ACBA members, and beekeepers who are residents in any of the following High Country counties (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey)...be sure to open the attached, downloadable file and send in your entry to the Photo Contest...
Email: Mail to your entry (JPEG photograph required) to ACBA here:
President Wayne Pitts sent the following minutes from the subject meeting of the ACBA:
6:00 PM - Meeting Called to Order by Wayne Pitts, President
1. Wayne made a presentation about Bee Festooning.
2. The group was updated on the recent NC meeting.
3. Wayne shared plans for ACBA’s support of the Ashe 4H Program (9-17 year olds).
Currently working with the local 4H representative to discuss opportunities to coordinate
efforts. He requested volunteers to help with the effort.
4. Wayne discussed examples of waivers (not sponsored by ACBA), explaining how they
could be used and their limitations.
- a. Memo of Understanding - helps set expectations with homeowner if you are
removing bees from their property.
- b. Hold Harmless Agreement - example of agreement you can have with home
owner that explains inherent risks in the process.
5. Education Committee - Kim Pitts covered multiple education events the ACBA has
planned for the upcoming weeks/months including;
- a. April 22 - Old Store in Grassey Creek
- b. April 28 - Mt View Elementary School
- c. July 19 - Library
- d. Several others that will be sent to the members in an email over the next week.
- e. Volunteers are needed for each event.
6. Members were reminded to pay their annual $10 dues and support for scholarships.
7. Blake noted that ACBA had an approved space at the Farmer’s Market from 8:00-1:00
on August 19. Also currently planning the Environmental Education Day on September
12 from 9:00-2:00.
- a. Blake also discussed Surrey County BeeKeepers starting a new race of queens
and a bee yard and noted ACBA might consider a similar effort, noting that they
received a grant to cover part of the cost.
- b. Farmers Market is sponsoring a Seed Swap that would be of interest to the
8. James Wilkes updated the group on a workshop at ASU on May 6 and gave instructions
on how to register.
9. Plans for Christmas in July were discussed, highlights included;
- a. Saturday July 1st
- b. Cost of space $125 and $25 application fee
- c. Motion to approve made by Todd Swanson / motion passed
- d. Todd S. noted he has a tent / table that could be used
- e. Kim P. will create a sign-up sheet.
10. Wayne discussed details of Photo Contest and received agreement from the group to
proceed with draft plans.
11. Wayne gauged interest in having a couple of field trips during the summer and received
positive feedback from the group.
12. Wayne summarized a variety of local / state / regional meetings and events that would
be of interest to the members.
13. Jim Rash requested volunteers for the Cluster Mentoring Program
14. Wayne moderated a discussion about the current state of the member’s bees.
Wayne kicked off an online presentation on ‘Probiotics’ by Megan Domico from UNC-G
● In summary - evidence and independent trials does not support claims made about the
benefits of Probiotics, so don’t waste your money.
Meeting adjourned at 8:00.
Submitted by Ken Jenkins / Secretary.
Hello to all,
I think we had a fine meeting last night! Thank you for your participation. I am attaching several files for your review. Here is what you need to know:
1. The rules for the ACBA Photo Contest are attached.
2. I've attached two documents that you can use if you have visitors to your apiary or if you capture swarms or do cutouts. I am NOT an attorney and these forms will not protect you if you are negligent.
3. I mentioned that there is an opportunity to participate in a beekeeping workshop at Appalachian State University on Saturday May 6. Participation is limited to 20 persons and will pay $300. A light breakfast and lunch are included. You must apply by clicking here.
4. If you are seeking a nuc, please let me know. I am aware of multiple persons with nucs available for the Spring.
5. Also, if you need a queens, let me know and I will send you details. We can also go in together and buy queens in bulk to save money on shipping, etc.
6. There are several volunteer opportunities with the education committee. We need you! Contact Kim Pitts firstname.lastname@example.org if you are available to pitch in.
Wayne Pitts, President
Hello to all!
