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Hurricane Irma vs. Ashe County Bees

From David Tarpy, NCSU

* 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.

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



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Ashe County Beekeeping Association (ACBA) August 10, 2017

Ashe County Beekeeping Association (ACBA)

August 10, 2017

* The August ACBA meeting was held on August 10, 2017 at which time Doug Galloway, Master Beekeeper (pictured right) presented information on treatments for hive health.

* The regular meeting was attended by 20 ACBA members. Recorded minutes from the meeting are here.

- Thumbnail pictures:

- H.S. Greene modeling a respirator for use when treating hives using oxalic acid as a fumigant.

- Three photos of the Varroa easyCheck by Veto-pharma which is a simple alcohol wash for use when determining mite loads in a hive.

* After the program concluded, several door prizes were awarded to attendees.

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Ashe County Beekeeping Association (ACBA) June 8, 2017
Ashe County Beekeeping Association (ACBA)

Ashe County Beekeeping Association (ACBA)

June 8, 2017

* The June ACBA meeting was held on June 8, 2017 at which time Greg Fariss, State Apiary Inspector for this area who presented information on Pests & Diseases. Greg is pictured (on the left in the top photo with Randy Baldwin, right).

* The regular meeting was attended by 18 ACBA members. Recorded minutes from the meeting will be posted soon.

* After the program concluded, several door prizes were awarded to attendees, as follows:

- Hidden Happiness Bee Farm donated frame lifter - Ima Golds

- Hidden Happiness Bee Farm donated fuel - Josh Branam

- Bee balm plant - Jim Rash

- Honey dipper - Ben Ray

- Purple cone flower plant - Doug Hart

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Ashe County Beekeeping Association (ACBA) May 11, 2017
Ashe County Beekeeping Association (ACBA)

Ashe County Beekeeping Association (ACBA)

May 11, 2017

* The May ACBA meeting was held on May 11, 2017 at which time Bob Cole, certified Master Beekeeper by the Eastern Apicultural Society of North America, presented a program on bee swarms that included a riveting, hour long video which had many vignettes displaying the capture of swarms from various locations.

* The regular meeting was one of the ACBA's largest with 28 association officers and local beekeepers in attendance. Open/read minutes of the meeting here...

* After the meeting program concluded, several door prizes were awarded, as well as the recipient of the Nuc provided by the Hidden Happiness Bee Farm was selected, as follows:

- Doug Hayes won a copy of "First Lessons in Beekeeping" (the book most commonly used for bee classes) donated by Bob Cole.

- Jeff Taylor won a set of pliers from Hidden Happiness Bee Farm.

- George Katsoudas and Doug Hart both won a pint of Harry Bee Healthy donated by past president Harry Galer.

- Jim DeJuneas won the Nuc from Hidden Happiness Bee Farm. Congratulations!

* Thanks to everyone who participated by buying raffle tickets and supporting the ACBA.

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NCSBS "Cooking with Honey" Cookbook May 11, 2017 UPDATE

NCSBS "Cooking with Honey" Cookbook

May 11, 2017 UPDATE

* The Honey Cookbooks being sold by NCSBA will be picked up on July 14, the day after our July meeting. If you ordered a book or two ($20 each), you may pay for it at any of the next three meetings (May, June, July). Your book(s) will be delivered to the August meeting, although you can make arrangements with Helen or Randy before then.


* NC Chapter members who also hold NCSBA membership are being asked to help mark the NCSBA’s centennial with the purchase of an outstanding cooking-with-honey cookbook that has been completed by the cookbook team of Sandy Carlson, Lynn Lucas, Mary Jaynes, Teresa Green and S. Anne Fifer.

* This cookbook would make a wonderful addition to your cooking library or as a birthday, anniversary or Christmas gift. All profits will be donated to the NC Agricultural Foundation and will directly benefit the Apiculture program at NCSU.

* Support is needed to help make this project a success. Please consider purchasing or pre-ordering copy(s) for later sale of gifting so as to help greatly with our start-up costs.

* Price is $20 per copy and the deadline for pre-order commitment is April 30, will be collected upon delivery.

* Please send your pre-order commitment to Sandy Carlson at or contact her via phone at 919-853-9060.


* ALL 300 recipes in the cookbook have honey as an ingredient, Many of the recipes have received awards and/or are winning recipes of the NCSBA Summer Conferences.

* Categories covered: Appetizers & Beverages; Soups & Salads; Vegetables; Main Dishes; Breads; Desserts,

* Example recipes include:

- Start your meal with a Honey Mango Margarita served with an Orange Honey Glazed Salmon and Spinach Salad with Honey Dressing & Honeyed Pecans topped off with Honey Fudge Pie.

- Honey Sweetened Lemonade served with Honey Glazed BBQ Pork and an Apple Baked Bean Casserole topped off with Honey Cream Apple Pie.

