Category Archives: Beekeeping in NC

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: $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 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:

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!

NC State Beekeepers Summer Conference 2018 – July 19-21, 2018


Blue Ridge Community College – Flat Rock, NC
180 W Campus Dr, Flat Rock, NC 28731
July 19,20,21
hosted by
Buncombe County Beekeepers Club
Henderson County Beekeepers Club
Haywood County Beekeepers Club
Madison County Beekeepers Club

Experience the scenic mountains of North Carolina!

Make plans now to join your fellow beekeepers for the summer meeting to be held at a spacious and beautiful, green space venue in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Flat Rock, Hendersonville and Asheville. Experience three days of excellent beekeeping presenters, participate in informative workshops, meet and shop with the major purveyors of beekeeping equipment and supplies, and enjoy the company of old friends and make new ones.

The summer meeting promises to be an excellent event with programs and presentations from:

  • Tom Seeley- Cornell University- Author of Honeybee Ecology (1985), The Wisdom of the Hive (1996), and Honeybee Democracy (2010). Dr. Seeley’s research focus is the social behavior of the honey bee.
  • Frederique Keller- President of the American Apitherapy Society- leading acupuncturist, medical herbalist will present programs on apitherapy which utilize bee venom therapy, honey, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly
  • David Tarpy- NCSU- Outstanding professor and researcher, NCSU Cooperative Extension State Apiculturist. Dr. Tarpy will present on his current research at NCSU and beekeeping issues in NC.
  • Phil Craft- Bee Culture magazine, author of “Ask Phil”
    Experienced beekeepers will present expanded beekeeper workshops featuring practical beekeeping information and Born and Bred queen rearing programs
  • North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Apiary inspectors will present beekeeping programs in apiaries located in the open green spaces of Blue Ridge Community College

More Information and Registration: ncbeekeepers.org/education/statewide-conferences/2018-ncsba-summer-conference

Master Beekeeper Review and Testing – July 20 & 21

The Master Beekeeper Program Committee is offering Testing at the Summer Meeting being held at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, NC. Testing is available to all active NCSBA members and will include Certified, Journeyman and Master Beekeeper levels.

Thursday morning, July 19, from 10:00 am till noon, a “Journeyman to Master Beekeepers Review” will be held in the Sink Building, Thomas Auditorium. All members are welcome to attend.

Also on Thurdsay moring at the same time as above, an “Ask the Experts” program will be offered to allow NCSBA members to get answers to questions from experienced Beekeepers, State Apriary Inspectors and Extension agents. This program will be held in the Blue Ridge Conference Hall.

  • MBP testing will begin on Friday afternoon, July 20, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, with no written test handed out after 2:00 pm.
  • MBP testing will continue on Saturday morning, July 21, from 9:00 till noon, with no written test handed out after 10:00 am.

We encourage all members who are interested in testing their knowledge of beekeeping to participate. If you have any question, contact an MBP Committee member. The NCSBA website has an extensive amount of information about the Master Beekeeper Program and is a good place to start if you are interested in the program.

Honey Extracting Workshop – July 9, 2018

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

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 ]

 

Grant Programs for Beekeepers – June 11, 2018

flood damageJune 11, 2018
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Surry County Cooperative Extension Office [ map ]

Lindsey Carico, County Executive Director for Carroll and Grayson Counties in Virginia will be back to discuss grant programs for beekeepers.

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.