Category Archives: Beekeeping in NC

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

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:

 

Bee Yard Day – April 27, 2019 (Rescheduled)

Saturday, April 27th, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm Rain Date!
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.

Master Beekeeper Testing – April 8, 2019

April 8, 2019
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Surry County Cooperative Extension Office
915 E. Atkins Street

Suite 300 [ map ]

The testing for the NCSBA Master Beekeeper Certified Level will be given. You must be a member in good standing to take the test.

Also, at this meeting, the Certificates of Completion will be presented to the Junior Beekeepers.

2019 Bee School & Junior Bee School

The 2019 Surry County Bee Schools will be held for six Mondays starting on February 4th.

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

The Beginning Beekeeping bee school is being held in conjunction with a special Junior Beekeeping program that will meet at the same time in a different part of the building.  

Beginning Beekeeping Bee School

When: Mondays, February 4 through March 11
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Plus a field day to be scheduled
Where: Beginning Beekeeping
Surry Cooperative Extension Office
915 E. Atkins Street, Suite 300, Dobson, NC 27017 [ map ]
Cost: FREE! (does not include book); children 15 and younger may attend with a registered adult. 
$25 additional fee for book “The Beekeeper’s Handbook, 4th Edition” by Diana Sammataro. Fee for book is payable by cash or check made out to the “Surry County Beekeepers Association or SCBA”

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 2019 Flyer

Surry county junior beekeeper program

When: Mondays, February 4 through March 11
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Where: Surry County Junior Beekeeper Program
Surry Cooperative Extension Office
915 E. Atkins Street, Suite 300, 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 Jr. Beekeeper flyer here: Jr. Beekeeper 2019 Flyer

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.

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: