mosquito outbreaks. While important for public health, such insecticides can be extremely problematic for honey bees. If you are registered through the NCDA&CS, you will be contacted directly if your beehives are in an area schedule to be sprayed. If you are not registered, however, the state has no means to notify you and your bees may be at risk to insecticide exposure. Please consult the Agricultural Chemical manual for information and advice about how to mitigate exposure to pesticides.

Hope your bees stay safe and dry! Sincerely, David
******************************
David R. Tarpy
Professor and Extension Apiculturist
Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology
Campus Box 7613
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7613
TEL: (919) 515-1660
FAX: (919) 515-7746
LAB: (919) 513-7702
WEB: http://entomology.ces.ncsu.edu/profile/david-tarpy/
EMAIL: david_tarpy@ncsu.edu