May 2022 WCBA Newsletter Meeting 

Please read the newsletter to the end.  There is a lot of information contained in it.

May 10 Meeting
We are meeting at Wake County Commons Building
4011 Carya Drive Raleigh, NC 27613

 7:00 pm - Building Wooden Frames for the bee hive- Susan Benton 

Frames used in beekeeping may be wooden or plastic with wax or plastic foundation. Both kinds of frames work well in beekeeping, but the beekeeper may choose to use wooden frames with wax foundation.  With a little practice, it is easy to assemble wooden frames.  This workshop will demonstrate how to assemble wooden frames, install the wax foundation, and wire it into place.  The beekeeper will receive a medium frame and a sheet of wax foundation and receive instructions for installing and wiring the wax into place.  This will give the beekeeper a model to take home to use as a visual guide.  Please bring a small hammer if you have one. A Power Point presentation will be made available for those participating by zoom.

7:30 pm - Stress Factors affecting honeybees - Dana Stahlman

Beekeepers and honey bees face considerable challenges in the changing conditions of altered landscapes, agrochemicals, pollutants, changes in the climate and a host of other issues. Many of these factors are out of the beekeeper's control. However, there are things we as beekeepers can do to better manage and hopefully provide some  control. Dana has worked with bees since the late 1940's and has seen first hand how changing farming practices, loss of foraging land, and climate has affected his ability to keep honeybees.

Zoom meeting – WCBA Meeting May 10:

Topic: WCBA May 10, 2022

Time: May 10, 2022 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 851 9143 7666

Passcode: 837724

We will be meeting at Wake County Commons Building. 

Address: 4011 Carya Drive Raleigh, NC 27610 
Phone Number:   919-250-1000

There is plenty of parking in front of this building.  There is a guard at the front desk when you walk into the building.  If you put the address into your GPS it will direct you right to the building. 

North Carolina State Beekeepers Association Membership

If you paid the NCSBA annual membership fee when paying WCBA membership fee, those funds have been submitted to the NCSBA.  If you paid the $15 for the NCSBA membership and have not heard from the NCSBA, please contact Treasurer Susan Benton to get this resolved.  You may send an email to:

We are now offering multiple Hands on the Hive sessions with Mr. Buzz, a.k.a. club member Ben Crawley.  These are OPEN SESSIONS to learn and observe or for the purpose of taking your Practical Test as part of the requirement to become a NCSBA Certified Beekeeper.  

The following dates will be offered:

  • May 15 at 1:30 pm
  • June 12 at 1:30 pm
  • July 17 at 1:30 pm
  • August 21 at 1:30 pm
  • September 18 at 1:30 pm

All sessions will be held at the Historic Oak View County Park, located at 4028 Carya Dr, off of Poole Rd in Raleigh.  Time for each session is 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm. 
Please bring your smokers, beekeeping clothing/gear & Face Masks, as this is a working session to explore the current status of the hives on site you should be prepared.  You do not need to bring a hive tool as they will be provided for your use during the session. 

At the end of each session Ben Crawley & Susan Benton will administer the final portion of the Practical Test for those wanting to do so.  The written test will be offered at the Visitor Center right after the group finishes in the bee yard.  In case of rain on April 10, we may cancel the session in the bee yard, but the written test will still be offered at 1:30.  

If you were unable to take your written test back in January and would still like to take that test, please contact Susan Benton directly at 919-961-5600 to make those arrangements.

2022 WCBA Swarm List 

The WCBA Coordinator of the Swarm List for 2022 is Robin Drechsler.  To be on the WCBA Swarm List you must be a 2022 member in good standing.  So your membership dues for 2022 must be paid before you can be on the swarm list.  If you are interested in being on the 2022 Swarm List please complete the form at the link provided.  

Every beekeeper should learn how to catch a swarm. If you don't know how, sign up and leave a comment on the signup sheet saying that you would like to learn. The swarm team captain may notify you of the location of a swarm near you to give you a chance to help or just observe the capture.

Meet Swarm Captains!






Peter Kopcinski

Keith Buchanan (backup)




Tom Kruppa



Charles Heatherly



Robin Drechsler



Barbara Burgess


The county is divided into 5 zones, each having at least one captain. Captains have their phone numbers listed on the "Help I've Got Bees" page of our website. They get the first call from the public. The captain captures all of the necessary information about the swarm, and then calls people on their list until someone is found who is available to capture the swarm.

To sign up, go to the Swarm List Guidelines page of the website and follow the links to the signup page. 

 Community Opportunities to speak and share about honey bees and beekeeping:  

We receive requests from different organizations for beekeepers to come and talk about honey bees and beekeeping.  We also receive requests to provide exhibits and people to talk about honey bees and beekeeping at events around the county.  If you are interested in being made aware of these opportunities, please contact Lori Harris: or call her at:  919-749-7129

Here is a current request that is available:  

 New request for Town of Holly Springs Turtlefest:

  • The Town of Holly Springs/Bass Lake Park is celebrating Turtlefest in Holly Springs, NC on May 14th from 1pm to 4pm at the Jefferson L. Sugg Farm. They want to see if there is a beekeeper who would like to have a tent for education and outreach at this event.  If so, please contact Lori Harris. 

WCBA Mentor Program

An important function of the WCBA is the annual mentor program.  We want new beekeepers to be successful, and learning on your own can often be frustrating. 

