BCBA meeting June 8 to discuss extracting and marketing honey


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 anotherContinue reading “BCBA meeting June 8 to discuss extracting and marketing honey”

BCBA members offering bee packages


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 toContinue reading “BCBA members offering bee packages”

Winter for the beekeeper: It’s time to think about spring, summer


With winter approaching (in some places it’s already here), the beekeeper has two jobs: Make sure the bees in your hives have plenty of food. Think about about what’s going to happen in your apiary in the spring and summer. Neither of these jobs involves a lot of work at this point, but they shouldn’tContinue reading “Winter for the beekeeper: It’s time to think about spring, summer”

Miss Apis Mellifera sums up ‘poisonous honey’


Some honey can make you sick. Some nectars can kill your bees. Don’t worry. The “poisonous honey” is not likely to be on your grocery self, and it is very unlikely to be in the jars of stuff you took from your apiary this summer. For us East Tennesseans, however, the poisonous nectar is notContinue reading “Miss Apis Mellifera sums up ‘poisonous honey’”

Beekeeping involves year-around planning, BCBA told


Good beekeeping involves planning for two or three seasons ahead, according to Michael Wilson, a bee researcher at the University of Tennessee. Wilson spoke to the November meeting of the Blount County Beekeepers Association on Nov. 10 on “overwintering” and said that any plans a beekeeper has for overwintering bees should start in the springContinue reading “Beekeeping involves year-around planning, BCBA told”

BCBA to hold annual Christmas party on Dec. 8


The annual Blount County Beekeepers Association Christmas Party will be on Dec. 8 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Sandy Springs Road. The time is 6:30 p.m. We have special entertainment planned for this year: Off Kilter, a musical ensemble from Maryville College. This group gets rave reviews wherever it performs, and the students should provideContinue reading “BCBA to hold annual Christmas party on Dec. 8”

How a swarm decides: An NPR story on the democratic nature of honeybees


Thomas Seeley’s book, Honeybee Democracy, describes all sorts of fascinating behaviors of honeybees. None of those behaviors is more interesting than how a swarm of bees chooses a place to live. Here are the basics: Scout bees — older, more experienced bees — leave the swarm to look for a good location. The bees thatContinue reading “How a swarm decides: An NPR story on the democratic nature of honeybees”

Beekeepers are using Russian bees to fight varroa


One of the developing non-chemical methods to fight varroa is to use Russian bees and to acquire Russian queens. That’s what Tom Conlon, a beekeeper in Massachusetts and a member of the Russian Honey Bee Breeders Association, is doing. A recent article in a local Massachusetts newspaper about him says: As a member of theContinue reading “Beekeepers are using Russian bees to fight varroa”

Beehives are property worth stealing – here and elsewhere


If you have a beehive or two, it’s property that is becoming increasingly valuable — and worth stealing. We’ve had a couple of incidents of beehive thefts in this part of East Tennessee, and the problem could grow more serious in the coming months. It’s a growing problem in California (according to a recent articleContinue reading “Beehives are property worth stealing – here and elsewhere”

EPA pushes decision on neonicotinoids to 2016, maybe 2017


Well, you can’t accuse the Environmental Protection Agency of making a snap decision. The EPA announced that a recommendation on the use of neonics won’t come until at least 2016 — and maybe 2017. That’s the good news, I suppose. The earlier project was 2018. Jim Jones, the agency’s head of its chemical safety andContinue reading “EPA pushes decision on neonicotinoids to 2016, maybe 2017”