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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:


University of Tennessee State Apiculturist John Skinner has recently been part of a research project to find out more about the pollination of cranberries and other berries in the eastern United States. Below is his report, which was originally published in The Hive Tool, the newsletter of the Tennessee Beekeepers Association.

The Amazing Cranberry –Bogs, Bees and Berries


By John Skinner, Professor and UT Extension Bee Specialist

Recently I returned from a trip to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where Michael Wilson and I videotaped and photographed blooming cranberry bogs and the people that make this successful. This is a continuation of the cooperative project that started last year with low bush blueberry in Maine.

Our Maine cooperator, Dr. Frank Drummond participated in the TBA convention last year. I returned from this trip in awe of such a unique crop, its rich American history, the balance of maintaining a bog environment and the challenges getting this crop pollinated.

Dr. Anne Averill, Entomologist from the University of Massachusetts and her technician and great organizer sister Marty escorted us from bog to bog. We interviewed growers, industry representatives, cranberry association people, and scientists studying all aspects of cranberry production and pollination.

Cranberry is a plant that grows native from the Carolinas to the Maritime Provinces of Canada. Cape Cod is the birthplace of the industry. The plant requires acidic peat soils, coarse sand, a constant water supply and a long frost free season. The area around Plymouth is ideal for this crop. In the 1880s the Cape Cod Cranberry Association was formed.

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The Tennessee Beekeepers Association newsletter, The Hive Tool, showed up the other day with, as usual, a wealth of information about beekeeping in the state. We’ll be passing some of it on to you over the next week or two. Here are some parts of some of the regional reports: Read the rest of this entry »

The Tennessee Beekeepers Association is once again administering the Hive Grant program for new beekeepers, offered by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Here are the details from The Hive Tool, the TBA newsletter:

Bees on a frame

Eligibility requirements for individuals to receive the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and Tennessee Beekeepers Association Hive Grant:

  • be completely new to beekeeping
  • be a resident of Tennessee
  • complete a beginning beekeeping course
  • commence beekeeping activities in the spring of 2012
  • accept a beekeeping beginner kit grant
  • purchase bees
  • purchase additional equipment as needed
  • become a member of a local Tennessee beekeeping association for two years
  • become a member of Tennessee Beekeepers Association for two years
  • complete the Registration of Tennessee Apiaries form in accordance with the Tennessee Apiary Act of 1995. This form may be completed on line or copied for mailing. Go to for regulations and forms.
  • work with an association member mentor for two years for the first two years, half of the honey production from the grant hive will be returned to the local association to help defray set up cost. Commencing the third year, all the honey is the beekeepers.
  • if one decides not to complete the two year commitment, return grant equipment kit to local association for redistribution

The beginner kit will include:

Screened bottom board, Complete Hive Body (10 frame), Wired beeswax foundation, Inner cover, Entrance feeder, Telescoping cover, Round veil with plastic helmet, Gloves, Hive Tool, Smoker, and beginner’s book or How to Keep and Sell Honey.

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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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