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Phil Craft

Phil served as the Kentucky State Apiarist from 1999 through 2011. He is a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio (BA in biology), and of the University of Kentucky. Phil continues to communicate with beekeepers through his “Ask Phil” question/answer column which appears in Bee Culture magazine, and through his webpage, He is also the U.S. technical adviser for Veto-pharma, the maker of Apivar, and Varroa Easy Check. A native of the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, he now lives out in the sticks in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky near Lexington with his family, a very old dog, and some bee hives. You may send questions to Phil at


BCBA will be hosting a wooden ware workshop on Saturday, March 17th beginning at 9 am at the Masonic lodge in Alcoa (corner of Wright Road and Vose Street). This is an opportunity for anyone interested in putting their hives together with the help of some seasoned beekeepers. You will be shown the correct way to put together the hive bodies and frames, and will go over how to maintain your equipment. There is no charge for the class. It should end around lunch time.

For more information or questions:

Chuck Davis- 566-3690

Harlen Breeden- 719-1828

The Blount County Beekeepers Association will be offering an additional beekeeping class on March 10th at 9 am at Maryville Church of Christ. You must register for the class with Stacey Adair to receive class materials by March 1st. You may still come if not registered, however we may not have additional materials for you to take home.

Please click on the download link below for more information, who to register with and address for the church. Hope to see everyone there!

2018 New Beekeeper Classes

via 2018 New Beekeepers Short Course February 17th, 9 am – 3 pm

The State of Tennessee requires a minimum of 1,000 pre-orders to start the production process of the new plate. The Tennessee Department of Revenue estimates that after it receives the pre-orders, it will take 4-6 months for plates to arrive at local county clerk offices.

*If we do not receive 1,000 pre-orders by June 1, 2018, you will receive a refund of the $35.00, but not your $2.10 credit card processing fee.*

*The design of the license plate displayed above will be approved by the State of Tennessee once the 1,000 plates are pre-ordered. There is a chance the State of Tennessee could make changes to the design as needed. Refunds cannot be made in this scenario.*

*You may not pre-order a plate if you live outside of Tennessee and your vehicle is not registered in Tennessee.*



The Blount County Beekeepers Association will be hosting an inspectors class put on by State Apiarist Mike Studer. The class will be on 2 consecutive evenings, February 26th and 27th from 5 pm to 9 pm at the Maryville Church of Christ, 611 Sherwood Drive.

A $10 fee will be charged for participants to cover the expense of the meeting room. The requirements to take the class are to have been beekeeping for at least 5 years, and to have preferably taken the TN Basic Master Beekeeping course from John Skinner with UT extension. The class will be limited to 20 attendees.

Participants who successfully complete the course will be qualified to work with the state association inspectors grants programs for the state of Tennessee.

If you would like to register and reserve your spot in the class, please contact Stacey Adair at, or by text/phone 1-865-254-2500. Spots will be reserved on a first come first serve basis.




Please join us for an informative course on how to get started in beekeeping. There is no charge to attend, and everyone is welcome!

The meeting will take place at Maryville Church of Christ, 611 Sherwood Drive across from Shoney’s restaurant.

Topics of discussion will include setting up an apiary, personal protective gear, when and where to get bees, and other important topics for beginning beekeepers.  We will also have 3 beekeeping vendors at the meeting who will be happy to show you all the equipment you will need to get started.

Contact information and other information is listed on the link to the flyer above. Hope to see you there!

The Blount County Beekeepers Association is pleased to announce that they will be awarding 5 new beekeeper grants in conjunction with the Tennessee Beekeepers Association. Each recipient will receive a complete starter hive as well as a 3 pound package of bees. Each recipient will also be paired with a mentor for 2 years.

There are specific requirements to make application for each grant. See the attachment for a copy of the grant cover letter and application. You must be a member of the Blount County Beekeepers to apply, and you must attend the short course for new beekeepers which is scheduled for February 17th. There is no fee to attend the short course, and the dues for BCBA are $20/year, individual or family. You must join TBA (Tennessee Beekeepers Association) in order to apply for their grant.

Please download the application, fill it out, see Bernie to pay your dues, and have the application in by March 9th. The grants will be awarded at the March meeting.

Combined Grant App 2018


2017 Grant recipients

Please make plans to join us for the Christmas dinner on Monday, December 11th at 6:30 pm at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Maryville. We forego our usual itinerary to allow for time to visit with all our fellow members and enjoy good food and entertainment.

The cost of the dinner will be $15 per person and may be paid to Bernie McGraw. You must reserve and prepay your dinner. The deadline to pay will be announced at the November meeting, but is usually about 2 weeks before the date. We hope to see each and every one of you on the 11th!

Jennifer Berry will be our guest speaker in November. She will be sharing a two part lecture on Keeping Your Bees Alive. Please mark your calendar for this meeting you won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear one of the most knowledgeable and experienced speakers in the beekeeping world today. 6:30 pm Maryville Church of Christ Sherwood Drive

Jennifer’s bio:

Jennifer Berry

For over 17 years, Jennifer Berry has been the Apicultural Research Professional and Lab Manager for the University of Georgia Honey Bee Program. Her research objectives have focused on queen breeding, keeping bees alive, the sub-lethal effects of pesticides on beneficial insects and IPM techniques for varroa and small hive beetle control. Jennifer’s extension duties include teaching beekeeping to people from all walks of life, including those in Central and South America, to those imprisoned in Georgia’s maximum security prisons. She is also passionate about educating the public about the importance of beneficial insects and is somewhat of a regular columnist for Bee Culture magazine. On weekends and nights she operates Honey Pond Farm, a honey bee venture that sells quality nucleus colonies and teaches how to raise superior queens at her farm in Georgia.


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

Chuck Davis


Mark Ford


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 2018

The Blount County Beekeepers Association meets on the second Monday of every month, except for September and December, at 6:30 p.m. at the Maryville Church of Christ, 611 Sherwood Drive in Maryville.

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 2018:

January 8 – regular meeting

February 12 – regular meeting

February 17 – BCBA short course for new beekeepers

March 10– New Beekeepers class

March 12 – regular meeting

March 17 -Wooden Ware class

April 9 – regular meeting

April  TBA-Field Day for new beekeepers

May 14 – regular meeting

June 11 – regular meeting

July 9 – regular meeting

August 13 – regular meeting

October 8 – regular meeting

November 12 – regular meeting

December 10 – Christmas dinner

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