Articles and news for beekeepers and friends of bees, plus, updates on our upcoming activities and events.
How Can We Help You?
These are just some of the services we offer to community
Capture a Swarm
If you’ve spotted a swarm of bees outside their nest, we can help re-home them.
BEES IN YOUR BUILDING?
If bees are living in your house, outbuilding or anywhere else they don’t belong, we may be able to help.
REQUEST A SPEAKER
Ask our experienced beekeeping experts to talk to your group, class, or gathering.
BUY BEES OR QUEENS
Some of our members sell packages, nucs, and queens. Many are bred for our higher altitudes.
Find Bee Supplies
We maintain a relationship with multiple vendors in the area. From hives to tools and protective clothing, they have you covered!
Buy local honey, including our famous sourwood honey, as well as beeswax and products made from beeswax
Did You Know?
When honey bees collect nectar and pollen from blossoms and flowers, they help pollinate some of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts we eat, increasing harvests and helping farmers feed the world. The bees consume some nectar but turn much of it into honey and store it for later use. At the peak of the season a beehive might contain 100,000 bees and more than 100 pounds of honey.
TCBA members provide local bees with a safe, secure place to live and help protect them from predators, invasive mites, and deadly viruses. In return, we collect honey the bees have made from a wide variety of sources, including tulip poplars, wild flowers, clover, basswood and sourwood trees.
When bees cluster, or beard, on the outside of a hive, it is usually because they are trying to cool off, but the hive may be crowded and they are preparing to swarm
Like the vast majority of bees in a hive, this worker bee is female. She will only live six weeks during which time she will perform many duties in the hive before becoming a forager.
The queen bee, which is larger than the worker bees, can lay approximately 1,500 eggs a day. She is fed and cared for by special worker bees.
The orange blob on this bee’s leg is the pollen she has collected while visiting flowers. Pollen is the bee’s source of protein and they will not produce young without an ample supply.
Our beehives contain multiple frames upon which the bees build comb. They use the comb to store honey and pollen. The queen will also lay eggs in the comb.
This is a magnified view of eggs the queen has laid in the comb. The eggs will develop into larvae, which evolve into pupae, and finally turn into new bees. The entire process takes three weeks for worker bees.
Look closely in the bottom of the cells and you can see the larvae which develop a few days after the eggs are laid. These will continue to grow when fed by the nurse bees.
After the larvae develop, the bees cover them with a layer of tan wax, resulting in capped brood. When born, the bee will chew her way free and emerge into the hive.
Promoting the art and science of beekeeping
The TCBA is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping bees and beekeepers flourish in our neighboring communities. We achieve our goals via education, outreach, cooperation and mentoring.
Here are the dedicated beekeepers that keep our association humming.
When I was five years old, my mom ordered package bees from Sears Roebuck. I used to spend hours watching them. In 1986 we got bees and kept up to 16 colonies. In 1993 we sold all the bees and moved to Southwest New Mexico. Now, I have about 10 colonies in the South Toe River.
I currently manages two bee yards: one in the town of Burnsville with my son-in-law and the other on my farm in Little Switzerland. I love the challenges of understanding the life-cycle and behavior of the honeybee. I also enjoy the comradery of mentoring new beekeepers and working in the bee yards with fellow members.
After keeping bees years ago, I returned to it in 2020 and have been excited by the advances made in testing for and treating mites. Keeping bees in the Appalachians has made me more aware of and attuned to the seasonal changes and great variety of plants that surround us.
Bees are fascinating and such a good fit in our beautiful community. The sharing and support of club members is invaluable.