The regular meeting of the Blount County Beekeepers Association will be on Monday, July 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Blount County public library. The main topic on the program will be mead and how to make it out of your honey.

In addition, beekeepers can bring a sample of honey to have it tested for moisture content. Howard Kerr, a BCBA member and veteran beekeeper, will bring the testing equipment and has offered to test the honey of anyone who brings recently extracted honey to the meeting.

Honey should have about 19 percent or less water content to be considered real honey, and sometimes, with our humid days, it is difficult to determine the exact percentage. Howard will give us some insight about that on Monday

We’ll also have some information about how the CSX train derailment and evacuation has affected Blount County beekeepers.


Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 9.34.01 AMThe Maryville Daily times has published a full story on the plight of the beekeepers  who are in the area affected by last week’s train derailment.

The story quotes BCBA members Coley O’Dell and Howard Kerr and BCBA president Harlen Breeden. Mike Studer, the state apiarist, is also quote.

The story is a good summary of the situation at present:

Source: Derailment could delay local honey harvest – The Daily Times: News

Beekeepers with hives within the two-mile zone of last week’s CSX train derailment in Maryville can go ahead and extract honey, but are being asked to keep that honey separate until it can be analyzed for contaminants, the state apiarist said Tuesday.

 


Mike Studer, the state apiarist, has asked that Blount County beekeepers — particularly those in the evacuation zone of last week’s train derailment — request that CSX have honey from beehives within the zone analyzed for contaminants.

That request should be made at the CSX outreach center, which is located at Heritage Middle School.

Studer said beekeepers within the zone can extract the honey in their hives, but they should keep it separate from other honey they have and they should clean their equipment thoroughly after the extraction. The request to separate the honey will hold until honey from the zone can be analyzed.

All Blount beekeepers should continue to monitor their hives to check for significant bee kills for at least another week.


All Blount County beekeepers can extract honey from their hives, Mike Studer, state apiarist, said on Saturday morning.

But beekeepers should continue to monitor their hives to see if they notice any significant bee kills that might occur over the next couple of weeks.

Studer asked on Friday that honey extraction be suspended from many Blount County hives, particularly those close to the train derailment site that cause the evacuation of more than 5,000 people from their homes on Thursday.

The train car that derailed was carrying a dangerous chemical, which caught fire and took more than16 hours to burn itself out. A number of Blount beekeepers maintain hives that are well within the radius the evacuation zone.

State and federal environment officials were on the scene Thursday to test the air and water to see if any parts of the environment had been polluted, and they are continuing to gather samples.

Studer said he had been in touch with these officials, and to date they have found no levels of pollution outside normal levels.

If you see a significant bee kill in front of your hives over the next couple of weeks, you should contact Mike Studer at 615-517-4451 or Harlen Breeden, president of the Blount County Beekeepers Association, at 865-719-1828.


Mike Studer, the state apiarist, has asked that Blount County beekeepers, particularly those who have hives near the site of the recent train derailment, to do the following:

— Leave the honey on the hives. Do not extract any honey until the state has had a chance to run some tests to determine if the honey has been contaminated.

— Check the front of your hives immediately to see if there are any significant bee kills that have occurred in the last 36 hours.

— Continue to monitor the fronts of your hives daily. Contaminations sometimes take several days to show their effects. If you see a significant loss of bees over the next week or two, contact Mike Studer or BCBA president Harlen Breeden.

Studer said that his belief is that the railroad company CSX will continue to be responsible for any damage resulting from the accident. That would include damage to beehives or honey.

Studer said he hopes to have more information about possible honey contamination by sometime next week.

If you see anything unusual with your hives that might be attributed to the railroad accident, you should call Harlen (865-719-1828) or Mike (615-517-4451) immediately. This is especially true about large amounts of dead bees. Their carcasses deteriorate quickly, so the sooner they can be tested, the better the results will be.

The train derailment occurred early Thursday morning near the crossing on Old Mount Tabor Road and not far from Old Glory Road. A number of our members have hives close to that site.


It’s the state law to have your beehives registered, so don’t neglect this important duty.

If you want them inspected, below is a list of association bee inspectors. There is no cost for this service. If you are planning to move the hives, they must be inspected. 

