Saturday, December 29, 2012

BCBC Meeting January 7th

Join us at our January meeting for an open panel discussion on how to help our bees make it through the winter. With the recent warm days, will this winter be unseasonally warm like the last? What steps can we take to help our colonies survive?

7:00 pm on January 7th at Groce United Methodist Church
at 954 Tunnel Rd in Asheville, NC.
Come early at 6:30 for informal mentoring, conversations about your bees,
opportunity to talk to other beekeepers.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Buzz on the Radio

Friends of Bee City USA:
Our local voices for pollinators, Diane Almond and Phyllis Stiles, will be interviewed live on "The Local Thinking" radio show December 8, tomorrow morning, at 11:00 - 12:00. Their hope is to engage more folks in the Bee City USA campaign to make the world safer for pollinators, one city at a time.
If you have time to listen, it's at 95.7 FM -The Choice, and it also will be archived at


Saturday, December 1, 2012

BCBC on facebook

For our members who enjoy
playing on facebook,
be sure to look up
our Buncombe County Beekeepers Chapter
page and hit "like."

Facebook is great place for sharing pictures,
news about bees,
short snippets on beekeeping.

Friday, November 9, 2012

No December BCBC Meeting!

Dear Friends,

The Buncombe County Bee Chapter will not be having a December meeting. It has been an un-bee-lievable year in beekeeping and education, and we look forward to seeing you next year for more fun!

We hope you have a happy and warm holiday season!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

November BCBC, Food and fun!

Our Club’s Annual Potluck

Let’s celebrate our beekeeping year together 
(and before the holiday season gets too busy)
November 5, Monday night at Groce United Methodist Church
954 Tunnel Rd in Asheville, NC
6:30 set up ===Potluck at 7 PM Eat and enjoy!
Bring a dish to share and if you have honey in it, 
then enter it in the Cooking with Honey Contest!  (Details below)
Club provides the drinks, and paper products, flat ware.

Elections, short meeting

Games: Password with your Bee Knowledge, See if we can make you say the bee word on the card you can’t see, with hints from your team!

Sale items: Do you have a bee related item that others would like to buy for the holiday season? Creamed honey, candles, cards, skin care products, raw wax, even HONEY in your cute containers for those of us that don’t have honey! Bring it for set up on a table in the back.

Cooking with Honey Contest.
Two categories: Entrees (anything marinated or basted with honey sauces) and Desserts
Portion out on a paper plate for the judges.  
Submit Title/Card with the recipe/Name underneath, No Names Showing

Prizes:  Brand New Hive Tool, Sugar to Feed your Bees, Full Color Certificate

New Research Suggests Bees Bite!

A new study by researchers from Greek and French universities suggests that bees are able to bite foes that are too small to be stung. The mandibles excrete 2-heptanone during the bite, which acts as a local anaesthetic, which may paralyze the target for up to nine minutes. This might explain bees' ability to "clean" the hive by tossing out predators like varroa mites and wax moths.

Read the article HERE.
Read the study HERE.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Three Great October Bee Events Coming Up!

Three great bee events coming up ... Have a gander:
Monday, October 29, 7 - 9 pm, Canon Lounge, Warren Wilson College, $10, for more info call 771-3066. (Flier attached for more information.)
"The honey bee and hive products have historically played a large role in dis-ease care and prevention. Science is finally catching up to what naturalists, herbalists, and acupuncturists have known for years. Learn about harvesting and using Honey, Pollen, Propolis, Royal Jelly, Beeswax and Honey bee Venom for human health."  Ross is fabulous, wrote one of the seminal books on natural beekeeping (before that term was even really used in bee circles) and his mentor was the famous Charles Mraz from Vermont who was a truly epic pioneer in apitherapy (and a gol darn wonderful guy). Beekeepers, herbalists, all kinds of health practitioners, everyone under the sun, moon and stars should come to this amazing event.

