Category Archives: Beekeeping in NC

Protective Measures of Beehives During Hurricanes

Hi everyone,

With uncertain track of hurricane Irma, 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.

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

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David R. Tarpy
Professor and Extension Apiculturist
Department of Entomology, 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
************

Honey Extracting Workshop – September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017
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 ]

 

Celebrating Agriculture – September 9, 2017

Date:  Saturday, September 9th
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

Fall Field Day – August 19, 2017

It’s National Honey Bee Day — Come celebrate with us!

Saturday, August 19th
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: Albert Cockerham’s bee yard, 504 Arlington Street,
Mount Airy, NC 27030 [ map ]

In addition to learning how to do a hive inspection for this time of year, there will also be demonstrations of Oxalic Acid Vaporization and the use of the “Mighty Mite Killer” product from the Bee Hive Thermal Industries that Lynn Williams presented on at the May meeting.

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.

What to Expect at the NCSBA Summer Conference – July 10, 2017

July 10, 2017
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Surry County Cooperative Extension Office [ map ]

The state conference is later this week in Winston-Salem and there’s lots of reasons to attend. Come find out what you can expect.

Read more about the conference: [ NCSBA Summer Conference ]

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: https://www.ncbeekeepers.org/education/statewide-conferences/ncsbA-2017-summer-conference

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 mbp@ncbeekeepers.org

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.

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.

Honeybee Veterinary Consortium

Did you know that feeding honeybees certain antimicrobials is covered under the Veterinary Feed Directive rule? For example, to feed oxytetracycline medicated feed (to control American and European Foulbrood), a bee keeper must obtain a Veterinary Feed Directive order from a licensed veterinarian.

You may be asking, where do I find a veterinarian able to diagnose my hive? One answer is the Honeybee Veterinary Consortium. The Honeybee Veterinary Consortium was created with the goal of linking bee keepers with veterinarians that have an interest in honeybee medicine. Their website http://www.honeybeeveterinaryconsortium.org/, while still under construction, serves as a great resource for the North Carolina bee community in building veterinary-client-patient relationships. They also have a facebook page!

As always please feel free to submit questions or concerns to the listserv by emailing ncdacs_feed_safety_information_6@lists.ncmail.net and someone will get answers back to you as soon as possible.

This information has been provided by:
Jessica E Gore
FSMA Programs Coordinator
Food & Drug Protection Division
North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
(919) 270-1635

Thermal Solutions for Controlling Mites – May 8, 2017

May 8, 2017
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Surry County Cooperative Extension Office [ map ]

Lynn Williams, President of Bee Hive Thermal Industries will be our speaker for May.  He will be discussing the uses of thermal solutions to control Varroa Mite populations in bee hives.  You can learn more about thermotherapy and the “Mighty Mite Killer” product at the Bee Hive Thermal Industries website at:

Lynn has also provided a couple of documents that you may find interesting.

Bee Hive Thermal Industries Brochure

Mite Elimination Thermotherapy 2015 Report

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.