* With the 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.
The How-To Festival will be held at the Ashe County Library on Saturday (July 14) from 11-3. ACBA will have a table under a tree; we had fun last year and are eager to share bee info again with some very thoughtful kids (and adults)! If you can help the entire time or even a part of the time, please let Helen Baldwin know - any and all help will be greatly appreciated! We could probably use another folding table if anyone who comes happens to have one.
AppState professor of computer science and ACBA member, James Wilkes is featured in a post about the university starting a program to teach about the importance of bees...
* The regular meeting of the Ashe County Beekeeping Association was held on April 12, 2018 at the Agriculture Extension Office in Jefferson, NC.
* Jim Miles was the speaker who talked about hive splitting.
* The 'hive open house' scheduled for this Saturday at Maggie McClelland’s house will not be held due to inclement weather!
* Stay tuned for information on a date and time if it will be rescheduled.
* Everyone's important topic for the start of a new year of beekeeping!!
* In the case of the Hidden Happiness Bee Farm (H.S. Greene), their nuc delivery is scheduled for the third week in April. The cost/nuc is $160.50. For more info, contact H.S. Greene at 336-957-0275 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* James Wilkes’ son, Sullivan, is selling nucs. Links to the form for getting on the waiting list and Sullivan’s contact info are highlighted below....
From: James Wilkes re: Nuc form - Faith Mountain Farm
* Here is a link to a form for getting on a waiting list for nucs from Sullivan. Here are the details outlined in the form:
- Enter information to be added to our waiting list.
- We expect to have nucs available for pick up between April 16 and May 14 from our farm in Creston, NC or a mutually agreeable location.
- Exact dates and times to be determined.
- Cost is $175 per nuc and will be in an EZ Nuc box.
- No guarantee of availability, but we will communicate as soon as possible as things progress. Contact Sullivan Wilkes, email@example.com or 828-434-0066 with questions.
* To open/complete the form to get on a waiting list, copy this link and paste to your browser: https://goo.gl/forms/YJ5iq4LY6e8DZfAI2
* The final, regular business meeting of the Ashe County Beekeepers Association was held on October 14, 2017 at which time Greg Fariss, NC State Beekeeper for counties including Ashe, spoke on winter hive preparations...thanks, Greg. Before his remarks, Julia Houck, County Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency briefly described a program for small farmers, including beekeepers to receive funding for losses due to various circumstances. Open the meeting minutes here.
* At the end of the meeting, raffle and door prizes were awarded, as follows:
- Jeff Taylor was the recipient of the raffle for the anniversary mini-hive made by H.S. Greene...it was mini-hive # 7 and represents the seven years that the ACBA has been in existence.
Other door prizes:
- Raven Pruitt - Queen Catcher
- Jeff Taylor - hive tool
- Paulette Lawrence - smoker fuel
- Julie Smith - ACBA Hat
- Shirley Long - tee shirt
- Liam Jerkins - jar of candy
- Doug Galloway - jar of candy
- Greg Lyon - queen catcher
- David Tanner - Oxalic Acid kit
* The ACBA November meeting will be the final meeting in 2017. Click here for information.