October 2022 WCBA Newsletter Meeting 

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

October  11 Meeting
We are meeting at Wake County Commons Building
4011 Carya Drive Raleigh, NC 27613

 7:00 PM: Come hangout with your fellow beekeepers!

(No Workshop this month – Zoom will start at 7:30)

Based on member feedback we have scheduled a social gathering in place of this month’s workshop. The club will provide light snacks, bottled water and a small selection of soft drinks.

This is a perfect opportunity to ask questions, catch up with friends and make new ones.

See you there!

7:30 pm - "Honey Bee Colonies as a Super-Organism: That's Incredible!"  - Randall Austin

Randall Austin

Randall’s presentation takes each of the dictionary requirements for a living organism and examines how the colony itself meets those functions, many of which an individual bee cannot do. The thesis is two-fold: 1) there is no such thing as a single honey bee, and 2) we should call ourselves "colony keepers" instead of "beekeepers"?

The presentation is either fun and interesting or really profound, depending on how someone approaches it. There is plenty of information to pique the curiosity of beekeepers of all experience levels.

Randall Austin is a Master Beekeeper in northern Orange County, NC. He is Education Director for Orange County Beekeepers' Association, a Piedmont Regional Director for NCSBA, and co-chair of the NCSBA Master Beekeeper Program Committee. Retired from careers in the pharmaceutical and electric utility industries, Randall enjoys sharing with others about honey bees. He is Headmaster of Orange Beekeepers' annual Bee School and has traveled to Dominican Republic and west Africa to learn and share there. In addition to being an occasional contributor to the NCSBA  Bee Buzz quarterly, for the past 9 years he has written a monthly educational article for Hillsborough's Bailey Bee Supply newsletter, archived here: https://baileybeesupply.com/educational_resources/.

Zoom meeting – WCBA Meeting October 11:

Topic: WCBA October 2022 Monthly Meeting

Time: Oct 11, 2022 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 867 4776 8578

Passcode: 540246

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. 

BugFest was Satuday September 17, 2022.  The day went well.

 We want to thank everyone who volunteered and donated items for this event; those who came and those who donated items.  We had a very good booth and activities and could not have done it without the help of everyone who came.  Volunteers included:  Jim Blye, Susan Benton, Ken Cobb, Tommy Rhodes, Melissa Hall, Jennifer Humeniuk, Greg Morrison, Lee Clark-Sellers, Heather Moscrip, Charles Heatherly, Fred Tarver and Danny Blye. Several members donated items for the WCBA Booth.  Those who donated items included:  Beth Mahler, Chris Hagwood, Jim Blye and Steve Hildebrand. 

The weather was excellent and there were a lot of people who came.  The official count was 18,000 people which was about 2000 more than in 2019.  We encourage each member to participate in these events as you have an opportunity to engage with the community about honey bees, work with some fellow beekeepers and learn in the process.  Below are a few of the pictures from the event.  

The Nomination Committee has presented candidates for Officers and Directors for the WCBA in 2023.  Voting will take place at the October 2022 meeting.  Below are bios and pictures of all the candidates.  All members have the opportunity to nominate someone for an office from the floor at the meeting in October.  

President - Chris Hagwood

Chris Hagwood began beekeeping in 2015 after reading some books about bees and becoming intrigued.  He stopped into a local beekeeping supply store and signed up for their bee school.  He was immediately fascinated with honey bees.  

He joined the WCBA in 2015 and has served as a swarm team captain, a mentor, a mentor coordinator, and a director.  Chris earned his Journeyman Beekeeper certification in 2021.

Chris retired in 2017 and has been building his apiary and bee sideliner business ever since.

Chris is married with 2 adult children and enjoys gardening and home improvement projects.  He currently keeps about 50 colonies and produces queens and nucs, plus honey.