Current inspectors in the BCBA:

Stacey Adair, 983-6223

Harlen Breeden, 719-1828

Stephanie Tarwater, 805-1994

Dennis Barry, 414-2116

Dale Hinkle, 423-261-5234

Charlie Parton, 984-3059

José Ashbrook, 258-8636

Ricky Bailey, 865-250-8123

 


Dennis Barry presented the seasonal portion of the June meeting of the Blount County Beekeepers Association on June 8 and told those attending that they should keep in mind the following during this busy month for beekeepers:

  • The honey flow is nearly finished, and the honey supers should be coming off the hives fairly soon.
  • Think about when you will start feeding your hives. With the flowering season over, the feeds are likely to run out of stores by August.
  • Get ready to medicate, if you choose to do so. Some medications are temperature sensitive, so make sure you are away of how to put them on.
  • Prepare to enter your honey in a local fair or contest. For local beekeepers, there is the Tennessee Valley Fair, the Blue Ribbon Fair and the Tennessee Beekeepers Association annual meeting, just to name three venues coming up in early fall.
  • Order your queens now if you are going to re-queen in the fall.

 


Whatever you do with your honey, don’t give it away.

That was the message from veteran Blount County beekeeper Coley O’Dell, who talked to the Blount County Beekeepers Association on June 8 and harvesting and marketing honey. Honey is too valuable, and it takes too much work to get it, O’Dell said.

O’Dell also discussed several ways in which honey could be taken from the hive, including escape boards and fume boards. In his experience, he said, most escape boards do not work. Fume boards are better if you have a large number of hives.

If you have a small number of hives and you harvest honey frame by frame, O’Dell said that all you need is a bee brush and a smoker.

Two of the slideshows that Coley used in his presentation are available for downloading by clicking on the links below. (Thanks much to Coley for sending these along.)

Equipment For Harvesting Honey Final Slides

Marketing Honey 6615 Final Back Up

 

 

In the second part of the meeting John Gee demonstrated how to use a honey extractor to get honey off the comb.

John Gee, far right, discusses extracting equipment with some of the members of the BCBA.

John Gee, far right, discusses extracting equipment with some of the members of the BCBA.

 


Getting your honey of the hive — how does that happen?

And then what do you do with all that golden stuff​?

Those will be the questions we will be tackling at the next meeting of the Blount County Beekeepers Association. One of our members, Coley O’Dell, will talk about harvesting and marketing honey, and another member, John Gee, will give us a demonstration on extracting honey.

Dennis Barry will be presenting the seasonal management discussion.

The meeting will be Monday, June 8, at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Blount County Library.

If you have questions about what your bees are doing this time of year, this next BCBA meeting would be a great place to get some answers.

As always, our meetings are free and open to the public. Invite a friend to come along with you.

Even if the friend isn’t interested in becoming a beekeeper, we always have lively, friendly discussions about what we should be doing with our bees.

And, if you aren’t doing this already, you should check out BlountBees.com on a regular basis. Better yet, you should go to the site and sign up for an email subscription (free, of course). You will get an email every time we post something new to the site.


The Blount County Beekeepers Association’s March meeting will cover the practical topics of supering (putting boxes on your hives) and installing packages of bees.

The meeting will be Monday, March 9, at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Blount County Library.

Bill Manuel will lead the discussion on supering, and Bob Landers will demonstrate the proper way to install a package of bees. Luke Newman will talk about seasonal management.

If you have questions about what your bees are doing this time of year, the next BCBA meeting would be a great place to get some answers.

As always, our meetings are free and open to the public. Invite a friend to come along with you. Even if the friend isn’t interested in becoming a beekeeper, we always have lively, friendly discussions about what we should be doing with our bees.

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If you're interested in joining the Blount County Beekeepers Association, call

Harlen Breeden
865-719-1828

or

John McDade
207-669-5569

Welcome

Welcome to the web site of the Blount County Beekeepers Association in Maryville, Tennessee.

This site will tell you a little about the association and how to become a member. It will also tell you a little about beekeeping.

Bees are an important part of our environment and particularly our agricultural system. They are also fascinating creatures.

We hope you will be interested enough to join us at some point, even if you're not interested in keeping bees. There are lots of ways you can join in with what we do.

Follow us on Twitter at @blountbees.

Schedule of BCBA meetings for 2015

The Blount County Beekeepers Association meets on the second Monday of every month, except for September and December, at 6:30 p.m. in the Blount County Library.

All of the meetings are open to the public, and anyone interested in learning more about beekeeping is welcome and encouraged to attend.

The following is the schedule of meetings and activities for 2015:

January 12 – regular meeting

February 9-10 – BCBA short course for new beekeepers

Feb. 16 – Board of directors meeting

CANCELLED - Feb. 21 – New beekeepers class, Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church

Feb. 28 – New beekeepers class, Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church

March 1 – Grant application deadline

March 9 – regular meeting

March 28 – Woodenware workshop, Masonic Hall, Alcoa

April 13 – regular meeting

May 2 – Field Day at Charlie Parton’s farm

May 11 – regular meeting

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