December 2023 WCBA Newsletter  

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

December 12 Meeting

7:00 PM:   WCBA 2023 Potluck Holiday Gathering

Come join us for fun and food at our 2022 holiday gathering on December 12 at the Wake Commons building. This is a perfect time to visit and catch up with fellow club members. We will also have a short awards ceremony where we will recognize WCBA members who have made significant contributions to our club during 2022.

Here is the link to sign up:

Sign Me Up!

The club will provide 40 servings of ham, paper products, plastic-ware, bottled water and a few soft drinks.

There are two parts to the sign-up:

1.    I will be attending and how many people will be with you

2.    Selecting what food you plan to bring and share.

It would great if you can bring a main dish or two sides/deserts.

Please let us know even if you will attend without bringing food so we have an accurate head count.

We look forward to having you come and celebrate this past year and share your bee stories with your fellow beekeepers. 

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. 

There is No Zoom available for the Holiday Gathering!

WCBA Membership

At the November meeting, the WCBA Membership approved this change to Article 4 in the Bylaws:

Article 4  DUES
  • The annual dues shall be $20.00 per year and shall be due on January 1 of each year.  Anyone living permanently in the same dwelling may pay $30 per year under a family/household membership option.  

  • Any member of the Association who does not pay dues by February 1 shall be dropped from the membership roll.  A person may be restored to active membership by paying the current year’s dues.  Payment of dues at the regular rate on or after September 1 is considered payment for the remainder of that year and all of the following calendar year.

  • Dues reflected in this Article are inclusive of any costs associated with payment processing.

2024 WCBA Executive Committee

 In the October meeting, the Following WCBA members were elected to be the 2024 WCBA Executive Committee.

  • President – Chris Hagwood      
  • Vice President – Lee Clark-Sellers 
  • Secretary – April Reeves 
  • Treasurer – Tony Gaddis 
  • Sergeant-at-Arms – Jill Perkins 
  • Program Chair – Krissy Ross 
  • Selva Ganapahy (2024)
  • Susan Benton (2024 and 2025)
  • Erica Adams (2024-2026)

In addition Jim Blye will continue to be Past President and a member of the WCBA Executive Committee 

WCBA 2023 Financial Update through November 30

Income -                       $13,661.64


  • Beekeeping School -                     $4,109.00
  • Memberships -                              $3,943.00
  • General Donations -                      $1,159.54
  • NCSU Endowment Fundraising-   $3,587.00

Expenses -                    $16,163.54


  • General Expenses  -                     $2,280.13 
  • Beekeeping School -                     $1,221.63 
  • Swarm Capture Poles -                 $  159.85    
  • NCSU Endowment Donation-       $7,800.00
  • NCSU Dr Tarpy Donation              $1,000.00
  • Wild Apricot ( 2 year payment)      $2,856.00
  • State Fair                                       $  497.63

Current Bank Balance $17,950.48 

We will have WCBA T-Shirts and Hats for purchase at each Meeting!  T-Shirts are $15.00 and hats are $12.00.  

After having our initial order of T-Shirts depleted, we have a fresh supply of colors and sizes for all T-Shirts and a lot of hats to keep sun off our heads.  They will be for sale at the June meeting.  If you want to make arrangements to purchase outside of the meeting, contact treasurer@

WCBA New Beekeeper School in early 2024

We are planning on having our 2024 New Beekeeper School on Tuesday evening starting on January 23 and running through March 19 for a total of 9 weeks.  We will overlap with the February and March meetings and course content those evenings will be adapted to allow attendees to attend the WCBA monthly meetings.  Details will be forthcoming.  

NCSBA Master Beekeeper Program

The written test for the Certified Level of the NCSBA Master Beekeeper Program will be offered at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 before our regular monthly meeting.  Please meet in the classroom on the left side of the hall after you pass the security desk. The NCSBA website shows the topics to study and includes a sample quiz.

How to become a Certified Beekeeper – NCSBA (

If you would like to take the test, please notify Susan Benton by text at 919-961-5600 or e-mail You must be a member of the NCSBA to take the test. The Practical test will be offered again in the spring.

  • December 2023 in the Bee Yard

Chris Hagwood

The warm weather has spoiled me. I have been doing some supplemental feeding, and the warm weather has allowed me to keep this up for several more weeks than I would have thought.  I am comfortable feeding syrup as long as our days are warm and the nights aren’t too cold.  So, any hive that has felt underweight has been getting some more syrup.  I think I am finally done, and hope this means I will not have to add any more feed before the spring nectar flow.

So, now we’re about to move into December, and our only task at this point is to keep an eye on the stores in our colonies, and perhaps do some mite clean-up.  If your colonies have good stores, you can likely avoid any need for supplemental feeding through all of December and into January.  

If you expect the need to feed your bees more this winter, now is a good time to prepare sugar bricks.  Simply add tiny amounts of water to granulated sugar and mix thoroughly.  You can press the sugar into a form to harden into a brick that you can lay directly on the top bars of your hives.   Some add a small amount of pollen powder or patties to their sugar bricks, but I haven’t found that needed or particularly helpful.

Alternately, you can opt to lay a paper towel or newspaper directly on the top bars and pour dry sugar into the hive.  If you have no shim to go above this layer of sugar, you can pour the sugar thin and invert the inner cover to allow about ¼-⅜ inch of space above the frames.

And now is a great time to do assembly and prep for the 2024 season.  If you are assembling frames and such, and are choosing plastic foundation, I recommend you add some wax to the foundation.  I apply beeswax to the plastic foundation similar to coloring with a crayon.  I soften the wax with heat (a hair dryer works) and rub it on the plastic sheet to get a layer of wax on the tips of the plastic cells.  This seems to help the bees get started a little more quickly.  

In summary, December (and January) will test your bees, but our climate is mild enough that we can make a few mistakes and the bees will probably be just fine.

  • Prepare - prepare for 2024 now, so you have equipment assembled and plans made
  • Feed - feed any colonies that run dangerously low on supplies.  It’s OK to overdo this one and add solid feed to colonies that don’t really need it.
  • Clean Up Mites - in your colonies.  Some over winter with Apivar, but I find some oxalic acid applied in early December does a good job of reducing mites to zero or near zero on the colony.
  • January 4-6, 2024 - Hive Live Conference and Tradeshow 2024, Sevierville, Tennessee
  • January 4-6, 2024 - North American Honey Bee Expo 2024, Louisville, Kentucky (Kamon Reynolds).
  • March 7-9, 2024 - Spring NCSBA Meeting New Bern Waterfront Convention Center, New Bern, NC 
  • July 11-13, 2024 - Summer NCSBA Meeting 

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 2023Login 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.


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