Blog Archives

OCBA Offers an Introduction to Beekeeping

Have you thought about taking up beekeeping as a hobby? What do I need to know? What does it cost to get started? How much time will I need to spend tending to my bees? How much honey will I get? Will I get stung? 

Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby, but there is a lot to know before you get started. OCBA is here to help answer your questions, including questions that you may not even know to ask. If you decide to keep bees, we want to assure that you become a successful beekeeper.  

Our members will presentSo You Want To Keep Bees: A Conversation About Beekeeping.” This presentation will be offered at the Orange County Public Library in Hillsborough on October 13th at 4:00pm and again at the Chapel Hill Public Library on October 27th at 2:00pm. Come learn about beekeeping and environmentally-friendly alternatives to beekeeping for those who want to support honey bees and other pollinators even if they decide that keeping honey bees is not for them.

Category: Events  

October 11, 2018 Membership Meeting

Suzy Spencer is a Master Beekeeper with 5 County Beekeepers Association. She is also an expert on honey tasting. She developed her skill as a honey taster by attending several training programs in honey tasting, including one at University of California – Davis and another under the auspices of a well-known Italian honey expert. She will help OCBA members appreciate the nuances in the taste and flavor of our honey. Suzy’s experiential learning process will involve tasting different honeys. 

Category: Club Meetings  

August 9, 2018 Membership Meeting

Mark Powers will present “Bee Sting Allergy, What You Need to Know.” Learn how to evaluate the sever­ity of your bee sting symptoms and what to do if your venom response is excessive. Mark will also discuss heat exhaustion and its danger for summer beekeeping.

Designs for the new OCBA tee shirts will also be revealed. Come to the meeting and learn how to stay safe and look stylish while beekeeping.

Category: Club Meetings  

June 14, 2018 Membership Meeting

Varroa mite (phoretic stage)

Randall Austin, will present “Some Honey Bee Pests and Treatments.” This is a timely discussion of varroa mite and small hive beetle management. We are entering critical months for these problems. All beekeepers need to be vigilant with testing and effective treatment to assure the health and viability of their colonies throughout the summer and as the colonies move into the fall build-up stage. Strong, healthy colonies full of bees are essential to successfully overwintering your hives.

Next Saturday, June 16th, at 1:00 o’clock, Randall will demonstrate the practical hands-on skills of varroa monitoring and treatment at his apiary. Plan to attend the Varroa Assessment Field Day. Contact Randall via email to get directions to his apiary. All OCBA members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Category: Club Meetings  

OCBA is going for the Gold!

OCBA is going for the Gold!
NCSBA’s Golden Achievement Program Award that is. The 2018 GAP Award will be awarded to the beekeeping chapter that earns the highest number of points in 2018 under the 37 GAP criteria defined by NCSBA.

Points are awarded based on chapter activities across several different domains. Individual members can help OCBA earn points by: volunteering to staff information tables at community events; attending an NCSBA State Conference; becoming a Certified, Journeyman or Master Beekeeper; donating honey or honey proceeds to a non-profit organization; or helping with OCBA’s State Fair Exhibit. Other ideas to help OCBA earn points may occur to you as you read through the GAP program guidelines. 

As you participate in GAP related activities, you may be asked to fill out an Individual GAP Form. The form is available here. The Individual GAP Form is interactive, so you should be able to fill it out on your computer. If not, handwritten is fine. Completed forms should be returned to Cynthia Speed or John Rintoul, the GAP Committee Co-Chairs.

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  

September 13, 2018 Membership Meeting – CANCELED DUE TO HURRICANE

Queen laying an egg, surrounded by her retinue of ‘court bees.’
(Photo by Joseph Milone)

James Withrow, a doctoral candidate in David Tarpy’s lab at NCSU will be OCBA’s featured speaker in September. His research into queen selection during emergency queen rearing was recently published in PLOS One, an open access, online, peer-reviewed journal. OCBA is fortunate to have access to cutting edge researchers willing to share their findings with local beekeepers.

 

In his presentation, “Sharing the throne. Establishing honey bee colonies with multiple queens,” James will discuss his current research focused on queen behavior and setting up colonies with multiple queens

Category: Club Meetings  

Varroa Management Field Day

The scene

Saturday, June 16, varroa conscious OCBA members met at Randall Austin’s apiary to participate in a live demonstration of mite assessment in the colony. Upon inspection the mite count warranted attention. This allowed for a broad discussion of treatment options based on hive status (honey supers were still on) and temperature variables during treatment.

Category: Events  Tags: