It is ILLEGAL in the State of Tennessee to either sell or give away used beekeeping boxes or frames.
The ONLY exception to this law is IF a hives have live bees in it AND it has been inspected by a TN State (or local) Inspector. OR if the equipment has been boiled in lye for at least 30 minutes (the lye breaks the wood down so much, that it leaves the boxes unusable, so this option really isn’t much of an option).
Even if you know and trust the person giving or selling you equipment, don’t do it! You may be unknowingly be spreading American Foulbrood (AFB) to your bees. They too may be unaware that the equipment is contaminated. The AFB spores can last 40+ years.
If a hive gets AFB, the only way to get rid of AFB is to burn the hives with the bees in it at night. It is a traumatizing and expensive to have AFB in your hives and in your area.
An eight mile radius around your hives will be put under quarantine and the State Apiarist and his inspectors will need to inspect every frame of every beekeeper’s hives in that 8 mile radius. This could easily be hundreds of hives they need to inspect. Besides putting other beekeepers at risk, doing so ties up the inspectors and makes them not available to beekeepers for their many other job functions. It also greatly inconveniences other beekeepers.
So even if you find equipment in your grandfathers barn or family basement and are thinking of using it, remember It is not worth the risk.
Tennessee Code 44-15-112 – Used beekeeping equipment. *No person shall sell or give to any other person any used beekeeping equipment until the equipment has been sanitized by a method approved by the state apiarist. This requirement will not apply to equipment that is occupied by live bees.
The Honey Bee Health Coalition has released 2 new resources to help beekeepers make informed hive management decisions.
About the Honey Bee Health Coalition
The Honey Bee Health Coalition brings together beekeepers, growers, researchers, government agencies, agribusinesses, conservation groups, manufacturers, brands and other key partners to improve the health of honey bees and other pollinators. Its mission is to collaboratively implement solutions that help achieve a healthy population of honey bees while also supporting populations of native and managed pollinators in the context of productive agricultural systems and thriving ecosystems. The Coalition focuses on accelerating the collective impact of efforts in four key areas: forage and nutrition; hive management; crop pest management; and communications, outreach and education. The Honey Bee Health Coalition is a project of the Keystone Policy Center, a nationally recognized nonprofit that brings together diverse stakeholders to find collaborative, actionable solutions to public policy challenges. For more information, visit:
The link directs you to the BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR BEE HEALTH, an 80-page document on beekeeping that includes information on safety, apiary maintenance, nutrition, bee stock, pesticide exposure and treatment of bee disease and parasites.
The second link is VARROE MANAGEMENT DECISION TOOL, an interactive flow chart that helps you with decisions on treating for varroa infestation- types of treatments available, when to apply, etc. Within this tool is information on the available treatments, timing on when to use them and some embedded videos to further explain practices involving IPM.
Attention new beekeepers! The Blount County Beekeepers Association will be having a workshop for you on how to properly put your beekeeping equipment together.
The workshop will be held Saturday, March 16th 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. You may bring some of your un-assembled equipment to work on.
There is no charge for the class. It should end around lunch time.
Blount County Beekeepers Association (BCBA) in conjunction with the Tennessee State Beekeepers Association ( TBA) will be awarding 5 grants in March to new beekeepers. These grants are funded by donations from TBA and BCBA auction money. These grants include the wooden ware and bees for one full colony. Applications are available here online, and will also be available at the short course on February 16th. The deadline for application is March 8th.
There are preliminary requirements for these grants which include first and foremost, proof of attending a beekeeping short course. You will also be required to join the state association and local Blount County Association, so please read the application carefully. Each recipient of a grant/hive will also be paired with a mentor to help you get started. BCBA is proud of this long-standing partnership with TBA in helping new beekeepers get started in the wonderful, challenging and exciting world of beekeeping! Good luck to all applicants!
Please join us for our annual beekeepers short course, set for Saturday February 16th, from 9am to 3pm, with lunch provided by Dadant Beekeeping and Smokey Ridge Apiaries.We will meet at our regular meeting place, Maryville Church of Christ, 611 Sherwood Drive in Maryville.
If you have thought about becoming a beekeeper, this is the course for you! We will be presenting many topics related to beekeeping such as setting up your apiary, personal protective equipment, installing packages, even extracting honey! There will be beekeeping equipment vendors there so you can purchase your equipment and supplies, and meet some really great BCBA members!
The Blount County Beekeepers will also be awarding hives to 5 new beekeepers this spring. Applications for the grant will be available at the short course, and you must attend the short course to be eligible to receive a hive. There are other conditions that will have to be met in addition to attending the short course. The hives are supplied through a grant from Tennessee Beekeepers Association and from money generated from the BCBA auction each year. Please ask us about these grants!
There is no fee to attend the course. Please bring any interested friends and come learn about some basics in beekeeping!
Please make plans to attend the Monday night meeting of Blount County Beekeepers on November 12th. Our speaker will be Clarence Collison. Emeritus Professor of Entomology and Emeritus Head of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University. Mr. Collison is a nationally known speaker and author of “What Do You Know”, a comprehensive question and answer book on all aspects of beekeeping, including genetics, pollination and hive management. Mr. Collison also is a contributing author with Bee Culture magazine.
Our meetings are open to the public, and begin at 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm. We meet at the Maryville Church of Christ on Sherwood Drive.
The annual auction to support new beekeeper grants will be Monday, October 8th. The Blount County Beekeepers Association in conjunction with the Tennessee Beekeepers Association offers new beekeeper grants in the spring of each year. The TBA provides 2 grants, and BCBA provides 3 additional grants each year. We generate the funds to cover the costs of the hive components and packages of bees by having an auction each fall.
Members are asked to bring any be related items they have to donate to the auction. We request that if items are used, such as hive tools, smokers, etc. that they be clean and disinfected. We ask that no used wooden ware be donated. New wooden ware is greatly appreciated.
We also love to have other items that may not be bee related, but great for the beekeepers! We have auctioned fresh eggs, pies, cakes, jewelry, clothing, hand made crafts, paintings, wood turnings etc. and have had quite some auction battles over these items! Anything you would like to donate would be appreciated, as this is our sole fundraiser for the grants.
So, bring your items and your check book to the October meeting and plan on having a great time!
Fall is a busy time for East Tennessee Beekeepers! There are many events taking place in our local area that may appeal to you. Just a few-
Tennessee Valley Fair- September 7-16th. Please come by the honey show and see the honey and association exhibits. You may also volunteer to work the exhibit, answering questions from the visitors. Visit Blount County Beekeepers Association on Facebook for link to calendar to volunteer.
Blue Ribbon Country Fair at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center-September 29th. In it’s 12th year this year! Come by the Honey Show and see the exhibit, and visit all the other exhibits including Poultry, Woodworking, Photography, Canned goods, etc.
Tennessee Beekeepers Association Fall Conference- October 12-13th. Visit the TBA website for information and to register. Early registration ends September 28th. There is also a Honey Show competition with the conference!