Vice President - Melinda Pfeiffer

I started beekeeping four years ago, when my uncle, a retired Air Force/National Guard and American Airlines 777 pilot, got me set up with two hives, two stands, equipment, and two packages of bees. He has been a beekeeper for about 20 years, and he is happy someone else in the family is showing an interest. His first comment to me was to join my local bee club and to read and study up on bees and beekeeping as much as possible. Currently I have four hives, two at my home and two at the NCSU University Club. The numbers of my colonies fluctuates, but I have never had (nor want to have) more than eight at once.

I have three kids, two who are young adults and just getting launched, and one who is a senior at Broughton H.S., and three cats. I work full-time as a web launch project manager at Lenovo and part-time (one weekend day a week) at Fleet Feet for the employee discount! In my spare time, I run, go to run clubs at local breweries, read a lot, and have a YouTube channel with my twin sister (Twinning with Amy and Melinda).

Secretary - Gordon Goeking

Gordon Goeking has been a member of the WCBA and the NCSBA since 2008.  He originally started keeping honey bees to pollinate the fruits and vegetables that are grown in their home garden.  Beekeeping has become so much more than just pollinating the fruits and vegetables in the garden.  Beekeeping is an incredible hobby and an amazing adventure.  He has learned much about God’s creation from keeping honey bees.  Gordon is a journeyman beekeeper and is working on becoming a master beekeeper within the next two to three years.  He keeps between 5 and 10 bee hives and currently has 11 hives in 3 locations.  Gordon served as secretary of the WCBA in 2012, Vice President in 2019 and 2020 and has been Secretary again in 2021 and 2022.

Treasurer - Tony Gaddis

was lucky to be an engineer for over 40 years and I am pretty much retired from that, sort of.  I have probably been involved in every aspect of computing, data storage and networking.

We have a house in Raleigh and a farm outside of Henderson. How did I get started: I had a farm and a garden and was curious about bees and I loved honey.  That got me started. I have been unsuccessfully keeping bees for about 10 years, however, now that I understand the challenges of Varroa, I hope that will change. I have three hives at the farm and a nuc at the Raleigh house.

I have two older adult sons and our three are in the stages of completing college. My wife has enjoyed the process of harvesting the honey and I hope that she has more time to help in the future.

Qualifications for treasurer:

  • I have had several small businesses and have kept the books for them.
  • I am currently serving as Treasurer for a political candidate committee.
  • Oh, engineering, did a bit of math along the way.

Program Chair - Keith Buchanan 

Honey bees are fascinating creatures both as individuals and as superorganisms. As you learn about bees you quickly realize how much more there is to understand. This complexity and seemingly endless opportunity to explore is what drew Keith to this fascinating hobby.

Keith began keeping bees in 2019 after attending David Bailey’s Beginner Beekeeping Class with his son, Ben.  He joined the Wake County Beekeepers Association that same year.  Beekeeping continued to became a family activity when his wife Janice joined WCBA in 2021 and then attended Wake County Bee School in 2022.

Keith previously served as Sergeant at Arms before becoming Program Chair in 2022.

He became a Certified Beekeeper in the summer of 2021 and attended NCSU’s BEES Academy hosted by Chatham County Beekeepers Association.  He has also attended NCSBA’s Spring and Summer conferences in 2022.

Keith and Janice currently have two colonies that show promise for overwintering this season.  Keith retired in 2016 after 40 years of working for Texas Instruments, LM Ericsson, and IBM.  Keith and Janice have four children and nine grandchildren

Sergeant at Arms - Greg Morrison

Greg retired at the end of 2019 after a career in the financial services industry which brought him from West Virginia to NC.

Greg’s beekeeping began at Christmas in 2014 when his wife believed he had an interest in becoming a beekeeper and surprised him with two packages of bees, a starter set of equipment and lessons. Prior to that time, he had never been around beekeeping. His wife states it then “took on a life of its own”! Greg joined both the NCSBA and WCBA in 2015 and has served as a Director and is the current Sergeant-at-Arms. He is also a member of the 5 County Beekeepers Association. Greg is a Certified Beekeeper through the NCSBA’s Master Beekeeper Program and hopes to achieve the Journeyman Level during 2022. Since becoming a beekeeper, he has attended numerous Spring and Summer NCSBA Meetings and the first BEES Academy in the Fall of 2019. Greg thoroughly enjoys the different mindset needed for beekeeping, the network of bee “helpers” and how the bees will constantly keep you humble. He currently helps nine colonies in two out apiaries and both are too far from his home. He is actively looking for a site or two closer to home.

He is an active, long-term member of Emmanuel Baptist Church, has served as a Deacon and is now Associate Treasurer. Greg’s best friend is his wife, Ann, and he also enjoys his precious time with their grandchildren and the outdoors. He hikes locally and has backpacked 650 miles of the Appalachian Trail.

Three Year Director - Susan Benton

Susan Benton attended WCBA Beginner Beekeeping school and got her first honeybees in 2010.  She received the Certified Beekeeper certificate in Jan 2013 and Journeyman in 2015.  She has helped organize Bee School, volunteered at Bug Fest, State Farmer’s Market, Heritage Day ("Wild About Nature"), and the State Fair for the WCBA.  She served as club Secretary 2016 – 2018, then Treasurer 2019-2022.  She coordinates the club’s Certified testing and interfaces with the NCSBA so members receive their certification. This spring, she helped another member capture a swarm using her bee vacuum. She has 3 beehives in her backyard in Southeast Raleigh, next to her vegetable garden.  She works as Sr Wholesale Billing Analyst for ElectriCities of North Carolina.  She is currently serving her church as the Relief Society President of the Lake Wheeler Ward.  She attended East Carolina University where she earned a BS in Mathematics in 1976 and MA in Mathematics in 1978.  She is married to Steve and they have lived in Raleigh, in the same house, since 1980. Susan loves working with bees, the smells and sounds of the hive, growing a garden, playing ball with her black lab Lucy, and her family.

Two Year Director - fill remaining years of Chris Hagwood's director position  -  Katie Webber

I’ve had a great year so far in the bee yard! I have seven hives right now and in August I have been treating mites, feeding, and catching SHB. I love catching swarms, helping other beekeepers, and posting about beekeeping on @sunshinebeesandhoney on Facebook and Instagram. Cheap self-promotion, I know, I know.  

There is a lot of nostalgia in beekeeping for me. My grandfather kept bees when I was little and although I never participated in his keeping, I always remembered the smell of beeswax in his honey house, even many years after his passing. My cousin and I used to climb up on the counter to take down the honey bear and enjoy some of his honey on a spoon while the adults were otherwise occupied. I started keeping bees in 2020 because the lockdown kept me home and I finally felt I had enough down time to explore the hobby. I almost quit my first mid-summer when the bees started stinging and my hive went queen less, but I found the local beekeeping community and the support I had been missing just in time. I feel strongly that beekeepers need both bees and other beekeepers to be successful!  To this day, crystalized, on a spoon, is still my favorite way to eat honey.  

My wonderful and supportive husband Aditya helped me extract and bottle 15 gallons of honey this year, but he does not keep bees, wrangle bees, look at bees, or do anything that gets him closer than about 30 feet to a beehive. We live in west Raleigh and have a red dog named Mars who also loves honey.

North Carolina State Fair is your opportunity to work with fellow beekeepers to help our booth shine at the fair!

The State Fair is almost here and we are still missing a few items.  We get points toward the booth for all the items and this will give us the best possible ribbon placement.  If you can provide some of these items listed below, it would be very helpful!

Either sign up at the link below or drop Tony Gaddis an email at tony_gaddis95@yahoo.com if you can provide any of the items.

