The Blount County Beekeepers Association will hold its May meeting at the Maryville Church of Christ on Sherwood Drive, across the bypass from Foothills Mall.

The association will return to the Blount County Library for its June meeting, but the Maryville Church of Christ will be the permanent meeting place with the July meeting.

The May meeting will be on Monday, May 9, at 6:30 p.m.

Clarence Collison

Clarence Collison

The featured speaker will be Clarence Collison, a well-known beekeeper and an Emeritus Professor of Entomology and Emeritus Head of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University, having retired from the position in 2010. Prior to assuming this position at Mississippi State University in March 1989, he was an extension entomologist at The Pennsylvania State University where he served as a beekeeping/pollination specialist and livestock entomologist. He is a contributor to Bee Culture magazine.

Collison will speak on examining combs and what they tell the beekeeper and the importance of genetic diversity.

The change of location for the association meeting was brought about by the rapid growth of the organization. We have nearly 150 members and have had more than 100 people attending meetings this year.

The room at Maryville Church Christ is the same as the one used for the short course for new beekeepers in February. We had more than 200 people at that meeting with plenty of room for vendor stands and tables.


The annual BCBA Field Day for New Beekeepers will be Saturday, April 30, at 1 p.m. at Charlie Parton’s farm.

The farm is located at.1730 East Brown School Road

Everyone is welcome, even if you’re not a BCBA member.

What to bring: Veil, protective clothing and a hive tool.

Directions: From Sevierville Road/411 North off South Washington Street (Fort Craig School), go south 1.9 miles and turn left onto Brown School Road and go .3 miles to a three-way stop. Turn right onto East Brown School Road and continue approximately 1.4 miles. You’ll come to Charlie’s driveway on the right but continue past that and look for a sign at the driveway near the barn.

In case of questionable weather, please call 776- 1875.

 


The March meeting of the BCBA feature about swarms – how to prevent them and how to catch them if you can’t.  Veteran beekeeper Rickey Bailey will talk about swarming and some of the techniques beekeepers traditionally use to prevent swarming. Doug Hardwick, a long-time member of the BCBA, will discuss ways of catching swarms and the equipment you will need to do this.

The meeting will be Monday, March 14, at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Blount County Library. Seasonal management tips will be presented by one of our veteran beekeepers. All of these speakers will present interesting information and opinions, and there will be plenty of time for questions and comments.

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.


 

 Interested in beekeeping?  Did February’s short course spark your interest, and now you hunger for more in-depth information? If so, come to our New Beekeepers Class, on Saturday March 12.  This class is FREE, but you must call Stacey or Jose to pre-register.

Class times: 9 am to 3 pm- Please bring your lunch and a drink

We will cover:

  1. Identification of Queen, Workers and Drones ( Adults and Brood)
  2. Breakdown of Hive Components ( The brood chamber and honey supers)
  3. Picking up Packages and Nucs and Installation ( Moving bees, Package installation demonstration)
  4. Feeding Packages and Nucs (Types of feed and types of feeders)
  5. Smokers, smoker fuel and how to light them ( Demonstration)
  6. Personal protective equipment ( Review of protective clothing)
  7. Getting into the Hive- How to inspect and how frequently (Proper way to enter a hive, manipulate frames, look for brood, food stores, tools useful for the inspection)
  8. Keeping bees in Urban areas (tips for successful beekeeping in urban areas)

 The class will be held at the Maryville Church of Christ (same location as the short course) across from the Foothills Mall.

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

Jose` Ashbrook  379-6434, 258-8636 clean6@comcast.net

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


Photos from the Beekeeping 101 short course for new beekeepers, Feb. 20, 2016.


 

After many years of offering a two-night short course for new beekeepers in February, the BCBA is changing the time, place and format of that course.

In 2016, the short course will be Saturday, Feb. 20, at Maryville Church of Christ across the bypass from Foothills Mall.

The short course will begin at 9 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. with an hour break for lunch.

Topics covered in the short course include bee biology, setting up an apiary, tools and protective gear, installing bees, and extracting honey.

The main reason for the change is that we have more people come to that course than the room at the library can hold. During this year’s course, we had nearly 150 people, and many people had to stand.

A number of vendors will be at this meeting, so you will be able to get catalogues and place orders at the meeting.

Short course schedule

The following is the schedule for the annual short course for new beekeepers, which will be on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Maryville Church of Christ.

9:00-9:15: Welcome and Opening Comments (Harlen Breeden)

9:15-9:45: So You Want to Be a Beekeeper? (Charlie Parton)

9:45-10:00: Experience of a New Beekeeper (Mark Cocke)

10:00-10:30: Intro to Honeybee Biology (Dale Hinkle)

10:30-10:40: Break

10:40-11:10: Setting up an Apiary (Dennis Berry)

11:10- 11:40: Extracting Honey (Luke Newman)

11:40-12:30: Lunch

12:30-12:45: Welcome Back (Bill Manuel) Information on Course for New Beekeepers (Jose Ashbrook)

12:45-1:15: What I Wish I’d Known Before I Got My First Bees (Clay Guthrie from Dadant)

1:15-1:30: Our First Year Keeping Bees’ (Jeff and Mary Berquist)

1:30-2:00: Installing a Package of Bees (Coley O’Dell)

2:00-2:30: Protective Equipment and Tools (Jennifer from Walter T. Kelley Co.)

2:30-3:00: Question and Answer Session & Raffle


The 2016 grant application for new beekeepers is available.  Remember you must attend the February 20th short course to be eligible.   The completed application is due March 4.

Grant App 2016


 

The January meeting of the BCBA feature talks on queen rearing and pest management from experts at the University of Tennessee.

 

Michael Wilson will talk on how to raise queens, and Philip Moore will discuss various forms of pest management. Both work at UT’s Institute of Agriculture and are associates of Dr. John Skinner.

Philip More’s presentation

 

The meeting will be Monday, Jan. 11, at 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Blount County Library.

 

Seasonal management tips will be presented by Jim Stovall.

 

Both of our main speakers have been with us before, and we are happy to welcome them back.

 

We will also discuss plans for the new format and date for the new beekeepers short course in February. If you are asked to help with this effort, please be prepared to say yes.

 

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.


After many years of offering a two-night short course for new beekeepers in February, the BCBA is changing the time, place and format of that course.

 

In 2016, the short course will be Saturday, Feb. 20, at Maryville Church of Christ across the bypass from Foothills Mall.

 

The main reason for the change is that we have more people come to that course than the room at the library can hold. During this year’s course, we had nearly 150 people, and many people had to stand.

 

We will begin making the arrangements and putting together the program soon, and we will be calling on the members to help out with this important endeavor.


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.

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

Harlen Breeden
865-719-1828

or

Mark Ford
865-603-2016

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 2016

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 2016:

January 11 – regular meeting

February 9 – regular meeting

February 20 – BCBA short course for new beekeepers

March 14 – regular meeting

March 12 – Introduction to beekeeping course (hands-on workshop)

March 19 – woodenware workshop

April 11 – regular meeting

May 9 – regular meeting

June 13 – regular meeting

July 11 – regular meeting

August 8 – regular meeting

October 10 – regular meeting

November 15 – regular meeting

December 12 – Christmas dinner

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