Monthly Archives: January 2015

DVD: Organic Beekeeping 101 – February 9, 2015

Our next meeting will include a DVD plus honey tasting.   Please feel free to bring some of your honey for the tasting – we’ll provide the tasting spoons!

We will be viewing the DVD from the NCSBA Library entitled “Organic Beekeeping 101” by Randy Sue Collins.  The DVD covers not just organic beekeeping, but topics that provide a good overview for any beekeeper.  If you are already an experienced beekeeper, this DVD is a great way to educate your family and friends who want to know more about beekeeping.

This educational DVD focuses on organic beekeeping, the way nature meant for bees to be raised. The purpose of the DVD is to educate the novice beekeeper. Professionally filmed footage in a step-by-step format enables the new beekeeper to easily understand and implement the organic principles as they establish their own hives.

Segments include: Tour of the hive; Your beekeeper suit; Your beekeeper equipment and tools; Constructing your hive components, stand, frames, and supers; Assembling your hive components; Capturing your swarm; Populating your hive; Inspecting your hive; Populating your second hive; Managing space in your hive; Extracting your honey.

Organic Beekeeping 101

Nuc Buying Day at Tim Holt’s Apiary – March 21st

The work day with Tim Holt’s bees tentatively scheduled for March 14th has been moved to March 21st  and only those buying nucs will be able to get into the hives.  Others may observe, but you will need to keep out of the way of the workers.  We are working on scheduling a field day in April where anyone wishing to get their hands on bees will be able to do so.  More on that as details get sorted out.

You will need to arrive by 10:00 am on Saturday, March 21st.
The address of the bee yard is:
182 Romey Brown Rd, Siloam, NC [ map ]
GPS and Google Maps provide good directions

Directions from Dobson:
Go south on 601 to intersection of 268. Turn left. Go to Level Cross area (intersection of 268 and Siloam Rd). [alternate if you choose, go Siloam  from Mount Airy to 268, turn left]  Continue on 268 about 1 1/2 mile to Miller Gap Rd. Turn right, go about 1/2 mile to Romey Brown Rd. Turn Left. Go about 200 yds, bee yard on right. You can see bee yard on left side of the field —(south east–about 300 hives across the open field) –Plenty of parking–

If you are buying nucs from Tim, you will need to pay by CASH ONLYExact Change – when you get the bees. He will not have change available, so it’s important to bring the exact amount. The price per five frame nuc is $115 and will include 4 frames of brood and bees, a laying queen, and 1 frame with pollen and honey. Tim will provide the frames. You DO NOT need to bring new frames to exchange with Tim.  You need to provide the container to transport them. Suggest protective clothing, veil, etc.

Following are more detailed instructions about that:

  • You will need to bring your complete wooden hive or nuc box (either wooden nuc box or wax cardboard nuc box already assembled) to put the 5 frames in.
  • If you bring your complete wooden hive (bottom board, deep brood box, inner cover plus migratory top or vented inner cover and moving screen), you will need to bring extra frames to finish filling in the brood chamber to keep the 5 frames anchored in place during transportation. That means, 5 extra frames if you have a 10 frame brood box, or 3 extra frames if you have an 8 frame brood box. The frames should already have foundation in them.
  • Be sure that you have a screened or vented entrance so the bees can breathe and cannot escape while transporting them. This goes for nuc boxes as well as full hives.
  • Make sure that you have a way to anchor the hive once the bees are in it. If you are bringing woodenware, you will need to be able to strap it together.
  • Bring protective clothing – veil and gloves at a minimum.
  • When you arrive at the site, someone will assist you in moving from frames of bees as described above from one of Tim’s hives into your equipment.  Once the bees are in your equipment, they are your property, so make sure you take care in transporting them to your vehicle and into your bee yard.
  • You may stay and observe the activities as long as you care to.
  • If you cannot attend and want to buy a nuc, you will need to make arrangements with someone else to get your equipment, your bees, and pay for the bees.
  • Because of the large number of folks buying nucs, if you are not buying bees, we recommend that you not attend this event and wait for our coming bee yard day.  Anyone not buying nucs or who have completed their purchase will need to stay out of the way of the folks buying nucs.  Also, please be considerate and park vehicles away from the bee yard so those transporting nucs will not have to carry bees a long distance.

The newly opened Blue Ridge Bee Supply located at 270 Hickory Street, Suite 200 (parking and entrance around back of building), Mount Airy has wax cardboard nuc boxes available for $8 each plus tax.  These are great for transporting bees.

If you live closer to King or Germanton, you may want to check with Darrell Hampton with Bee-Attitudes Bee Supply to see if he carries the wax cardboard nuc boxes.  His phone number is 336-978-6695.


Dr. John T. Ambrose

Dr. John AmbroseDr. John T. Ambrose, our distinguished NCSBA President, passed away on January 8th after a short battle with cancer.

At the time of his death, Dr. Ambrose was still active supporting the beekeeping community at both NC State University in his roles as Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor of Entomology and Dean Emeritus, DUAP and at the NC State Beekeepers Association as President, Chairperson of the Master Beekeeper Program, Chairperson of the Constitution & Bylaws Committee, Chairperson of the NC Zoo Honey Bee Exhibit Committee, Co-Chairperson of the Honey Standard Committee, and Chairperson of the History Committee.

Dr. Ambrose was a long time faculty member and administrator at NC State University. He earned his MS and PhD degrees from Cornell University in Apiculture (honey bees) and Social Insect Behavior. He was also a retired US Navy Captain. He started work at NC State in the Dept. of Entomology as an Assistant Professor and the Extension Apiculturist in 1975, as well as being appointed as the Executive Director of the NC State Beekeepers Association. His research areas were apiculture (including bee diseases and parasites) and pollination. He was the recipient of NC State’s Outstanding Teacher Award, Member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers at NC State, recipient of the Entomological Society’s Outstanding Teacher Award, and recipient of NC State’s Alumni Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher Award. From 2000-2012 he worked in a number of administrative positions in the Division of Undergraduate Academic Programs ranging from Director of the First Year College to Dean of the Division. Since 2012 he had been in Phased Retirement with his emphasis on teaching. His interests were apiculture, pollination, social insect behavior and the association of man and insects over time and today.

In 1982, Dr. Ambrose designed and established the North Carolina Master Beekeeper Program (MBP). Its purpose is to provide an infrastructure whereby beekeepers can improve their beekeeping skills and knowledge on a continuous basis within a system that objectively and formally acknowledges those accomplishments. It also serves as a means of providing valuable information to beekeepers and the public through various outreach services. Prior to 2011, the Master Beekeeper Program was run through North Carolina State University. Due to financial cutbacks, the program was cut. Because of the importance of the program to beekeepers, NCSBA agreed to pick up this program. Today over 10,000 beekeepers have participated in the program.

North Carolina Pollinator Protection Plan

Hello everyone!  Patrick Jones here with NCDA&CS Pesticide Section.   I have met many of you over the years at various bee meetings.  I wanted to extend an invitation to all of you for someone from our Section to address your local chapter and update them on the progress of the North Carolina Pollinator Protection Plan and new pesticide labels.  We would also like to hear your feedback and suggestions on various proposals within the plan, including how to identify “Bee Awareness Zones” or the area around your apiary.  For notification of potential pesticide applications, we are considering something similar to Mississippi “Bee Aware” Flag (see for more information) or a secured website that shows the approximate location of the apiary.  We are very aware of the limitations and concerns of both ideas – and that is why we need to address the local chapters and hear their concerns.

If you attended the NC/SC Beekeepers Association meeting you will remember the Pollinator Survey that we distributed.  We had 141 surveys completed at the meeting.  We would like to get more responses back from beekeepers.  So if you could help get the word out to beekeepers about the survey all across the state it would be great!   The web link to the survey can be found at:  The survey is a certified anonymous survey and the data can only be viewed by a few staff members.  It is very easy to answer the questions with a click of your mouse.  The printable version of the survey may be found at the link below if you would rather print the survey and have members fill it out.

You could then return the surveys to me at:

J. Patrick Jones
Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
1090 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1090

We are developing a “Bee” page on our Pesticide Section Website – it can be found at  It is under construction – you can watch it grow in time.  We will add many useful links and resources to this page.  The NCDA&CS Pollinator Page can be found at

The Pollinator Plan development task force is comprised of individuals from NCDA&CS – Pesticide Section and the Apiary Services, NCSU, North Carolina Farm Bureau and various commodity groups.  We look forward to sharing the information with you over the next few months and we need your feedback as we further develop the plan.