May 2023 WCBA Newsletter  

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

May 9 Meeting

WCBA May 9, 2023 Meeting 

7:00 to 7:30 -  Workshop: Hands on Look at Feeders 

(Workshop will be in person only and not on Zoom). 

The spring nectar flow is well under way but… do you wonder how you will feed your bees during the upcoming dearth? The workshop this month will be a review of alternative ways to feed your colonies. Various feeders will be available for you to see and evaluate if they will work for you.

7:30 -  Dealing with Varroa: Panel Discussion - Zoom will start with this session.  

Join us this month for a panel discussion on dealing with varroa mites. This moderated discussion with address the importance of proactively addressing mites. Our panel will include beekeepers with varying levels of experience who will share their experiences; both successes and lessons learned.

There are many options for controlling varroa mites, including preventative, non-chemical, soft chemical, and hard chemical treatments. There is no “one size fits all” approach to varroa mite treatments and each option has its limitations. More importantly, using a variety of ways to treat varroa mites is essential for avoiding resistance.

Come ask questions and hear practical advice from your fellow Wake County beekeepers so you are better prepared to have healthy happy bees.

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. 

For those joining remotely for the meeting:

Topic: WCBA May Monthly Meeting

Time: May 9, 2023 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 892 7851 3673

Passcode: 119427

WCBA 2023 Financial Update through April 30

Income -                    $10,372.00


    Beekeeping School -                    $3,904.00

    Memberships -                             $3,021.00

    General Donations -                        $984.00

    Raffle for NCSU Endowment -    $1,870.00


Expenses -                $1,625.78


    General Expenses  -                      $750.30

    Beekeeping School -                      $541.63

    Swarm Capture Poles -                 $159.85


Current Bank Balance $29,198.60

We will be voting on two items in the May meeting:

1.  We are adding a responsibility to the Treasurer to prepare an annual budget each year for review and approval by the membership.  The added responsibility below has been approved by the WCBA Executive Committee and the membership will vote on this in the May meeting.  

  • TREASURER:  “He/She shall establish a budget each calendar year, review it and have it approved by the executive committee by December of that year.  The budget is then presented to the membership by January of each year for review and approval.

2.  Because we are adding this responsibility to the Treasurer, it is the WCBA Executive Committee view that the following policy is no longer needed:

  • Policy Statement:

    Honorarium payments are to be offered to guest speakers who present the regular WCBA monthly program meeting. Guest speakers are defined as non-WCBA members which by extension would exempt WCBA officers and directors.

    Honorarium payments for a night will be $50 unless more is required which will need to be approved by the Executive Committee in advance.

    Honoraria will not be paid out to guest Bee School speakers.

Both items will be reviewed and put forward for a vote at the May 9 meeting.

Donations and Volunteers Needed for June 3rd at Lonerider Brewing (Wake Forest Taproom)

We are collecting donations for various themed gift baskets for the Bee Fest at Lonerider on June 3rd.  

Donations Signup:

PLEASE BRING ALL ITEMS COLLECTED TO THE MAY 6TH PICNIC OR THE MAY 9TH WCBA MEETING so they can be provided to the volunteer arranging the gift baskets for the raffle. 

NOTE : Some items needed that have not yet been donated will be purchased and will be available at the picnic and the May meeting for "sponsorship" by club members that would like to provide them.  The cost of the item will be displayed and a cash donation accepted to support the event.

NEXT, we have a signup below to volunteer for the event.  Please review the slots and volunteer if you can attend.  We are going to have a lot of fun, so come be part of this with us!

Staffing Signup

Fundraiser Festival at Lonerider Taproom Wake Forest

Where: Lonerider Brewing1839 S Main St Suite 600, Wake Forest, NC 27587 

When:  Saturday June 3    12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Thanks to everyone who has signed up for the swarm team.  We have over 80 folks, including a number of observers!  

My favorite part of swarm team is sharing bee facts with the curious on-lookers.  The kids loved trying on the extra veil and gloves, touching the empty frames in the swarm box, and making sure the marshmallows were sweet enough for the bees on their way to their new home.  

If you receive a swarm call or see a post on our FaceBook page, please touch base with the swarm captain for that area before heading out.  Here is the link to the Swarm Team on the website:

If you have committed to collect a swarm, please let the homeowner know about when you will arrive.  If things change, just let the homeowner and your swarm captain know so someone else can respond.  Thanks!  

Also, several people have called about cut outs, or hives in houses or trees.   Due to liability, this is not a service WCBA provides.  Please refer folks to this website:

WCBA Mentor Program

At the end of March, 2023 Mentor Program assignments were issued! This program does not exist without your participation, and it is a huge program this year! Thank you to everyone involved. We were able to assign 44 mentees to 20 mentors and 14 bee buddies. Thank you so much to all of you for your participation! Program Lead Katie Webber will check in periodically with the groups this year – but reach out to her if you have any questions. If you would still like to sign up to be a mentee, bee buddy, or even a mentor this year or next, please reach out directly to Katie Webber.  

