Beekeepers, queen rearers and educators Ang Roell and Bi Kline of They Keep Bees in an apiary.

The Toe Cane Beekeepers Association will host a special presentation on managing and splitting beehives on Saturday, March 11 at 1 p.m. This is a timely topic considering most splits are made in the spring as beehive populations explode, and a failure to split hives can lead to swarming and the loss of bees.

The presentation will be at the Yancey County Extension Office and is open to the public. If weather allows, a hands-on demonstration of splitting techniques will follow at the nearby Blue Rock Apiary. Admission is free, but those going to the apiary must have appropriate protective beekeeping apparel.

The guest speakers are well-known beekeepers, queen rearers and educators Ang Roell and Bi Kline of They Keep Bees. The pair, who keep bees in Massachusetts, Vermont and Florida, will share some results from their recent research into the success rate of various splitting approaches.

Ang and Bi are also founding members of the Adaptive Bee Breeders Alliance, a group dedicated to building climate resilient beekeeping practices. Ang’s professional background is in education, evaluation and facilitation. Bi has an extensive background in education and agriculture.

VSH Queens

They Keep Bees specializes in raising Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) Queens that are part of a breeding program intended to make honey bees more resistant to the deadly Varroa Destructor mite. According to Ang, “VSH queens can help move the industry forward, ensuring that the bees are equipped with the characteristics that safeguard their survival and preserve this crucial part of our ecosystem.”

Local beekeepers who wish to buy one or more VSH queens from They Keep Bees and pick them up at the March 11 presentation, thereby saving on shipping costs, should visit or click here for specific instructions. Orders must be placed by February 26.


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