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)

J├╝rgen 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!