- For those in-between hunger pains, have a Cinnamon Pecan Granola Bar.

Please forward this message to family and friends who enjoy honey or cooking, and thank you for your support.

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ACBA Notes of Interest

April 10, 2017

1. Our April meeting Thursday will feature B Townes, president of Beekeepers of Wilkes County, who will talk about foraging. With our crazy winter and spring weather, we're particularly eager to hear what B has to say. The meeting starts at 7pm at the Extension Office behind Bojangles in Jefferson; B will be speaking first, so come early and grab some delicious snacks, too! Visitors are welcomed!

2. Bill Naser, our treasurer, will be on hand to take dues before the meeting and during break. ACBA (local) dues - $10/individual or $15/family. NCSBA (state) dues - $15/individual.

3. Tickets for the nuc will be sold thru the break at the meeting Thursday, and the drawing will be held at the conclusion of the meeting. Tickets for the nuc, valued at $140+, are $5 each, or 3/$10. If you took tickets to sell, please be sure to bring them and the tickets to the meeting! If you can't attend Thursday, let me know, and arrangements will be made to get them.

4. Door prizes this time: Wiss Utility Shears (courtesy of Hidden Happiness Bee Farm), cap (courtesy of Hive Tracks), comfrey plants, and pollen patties.

5. Pollen patties will also be on sale at the meeting: $3/patty, or 4/$10. All proceeds will go to ACBA.

6. Orders for NCSBA’s Honey Cookbook need to be turned in April 30. The cost for the book, which includes 300 recipes using honey, is $20. All profits will be donated to the NC Agricultural Foundation and will directly benefit the Apiculture program at NCSU.

7. Linda Katsoudas and I had fun representing ACBA at the Ashe County Library’s Seed Library kick-off on Friday! We talked to several folks very interested in bees, including a library staff member who is now a beekeeper. Big thanks to Marna Napoleon, beekeeper/new ACBA member/library staff member for inviting ACBA and to Linda for agreeing to help!

8. On Saturday, April 22, ACBA will be at the Ashe Farmers Market from 8am-1pm for Earth Day. Several members have volunteered to help, but we’re always game for more helpers! If you’d like to help for even a little while, please let me know. We always have fun! I don’t have any other information yet but will pass it on as soon as I get it.

9. Also on the 22nd (12-1pm) is a beekeeping meeting with Greg Fariss, state apiary inspector, at Southern States in Jefferson. Lunch is provided at no charge. Reservations need to be made by the 19th to the Extension Office (336-946-5850 in order for them to be prepared with ample materials, seating, and lunches.

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ACBA Update March 2017

ACBA Update

March 2017

* The first meeting of the year is March 9th and will begin at 7:00 at the Extension Office. The focus of this meeting will include a brief discussion by James Wilkes of a hive sampling program he was involved in last year, followed by President Randy's explanation of nucs and how to install them.

* Maggie McClelland, our program chair, will provide delicious refreshments again, and raffle tickets for the nuc will be sold! The nuc tickets - $5 each or 3/$10 - will be sold at the April meeting as well, with the drawing taking place at the conclusion of the April meeting.

* For those paying dues, Bill Naser, our treasurer, will be available around 6:15, if not a little earlier. If you can come early to pay your dues, please do, as Bill will need to leave for another meeting around 6:45. He should be able to return before the end of the ACBA meeting if you miss him.

* If you'd like to purchase raffle tickets, you're also urged to come a little earlier than usual to get that taken care of.

* If you're not sure if your 2017 dues have been paid, feel free to check with me by Wednesday afternoon (I'll be on unexpected grandmama duty and will miss the meeting... and Maggie's treats!).


* We had a successful Introduction to Beekeeping class last month (see pictures, in the thumbnails to the right). All passed the class portion of the Certified Beekeeper test, and I'm pretty sure everyone ended up with a little more knowledge than they started with. We're fortunate to have some terrific new members of ACBA, too!

* We had a double winner of the hive donated by Hidden Happiness Bee Farm! Gilly and Eben Macknee, father and son, tied with the highest score in the class (100, but who's counting)! What a relief that no one 'lost' the hive thru a drawing. Congratulations to Gilly and Eben, and another big thanks to Hidden Happiness Bee Farm for the generous donation! Gillly and Eben's bees should be quite pleased with their beautiful new digs :)

* One of our new members, Tina Roberts, has some yellow blossom sweet clover packages to sell for very reasonable prices (1 lb - $4, 8 oz - $2, 4 oz - $1). Randy's talked to two beekeepers who both raved about their bees' love for yellow clover, so he's been dreaming up places to plant some ever since. If you're interested in learning more about the yellow clover, you can contact Tina at

* Also, Joy Lewis said that if anyone is interested in her 'Joy Be Sweet' (her version of Honey B Healthy), let her know - The bees love it!

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