**Announcing the Wake County Beekeepers May Photo Contest!**

"Pollen Pants"

Submissions may be photos of anything and everything bee related. Come and give winning your best shot! Each club member is eligible to enter two black and white AND two color photographs per month*.

·  To enter for the month of May, photos AND TITLES OF SHOTS should be submitted to Jenny Ingraham at by 12 pm on Friday, May 26th

·  Photos will be uploaded to a secure site and club members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite snaps. 

*Submissions must be original content captured by club members in order to be eligible for entry.

The winning photographs for the month of May will be announced at the club meeting in June and will receive:

  • 1 loaf of homemade bread (pictured below)
  • 1/2 lb. fresh honey butter

AND will be showcased at our Wake County Beekeepers table at the State Fair in October!

We will be offering multiple Hands on the Hive sessions with Mr. Buzz, a.k.a. club member Ben Crawley  as OPEN SESSIONS 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 and are limited to 25 participants per session: (NOTE START TIME CHANGED to 2:00 pm).

  • May 21 at 2:00 pm
  • June 25 at 2:00 pm
  • July 16 at 2:00 pm
  • August 20 at 2:00 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 2:00 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. 

If you have not taken your certified beekeeper written test and would like to take that test, please contact Susan Benton directly to make those arrangements.



We started selling raffle tickets in March during our 2023 WCBA Bee School and monthly meetings.  We had the drawing at our April meeting.  EACH OF YOU made it a great success!  THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for helping us raise almost $2,000 to help ensure the perpetuity of the Apiculture Program at NC State.


The winner of Kim Rossi’s overwintered bees and two hives of equipment was Karen States of Apex.  Even though Karen’s husband kept bees with his father, this is her first year and her new colony is doing well.  [The colony of bees and equipment in the picture on the left were some of Karen’s winnings.]


The 2nd place prize winner of the equipment donated by Darren Smith was Bill Tracy of South Raleigh.  Bill started beekeeping in 2021 and winning this equipment is helping him get to his goal of four colonies.

 A critical objective of YOUR bee club is to encourage the study and research of the honeybee.  In that regard, ALL proceeds from this raffle will be donated to the endowment for the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association Faculty Award in Apiculture.

The REAL winner is the Honey Bee!

THANKS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU for helping fund the endowed professorship.

If you missed this opportunity to give back and show YOUR passion for this effort, we will be having another raffle at our WCBA Fundraising Festival on Saturday, June 3 at Lonerider Brewing, Wake Forest.  DON’T MISS IT!

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

May 2023 in the Bee Yard
Chris Hagwood

We are wrapping up April with nearly all good news.  In my area, the main nectar flow arrived and the bees started to work it into honey supers.  Until the flow arrived, I didn’t have much luck with comb-building outside of some newly caught swarms, which are primed to make new comb.

Once our tulip poplars and blackberry bloomed, the bees started bringing in the nectar.  Just prior, in a few of my colonies that didn’t swarm, I was getting some early honey production.  I took a few supers and harvested the capped frames and put them back to refill.  In other colonies that had swarmed and requeened, it was hit or miss if the population rebounded in time to bring in surplus honey.  It really shows you how much difference a swarm makes in honey production.

Our flow this year was a good 3 weeks early, so I will be surprised if we get much more in May.  My records indicate mine are usually done by the end of May and I am loading hungry bees to the mountains for sourwood by the 3rd week of June.

A good indicator of a significant nectar flow is the level of interest in honey residue or frames left exposed to bees outside the hive.  I am only getting a few bees landing on frames left in my bee truck right now.  In just a few weeks, they will be robbed dry in an afternoon once the bees find them.  Behind that will come a tendency to rob and all the other effects of the dearth.

What can you do in the bee yard in May?

  • Newly established colonies, especially those from packages will need to be fed again unless they have established all the comb you need for winter.  It is best to see if they will build more comb in May because it will likely end altogether in June.  So feed if they will take it.
  • All the spring production of brood can leave a colony suffering from mite infestations, so it’s time to check your mite levels again and take action if the level is higher than 9 mites in your ½ cup sample.
  • Available pollen will likely be plentiful after the nectar has slowed, so I don’t recommend additional pollen substitutes.
  • How does your colony behave when the nectar dries up?  If you allowed colonies that were overly defensive or aggressive during the flow to keep their queen, you will have a very hard time entering the hive when it dries up.  Now would be a good time to requeen anything that is aggressive or failed to thrive in the nectar flow.
  • For more experienced beekeepers or those making increases, May represents the last weeks to get in free comb building and the best conditions for mating new queens.  Splits made later in the season will require feeding and you may not get the amount of new comb you expect when they quit altogether.
  • Finally, May is a good time to harvest your honey supers.  I leave a full super made with old, dark comb for the bees to use, and keep supers used exclusively for honey.  These light colored wax frames are easier to keep out wax moths and hive beetles after the harvest.  When nearly all the frames are capped (it’s common for the outer most cells on the outside frames to remain uncapped) you can safely harvest the honey without fear of too much moisture content.

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.

Upcoming Workshops and Conferences :   


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