August 2022 WCBA Newsletter Meeting 

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

August 9 Meeting
We are meeting at Wake County Commons Building
4011 Carya Drive Raleigh, NC 27613

 7:00 pm -  Preparing the bees for Winter.   

  Now is the time to start preparing the honey bees for winter.  The goal is to be able to get all the hives you are managing by November through the winter and ready for the spring flow and the excitement that goes with it.  Gordon Goeking will present this topic that has been primarily put together by Rick Bordeaux.  

Gordon Goeking  has been a beekeeper since 2008.  He is a journeyman beekeeper and currently has 11 beehives in 3 locations within Wake County.  He has learned the importance of being diligent in the management of our esteemed honey bee and values greatly the requirement to have a good honey bee management plan along with data in place to improve the potential for good outcomes in the practice of managing honey bees.  He is currently the Secretary of the WCBA.  

7:30 pm - Small Hive Beetles (SHB) 

Jennifer Keller, Agriculture Research Technician, NCSU

The small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) is a major pest that can cause honey bee colonies to decline and possibly perish. Destruction can be extensive. Jennifer will discuss SHB identification, basic biology, life cycle, and how this pest affects a hive of bees.  She will discuss some of the traps on the market and several best practices to help keep the problems to a minimum. 

Now is the time to understand this pest, monitor for its presence and take action as needed.

Jennifer Keller is the apiculture technician at NCSU working with Dr. David Tarpy.  Her duties include maintaining all the hives at NCSU, helping students with their various research projects, and engaging in extension talks to beekeepers across the state.

Zoom meeting – WCBA Meeting August 9:

Topic: WCBA August Meeting

Time: Aug 9, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 840 3527 8841

Passcode: 444886

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. 


The Honey Tasting Contest was a huge success! We had 17 participants with 21 different samples! It was amazing to see the different colors and the wide range of tastes & smells. We mostly had wildflower varieties but did have two sourwood samples.

We had four winners that tied with the most votes:

  • Susan Benton 
  • Elisa Bailey
  • Chris Hagwood
  • Cary Orange. 
Unfortunately, we couldn’t split the prize (free trip to Rocky Mount) four ways, so the winners can only strut their stuff until the next Contest! Thanks to Keith Buchanan for organizing it and to all those who participated!

We encourage you to come out to the monthly meetings.  It is a great time to share with your fellow beekeepers and enjoy some time to talk about honey bees and see what others are doing!  

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:

  • 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, 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.

Kim Rossi Celebration of Life Saturday August 20 3 pm at

Garden Supply Company 

RSVP:  You're invited to "Celebration of Life for Kimberly Rossi." Tap here to RSVP - Paperless Post Card

We have included below how you can print off a name badge from the WCBA website.  Print off your badge when you come to the next meeting, we have plastic badge protectors to provide you.  If you do not bring a badge we have badges you can use to write your name on it.  Please wear badges as they help us to better get to know each other.  

Honey Bee Day August 13 at the NC State Farmer's Market - Raleigh

Do you like to talk about honeybees or beekeeping? Did you attend Bee School and learn anything interesting that you would like to share? If yes, we invite you to participate in Honeybee Day at the State Farmers Market on Saturday, August 13.  We have divided the day into two slots, one from 9 am to 1 pm and the second from noon to 4 pm. We will have 2 tables, table cloths and a display with beekeeping equipment and pictures.  You are invited to participate by talking to people who walk by to look or ask questions. This event is great for the first time volunteer, as well as any beekeeper. If you want to bring something for the table, please do.  The link to the sign up genius is shown below:

Upcoming Conferences:

BugFest is Satuday September 17, 2022.  The theme this year is arthropods.

Jim Blye has volunteered to be the BugFest coordinator for the WCBA.  We do need volunteers to join the team.  Bugfest is a very interesting event and a good time to talk with the community about Honey Bees and beekeeping and enjoy some time with members of the WCBA.  We have a display and normally we have an observation hive at BugFest.  Consider helping this year and get in contact with Jim Blye:  It is a fun day and all volunteers get a free T-shirt.   Who doesn't want a free T-shirt with a bug on it?