2. BEGINNING BEEKEEPING with Diane Almond, her third annual class series at the NC Arboretum! 
Three consecutive classes on Saturday afternoons starting Oct 27 (Nov 3, Nov 10) from 12 noon til 4 with time before and after to visit and look at resources. 12 packed hours (total), but lots of room for individual participation and there will be treats and hands-on stuff during a midway break.  Arboretum members $48; others (get free entrance/parking) @ $58.  Here's the link to register or for more info:
Class is 25 students only so please sign up as soon as possible.  And if you have questions for Diane directly, call her at:  828-684-8488.

"I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this series of classes.  Diane is one of my most favorite bee teachers in the world. She is clear, funny, insightful and will leave you feeling more confident than ever to step into beekeeping.  Class is capped at 25 students only, so sign up soon!," says Debra Roberts.

Friday, October 19, 7:30 pm, White Horse / Black Mountain, $10, For more info, call Lisa at 273-1488.  

BeeSting, a short film, is a lyrical outpouring of creative force, addressing the emotional, physical, and spiritual challenges of breast cancer against a backdrop of the declining bee population and the burgeoning toxicity of The Earth.  BeeSting illustrates the imbalance of the feminine in our culture; both how it manifests inwardly with the disease of our breasts, and outwardly with the pollution of our planet.  Combining shadow puppetry and cinematographic techniques, the story moves between metaphor and realism, blending personal expression, medicine, humor, poetry, and gratitude.  Flier attached for more information.  Award-winning puppeteer Lisa Sturz's courageous journey with cancer informed this wonderful work.

Thanks to Debra Roberts for sharing!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Share the Buzz at Greenlife Grocery

Great News! Bee City USA is the recipient of Greenlife Grocery's Bag Donation Program for October, 2012 
Please help us spread the word. During the month of October, for every customer who shops at Greenlife Grocery in Asheville, NC and uses a reusable bag at checkout, Greenlife will donate Five Cents to Bee City USA! This is great way to eat well while raising awareness for urban beekeeping and pollinator habitats.

Greenlife also invites us to educate their customers about the role of pollinators by tabling on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday in October between 4:00 and 7:00. If you'd like to talk to Greenlife customers about beekeeping and pollinators, please contact Dawn Nelson at 845 709-7198 or to let her know which weekend day or days in October you're available.

We are proud to partner with Whole Foods/Greenlife Grocery and are thankful for their "Share the Buzz" campaign. Together with our area's beekeepers, we are poised to open the public's eyes a little more to how much each of us can do to save pollinators in urban environments. We do this TOGETHER - Thank you!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

October BCBC Meeting

Join us the first Monday of this month
to learn about some of the latest technology
in beekeeping and honey bee research.

Our speaker, Paul Vonk,
is an electrical engineer and a beekeeper in Georgia.
For a sneak peek at some of the tech
he'll be describing, go to

7:00 pm on October 1 at Groce United Methodist Church
at 954 Tunnel Rd in Asheville, NC.
Come early at 6:30 for informal mentoring, conversations about your bees,
opportunity to talk to other beekeepers.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bob Binnie Speaker on Sept 17th in Henderson County

Bob Binnie will be speaking about commercial beekeeping at the Henderson County Beekeepers' meeting on Monday, Sept. 17th.

Bob is involved with not only honey production but also the selection and propagation of superior bee stock that survive without the use of harsh chemicals. He has provided nucs for research at University of Georgia which were used for IPM Research.

This past spring 500 nucs were available here in our area - many of which were of our local queen stock which are acclimated to our area. Greg Rogers, a friend of Bob's, shared that Bob has 1,000+ hives, and is a creative problem solver who shares information openly. Bob is the past president of the Georgia Beekeepers Association and an informative speaker. Jennifer Berry wrote in Bee Culture Magazine that "Bob is always researching and fine tuning ways to become a better beekeeper."

Henderson County Beekeepers

NEXT MEETING: Sept 17, 2012 7pm ***
Meeting will be at the Mountain Horticultural Corps Research & Extension Center***
2016 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher NC

Saturday, August 25, 2012

2012 Black Jar Honey Contest

Do you think your honey is the jam? Well then put your honey where your mouth is (and where the judges' mouths are) in this year's second annual Black Jar Honey Contest, sponsored by Asheville's Center for Honeybee Research.

Just sign up, bring your tastiest jar, and collect your first place winner's prize check of $500.00. The deadline for participating is October 31st, and you know your honey is the best so there's no reason to wait! Prove it once and for all, forever!

Rules and Entry Form Here!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

BCBC September 10th

Save the date:
The Buncombe County Beekeepers will meet on September 10
instead of our usual first Monday of the month
due to Labor Day.

We will learn more about the state Master Beekeeping Program.
Click here for a link to the Master Beekeeping website!

7:00 pm on September 10 at Groce United Methodist Church
at 954 Tunnel Rd in Asheville, NC.
Come early at 6:30 for informal mentoring, conversations about your bees,
opportunity to talk to other beekeepers.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

National Honey Bee Day Event Aug 18th

WHAT?  Asheville celebrates its designation as the inaugural Bee City USA on National Honey Bee Day.

WHEN? Saturday, August 18, 2012, 8:00 am - 1:pm.  Pollinator parade and proclamation at 9:45.

WHERE? Asheville City Market, 161 S. Charlotte Street, Asheville, NC  28801. 

DETAILS: Children's tent, honey tasting, and scavenger hunt throughout the day. Children are invited to make bee wings and antennae starting at 9:45 which they can model in a pollinator parade at 10:00ish. Learn about relationship between our food and pollinators, and how to make your yard more pollinator-friendly. Beekeeping suits and pollinator costumes are encouraged!

For directions, click here!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

TOMORROW! "What Is 'Natural Beekeeping?" Conference Sat. Aug 11, 2012

The Center for Honeybee Research is sponsoring a one day Event with two of the most qualified natural beekeeping experts in the world - Michael Bush and Ed Levi.
Both have decades of beekeeping experience and will share how to keep bees alive without treatments and give practical insight into various means of natural management. 
Mr. Bush will have copies of his recent book "The Practical Beekeeper" - available for sale and signing.

We are also proud to welcome Roger Simonds, laboratory manager of the USDA National Science Laboratory - where the testing for chemical contamination of wax comb and stored pollen has been conducted.
Dr. Simonds will let us know if we have anything to be worried about.

This is another in the series of Center sponsored Events which bring exceptional honeybee experts to our area - and we are responding to requests to invite those with exceptional 'hands-on' familiarity with the bees. 
We need your support if we are to continue organizing these in the future - so please turn out to give these visitors a hearty welcome and a glimpse of our area's happening 'bee scene.'

TOMORROW  10:00 AM - 5 PM. Doors open at 9:30.
on the campus of Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC (between Asheville and Black Mountain)
Kittredge Theatre is right next to the main parking lot.
Lunch on your own  - it's a beautiful campus and there are eateries nearby.
What?  for details (while there check out 'Research/Project Genesis" to see what else the Center's been up to)

How Much?
Pre-registration online  
$25 in advance
$35 at the door

I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

BCBC Meeting August 6th: Preparing Honey and Wax

Preparing your Honey and Honey Products (Department C) for show at the Mountain State Fair

Would you like to hear Edd Buchanan, Master Beekeeper and Judge Superintendent, give you some award winning tips for entering your strained honey?
It's not that hard to do and winning a ribbon will help you sell your honey (plus earn you $4-$10)!
In June he showed us how to  process honey sections in a jar and will review that, too.

Back by popular demand is Janet Peterson, past president and honey judge, teaching wax working. Last year, 3 of our club members won ribbons for beautiful wax pieces. Get inspired to get that honey-laden wax cappings bucket strained and put to good use!
You'll never be able to say again "I don't know what to do with my wax!"

Doorprizes! Come early to get your raffle ticket (members only) when you sign in.
Meeting will start promptly at 7 PM.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Asheville is Bee City, USA!

Council members voted recently to make Asheville the nation's inaugural Bee City, USA. In addition to the prestige of setting into motion what will hopefully become a larger movement across the country, Asheville's landscaping budget will now include a focus on bee-friendly plants. Also, we should expect to see many more educational programs devoted to bees, to raise the general awareness of the importance of pollinators to our agriculture and biodiversity. Congratulations to Phyllis Stiles for spearheading the project, and to all the other worker bees involved!

Check out this video for a news story on the vote, and to see some familiar faces from BCBC:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Scandalous Sourwood Honey at NC Farmers Markets

Sourwood honey is the crème de la crème of honey produced in Western North Carolina. Its flavor is rich and light, and many honey enthusiasts consider it the best variety of honey available. This premium honey also commands a premium price; while other honeys can cost as little as $4/lb,  sourwood honey can sell for up to $15/lb.

Some dishonest vendors in WNC Farmers Markets have taken advantage of the demand for this commodity honey by falsely labeling honey as sourwood in order to inflate profits. When local beekeepers and honey lovers became suspicious, laboratory tests on random samples of honey from WNC Farmers Markets labeled as "sourwood" revealed many "funny honeys" that had little to no sourwood pollen whatsoever.

Local beekeepers achieved a victory against fraudulent vendors recently when the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services implemented new rules to prevent future mislabeling of honey at its five N.C. farmers markets, including the WNC Farmers Market in Asheville. As of June 1st, beekeepers and vendors at state farmers markets are required to keep records on the origin and production date of their honey. If they are unable to do so, or are caught falsely labeling honey, they can be banned from selling at these farmers markets in the future.

For more information, read the Asheville Citizen Times article here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Remember that the Buncombe County Beekeepers
do not meet in July. 
See you the first Monday of August!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Free-bee Articles

Hello Bee-loveds, I hope you are enjoying this wildly early and abundant spring. Here in Western NC, our honey flow started about a month early and there is so much to be grateful for.

I want to point you to two free honeybee articles you might find useful.  They are both posted on One is about how to make a split (particularly relevant to spring bee management and for those of us in places like NC and ORE who are having a very swarmy spring) and the other is about how to work with Varroa.

Here is the link:

TRUSTING THE BEES: Thoughts on a Stronger Stock or How to Raise Queens with Just a Few Hives  (Carl Chesick, President of The Center for Honeybee Research)
PARTICULARLY HELPFUL article right now about how to make splits. Many of us are experiencing a very swarmy spring and now is the time in the year to have this information to hand. Learn an easy way to make a daughter colony that helps to both breed a stronger bee and supports the bees’ ability to select their own best future queens.  If you are wondering things like this -- What frames do I take from a large mother hive to start a new colony? And when can I take them? --  then this article will clearly lay out the how-to steps that will help create a great daughter colony and also respect the life of the mother hive that sourced it.

TAMING THE MIGHTY MITE: Some Thoughts on Living with Varroa  (Kefyn M. Catley, Ph.D.)
THIS INFORMATION ABOUT VARROA IS VERY HELPFUL as we look ahead across our bee stewarding year; it will help you understand Varroa so you can select for better, less-virulent mites and better-adapted bees. It also helps educate us about why chemical treatments are not a fruitful path in the long run. This is one of the clearest articles I have ever read about the unique characteristics and nature of Varroa and how to think about them in relationship to our western honeybee.

And if you want to be notified about future articles across this year, you can subscribe to Holy Bee Press (on our home page, in the upper right hand corner, is a Subscribe button).  Here is the link:       We are planning about one article every two or three months.

Blessed be. Blessed bees.

-Debra Roberts

Monday, May 28, 2012

June 2012 BCBC Meeting

The splendid Edd Buchanan will lead our program on June 4, 2012.
Our focus for the month will be honey. 
Edd will show us how to  harvest cut comb honey.

Edd is one of our founders.  He is also Master Beekeeper and master story teller,
keeps bees at the Biltmore Estate, and is known for his knowledge and humor far and wide.

Click here to read Edd's recent article in USA Today.

7:00 pm on June 4th, 2012 at Groce United Methodist Church
at 954 Tunnel Rd in Asheville, NC.
Come early at 6:30 for informal mentoring, conversations about your bees,
opportunity to talk to other beekeepers.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


In April, we had the gracious Dr. Copenhauer visit the BCBC meeting and give us information about the proper use of the Epipen. This is a first aid tool for the emergency treatment of life-threatening allergic reactions, commonly bee stings. It injects epinephrine, commonly known as adrenaline, to tighten blood vessels and relax muscles in the airways, lessening the dangerous symptoms of severe allergic reactions.

