Honey Tasting Contest - Bring your fresh honey in a squeeze bottle!


July 2022 WCBA Newsletter Meeting 

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

July 12 Meeting
We are meeting at Wake County Commons Building
4011 Carya Drive Raleigh, NC 27613

 7:00 pm -  Ice Cream Social - Come in person and enjoy!

WCBA will provide a selection of ice creams from Brewster’s - come early, eat a little ice cream and visit with your fellow beekeepers. (No 7:00 pm workshop this month.)

7:30 pm - Preparing for the 2022 NC State Fair:

Danny Jaynes, Jim Blye and Tony Gaddis will discuss the upcoming NC State Fair (October 13 - 23) and how you can contribute to the WCBA booth and exhibit your own bee related products.

Danny will describe the range of submissions available so you can begin preparing. Jim and Tony will discuss our club’s plans and areas where your help is needed.

Town Hall:  Wake County Beekeepers Association

Do you have an opinion about what we are doing well and, more importantly, what we should be doing?

This is your club… you have a voice and this is the perfect opportunity for you to exercise that voice. As usual Zoom will be supported but… being in person will give you’re the opportunity to be vocal about what you think our club should be doing.

Honey Tasting Contest:  Bring your fresh honey!

This is an opportunity to share some of your fresh honey in an informal honey tasting contest. Everyone will have an opportunity to be the judge and the grand prize will be…. bragging rights!

If possible, bring your honey in squeeze bottles – we will provide everything else.

Zoom meeting – WCBA Meeting July 12:

Topic: WCBA July Meeting

Time: Jul 12, 2022 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 828 5195 6260

Passcode: 331855

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. 

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:

  • 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, 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.

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:  jimblye@gmail.com  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 tony_gaddis95@yahoo.com

July 2022 in the Bee Yard
Chris Hagwood

The heat is certainly upon us now.  Working in the bee yard means you will need to stay hydrated and plan for breaks.  While mid-day is recommended for opening the hive, my experience is that bees do fine later in the day when it’s a bit cooler.  I currently teach a beekeeping class that meets at 6pm and we’ve been opening hives up until 7:30PM without any issues.

If you’ve been watching your colony’s honey reserves, you’ve probably seen them dwindle recently.  I’ve noticed a measurable decrease in weight between the beginning of June and the beginning if July.  While early June may have provided a bit of nectar, there is virtually nothing for the bees in our area left for them to forage.

Coupled with the heat and dearth, we are heading into the time when varroa mite populations can explode rapidly if left unchecked.  The chart below (borrowed from Randy Oliver’s Scientific Beekeeping website and blog) shows what can happen:

If left unchecked, the overall mite population can overrun and destroy the colony by fall.  

As we’ve passed the summer solstice, bee reproduction will slow and the overall sizes of the colony will shrink.  Bees will prepare for winter by arranging scarce resources close to the brood nest and hoarding pollen.  I’ve noticed that most of mine keep way more pollen than they need, which I find to be a nuisance because they plug up the brood area cells and leave less room for the queen to lay eggs the following spring.  You don’t have to do anything with this extra pollen if you prefer to leave it, but I am careful to replace those frames by spring to reduce chances of swarming.

What is in store for July in the bee yard?

  • FEED your bees.  Only those with significant excesses of natural honey can avoid feeding.  I assisted a beekeeper recently that left a full super of spring honey over double deeps, which should have ended the flow full of honey.  His bees were at risk of starvation already.   Large, active colonies that don’t curtail brood rearing will deplete honey reserves quickly.  Starvation is a real threat and complete colony collapse can occur suddenly when there is nothing left for tens of thousands of bees.
  • REDUCE entrances to prevent robbing.  The threat of starvation is tied directly to the tendency of bee colonies to go on robbing sorties because they need to survive and cannot find any nectar.
  • CHECK FOR MITES and take action.  Mite counts above 3% (9/300) will definitely need to be addressed.  Many are choosing to take action at 5/300.  Options for treatment at this time of year are more limited due to heat.  Apivar, Apiguard, Apilife-Var, and Hopguard are all acceptable with brood present and with higher temperatures.
  • REDUCE space for colonies that have shrunk due to population reduction or swarming.  If you’re running 2 deeps and bees aren’t covering all the frames in both deeps, consider reducing to a single deep for the remainder of the season.  Damage from wax moths and infestation by hive beetles can occur at this time of year.

 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:

lor@charlesharris.com or call her at:  919-749-7129

Liability Warning Signs

During our April meeting, Greg Morrison, our Sergeant-at-Arms, shared his findings regarding warning signs and the potential liability protection from the placement of signs that honey bees sting and to avoid the area around your apiary.  He has observed in multiple locations, including the NC State Fair and small farms, an “agritourism” liability warning sign and its reference to NC General Statute 99E-32.  We know that even the most basic of beekeeping topics can be heavily debated.  Whether this NCGS applies to a hobbyist, sideliner and/or commercial beekeeper can also be debated.  We do agree that during litigation, any defense may help your case. The best source Greg as able to locate is from the North Carolina Agritourism Networking Association, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization and is offered through its website at:  nc-ana.org.  The sign is both durable and appears to adhere to the NCGS.  The cost for the metal sign is $40 before shipping.

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 https://wcba24.wildapricot.org/events

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: https://directory.libsyn.com/shows/view/id/honeybeeobscura
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:

7/12/22 -  WCBA Meeting - 7:00 pm, Wake County Commons Building 4011 Carya Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610

7/17/2022 - Hands on the hive 1:30 pm - Oak View County Park 4028 Carya Drive, Raleigh, NC 27610


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