North Carolina State Fair Volunteers needed

The North Carolina State Fair is October 13-23 this year.  Tony Gaddis has volunteered to be our State Fair Coordinator and a team is being formed to begin work on the WCBA booth for the NC State Fair.  A first meeting was held via ZOOM and several WCBA members have joined the team.  There is an opportunity for you to join the team and help the WCBA have an outstanding booth this year.  Being a member on the team helps you to make friends with other members and to learn more about beekeeping, the NC State Beekeepers Association and the NC State Fair.  A good time is had by all. 

We have already official requested a booth and been accepted.  We will be completing the booth registration with our list of items that will be displayed in the booth.  Tony Gaddis is the coordinator for this effort and all ideas, suggestions and volunteers can reach him at

August 2022 in the Bee Yard
Chris Hagwood

If you’re anything like me, you have had a hard time working with your bees.  The heat has been brutal.  Combined with the dearth, it is making it a tough time of year for us and the bees.

I believe the heat is only a problem for beekeepers, and is not an issue for the bees.  Bearding is often regarded with concern and a common reaction is to want to add space and ventilation to cool the bees.  But bees are bearding because they have little foraging to do and they need to stay out of the way to allow air to circulate through the hive for thermal regulation. I run solid bottoms and solid migratory tops and only focus on ventilation when I am transporting hives.  You’re safe to leave a standard hive as-is and skip complex strategies to ventilate it if you wish.  

I completed 50 samples to check my mite levels in the past couple of weeks.  Even starting by 9am, it was brutally hot.  It took me 3 days to complete them all.  I had extremely variable results with many colonies still below the threshold of mite detection (zero mites in the 300 bee sample) but a few at well over 20 and one with too many mites to count.  I applied Apiguard to everything with more than 3 mites in the sample.  I will, of course, end up sampling at least every one of those again soon to see if it was effective.  So my days of sweating in the bee yard aren’t over.

 I found a colony with too many varroa mites to count!  I treated it with Apiguard  I hope the mite situation can be brought under control quickly.

I’m also feeding nearly every colony.  Some desperately need it, while others get some syrup too because I want them to avoid consuming their real honey in order to save it for winter when they are most vulnerable.

While I haven’t had any dramatic reduction in colony size, it is often necessary to reduce the space in the hive this time of year.  If the colony swarmed late, requeened, or otherwise shrank to the point that they cannot cover all the brood and honey frames, it’s time to reduce space.  If left alone, hive beetles can lay eggs that hatch and take over the precious comb.  When confronted with hive beetle larvae and the fungal slime that comes with them, the bees will often abscond and the hive will be quickly consumed by the the beetles.  Even small reductions in colony size can result in some wax moth larvae tunneling through the comb.  I have sometimes replaced empty brood comb with foundation frames and placed them near the sides of the brood box.  Beetles nor wax moths care much for foundation (especially plastic) so the bees don’t have to patrol it like they do empty brood comb.

By late August, you may want to assess your colonies for their chances to survive winter.  With experience, you will learn signs of struggling colonies that aren’t likely to survive.  I identify those by month’s end and combine them with another colony to overwinter.  This saves resources and prevents weak ones from being overrun with beetles or moths.

To summarize:

  • Continue FEEDING your bees unless they are still heavy with honey (a full super or upper deep).
  • KILL VARROA MITES NOW to allow the colony to raise healthy brood to prepare for winter.  Bees have noticed that the days are getting shorter and they are readying their colony for winter now.
  • REDUCE SPACE if bees are leaving comb unattended to avoid damage from hive beetles or wax moths.  Even a high presence of beetles on the inner cover is fine so long as bees can cover comb and keep beetles from laying eggs.
  • Provide a WATER SOURCE if your bees don’t have access to water nearby.  They need it to dilute their stored honey and to cool the hive on hot days.
  • ENJOY the beekeeping journey!

 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

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:

8/9/22 -  WCBA Meeting - 7:00 pm, Wake County Commons Building 4011 Carya Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610

8/13/22 - Honey Day at the NC State Farmer's Market.  

8/21/2022 - Hands on the hive 1:30 pm - Oak View County Park 4028 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610


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