Normal symptoms of a honey bee sting include swelling, redness, and pain at the site of the sting. Systemic symptoms, or reactions that occur where you didn't get stung, are of greater concern. A drop in blood pressure is the most dangerous symptom, because in this case blood isn't being pumped into your brain, which can lead to death.

No matter the symptoms, if you are in doubt of the severity of the problem, use the Epipen! It results in a feeling like you drank too much coffee, but these symptoms pass in about 20 minutes and are preferable to a severe allergic reaction. About 25-30% of people need a second dose, so it is a good idea to keep two around.

To use the Epipen, remove the cap, jam it into the victim's thigh, and hold it there for about 10 seconds to allow the pen to deposit all of the medicine into the bloodstream. The top picture demonstrates a foolish hold; if the pen were to accidentally be upside down with the thumb placed on top, the needle would surge into the administrator's thumb instead of the victim's thigh. The bottom photo demonstrates the correct hold.

Dr. Copenhauer also suggested that a "feeling of dread" is a common indicator that the sting is very severe. In this case, it is better to administer epinephrine than to wait to see how the symptoms play out. Interestingly, the "knock-off" brands are not as effective. Additionally, even if the pen has passed its expiration date, it is better to use it than to wait. Some ibuprofen might also help as an anti-inflammatory in case epinephrine is not available.

Friday, May 4, 2012

May 2012 BCBC Meeting

Join us once again at 7pm on Monday, May 7th, for the May Buncombe County Bee Chapter meeting at the Groce United Methodist Church. The meeting topic is yet undecided, but there are a lot of things to talk about this month as we, and our bees, gear up for summer.

As a new beekeeper, I recently set up my first hive with the help of Marion local Ray Revis (, and got the chance to inspect it for the first time a few days ago. I was very excited to snag this picture of the queen (she's over to the left on the frame).

I hope all BCBC members and WNC beekeepers have a wonderful and productive beekeeping year! See you Monday!

7:00 pm on May 7th, 2012
at Groce United Methodist Church
at 954 Tunnel Rd in Asheville, NC.
Come early at 6:30 for informal mentoring,
conversations about your bees,
opportunity to talk to other beekeepers.

Friday, April 20, 2012

4th Annual Women Beekeepers' Gathering

Save the Date!
Sunday July 22, 2:30 at the Hawk and Ivy in Barnardsville
This year in addition to the delicious joy of being in a group of all women bee keepers and lovers, we will focus on what plants, shrubs, trees, and bulbs we can grow to help our bees through the dearth times of late winter, early spring, and late summer.
Please spread the word to your women beekeeper friends. We will expand notification this year outside Buncombe County to Henderson, Madison, and Yancey counties.  More reminders will follow, and we will ask you to RSVP as the time draws closer.  

It is our hope that all of you are having a glorious spring with your sacred bee friends.

Love, Debra and Eve
Contact Debra at:
Contact Eve at:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Don't kill honey bee swarms!

With all the swarming activity, spring is a great time to teach friends and neighbors about bees. Though intimidating, swarms aren't really dangerous since they're just moving to a new home and highly vulnerable. Swarms have about a 20% chance for survival, and like many others the beautiful swarm pictured here didn't make it. Tragically, this one was recently destroyed by the frightened owner of the property on which it rested.

If you want bees off of your property, you should call the North Carolina Extension Office at 828-255-5522, and ask for a list of beekeepers on the "swarm list" in your area. They will ask you a series of questions to help identify the bees.  If they are honey bees, someone will be thrilled to come out to wrangle them, and it will make a great show to boot!

North Carolina Extension Office: 828-252-5522

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Studies reveal dangers of neonicotinoids!

A new pair of studies conducted by Sterling University suggests that the use of neonicotinoid pesticides places bee populations in significant danger. Neonicotinoids became widely used in the 1990s, in large part because it has little effect on humans while being very effective against insects, acting as a nerve poison to prevent important messages from being processed. According to Rowan Jacobsen, these pesticides cause interruptions in the same receptor affected by Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease in humans. The symptoms include "disorientation, short-term memory loss... tremors, spasms, and eventually paralysis and death."

