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All Blount County beekeepers can extract honey from their hives, Mike Studer, state apiarist, said on Saturday morning.

But beekeepers should continue to monitor their hives to see if they notice any significant bee kills that might occur over the next couple of weeks.

Studer asked on Friday that honey extraction be suspended from many Blount County hives, particularly those close to the train derailment site that cause the evacuation of more than 5,000 people from their homes on Thursday.

The train car that derailed was carrying a dangerous chemical, which caught fire and took more than16 hours to burn itself out. A number of Blount beekeepers maintain hives that are well within the radius the evacuation zone.

State and federal environment officials were on the scene Thursday to test the air and water to see if any parts of the environment had been polluted, and they are continuing to gather samples.

Studer said he had been in touch with these officials, and to date they have found no levels of pollution outside normal levels.

If you see a significant bee kill in front of your hives over the next couple of weeks, you should contact Mike Studer at 615-517-4451 or Harlen Breeden, president of the Blount County Beekeepers Association, at 865-719-1828.


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.

Tom Webster

Tom Webster

The Tennessee Beekeepers Association fall conference will be Friday Oct. 10 and Saturday Oct. 11, 2014 in Cookeville, Tenn.

Dr. Thomas Webster, assistant professor at Kentucky State University and one of the founders of the Heartland Apiculture Society (HAS), will be the keynote speaker.

Other speakers include Harris Overholt and Kent Williams of Kentucky; Tennesseans: State Apiarist Mike Studer, Dr. John Skinner, Dr. Clarence Collison, Charlie Parton, Jim Garrison, Barry Richards, Sheila Ray, Jeff Dayton, Judy O’dell, Sue Dickhaus, and Wanda Coleman.

The Honey Show Director will be Jan Stephenson, Secretary/Treasurer of Cherokee Beekeepers. As you harvest honey and wax, remember to prepare entries for the George DeBusk Honey Show. Also keep your eyes open for opportunities to take photos for the photography competition.

Click here for the official honey show rules and guidelines (PDF file).

Available to download: Beekeeper Registration – PDF or Word

Vendor Registration – PDF or Word

More information about the conference can be found at Key words:

Mike Studer, the Tennessee state apiarist, reports that a case of American foulbrood was recently found in a hive in Sullivan County in Upper East Tennessee.

American foulbrood is one of the worst things that can happen to a hive, and it usually results in the hive — bees and all — having to be burned. The reason it has to be destroyed in this way is so it won’t spread to other hives.

Studer, in the Tennessee Beekeepers Association newsletter The Hive Tool, said the foulbrood was probably the result of a beekeeper acquiring and using old equipment.

“Please do not use someone’s old equipment,” Studer says.  “It can cost you a lot more than buying new equipment.”

American foulbrood is something that we discuss quite a bit at our beekeepers meetings, but, fortunately, it doesn’t occur that often. Varroa is the number one pest we have to deal with. Still, we should always be careful with our hives and not bring undue problems on ourselves or our bees.

Mike Studer’s full contact information is below in case you ever need him.

Michael D. Studer

State Apiarist

Tennessee Department of Agriculture

Division of Consumer and Industry Services

Apiary Section

Ellington Agricultural Center

Box 40627, Melrose Station

436 Hogan Road, Porter Bldg.

Nashville, TN 37204

Office: 615-837-5342

Cell: 615-517-4451

Fax: 615-837-5246


Web Page:

And here’s a video from New Zealand, of all places, on American foulbrood:


Key words: Mike Studer, Tennessee State apiarist, American foulbrood, bee diseases, beekeeping in Tennessee, beehives

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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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