November 2022 WCBA Newsletter  

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

November 8 Meeting
We are meeting via ZOOM only this month 

7:30 PM:  Critical Thinking Beekeeping - Rob Overton

Have you ever taken a step back and asked yourself, why am I doing this? Beekeepers tend to get into a rhythm of managing their bees based upon what they have been told or read in a book, often to the detriment of our bees. In this presentation I will share some thoughts on popular beekeeping myths and not so popular alternatives.  An key goal is working to convince all beekeepers to continually evaluate their methods in an effort to be the best beekeeper they can be.

Rob Overton

Rob Overton is a second generation beekeeper, with 45+ years of beekeeping experience, who has spent the last couple of decades focusing on the study of feral bees and hive thermodynamics in an effort to promote self-sustaining northern beekeeping.  He was a founding partner of and the creator of the Bushkill bee vac.  Rob also served as contributing beekeeping expert to  the Wildlife Pro Network to help nuisance wildlife professionals add honeybee removals to their business model and not refer them to exterminators. 

In addition to his full-time employment as a computer engineer, he runs about 50 hives and manufactures bee vacs in his spare time. 

Zoom meeting – WCBA Meeting November 8:

Zoom will be active a little before 7:30

Topic: WCBA Nov Monthly Mtg

Time: Nov 8, 2022 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 854 6281 3047

Passcode: 113445

North Carolina State Fair was a great time.  

The WCBA NC State Fair Booth committee did the install of our booth on October 8th and 9th.  We had the outstanding help of Christin Danchi's sister, Andrea, whose artistic eye organized the display.  Watching our team work together before the fair, during the set up (and comparing to the efforts on other booths), we believe that we had a blue ribbon for teamwork!  The judging was held on Monday and Tuesday before the fair.  The WCBA booth received a 5th place overall for the booth.  This was a bit of a surprise and disappointment for us.  However, it has inspired us for the NC State Fair of 2023!  We received 16 ribbons for classes in the booth and 8 ribbons for individual entries.  Danny and Mary Jaynes won the Individual Sweepstakes award for having the most ribbon points as an individual.  Congratulations to Danny and Mary!  

The WCBA team really enjoyed working on this project and we were very proud of our efforts.  We are going to get an even earlier start next year and look forward having more members participate in this wonderful event.  

We want to thank all those who participated in the NC State Fair Competitions.  It is an excellent way to learn more about honey bees and how to present some aspect of keeping honey bees by competing at the NC State Fair.  We had an excellent team who put together our WCBA booth at the fair this year and we thank all those who helped. 

In addition, we want to congratulate all those who submitted entries in the competition and who prizes.  Here is the list of those who won ribbons and individual prizes.  When you see them, please congratulate them and begin now to think about how you can enter the NC State Fair competitions in 2023

Winners from Wake County Beekeepers:

Blue Ribbon (First Place)

  • Three containers (not less than 12 oz. size) creamed honey - Christin Danchi
  • Pure beeswax single block (not less than 10 pounds) - Chris Hagwood
  • Display of pure beeswax products - carvings, models, etc. – Jim and Cindy Blye
  • Quilts (suitable for wall hanging) - Ray Mann

Blue Ribbon (First Place) - Junior Honey

  • Display of pure beeswax products - candles, carvings, models, novelties, etc. - Kylie Wester

Red Ribbon (Second  Place)

  • One frame with comb for extracting -  Danny and Mary Jaynes
  • Display of extracted honey (not less than 50 pounds) Danny and Mary Jaynes
  • Display of pure beeswax molded or rolled candles Jim and Cindy Blye
  • One gift package of bee products suitable for sale to public - WCBA Fair Committee

White Ribbon (Third Place)

  • Three jars (not less than 14 oz. size) chunk, comb honey, light Chris Hagwood
  • Three containers (not less than 12 oz. size) creamed honey (with added flavors) Tom Krupa
  • Novelty items containing beeswax - similar to Class 16 but products other than beeswax may be used and may be painted.  Day of the Dead Chris Hagwood
  • Decorative Items Bee Cross Stitch Christin Danchi
  • Paintings Bindu Bhakta

Fourth Place

  • Display of 12 most important nectar-producing plants. Danny and Mary Jaynes
  • Display of pure beeswax dipped tapered candles, 8-12 inches. No dyes. Two candles per entry. -  WCBA Fair Committee

Fifth Place

  • County Association Display Booth - WCBA Fair Committee

Individual Awards

  • First -  Display of pure beeswax molded or rolled candles -  Danny and Mary Jaynes
  • First - Light Amber Honey - Jim Blye
  • Second - Pure beeswax single block (not less than 10 pounds) - Danny and Mary Jaynes
  • Second  - Novelty items containing beeswax - similar to Class 16 but products other than beeswax may be used and may be painted. Danny and Mary Jaynes
  • Second - One black and white print of a honey bee or beekeeping related scene - Katie Webber
  • Fourth - Two bottles of non-carbonated sweet mead - Fred Tarver

NC State Beekeepers Association Honey Sales at the NC State Fair were a success.  The NCSBA wants to thank the WCBA for our participation:

The recent honey sale was a great success. There is a great team of volunteers to give credit which includes the members of the Wake County Beekeepers Association (WCBA). The sales for Saturday, October 15 were over $6,000 and just shy of the record set the next day of $6,160. Obviously the honey booth was in good hands on Saturday with the WCBA in charge. The net monies to the NCSBA for the overall honey sales project this year was approximately $15,600. The total net proceeds from the honey sales since 2014 have made it possible for the NCSBA to have confidence in the $250,000 pledge that the NCSBA has made to the NC Agricultural Foundation for the endowed professorship in apiculture at NC State University. 

