September 2023 WCBA Newsletter  

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

September 12 Meeting

7:00 -  Africanized Honey Bees, Renan Sanchez (no Zoom)

The Africanized honey bee, also known colloquially as the "killer bee", is a hybrid of the western honey bee and the Iberian honey bee. Africanized honeybees have much of the same appearance as European honey bees and their venom has the same toxicity. However, disturbed Africanized honey bees may inflict 10 times as many stings as European honey bees. 

 Renan Sanchez, a member of WCBA, will lead a group discussion on his experiences working with Africanized honey bees as early as the 1980’s

7:30  Honey Bee Rescue – Krissy Ross, Rise Pest Management (no Zoom)

Human structures often prove attractive to bees, as their natural tendency is to build their colonies in hollows and similar cavities. With proper care and attention, a honey bee colony can be safely removed and the structure returned to its original condition. Live bee removal doesn’t require harmful chemicals allowing the bees to be saved and re-homed.

Krissy and Stephen Ross will share their experiences thru a multimedia presentation showing examples of how non-lethal methods of performing cut-outs are used and colonies re-homed.

WCBA will provide a high lumen, high resolution projector allowing everyone to experience the full quality of Krissy’s images and videos that were captured during actual bee removal projects.

 Krissy is a dedicated wife and mother of two, managing the delicate balance of family life alongside her demanding role as a full-time pharmaceutical recruiter. Passionate about nature, the environment and sustainability has led her to become an avid beekeeper and a member of the Wake County Beekeepers Association.

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. 

NO Zoom for this month's meeting.  

WCBA 2023 Financial Update through August 31

Income - $12582.13


  • Beekeeping School -    $3,904.00
  • Memberships -      $3,219.00
  • General Donations -     $1,089.54
  • NCSU Endowment Fundraising-$3,587.00

Expenses - $11608.29


  • General Expenses -    $2,078.51
  • Beekeeping School -    $1,221.63
  • Swarm Capture Poles -       $159.85
  • NCSU Endowment Donation-    $7,800.00

Current Bank Balance $21,426.22

NC State Professorship in Apiculture Fundraising

WCBA original 5-year commitment was $10,000 paid in $2,000 payments over 5 years. We have made

  • 2022                    $2,000.00  Payment in December 2022
  • 2023                    $7,800.00  Amount approved for 2023 in July meeting

  • Total WCBA         $9,800.00 against a 5 year pledge of $10,000.

With our focus and fundraising on this objective, in one year we have made a $9,800 WCBA club contribution to this worthy objective.  Well done!  We have now raised our target contribution to a minimum of $16,000. 

You may give to this endowed NC State Professorship in several ways:

1.  Give a designated contribution to the WCBA.  The WCBA is a 501-C3 registered non-profit so your gifts are tax-deductible.  

2.  Give directly to the NC Endowed Professorship at the NC State website shown below.  If you designate that you are a member of the WCBA that contribution should be added to our totals.  Gifts through this website are also tax-deductible as well.  

3.  Help with the WCBA fundraising activities.  We will continue to have more opportunities to raise funds for this endowment.   

Link to:    Give to the NC State Endowed Professorship in Apiculture


Saturday September 16

WCBA will be once again telling the world about bees at BugFest, the largest bug-centered event in the country! We are calling on all bug enthusiasts and nature lovers to join us for this fascinating event.

Sign Up Early for a Free BugFest T-Shirt

The first volunteers who sign up will receive a free BugFest T-shirt.  Make sure to secure your spot by signing up early!  We will need to send in the list of volunteers soon, and those on the list will be guaranteed a T-shirt.  Don't worry if you sign up later, while we can't guarantee a T-shirt for late sign-ups, you're still more than welcome to join our BugFest team.

Join Us and Have Fun!

You can help out at our booth for just a few hours and then take the time to enjoy the rest of the event.  Additionally, we encourage you to explore the booths set up by other local bee clubs, adding to the excitement of the day.

BugFest is an incredible opportunity to educate and engage the public in the wonders of science and the natural world. With over 100 exhibits, crafts, games, and activities, you'll have an excellent chance to interact with entomologists and other scientists passionate about their work. And you might even get to eat a bug or two!

How to Sign Up:  Visit our SignupGenius page to register as a volunteer.

When signing up be aware that you might need to click "Got it" at the bottom of the page in order to continue.  It can be a little confusing.

Let's make BugFest 2023 an extraordinary event together! See you there!

2024 Nomination Committee Recommendations

 The Nomination Committee, comprised of Keith Buchanan, Tony Gaddis and Greg Morrison, is privileged to recommend the following officers who will also serve on the Executive Committee for 2024:

  • President – Chris Hagwood (for his 2nd term)       
  • Vice President – Lee Clark-Sellers (replacing Melinda Pfeiffer)
  • Secretary – April Reeves (replacing Gordon Goeking)
  • Treasurer – Tony Gaddis (for his 2nd term)
  • Sergeant-at-Arms – Jill Perkins (replacing Greg Morrison)
  • Program Chair – Krissy Ross (replacing Keith Buchanan).  (Keith has agreed to continue to oversee AV.)
  • Selva Ganapahy (2024).  Filling Katie Webber’s remaining term.  (According to the WCBA Constitution and By-Laws unfulfilled terms are appointed by the President.)
  • Susan Benton (2024 and 2025)
  • Erica Adams (replacing Tom Wells) (2024-2026)

Just a reminder that this is the Nominating Committee report.  Nominations are also accepted from the floor as well even as late as the time of voting during our election at the October regular meeting.