What makes neonicotinoids so attractive to farmers is that they are systemic insecticides; instead of polluting the air and water, they spread through the plant itself. When insects snack on the leaves of treated plants, they die. Unfortunately, this is also true for bees, who dutifully collect pollen to bring back to their hive, essentially dosing the entire colony with poison... if they can make it that far. Part of what makes this chemical so dangerous to honeybees is that it causes such severe disorientation that affected bees are just not as likely to find their way home. In one of the studies published by Science magazine, "free-roaming honeybees were tagged with RFID chips that allowed researchers to track their movements. When dosed with a neonicotinoid, bees were more than twice as likely as non-dosed controls to die outside their hives."

Supporters of neonicotinoid use point out that farmers have strict limits placed on how much of the chemical they can use in their fields, and that the levels they use are hardly strong enough to endanger bees. But no two farmers are alike. While one farmer may be using one pesticide, his neighbor is using 2 others, and so on. When a bee can cover upwards of 15,000 acres, it is scary to consider the variety of chemicals with which they come into contact, and what the compounded effect is. A single shot of tequila may not have much effect on me, but how do I look when I follow it with a margarita, a beer, a gin and tonic, and long island iced tea? Certainly don't ask me to drive home, because I probably wouldn't make it.

"The fundamental problem isn't neonicotinoids," says James Frazier, a Penn State entomologist. "We're making ourselves the guinea pigs. I don't think that's what a rational society should be doing." It is certainly disconcerting to consider the effect of pesticides on bee populations (not to mention other stressors like poor nutrition, new diseases, and shipment). But bees are not the only pollinators, so how is it that native insects vital to the health of diverse ecosystems are faring? And what can we possibly do about it?

Check out these web pages for more information: Controversial Pesticide Linked to Bee Collapse

The Telegraph: Pesticides Harming Bee Populations, Researchers Suggest

BBC News: Insecticide Blamed for Bee Deaths by Stirling University Study

Also pick up Rowan Jacobsen's "Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Asheville for Bee City, USA!

Members of the Buncombe County Beekeepers Chapter are lucky to live in such a green city and region, and blessed to be among people who value and celebrate biological diversity. Because our county's residents are generally ecologically conscientious, Asheville, our fair city, boasts one of the largest beekeeping communities in the country.

In a collaborative initiative, backyard beekeepers, the Buncombe County Beekeepers Chapter, and the Center for Honeybee Research propose for Asheville to officially become the inaugural Bee City USA. Not only would this cast a spotlight on our neighbors the honey bees, but it would also obligate Asheville to uphold a set of standards in cultivating habitats for the pollinators that play such a vital role in our ecology. This includes setting aside a portion of the city's landscaping budget for pollinator-friendly plants, and educating the public about honey bees and the keepers that love them. Not to mention the fact that learning about bees is fun!

The Bee City USA proposal is almost finalized, and the planning team could use some extra help. Specifically, they would like new volunteers to help with getting the name legally trademarked, as well as a graphic artist to work on designing a logo. If you are interested in getting involved, or have any additional questions, you can contact Phyllis Stiles at Let's show the rest of the country what it means to live green!

April 2 BCBC Meeting!

Come join us on Monday
to learn more about beekeeping and bees.

Our featured topic for April is
Come learn more about coping with
the business end of your bees
and the reactions that can follow.

We will also talk about
this month in the bee yard
and follow up our recent bee school
with some interesting questions and answers.

7:00 pm on April 2, 2012
at Groce United Methodist Church
at 954 Tunnel Rd in Asheville, NC.
Come early at 6:30 for informal mentoring,
conversations about your bees,
opportunity to talk to other beekeepers.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

WNC Bee School and Other News

The 2012 WNC Bee School has passed, and a whole slew of expert beekeepers is ready to go forth and become kings and queens of the land of wax and honey. Our speakers were extremely gracious to put together an an introductory event wherein they did their best to clarify the basics and answer our questions, and I'm grateful that they are making their experience available to us newbies. I can't speak for the other attendees, but the more that I listened, the more I realized that I still have a lot to learn (does it ever stop?). For you poor souls who couldn't make it out, here are some book recommendations that our wonderful seasoned beekeepers shared with us over the course of the school, in no particular order, to help you cry yourself to sleep:

