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

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