For your further consideration of the above candidates, the bios of each candidate will be provided at our September 12th monthly meeting.  If you have any questions, please to not hesitate to contact any member of the Nominating Committee.

First Annual Fall Plant Exchange!

October 10th Meeting

6:30pm (NOTE THE TIME!)

Fall is the best time to divide most perennials.  With the approaching cold weather, plants focus on root development and wait until spring to focus on blooms.  Plants suffer less stress with being planted in the fall, and although you should water regularly (at least once a week) after transplanting, and continue until frost, after that, baring any droughts, most plants can handle a lot less attention going into the spring. 

Want to participate?  Here is how it works:  You bring bee-friendly (nectar) plants you want to exchange, and receive a ticket for each plant you bring, that can be exchanged for plants that others bring.  You are welcome to bring other plants (non-nectar) that you think people might want, but you will only receive a ticket for bee-friendly plants. 

Each plant should be accompanied by a tag indicating what it is, and each group of plants that are the same should have a description on an index card, suitable for taking a picture, such as this:

Leftover/unclaimed plants by the start of the club meeting at 7:30pm, will be available for purchase for $1/plant with any money collected going to the general club fund. Any remaining unsold plants by the end of the meeting will be donated for the door prize auction. 

Honey Entries for the NC State Fair

Now is the time to start preparing your honey entries for the NC State Fair. You will want to completely fill a quart jar with honey that you want to enter and let it start settling. We will be scheduling a bottling event for September 9th. At the bottling event we will provide jars (fair quality) and filtering material. We will go through the heating and filtering processes, and you will leave with jars that are almost ready for the fair. We will follow a process in this video that Chris Hagwood provided:

Here is a link to the sign up for the bottling event on Saturday September 9: 

Wax Products and Honey Bottling Workshop

NC State Fair

Our goal for WCBA and the NC State Fair is to maximize participation from club members and have all products be judged. We plan to submit an entry for every class for the club booth. The sign-up process can be cumbersome, and we are volunteering to do it on your behalf. If you agree that we have an option to submit your entry as a WCBA booth entry, you will get the ribbon and the prize money. If you want us to sign you up as an individual entry, you will have a chance to earn a ribbon. If you want to go through the sign-up process yourself (without WCBA help) and only be judged as an individual, then you would be eligible for both the ribbon and the prize money.

Here is a link to the WCBA sign up genius:

And here is a link to the NC State Fair rules and online entry (if you want to manage yourself):

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@

September 2023 in the Bee Yard
Chris Hagwood

By the time this article is published, I will be on my way to my first Apimondia worldwide bee congress.  When I learned it was going to be in Chile, I decided right away I wanted to go.  I have wanted to travel South America and this lets me try two new things at once.  The congress (I think due to size of the event they like to use the term congress instead of conference) will begin on September 5th and ends on the 8th, but we also booked a day long set of bee yard tours on the 9th.  We head south after the congress to visit the Lakes and Volcanoes district of Chile.  And, with luck, I will also see some Colombian beekeepers, as we will be staying in Colombia prior to Apimondia, brushing up on Spanish and touring Cartagena and Bogotá.

To prepare to be away from my bees for a solid month, I didn’t do anything particularly special; just the same things that every beekeeper should be doing this time of year. 

  • First, I made sure they were healthy.  I checked mite numbers in June and again at the end of July or beginning of August.  None at this time of year needed mite treatments.  
  • So the next thing after checking health is just to monitor that all of them are queen right.  I stop looking when I see eggs and all stages of brood, so I haven’t seen many queens lately.  When I did find them, they were sometimes new queens (unmarked) so I marked any that I saw.   I went through a spell in June of colonies that had trouble with queens, so I had already combined quite a few. 
  • The next step is to make sure they have honey stores for the dearth.  I left a full super of honey on each hive, and oftentimes there are frames of honey in the brood box too.  Because I intentionally downsized earlier in the year, I sold off or combined colonies to pool honey stores into the number of colonies I could manage without feeding.  Because I will be away for a month, I am making sure each colony has more than enough stored honey to last until I return in late September.  We have already seen the first of the goldenrod bloom, and asters are due soon.  While it would be nice to get a honey crop or add winter stores at this time of year, I have not found a location yet that has enough nectar for the bees to actually store honey and add much weight in the fall.  Perhaps you will be luckier than me!

While I didn’t need to reduce space in any of my colonies, September (even August) is a good time to be alert for dwindling bee populations.  In the worst case, you will not have enough bees to monitor and patrol the unused brood comb, so you will need to remove it before it’s infested with wax moths or hive beetles.  I like colonies that occupy right at 6 frames of brood and a bee cluster that is enough to fill my 8 frame deeps+super on warm days.  While an extra large colony of bees that fills multiple brood chambers is great for spring, I haven’t found a good use for them when they start eating their way through honey stores.

By the time I return in late September, I will revisit each hive and check again for the same things.  It may well come to pass that I need to feed some or all of the colonies at that time, since I will not have been feeding any for at least a month.   You may find it easier to feed a little now while you have honey stores, just to keep them from uncapping and depleting it.

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. 

  • March 7-9, 2024 - Spring NCSBA Meeting New Bern Waterfront Convention Center, New Bern, NC 

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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