An important function of the WCBA is the annual mentor program.  We want new beekeepers to be successful, and learning on your own can often be frustrating. 
To help, we provide:
1) Monthly hands-on-the-hive sessions led by Ben Crawley (Mr. Buzz)
2) Beginner workshops at monthly meetings that begin at 7pm, before the start of the business meeting.
3) Mentors and Bee Buddies - Volunteers that are willing to assist new beekeepers in their first year or two.
The club needs
YOU to help!  If you're a beekeeper with 3 or more years of experience, you're likely going to make a great mentor to a new beekeeper.  As a mentor, you will learn by being a part of the mentor program as you encounter more challenges and hear from others in the program.  You do NOT have to volunteer to visit anyone's bee yard to be a mentor.  There is also an APPRENTICE HANDBOOK available to guide you on topics you can assist with throughout the beekeeping year.
 If you've had bees for even ONE YEAR, you can be a BEE BUDDY to a new beekeeper.  You likely remember more about what it's like to be brand new and can offer your own lessons learned to someone new.
 If you're brand new and want mentorship, you can join our program.  Just remember, you play an important role in your own success, so be sure to attend meetings and hands-on opportunities offered by the club and club mentors.
 To learn more and to register for the program (in any role) please log in and visit the mentorship page of the new website: 


Besides BEEKEEPING what are your other passions, hobbies or job skills that you can share with our organization?  We are a total volunteer organization.  There is great value in being apart of the WCBA and offering some of your time in a volunteering capacity.  We have found that by doing volunteering you are giving of your time and talents and you will be a benefactor of the time you put into volunteering.  We would encourage you to consider being a part of helping us make a difference in Wake County as we share the importance and value of the honey bee and other pollinators.  

So please consider offering some of YOUR time, skills or expertise to keep our group strong & continuing to GROW.

If interested in ways to volunteer, please send an email to:, 

Subject: Volunteering for the Wake County Beekeepers Association 

May 2022 in the Bee Yard
Chris Hagwood

I hope your April beekeeping adventures have gone well.  By now, most new beekeepers have their starter bees.   Packages have been available for some time and even locally raised Nucs have been sold.

April was fairly typical:  lots of swarming from established colonies just as the start of the main nectar flow arrived.  Our chief nectar source, tulip poplar, has been in bloom for a few weeks.  All the blooms will be gone by mid May, so enjoy the bounty.

If you’re new to bees, one nice thing about starting in April is that colonies are at their most docile during the main nectar flow.  I have been skipping smoke the past 2 weeks with most of mine, but some of the larger ones that need to be entered down to the brood area still need smoke to calm them.  

So, what can we expect in May?

Get your best comb building in now.  The nectar flow will taper in May and will end for good by the middle of June.  Even with supplemental feeding, comb building is difficult during the dearth.  Take advantage of the current flow by moving the outer edges of the brood nest farther away and checkerboarding in foundation frames.

Stay alert for swarming.  Large colonies that didn’t swarm before the main nectar flow aren’t as likely to do so now, but it’s still possible.  Check for swarm cells and add supers to give them room to store nectar.  More empty comb stimulates bees to gather more nectar!

Monitor your mite situation.  If you overwintered well, and checked your bees by sampling for mites, don’t slack off now.  If you’re starting out, May is a great month to see how your colonies are handling mites.  Consult the Honeybee Health Coalition Management Decision Tool for guidance on thresholds and treatment options.  

In fact April 30th- May 15 is the annual mite-a-thon survey of mite check data.  To participate and submit your data, visit  To learn more, download a flyer at

Water.  Bees are going to need water to cool the hive once it gets hot.  Supply a water source now so they can find it before they find your neighbor’s pool (if they haven’t already).

Harvest your honey.  You have the option to harvest your honey any time your frames are capped.  You may have found full supers already, or find them full and capped during May.  If so, feel free to extract and put back.  If the bees are still bringing in more nectar, they can possibly refill some of them before the nectar flow ends.

Enjoy your bees!

The WCBA is presenting an Introduction to Honey Bees and Beekeeping at Pullen Park Community Center on Saturday morning May 21 from 10:00 - 11:30 am.  You are welcome to come, bring friends or tell others about this event.  The link below will take you to the Raleigh Parks and Recreation information with the signup link.  The session is free.  

Introduction to Honey Bees and Beekeeping |

Resources for Beeks
There are many opportunities to keep learning about keeping honey bees.  Here are a few:  

WCBA Meeting Videos and summary starting with 2022Login and then visit

Webinars from NCSU
Webinars from NCSU and Dr. David Tarpy are archived online and new ones are added monthly.  Learn more here.
Bee Culture editor Kim Flottum podcast:  
 A new podcast of short in-depth review of all things honey bees hosted by former Bee Culture editor Kim Flottum and Emeritus faculty member of The Ohio State University Dr. Jim Tew is available at:
Two Bees in a Podcast
from the University of Florida.  This podcast has over 50 episodes.
Beekeeping Today Podcast
from the folks at Bee Culture.  3 seasons of episodes and interviews!
Get help diagnosing problems in your bee hive.

NC State Apiculture Program Latest Newsletter
Greetings from the NC State Apiculture Program! You can now access our latest issue of the our program's newsletter, the Wolfpack's Waggle, which can also be found as usual through:

5/10/22 - WCBA Meeting - 7:00 pm, Wake County Commons Building 4011 Carya Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610

5/15/2022 - Hands on the hive 1:30 pm - Oak View County Park 4028 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610 

5/21/22 - WCBA Presenting - Introduction to Honey Bees and Beekeeping at Pullen Park Community Center - Saturday May 21  - 10:00 am.

6/14/22 -  WCBA Meeting - 7:00 pm, Wake County Commons Building 4011 Carya Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610 

6/12/2022 - Hands on the hive 1:30 pm - Oak View County Park 4028 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610


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