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, 258-8626

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.


The new beekeeper class scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 21, has been cancelled because of the weather.

The class scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 28, will be an all-day class, and participants are asked to bring a sack lunch.

These classes, conducted by veteran beekeepers Stacey Adair and José Ashbrook, are as hands-on as possible and will tell you a lot about what goes on inside the hive and about what you should be doing as a beekeeper.

The Feb. 28 class is at Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church, and the woodenware class on March 28 is at the Masonic Hall in Alcoa.

For more information and to register for class (no cost):

Jose` Ashbrook 379-6434, 724-8826 clean6@comcast.net

Stacey Adair 983-6223, 254-2500 blountbees@charter.net

Directions to Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church

503 Pleasant Hill Road: From Lamar Alexander Parkway, turn south on to Court Street toward Maryville College. Continue on Court past Maryville College (on left) and at fork, bear left on to Wilkinson Pike. Continue 2 miles, and then turn left on to Pleasant Hill Road. Go 2/10 of a mile to church on left. Parking located across the street from church. Enter the church on left/south side of building.

Directions to the Masonic Hall Alcoa: The location is the Masonic Hall in Alcoa. Directions to the Masonic hall– Take Hall Road to Bessemer street and turn East. Follow Bessemer through Alcoa, under the tunnel, and to Springbrook Road, about 1.25 miles. Go straight at the stop sign, and go 0.25 miles and turn left on N. Wright street. Go 0.3 miles to Vose Street. The Masonic Hall is at the intersection of Vose and Wright, on the left


Packages of bees, as usual, may be in short supply this spring, so you will want to get your orders in early.

Several BCBA members offer packages and nucs. Here are the ones we know about:

  • Howard Kerr (865) 982-6750
  • Coley O’Dell (865) 556-1345 (more information here)
  • Stephanie Tarwater (865) 805-1994

There may be other members to add to this list. If so, let me know.


The folks with their hands in the air are some of the people who have never kept bees and who attended Monday's BCBA short course for new beekeepers.

The folks with their hands in the air are some of the people who have never kept bees and who attended Monday’s BCBA short course for new beekeepers.

A room full of beekeepers and potential beekeepers showed up at the Blount County Library on Monday and Tuesday for the 2015 edition of the short course for new beekeepers offered by the Blount County Beekeepers Association.

About 60 people who had never kept bees were among the more than 100 people who attended the Monday night meeting. They hear veteran beekeepers Dennis Barry and Charlie Parton talk about why you should consider keeping bees and what kind of equipment you need for it.

Rita Scruggs, a newbie beekeeper, talked about what it was like to start from scratch in beekeeping.

The room was also full on Tuesday when the audience heard Phil Fulmer, former head football coach at the University of Tennessee, talk about his experience as a new beekeeper. Others who spoke on Tuesday were Dennis Barry, Steve Adair and Jim Stovall.

The short course is the first of several events planned for new beekeepers by the BCBA this spring. Next up is the new beekeeper classes on Feb. 21 and Feb. 28. A woodenware workshop is set for March 28, and a field day will be on May 2 at Charlie Parton’s farm.


This year Blount County Beekeepers Association (BCBA) will award five beekeeping grants. Three grants will be awarded in conjunction with the Tennessee Beekeepers Association (TBA), and two Charlie Stewart Grants will be awarded by BCBA.

Blount County Beekeepers Association established the Charlie Stewart Scholarship program in memory of one of its longstanding and honored members. The scholarship is funded by an annual auction of beekeeping equipment, baked goods and other beekeeping paraphernalia in the spring. Proceeds from the auction also help support the TBA grants.

Grant applications will be available at the short-course, and we will award these grants at the March meeting. The deadline for applications will be March 1, 2015. Grant applications should be mailed to Luke Newman, 1941 Benford Lane, Alcoa, TN 37701. They need to be postmarked by March 1.

You can download the grant application with this link: Combined Grant App 2015

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 128 other followers

Join us

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

%d bloggers like this: