Bee School Begins – 2018

Orange County Beekeepers Association’s 2018 Bee School started January 16th. Once again the class was fully enrolled with 75 new and prospective beekeepers, including OCBA’s two apprentices, Catherine Trusky and Megan Talikoff. Randall Austin, OCBA’s Director of Education welcomed the new beekeepers and walked them through an overview of beekeeping as he introduced them to the syllabus for the 10 week session. This year’s class boasts a number of friends/family members of existing OCBA beekeepers, as well as a higher than usual number of students who are taking the class with a spouse, partner or other family member. 

Category: Events  

January 11, 2018 Membership Meeting

The cleaning behavior of hygienic bees help reduce the varroa load in our hives. This month Nancy Ruppert, NC State Bee Inspector for the Sandhills Region, will help us understand “The Value of Having/Raising Hygienic Queens in Your Apiary.” She will provide an overview of hygienic bee stocks and teach us how to identify hygienic behavior in our hives. She will also discuss the basics of raising hygienic queens.

Category: Club Meetings  

November 9, 2017, Membership Meeting

OCBA is an active, vibrant organization. The breadth and depth of OCBA’s involvement in the community is a testament to our club’s commitment to beekeeping education and awareness. At our November meeting members will discover what OCBA has been doing to promote beekeeping education and to support honey bees in Orange County during 2017. Multiple club members will summarize the community activities that they have led or been involved in throughout the year. Members can learn about what our club is doing and find opportunities to become more personally involved in OCBA activities during 2018.

Category: Club Meetings  

October 12, 2017, Membership Meeting

Winter is Coming!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“3 Absolutely Critical Things To Do To Reduce (and Even Eliminate) Winter Losses, Plus a Few Extra Tips Just For Fun.” At our October meeting Randall Austin will help us think through the steps necessary to prepare our bees for winter.


Category: Club Meetings  

OCBA Beekeepers Celebrate 100 Years of Beekeeping in NC at NCSBA Conference

OCBA was well represented at the 100th Anniversary NC State Beekeepers Association Conference in Winston-Salem in July – at least 27 of OCBA members attended. That may be a record for OCBA attendance. The conference itself also set an attendance record with 813 of the association’s 4,456 members attending. NCSBA is far and away the largest beekeeping organization in the U.S.

Cynthia Speed's bee quilt generated $760 for apiculture research at NCSU

Cynthia Speed’s bee quilt generated $760 for apiculture research at NCSU

Cynthia Speed’s honey bee quilt was the highlight of the silent auction. Conference participants bought raffle tickets in the hope of winning the quilt as the grand prize. NCSU’s apiculture lab got a significant financial boost from Cynthia’s efforts. The beautiful quilt garnered $760 in raffle proceeds and her soft sculpture varroa mite earned $30 in the silent auction.

To honor NCSBA’s 100 years of service to beekeepers OCBA provided 100 unique, native pollinator plants for display and sale. These plants were nursed through the heat of summer by Chris Apple, Celeste Mayer, Lisa Vogel, Karen Lauterbach, Amber Tarter, Mary Leonhardi and Jeanne Arnts. The plants were displayed in the main conference hall for to see – and buy. This plant sale raised an additional $262 for Dr. Tarpy’s apiculture program at NCSU. All told, OCBA’s dedicated volunteers generated over $1,000 to support apiculture research in North Carolina.

In the prize categories, two OCBA Beekeepers walked away with top honors. Mark Powers won top prize in the photography category. Randall Austin received top prize in the mead category and third prize in the melomel category.

The revival of Bee Quiz Bowl was both educational and fun. The Bee Bowl provided a great opportunity to learn some of the finer points of beekeeping and to showcase the deep talents of NC’s beekeepers in a fun format. There are a lot of talented beekeepers in this state! Even though OCBA didn’t take home the Bee Bowl trophy, it was well worth the effort. Our Bee Bowl Team of Randall Austin, Lewis Cauble and Jeff Lee represented us well.

Category: Events  

September 14, 2017, Membership Meeting

Thirsty bees

Thirsty bees

In September we will be joined by Joe Milone. Joe is a PhD student in David Tarpy’s Apiculture Lab at NCSU. He will discuss current research assessing pesticide exposure within honey bee colonies. He evaluates pesticide movement throughout the colony and the types of chemicals most commonly detected within different parts of the hive (wax, bee bread, etc). Joe will also discuss knowledge gaps remaining from traditional toxicological research and trending honey bee pesticide issues including neonicotinoids.

Category: Club Meetings