Finally, Spring is peeking through and I am so ready for it! I'm looking forward to seeing you all at the Ashe County Beekeepers Association Meeting this week. We'll be meeting on Thursday, April 13 at 6PM at the Asche County Cooperative Extension Office conference room. We have lots to discuss and an interesting presentation to share from Dr. Megan Damico on Probiotics for honey bees. We'll also learn more about festooning - not sure what that is? Come on out and we'll explain. See the attached agenda for more details.
As always, we appreciate donations for door prizes. We'll have pizza and soda beginning at 5:30PM. Also, if you haven't yet paid your 2023 dues, we invite you to find Treasurer David Tanner while you're at the meeting.
See you soon!
Wayne Pitts, President
Ashe County Beekeepers Association
HS Greene from Hidden Happiness called to let the Ashe County Beekeepers know that Robert Smith will be offering an advanced beekeeping course to help prepare for the NCBA Journeyman's exam beginning this weekend. As you may know Mr. Smith is on the Master Beekeeper Committee for the NC Beekeepers Association and that he is the one who prepares the study guides and online quizzes.
The class will meet at the Hidden Happiness Bee farm classroom at the following times:
Friday (3/31), 5-8PM
Saturday (4/1), 8AM-noon)
Friday (4/7) , 5-8PM
Saturday (4/8), 8AM-noon)
The cost is $100/person.
Hidden Happiness Bee Farm is located at Chestnut Mountain Rd, Deep Gap, NC 28618.
I'll be there, I hope you will too! Please let me know if you have questions about the event. Also, let me know if you plan to attend.
Keep in mind that the ACBA will continue to meet through the winter, although with a bit different format for December, January, and February. For these three months, we will offer special workshops on intermediate beekeeping skills, many that are relevant to the Journeyman exam and practical exercises. The Winter Beekeeping Workshops (during regularly scheduled ACBA meetings) will include the following topics:
December 8: Honeybee Biology Anatomy, Social Organization, Bee Pests, and Bee Diseases
January 12: Beekeeping History, Equipment and Managing Honeybee Wellbeing, and Pesticides
February 9: Plants, Pollination, Harvesting and Marketing Honeybee Products, and NCSBA
FYI, Jim Rash will be leading an Advanced Beekeeping Class through Wilkes Community College (Ashe Campus) beginning in the Spring that will build on these topics and further prepare participants to seek certification and/or study their Journeyman Exam.
The new elected officers for 2023.
President - Wayne Pitts
Vice President - Todd Swanson
Secretary - Ken Jenkins
Treasurer - David Tanner
Program Director - Louise Rascoe
Board of Directors - Helen Baldwin, Jim Rash, (Teri Goodman has 2 years remaining on her term)
A message from Wayne Pitts,
Hello to all,
On December 3rd between 3PM and 5PM (weather permitting, i.e., temps above 37 and not precipitating), We will be treating our bee hives with Oxalic Acid using our Varrox Eddy vaporizer and you are invited to participate.
What to bring?
Please bring your bee suit, goggles, gloves, and an adequate respirator (here's a blog that might help you decide which respirator specifications you favor). I use a NIOSH-approved, full face mask respirator with the acid gas cartridge plus the particulate filter similar to this one. I encourage you to do your own research. Without a respirator, you should not attend.
Why we favor oxalic acid sublimation as part of our Integrated Pest Management approach:
Perfect for applications when there is little to no brood in the hive.
It's not a chemical treatment. It’s an organic acid found just about everywhere in the environment including in plants and vegetables.
It's 90-99% effective at killing the mites with minimal damage to the bees and brood.
Sublimation is far better at reducing mite populations and showed no increase in bee mortality than trickle methods.
It's not as temperature sensitive as some other treatments.
Note: EPA regulations have shifted but we do not use oxalic acid when supers are on.
Directions: Our apiary is located at 462 Woods on New River Road in Lansing. We're in the neighborhood called Woods on the New River just off Woods on New River Road. When you turn off onto the gravel road go about 1/2 mile. We are located on the second drive on the right. You'll see a package box at the bottom. The bee yard is about 1/3 mile up.
Contact details: My cell number is 901-262-2325 if you need additional directions.I also text.
Incentive: We would be happy to loan out the Varrox Eddy to others who would like to use oxalic sublimation to treat their hives. This is an opportunity to learn more and try it out before you buy one.
Hello to all,
It's official! Our application for the Christmas in July Festival was accepted on Friday.
WE NEED MORE VOLUNTEERS!
We need at least three people per two-hour shift. More is even better. Set up and clean-up are critically important slots. If you are not available to help, please stop by to say hello at the booth and refer others. We will be in Booth 52 and our load-in time is at 6AM at First Citizens Bank. Essentially, we need to unload, move our vehicles, and set up our booth as quickly as possible to allow other vendors to also set up (unloading time is 15 minutes).
6AM-8AM, Set-up - Raven Crews
8AM-10AM - Ken Jenkins
10AM to Noon - Linda Katsoudas, Deborah and Craig Weinstein
Noon to 2PM - Louise Rascoe
2PM to 4PM - Jeff and Shirley Vestal
4PM-6PM, Clean-up - Raven Crews
Rovers (help at non-specific times) - Matt Rumfelt
1. Educate the public about honeybees and beekeeping
2. Recruit new interest in the ACBA
3. Fundraise for the ACBA (t-shirt sales)
4. Create economic opportunities for beekeepers
- Posters, handouts, etc. (Raven Crews)
- Cooler with Water & Ice (Wayne & Kim Pitts)
- Educational posters and demonstration hive (Jim Rash)
- T-shirts (Raven Crews)
- Honey and other products? So far, we do not have any. If you have something to sell, speak up.
- We will not have an observation hive – too stressful on the bees for a 10 hour outing in the summer heat. Feel free to refer learners to the Honey Hole to see Charlie and Shelley's hive.
This will be an important event for the ACBA - please help!
Photographs from the 1st meeting of the Ashe County Beekeeping Association are displayed here...
Visit the ACBA website regularly to keep abreast of Association activities for 2022.
The first gathering of the year attracted 23 active and interested beekeepers to the meeting at the Ashe County Agricultural Building in Jefferson, NC.
A presentation was made by master beekeeper and ACBA member Jim Rash (shown lower right) on "what to expect in your hives in March-April."
As seen by the beautifully decorated cake (right), our end of the season banquet was held with a great turnout of members who also enjoyed a scrumptious brisket smoked by Randy Baldwin, as well as numerous side dishes so that no one “left hungry!”
We now go into diapause - entomologically speaking for hibernation - until March of next year. But that doesn’t mean we don’t stay connected with any beekeeping issues, so if there are questions about what you should be doing to keep your hive(s) healthy, drop us a line here!
From ACBA member Helen Baldwin: I'm sharing a beautiful video done by Maddee Burt, a rising senior at UNC Chapel Hill.
- Maddee, along with other students, coaches, and professors, arrived in Ashe County last month to document some local stories. Maddee chose beekeeping.
- The video features our own Jim Rash and Kim and Wayne Pitts, new (and very productive!) members of ACBA.
- My Bee’s Keeper is just under 4 minutes long. You’ll be sorry when it ends!
- The ACBA held a regular membership meeting on August 12th...use the below link to see information on Facebook about the meeting during which H. S. Greene from Hidden Happiness Beekeeping Farm gave a presentation on hives.
- Visit Hidden Happiness's web site here.
Journeyman beekeeper, Randy Baldwin of Jefferson, NC, Honey B's Bees and Honey spoke about catching swarms. Although sparsely attended, the meeting was held outdoors in the WJ Pavilion below the Ashe County Library. It was good to be back in person even though the temperature was a bit "nippy"!
Photo #1 (top right) - Demonstrating the set-up for catching swarms.
Photo #2 (bottom right) - Setting swarm-catching box on white towel (if swarm is low; white sheet if swarm is high).
Photo #3 (thumbnail photo right) - Swarm-catching bag - easy and effective!