Category Archives: Local Beekeeping

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

Fall Field Day – September 15, 2018

Saturday, September 15th, 11:00 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.

There will also be demonstrations of oxalic acid sublimation and using thermal equipment to control mites.

Here are some pictures from this spring’s field day:

Feed Substitutes for Bees – September 10, 2018

September 10, 2018
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Surry County Cooperative Extension Office [ map ]

Eugene Brown will be discussing and demonstrating making fondant, dry feed, grease patties and pollen patties for your bees. We’ll also be discussing when you can start using sugar syrup and when to use 2:1 syrup versus 1:1 syrup.

Now that Eugene has completed his 4 year commitment as NCSBA Regional Director for the Mountain Region (Thank You Eugene!), we have a new regional director assigned to our chapter — Doug Galloway, from Watauga County — and he will be joining us as well.

Join us for this hands-on workshop and help make Doug welcome!

Celebrating Agriculture – September 8, 2018

Date:  Saturday, September 8th
Time:  2:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Location: Fisher River Park, 251 County Home Rd, Dobson, NC 27017

[ map ]

Surry County Beekeepers will have a display table at Celebrating Agriculture again this year. We will be meeting the public and talking bees. If you have honey to sell, this is a good venue. Come out and support us.

Learn more about this event at the extension website: Celebrating Agriculture Event

Summer Picnic – August 4, 2018

Date:  Saturday, August 4th
Time:  4:00 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. For those of you that signed up at our last meeting please don’t comment we don’t want to count you twice. We look forward to seeing everyone at the park.

Making Splits + Updated Constitution & Bylaws – May 14, 2018

May 14, 2018
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Surry County Cooperative Extension Office [ map ]

Davie Simpson will be presenting on how to make splits. Bring your questions and stories of past experiences.

We’ll also be reviewing the updated Constitution and ByLaws.  You can review the document here: 2018 Updated SCBA Constitution and ByLaws (pdf)

Bee Yard Day – April 28, 2018

Saturday, April 28th, 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.

There will also be demonstrations of oxalic acid sublimation and using thermal equipment to control mites.

Update: Here are some pictures from this year’s field day:

SCBA at Career Fair – April 27, 2018

Construction and Agriculture Career Day at Veteran’s Park
691 W. Lebanon Street, Mount Airy [ map ]
April 27th – 8 am – 3 pm
with Surry County Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Surry Community College, SCBA, and Smith-Rowe, LLC

Update! Here are some pictures from the field day.

Making Your Own Bee Treatments – April 9, 2018

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

Are you interested in learning to make your own bee treatments from essential oils and natural ingredients?  Speaker Davie Simpson will be sharing recipes and insights into making your own treatments and supplements for your bees.

2018 Bee Schools – Beginning Beekeeping & Junior Beekeeping

 

The 2018 Surry County Bee Schools will be held for six Mondays starting on February 5th. NC Apiary Inspector Greg Fariss will be teaching some of the classes and seasoned beekeepers from the SCBA chapter will cover the others.

This year the Beginning Beekeeping bee school is being held in conjunction with a special Junior Beekeeping program that will meet at the same time but at the Cooperative Extension offices across the street.

Beginning Beekeeping Bee School

When: Mondays, February 5 through March 12
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Field day at bee yard on April 7th
Where: Beginning Beekeeping
Farm Bureau downstairs meeting room
112 White Street, Dobson, NC 27017 [ map ]
Cost: $20 per attendee (does not include book); children 15 and younger may attend for free with a registered adult. $20 fee is payable at the first class to the “Surry County Beekeepers Association or SCBA”
$25 additional fee for book “The Beekeeper’s Handbook, 4th Edition” by Diana Sammataro

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

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

Refreshments will be provided.

Download the bee school flyer here:  Beginning Beekeeping School 2018 Flyer

Surry county junior beekeeper program

When: Mondays, February 5 through March 12
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Surry County Junior Beekeeper Program
NC Cooperative Extension Center
210 N. Main Street, Dobson, NC 27017 [ map ]

Registration is required by February 1st. Call Surry Cooperative Extension Office to register at 336.401.8025

Activities will include:

  • Learn about the parts of the hive
  • Learn about the anatomy of a honeybee
  • Learn how  to light a smoker
  • Learn how to assemble equipment
  • Dress in a bee suit
  • Open a hive
  • Identify worker bees, drones, and queens

Be a certified Junior Beekeeper at the end of the program!

Download the bee school flyer for Junior Beekeeper program here:  Jr Beekeeping Program Flyer 2018