 Michael Bush -- The Practical Beekeeper; Beekeeping Naturally   (the essential contents of this book are available for free online on his website)

Jürgen Tautz -- The Buzz About Bees (a discussion of bees as a superorganism)

Thomas Seeley -- Honey Bee Democracy (a look at how honeybees collectively make decisions, including when and where to swarm)

Also, Carl Chesick and Lady Spirit Moon announced that the Center for Honeybee Research is starting a new project comparing the pro-chemical honeybee management method to natural beekeeping. This project will involve keeping bee yards using both methods, and Carl stressed the need for experienced volunteers to see this project through. So, if you're a bee lover with a bit of extra time on your hands, get in touch with the good folks at the Center for Honeybee Research and make beautiful bee science happen.

Again, a huge THANK YOU to all the speakers this weekend at the WNC Bee School! I'm very excited to get my first hive, and just a little bit less terrified.

Are you in the downtown Asheville/Montford area, and HATE waiting all month for BCBC meetings? So does Mary Fierle, a lovely Asheville bee enthusiast, who wants to organize an informal mini-bee group whose members will help each other by answering questions, being available for bee yard help, and general honeybee high-fiving in the area. If you're interested in getting involved, contact Mary at

Monday, March 5, 2012

Chris Mathis Lecture on Building Efficiency April 9th

A local building scientist, Chris Mathis, who is also a beekeeper, is giving a lecture on building efficiency in which he speaks about the lessons that can be learned from the honeybee when building our own structures.  He is very passionate about both beekeeping and energy efficiency. It is free and open to the public, although donations to student clubs GreenPowerAVL and Phi Theta Kappa will be collected.

Monday, April 9th, 7pm
Ferguson Auditorium on AB Tech's Main Campus

More Information from Mountain Xpress

Friday, March 2, 2012

March 5 BCBC Meeting

Join us to hear the marvelous Diane Almond
7:00 pm on March 5, 2012
at Groce United Methodist Church
at 954 Tunnel Rd in Asheville, NC.
Come early at 6:30 for informal mentoring,
conversations about your bees,
opportunity to talk to other beekeepers.

The program, as described by Diane:
"I'll do a bit of review on just what the heck pollen and pollination is; a bit of latest news from perspective on beeks and honey bees, and then go into the other managed pollinators, and if time, end with what we all (not just as beeks) can do to help all pollinators, managed or not, native or not!"

Join us for news, fun, education and beekeeping joy!

Friday, January 27, 2012

February 2012 BCBC Meeting

The Year in Bees

The featured topic
at the Buncombe County Beekeepers meeting:
Exploring the seasons
and the year
from the bees and beekeepers' perspectives.

Plus, discussion of "This Month in the Hive."

Join us February 6 at 7:00 pm
at Groce United Methodist Church
at 954 Tunnel Rd in Asheville, NC.
Come early at 6:30 for informal mentoring,
conversations about your bees,
opportunity to talk to other beekeepers.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January Pollen Mystery

Well, it is a gorgeous day out here in Spring Creek and I'm so happy to see the sun after so much cloudy weather. Around noon today I headed into the bee yard to check on the girls. I was thrilled to see many bees bringing in pollen! A beautiful light beige pollen in late January...and I wondered; skunk cabbage, willow...what? As I watched them with a great deal of joy, I noticed that the pollen looked almost the color of white pine - and then it hit me. I'm a woodworker and just yesterday I emptied out my dust collector. As I walked over to the sawdust pile, my heart were over a hundred bees busily working the dust. Ugh. Anyone know anything about the nutritional qualities of sawdust...I would think 'nothing' but hope at the very least it is not harmful to them.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Inclement Weather Policy for Buncombe County Beekeepers

If Buncombe County Schools are closed on the day of a scheduled meeting of BCBC, there will be no club meeting that night. 2 hour delays do not effect meeting times. Please do not contact the office of Groce Church for details about meeting times. Please check or call the Buncombe County Extension Office.