At noon on Sunday, November 24, 2019, bees were flying and foraging on the Climbing Aster (Ampelaster carolinianus) in the apiary. This not only included honey bees, but also Bumblebees and small native bees. Honey bees were nectaring and gathering pollen. This member of the Asteraceae plant family is a native perennial vine that produces abundant pale purple to lavender flowers beginning in late October. It grows with support from a trellis or fencing to 4 to 5 feet tall, and frost does not seem to impede the flowering. It attracts both bees and butterflies well into November here in the Piedmont of NC. The plant does better in full sun, but will survive in partial shade.
Under “Resources,” I have posted links to four presentations presented at the 2018 National Honey Show in Surrey, England by Dr. Clarence Collison. He writes monthly column “A Closer Look” for Bee Culture magazine. He is an Emeritus Professor of Entomology and Department Head Emeritus of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS.
We would like to announce that starting on January 21, 2020 the Alamance County Beekeepers will start the 29th consecutive year of offering a Beginning Beekeeping Course. The objective of the course is to create an interest in beekeeping and provide information needed for a person to become a keeper of honey bees, a beekeeper. No prior experience is required to take the course. This is a 24-hour course, 20 hours in the classroom and 4 hours in the field. The structured classes start, as noted above, on January 21, 2020 and will continue each Tuesday evening from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. through April 4th. All class sessions will be held in the auditorium of the Ag Extension Office located at, 209 N. Graham Hopedale Rd, Burlington, NC 27217.
At the completion of the classroom instructions, we will have a Field Day on Saturday, April 4th, depending on weather. During the Field Day, we will spend 4 hours in a bee yard to gain hands-on experience in working with the bees.
It’s best to register in advance to assure you have a seat and course materials. The room can only hold 50 people comfortably, so be sure to register early. The cost of the course is $85.00. This includes $10.00 building usage fee, $25.00 for Local and State dues and hand books. If your spouse or other member of your family wants to take the course and you can share the books, then the cost for the additional person would be $35.00. To register in advance, please send your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address along with your payment to: PO Box 215, Elon, NC 27244 Please make check payable to Alamance County Beekeepers.
If you live in the Burlington area, you most likely won’t need directions to the Ag Building; however, if you are coming from out of town one simple way to get to the Ag Extension Office is to get off I-85/1-40 at exit 145 and head toward downtown Burlington. This street is Maple Avenue. Stay on Maple Avenue through the center of Burlington until you get to Church Street, turn right travel approximately 2.1 miles until you get to Graham Hopedale Road, turn left, travel one block and the Ag Building is the first building on the right.
We would also like to announce that in 2020, the Alamance County Farm Bureau will again be sponsoring a Cost-Share program. This is a program where a number of people are awarded two hives each, along with a package of bees for each hive. Applications for this program will be available on the first evening of the class.
Even though you have registered in advance, we would like for you to come a little early, maybe 6:00 PM, on the first night, January 21st, so that we will have time to issue name tags and handbooks and still be ready to start our class at 6:30 PM.
If you know someone interested in taking this course, we would appreciate you sharing the above information with that person. This course announcement will also be posted on the Alamance County Beekeepers Web Site – <https://alamancebeekeepers.org>
Hope to see you on January 21st
It’s that time of year again! Honey bee populations are burgeoning in their hives and when that happens, a large part of the colony might separate out and take off. It’s how honey bee colonies reproduce. After leaving the hive, the worker bees, along with their queen, first find a place to hang for a while — in a tree, on a bicycle chain or a fence, or on any other comfy site — while scout bees look for a new place to call home.
If you notice a swarm, please don’t be alarmed, and please don’t do harm. The bees are calm and non-defensive in a swarm state, though they can appear scary. It’s actually an awesome and thrilling sight and you are lucky to witness it! Call someone from the Alamance County Beekeepers group to come and collect them for you. A list of enthusiastic swarm catchers is here:
Swarm Collection List: https://www.alamancebeekeepers.org/…/2019-Alamance-County-S…
Happy spring time!
Honey Bee Swarms Do Not Always Land in Trees
The above text was originally posted by Cynthia Pierce, County Extension Support Specialist and Alamance County Beekeepers Newsletter Editor on the Alamance County Cooperative Extension Face Book page HERE:
Photos above by Geoff Leister
Geoff Leister was recently invited to talk on the nectar and pollen plants found in the Piedmont of North Carolina at the February 2019 Caswell County Beekeepers monthly meeting. A PDF on that presentation can be found HERE.
Our first meeting of the New Year featured an informative and fact filled presentation by Dr. Mark Anthony Powers on how to evaluate the seriousness of a bee sting and how to ascertain the most suitable treatment. Dr. Powers is Associate Professor Emeritus of Medicine Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at Duke University and he is a NC Certified Journeyman Beekeeper. His presentation is based of a recent article published in the December 2018 issue of the American Bee Journal, Vol. 158 No.12 pp. 1327-1331. A PDF of Dr. Powers presentation entitled Bee Sting Allergy What You Need to Know is available for download HERE .
Dr. David Tarpy, NCSU, Professor and Extension Specialist (Apiculture) has provided this article Protective Measures of Beehives During Hurricanes and makes the following recommendations:
*Strap down the lid and hive components if they’re not propolized.
*Reduce hive wind profile by removing unnecessary boxes (feeders, for example).
*Hives should be at ground level or on sturdy stands. Be sure solid bottom boards are tilted to let rain out.
*Are your hives in danger of limbs or trees falling on them? Consider relocating hives.
*Move hives from low-lying areas if there’s a flooding danger; bees will drown.
*Register your hives at DriftWatch so you’ll be notified if spraying for mosquitos commences.
Thanks are due to Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent
Chatham County Center for providing the above links and to Jason Williams,
Pesticide Operations Specialist, NCDA&CS – SPCAP for the following link to “Bee” Kind if You Spray for Mosquitoes” authored by Dr. Michael Waldvogel, Extension Specialist (Household & Structural Entomology), Entomology & Plant Pathology – NC State University.