* The first regular meeting of the ACBA will be on March 8, 2018.
* The meeting will be held at the Ashe County Agricultural Center Office, located at 134 Government Center Drive in Jefferson, NC.
Parties in Watauga interested in beekeeping, the Allegheny bee group's evening meetings have been changed to the second Tuesday of the month, beginning in March.
* 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.
* 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
* 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.
* 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