  • One frame with comb for chunk or cut (no wired or plastic foundation)
  • Three sections of comb honey (in section boxes or rounds)
  • Three sections of cut comb honey in containers (suitable for retail) (No liquid)
  • Three jars (not less than 14 oz. size) chunk, comb honey, amber
  • Three jars (not less than 14 oz. size) extracted honey, extra light amber
  • Three jars (not less than 14 oz. size) extracted honey, dark amber
  • Novelty items containing beeswax - similar to Class 16 but products other than beeswax may be used and may be painted
  • Two bottles (approximately 26 oz. capacity each) of non-carbonated sweet mead (no flavor added)
  • Two bottles (approximately 26 oz. capacity each) of mead with fruit
  • Handmade Bee-themed Jewelry

NC State Beekeepers Association Honey Sales at the NC State Fair 

The North Carolina State Beekeepers Association is asking chapter organizations to volunteer to sell honey for one day at the fair.  The WCBA has volunteered to cover Saturday, October 15th. 

One of the biggest benefits of having a bee club is that you get to talk to other local beekeepers and learn from their experiences.  Events like this are a great opportunity to meet WCBA members and to talk with the community about honey and honey bees!   At the same time you will be helping our state bee association with their biggest fundraiser of the year.  The NCSBA has had to skip this event for the past two years due to covid, and needless to say, it has put a big dent in their budget. So please help us make this year's event a success.

Your admission to the fair will be reimbursed at the event.  Just work a shift or two and spend the rest of the day at the fair.  On top of all of that, your participation counts as a service credit toward your journeyman or master beekeeper certification.

It is suggested that you purchase advance tickets if possible to help reduce expenses.

Sign up at https://tinyurl.com/StateFairHoneySales2022

NC State Beekeepers Association signup for days other than October 15

The NCSBA also needs volunteers for other days of the state fair.
 Honey sales:

Information booth:  https://tinyurl.com/StateFairInfoBooth22






 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. Watch the Club website for the nomination forms for the BEEKEEPER OF THE YEAR, OUTSTANDING NEW BEEKEEPER, VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR, OUTSTANDING SPONSOR AWARD AND PIONEER (Legacy) Award.

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

October 2022 in the Bee Yard
Chris Hagwood

October is typically a much slower time for beekeepers, but it’s not really a slow time for the bees.  For us beekeepers, it’s a “should have” month:

  • You should have controlled varroa mites in your colonies.  Bees made in fall need to live throughout winter.  Sick winter bees will die much faster and lead to small winter cluster that cannot make enough heat.
  • You should have kept them fed during the dearth.  Starving bees cannot feed themselves and new brood and risk colony collapse.
  • You should have requeened failing colonies while mated queens were available.  Finding a mated queen in October will be difficult and may not have time to turn around a failing colony.

So, what do you have time to do now?

  • You can still add heavy syrup to allow bees to build up honey stores for winter.  If you have been monitoring varroa mites and they suddenly spike, you can still address this with more miticide products now that it’s cooler.  Formic acid can be safely used when daytime temps remain under 90 degrees.  
  • If the colony has reduced its population of bees significantly, you may find you need to remove unused boxes of comb to avoid problems with wax moths or hive beetles.  Once cold weather arrives, you will not need to be as concerned with excess comb.

As for bees, they will be foraging on our fall nectar sources of goldenrod and asters.  I’m not sure if I missed an earlier aster bloom or it’s still coming, but I haven’t noticed as much of it as I have in past years.  Wild asters are tiny white flowers, but they occur in such abundance that bees seem to prefer them.  But I’m still seeing lots of goldenrod.  The picture below show some ornamental aster we have in our yard that the bees are using for pollen lately:

Bees will be sorting stores and organizing the brood nest as the queens slows the laying of eggs.  Bees being made now are longer lived winter bees and must survive until new bees are made in early spring next year.  If all goes well, you will have a winter cluster of 5 or more frames of bees that can keep the cluster warm and live throughout winter.

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.  

 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

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.

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 (ncsu.edu)

10/11/22 -  WCBA Meeting - 7:00 pm, Wake County Commons Building 4011 Carya Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610

10/15/2022 - WCBA is selling honey for the NCSBA at the NC State Fair.  Please sign up.  

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. 


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