Dear TCBA Members and Friends,

On behalf of the newly elected board, I am pleased to wish you a happy new year! I hope you are looking forward to the coming bee season as much­ as we are. Let me share with you some of what the board has been planning behind the scenes.

Speaker Schedule

What would the new year be without a new roster of speakers for our monthly meetings? We will provide more details as we get closer to each meeting, but please save the following dates.

February 27        Ed Speer, of Sweet Betsy Apiary in McDowell County, whom you may remember from his presentation on hive insulation in 2022, will discuss the wonders of pollen and recent developments in pollen analysis.

March 26             Brandon Simmons, of Foothills Farm and Apiary in North Wilkesboro, will discuss using artificial insemination to improve your apiary and develop mite-resistant bees

April 23                 Dr. Greg Hunt will talk about his ground-breaking work in developing the Purdue University “Mite-biter” strain of bees.  Hunt recently retired and lives in the Mars Hill area.

May 28                 Burton Beasley is a Master Craftsman Beekeeper from Gaston County.  He will talk about his recently published research project with NC State on whether probiotics live up to the claims of better bee health.

The monthly meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Spruce Pine.

Educational Apiary

Site prep for the TCBA’s educational apiary at Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine is progressing, and plans to open the apiary this year appear to be on track. When complete, the apiary will feature multiple hives and a variety of hive types. The apiary should also allow us to expand the amount of hands-on training and education we can provide to both new and experienced beekeepers.

We will soon kick off a fundraising campaign to raise the money needed to equip the site. If you are interested in joining our fundraising committee or writing grants, please contact me at the address below or using our contact form.

Bee School

Last year’s Bee Basics for Beginning Beekeepers class was so successful that we will offer the one-day class again in late March. The class is designed to give the new beekeeper enough knowledge to set up their hive, install a package of bees or a nuc, inspect the bees a couple weeks later and determine when to add a second hive body. If you or someone you know want to get a quick, one-day introduction to beekeeping, this class may be for you.

This class is free to members but space is limited.  We will announce more details when registration opens.

We also hope to offer more advanced classes and hands-on training later in the year.

I am delighted to announce that Debbie Griffith, a Master Beekeeper, has joined the board as member-at-large. I expect her experience, both as a beekeeper and as a former officer of the TCBA, will prove invaluable to us.

Membership Dues

The New Year also means it is time to renew your membership. 2024 dues remain just $10 for individuals and $15 for the family membership. We also introduced a $100 lifetime membership last year. You can renew your membership or join the association at https://toecanebeekeepers.net/product/annual-membership/.

If you prefer to pay in person, we can process your membership or renewal at any of our regular monthly meetings. While credit or debit cards must be used online, you may pay with cash, check, or card at the meetings.

Stay in Touch

If you have changed your email, physical address, phone number or other information, we ask you to update your contact info at https://toecanebeekeepers.net/update-contact-info/. Email remains our primary means of contact and we will continue to send meeting announcements and other news via email. We also use Facebook for news and announcements. If you visit our page, you will find posts on a wide variety of topics from fellow beekeepers and merchants selling bees and beekeeping goods.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you at the February 27 meeting.

— Dave

David Reeder
TCBA President
[email protected]


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