Many thanks go out to the Wake county beekeepers for their pledge to the endowment and their support at the honey booth!






 Who has helped you be a better beekeeper this year? Who has been there to explain beekeeping to the community? Who do you call when your hive needs some help? Who had that special hive treatment that you needed? Who was always willing to answer that same question that they had probably answered a hundred times before??? Which new beekeeper really jumped in and helped the Club?

Now there is a way to thank those folks.  You can nominate one or more members of the WCBA by going to the link below and complete the nomination form.  Provide as much information as you can and then submit the form: 

Nominate a WCBA member for a 2022 award

You can nominate members for the following awards:   

  • PIONEER (Legacy) Award.

Nominations are due Tuesday, Nov 8th and awards will be presented at our December meeting. For more information, contact Tom Wells,

November 2022 in the Bee Yard
Chris Hagwood

October turned out pretty mild so far, and gave me plenty of opportunities to feed my colonies with heavy syrup.  Some have put it away as stored honey, but several seem to burn through it.  I suspect it’s due to rearing a good deal of brood.  I will keep feeding them and hope they are going to store more of it soon.

I am also looking in on the colony cluster.  I found one had stopped taking syrup and the cluster was reduced to just 3 seams of bees.  This colony has no chance to survive in my opinion.  It was not a particularly productive colony in late summer, but didn’t seem to trail off until October.  Mite numbers weren’t great, but were never terrible and I kept them low with a treatment early in the fall.  So, nothing left to do but remove the queen and combine the bees and frames of honey with another colony.  I will look for one that has not stored up much honey and use those frames in that one.

I also have already reduced the space allowed for the colonies.  Some are in a single deep, but most are in a deep plus a medium super.  A few are in 3 mediums.  

Aside from feeding, and removing excess space, there is little for you to do in order to get your bees through winter.  I no longer fret over winter moisture, as I don’t do anything special to absorb it, nor do I allow for extra ventilation.  I see bees on mild winter days taking in a great amount of water, so I believe our cold dry air leaves them needing more moisture than they are harboring in the hive.  These are my observations and experience, but I don’t see that if you are doing extra work to ventilate or absorb moisture in your hive that you will be doing any harm.

Moving into November, limit your inspections.  There is very little that you can do for them besides feeding.  Don’t break up the cluster as this will cause them to work extra hard to get the temperature back up after you are done.  If you must, just lift covers or supers/hive bodies to see if bees are maintaining a large enough cluster (5-6 seams of bees) and have plenty of stores.  You can supplement with dry sugar or “candy boards” if you believe they are running low.  Feel free to add those sooner if you wish, or wait and put them on later in winter if you find them getting light from eating most of their honey.

Lastly, if you used any queen excluders, now is a good time to get them out.  I use them to keep the brood down in the deep hive body so the medium is all honey stores.  I will pull the queen excluders out in the coming week or so.  While the common logic is that the cluster will abandon the queen and move up into honey above the excluder, I’ve read that the cluster stays with the queen and can risk starving by staying below the honey stores.  Also, metal excluders exposed to the cold will sap heat from a cluster that is in contact with the excluders.

 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

Proposed change in by-laws to be presented for a vote at the December Meeting 

Your Executive Committee is recommending the following changes to the WCBA By-Laws to add clarity around the current responsibilities of the Sergeant-At-Arms and the Program Chair.  Please find the current language in the WCBA By-Laws just below as well as the proposed changes to the responsibilities for each officer.  The primary objective here is to clearly state who has responsibility for securing meeting space and also for the content and running of the programs at each meeting.  The Executive Committee voted in our most recent meeting to present this to the WCBA members for your review and to have you vote on this change.  This notice will be in the November and December newsletter and we will vote on these changes at the December meeting.  If you have any questions, please contact Keith Buchanan. 

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.

Upcoming Conferences:

NC State Apiculture Program Latest Newsletter
Greetings from the NC State Apiculture Program! You can now access our program's newsletter, the Wolfpack's Waggle, which can also be found as usual through:    Waggle_2022-3 (

11/8/2022 - WCBA Meeting - 7:00 pm. will be a vitual meeting via ZOOM given the facilities we use are not available due to elections. 

12/13/22 -  WCBA Meeting - 7:00 pm, Wake County Commons Building 4011 Carya Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610


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