Ed with a swarm

While our bees are busy keeping warm, our new officers Kristi Benningfield, vice president; Debbie Griffith, secretary; and Ann Concannon Coomber, treasurer, are already planning club activities for the coming year. You can look forward to more hands-on activities at my Blue Rock Apiary in Yancey County and increased efforts to work with the broader community to continue to educate folks about the importance of bees and other pollinators.

First, some exciting news: Thanks to the efforts of member Dave Reeder, Toe Cane Beekeepers have a new and greatly improved website, designed to convey helpful information to club members and non-members alike. Some of the new features of the site include: up-to-date news about the club, ability to pay dues online, a special “members only” page where you’ll find club business matters. In the future, we plan to expand this to include items for sale to club members and the ability of members to advertise their goods and services to other members. Because education is our club’s primary goal, the site is packed with useful beekeeping information, facts, and links to outstanding resources. Check out the updated site at toecanebeekeepers.net, and be sure to send a heartfelt and enthusiastic THANK YOU to Dave for his outstanding website design and development.

As president this year, I’d like to focus on special demonstrations of beekeeping techniques, with opportunities for beginning beekeepers, as well as more experienced keepers, to learn by doing. These hands-on, small-group gatherings will be held at my own apiary as well as at other members’ who are willing to help. I believe hands-on participation is one of the best ways we can learn, and I have spoken to other members who have expressed a willingness to help present different ideas and techniques for such things as spring splits, treating methods for Varroa and other pests, new or less-common hive configurations, and more. More information will come to you soon via email and the website.

As always, we’ll have guest speakers at regular meetings each month, either by Zoom or in-person when we can meet safely. Meetings will resume in March so check the website for further information.

Our board members always want to hear your ideas on what will make the club more engaging – new topics, future speakers, how to share ideas and techniques. So if you have ideas, please send them along to me. There is also a feedback on the website that members can use to contact their board members.

We will be reaching out to local organizations to see how we can work together as a broader community for our common goals. Already under way are plans for finding a central location for our proposed community apiary dedicated to educating beekeepers and non-beekeepers alike. We have some great possibilities in the works, and we will keep everyone informed as plans progress.

Finally, I would like to thank past club officers Debbie Griffith, Ron Stirling and Robert Storch for their work last year despite a very trying time for us all. And I’d like to express my deep gratitude to club members, as well as our surrounding community, for their continued support of beekeeping.


Edward Geouge



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