Farm to Table 2015

 

Cynthia Pierce with one of the 19 4th grade classes.

Cynthia Pierce with one of nineteen 4th grade classes that participated in Farm To Table on September 23, 2015.

If you’ve never taken the opportunity to work at the annual Farm to Table event, you should consider doing it. It’s work, but it’s fun, and you’ll learn a thing or two. But mostly, you’ll enjoy sharing your love of beekeeping with young members of our community.

This annual event is offered by the Chamber’s Agri-Business Committee and provides about 800 area 4th-graders the chance to learn about agriculture in our community. The program, provided at no charge, educates students about where their food comes from and what is involved in food production before it reaches the dining room table. Several different areas of farming are represented including dairy, poultry, farm technology, beekeeping, forestry products, beef cattle, field crops, soil and water conservation, and plant science.

Our club was well represented at this years’s 2-day event held on September 22nd & 23rd at Cedarock Historical Farm. Over two days, volunteers from our club talked about honey bees’ role in agriculture as pollinators of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. The kids asked great questions [What does mate mean? Why does smoke calm them down — shouldn’t it make them panic? What do drones do?], and they got to practice being still instead of panicky around free-ranging bees, as some bees escaped the observation hive. Mike Ross, Randy Stinson, Corey Gillespie, Charles Black, Wayne and Janice Foulks, Geoff and Linda Leister, Tony Abbruzzi, and Cynthia Pierce represented beekeeping this year. Thanks to all. (Submitted by Cynthia & Geoff)

Cynthia Pierce

Student using a lighted smoker carefully guided by Cynthia Pierce.

Tony Abbruzzi captivates the students attention with honey bee flight facts.

Tony Abbruzzi captivates students’ attention with honey bee flight facts.

Beginning Beekeeping Course – 2019

ANNOUNCEMENT OF

BEGINNING BEEKEEPING COURSE

Download Course Announcement

Download Course Outline

We would like to announce that starting on January 22, 2019 the Alamance County Beekeepers will start the 28th 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 22, 2019 and will continue each Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 PM through April 2nd. 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 6th, 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: Zivon Price, 421 Canterwood Drive, Mebane, NC 27302. 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 2019, 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 23rd , so that we will have time to issue nametags 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://www.alamancebeekeepers.org

Hope to see you on January 22nd.

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Download Course Outline

Annual Ice Cream Social

It was a perfect day for our annual Ice Cream Social hosted by Don & Shirley Moore at Breezy Acres Apiary under the shade of several large pecan trees. Don welcomed and  introduced special guests Jerry & Betty Isley from Randolph County; Nancy Rupert, Bee Inspector, South Central region; Janno Lewis from Montgomery County; Don Hopkins, Bee Inspector, North Central Region; and Dr. Kathleen Kidd NC State Biological Control and Apiary Inspection Programs Administrator.

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Don outlined the planned afternoon activities that would start with demonstrations by Nancy Rupert and Don Hopkins. All of Don’s hives were on their second treatment with thymol based Apiguard, so he was particularly interested in checking the current population level of Varroa mites in two hives using the powdered sugar shake method. Don was also hopeful that these two hives were strong enough to split. In the end, no splits occurred after the inspections, but one NUC was created by downsizing a weak hive that was impacted by a low population of bees and hive beetles.

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Drone with two Varroa mites attached.

Drone with two Varroa mites attached.

After two hours in the bee yard, ice cream was served! Flavors included homemade banana, cherry, peach, persimmon, blueberry, French vanilla among others. The dessert selections also included pound cakes, blueberry crunch, brownies, orange cake, strawberry cake, apple cobbler, persimmon pudding, and old fashion strawberry among others. Bee yard talk and visiting continued into the late afternoon.

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The end to this perfect day came with the discovery of a recently emerged Luna Moth (Actias luna) expanding and drying its wings. The larvae feed on persimmon, sweet gum, walnut, sumacs and hickories. The adult moths do not feed and only live about one week.

Luna_Moth

Preserving our Heritage at Cedarock Historical Farm

Thanks to our Vice President, Mike Ross, for organizing, setting up and participating in our beekeeping exhibit during FarmFest: Preserving our Heritage at the Cedarock Historical Farm on Saturday, August 22nd from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM . Mike was joined by Randy Stinson, Johnny Mills, Judy Ross and other members. Cory Gillespie and Charles Black helped out that afternoon and Neil Cary was there for the middle of the day. Mike also provided the following pictures.

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Foxfire Way of Beekeeping

 

photo

Photo by Cynthia Pierce

Members Paul Jollay from Glencoe Honey Company and Ira Poston from Blueberry Hill Apiaries presented a program on beekeeping in the past and how it is done now as part of the summer series Foxfire in Cedarock Park, Celebrating Craft Traditions of the Appalachian Culture. Future programs are listed on the PDF flyer HERE. Beekeeping is covered in Foxfire 11 and can be accessed HERE. Paul & Ira covered the history of beekeeping as well as addressing current practices and some of the equipment used. An observation hive with a full frame of honey bees and a marked queen kept the questions flowing at the end of the program.

Alamance County’s Farm Bureau “Homegrown” in the Park

The Alamance County Farm Bureau “Homegrown” “In the Park” held at Burlington City Park on Saturday, April 11th was well attended. To celebrate Alamance County Agriculture both the Alamance County Beekeepers and the Extension Master Gardeners Volunteers had exhibits. Thanks are due to members Mike Ross, Neil Carey, Corey Gillespie, Cynthia Pierce, Linda and Geoff Leister for their participation and for fielding the many questions from visitors about honey bees during the daylong event. The top attraction for both adults and kids was Mike’s observation hive that included a marked queen, drones, workers and emerging young bees. Another favorite for the very young kids were Linda’s “take home” handouts of selected line drawings of bees and flowers for coloring.

Beginning Beekeeping course instructors and mentors were also busy last Saturday distributing and helping to install newly received honey bee packages received by the 2015 class members.

Alamance County Hive Locations

 GIS Map

A PDF of Alamance County Hive Locations can be downloaded HERE. This is a Geographic Information System (GIS) map composed of multiple layers of information. In this case an Alamance County map has 122 hive locations plotted with a 1-mile flight radius that our honey bees travel as they forage on nectar & pollen. Also included are Alamance County’s Voluntary Agriculture Districts that include properties that are dedicated to either five acres of horticulture, ten acres of agriculture, or twenty acres of forestry.

Pollinator Conservation Resources provided by Dr. Nancy Adamson, The Xerces Society

If you were not able to attend Dr. Nancy Adamson’s presentation on Farming for Bees and Other Beneficial Insects at the January meeting, she has kindly provided a PDF copy of her presentation and it is available for download HERE

In addition she provided a Pollinator Conservation Web Resources PDF for the Eastern U.S. with additional resources for North Carolina. That is available for download HERE

Pollinator Conservation Resources for the the Mid-Atlantic Region that includes NC is located on the The Xerces Society website. Lists of recommended pollinator plants, conservation guides, native pollinator plant nurseries and seed companies, and bee identification and monitoring resources can found HERE