Annual Ice Cream Social

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It was a perfect day for our annual Ice Cream Social hosted by Don & Shirley Moore at Breezy Acres Apiary under the shade of several large pecan trees. Don welcomed and  introduced special guests Jerry & Betty Isley from Randolph County; Nancy Rupert, Bee Inspector, South Central region; Janno Lewis from Montgomery County; Don Hopkins, Bee Inspector, North Central Region; and Dr. Kathleen Kidd NC State Biological Control and Apiary Inspection Programs Administrator.

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Don outlined the planned afternoon activities that would start with demonstrations by Nancy Rupert and Don Hopkins. All of Don’s hives were on their second treatment with thymol based Apiguard, so he was particularly interested in checking the current population level of Varroa mites in two hives using the powdered sugar shake method. Don was also hopeful that these two hives were strong enough to split. In the end, no splits occurred after the inspections, but one NUC was created by downsizing a weak hive that was impacted by a low population of bees and hive beetles.

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Drone with two Varroa mites attached.

Drone with two Varroa mites attached.

After two hours in the bee yard, ice cream was served! Flavors included homemade banana, cherry, peach, persimmon, blueberry, French vanilla among others. The dessert selections also included pound cakes, blueberry crunch, brownies, orange cake, strawberry cake, apple cobbler, persimmon pudding, and old fashion strawberry among others. Bee yard talk and visiting continued into the late afternoon.

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The end to this perfect day came with the discovery of a recently emerged Luna Moth (Actias luna) expanding and drying its wings. The larvae feed on persimmon, sweet gum, walnut, sumacs and hickories. The adult moths do not feed and only live about one week.

Luna_Moth

Preserving our Heritage at Cedarock Historical Farm

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Thanks to our Vice President, Mike Ross, for organizing, setting up and participating in our beekeeping exhibit during FarmFest: Preserving our Heritage at the Cedarock Historical Farm on Saturday, August 22nd from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM . Mike was joined by Randy Stinson, Johnny Mills, Judy Ross and other members. Cory Gillespie and Charles Black helped out that afternoon and Neil Cary was there for the middle of the day. Mike also provided the following pictures.

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Foxfire Way of Beekeeping

 

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Photo by Cynthia Pierce

Members Paul Jollay from Glencoe Honey Company and Ira Poston from Blueberry Hill Apiaries presented a program on beekeeping in the past and how it is done now as part of the summer series Foxfire in Cedarock Park, Celebrating Craft Traditions of the Appalachian Culture. Future programs are listed on the PDF flyer HERE. Beekeeping is covered in Foxfire 11 and can be accessed HERE. Paul & Ira covered the history of beekeeping as well as addressing current practices and some of the equipment used. An observation hive with a full frame of honey bees and a marked queen kept the questions flowing at the end of the program.

Alamance County’s Farm Bureau “Homegrown” in the Park

The Alamance County Farm Bureau “Homegrown” “In the Park” held at Burlington City Park on Saturday, April 11th was well attended. To celebrate Alamance County Agriculture both the Alamance County Beekeepers and the Extension Master Gardeners Volunteers had exhibits. Thanks are due to members Mike Ross, Neil Carey, Corey Gillespie, Cynthia Pierce, Linda and Geoff Leister for their participation and for fielding the many questions from visitors about honey bees during the daylong event. The top attraction for both adults and kids was Mike’s observation hive that included a marked queen, drones, workers and emerging young bees. Another favorite for the very young kids were Linda’s “take home” handouts of selected line drawings of bees and flowers for coloring.

Beginning Beekeeping course instructors and mentors were also busy last Saturday distributing and helping to install newly received honey bee packages received by the 2015 class members.

Alamance County Hive Locations

 GIS Map

A PDF of Alamance County Hive Locations can be downloaded HERE. This is a Geographic Information System (GIS) map composed of multiple layers of information. In this case an Alamance County map has 122 hive locations plotted with a 1-mile flight radius that our honey bees travel as they forage on nectar & pollen. Also included are Alamance County’s Voluntary Agriculture Districts that include properties that are dedicated to either five acres of horticulture, ten acres of agriculture, or twenty acres of forestry.

Pollinator Conservation Resources provided by Dr. Nancy Adamson, The Xerces Society

If you were not able to attend Dr. Nancy Adamson’s presentation on Farming for Bees and Other Beneficial Insects at the January meeting, she has kindly provided a PDF copy of her presentation and it is available for download HERE

In addition she provided a Pollinator Conservation Web Resources PDF for the Eastern U.S. with additional resources for North Carolina. That is available for download HERE

Pollinator Conservation Resources for the the Mid-Atlantic Region that includes NC is located on the The Xerces Society website. Lists of recommended pollinator plants, conservation guides, native pollinator plant nurseries and seed companies, and bee identification and monitoring resources can found HERE