Newsletter – January 2016

SCBA Newsletter

Serving South Carolina Beekeepers
South Carolina Beekeepers Association Established 1977
January 2016 Newsletter


Welcome to 2016 SC Beekeeping

 Nothing appreciates you as a beekeeper more than SC Honey Bees

The warm weather is nice for us humans and for honey bees.  If the bees are able to get out and work, they are not dying or clustering using valuable resources.  Rest assure the cold weather is coming very soon.  This is when new beekeepers need mentors to help answer questions and help to be prepared for what is happening next.  Take this time to prepare for the cold weather that can bring dipping night time temps, rain, wind and snow.   We have two to three months for potential cold weather.  Get ready!


Aiken Journeyman Class offered in 2016

Only you can decide where this beekeeping hobby will take you and your family.  This class begins your journey from a hobbyist beekeeper to a skilled beekeeper.  The information in this class takes you deeper into every area of honey bee sciences.  You will be challenged to learn the material by committing to read and review the materials each week.  You will be given quizzes after each section to help boost your confidence for retaining the material.  Each teacher is very experienced in presenting & teaching this material.  Persons interested in taking Journeyman are beekeepers who are interested in Pollination, Commercial Beekeeping, or are pursuing a deeper understanding of honey bees.  If you are a certified beekeeper with at least one season of beekeeping since your certification, you are eligible to take the class.
Click here to download the Registration Form & Teaching 

It is exciting to see the list for this year’s instructors.  They will bring top notch teaching and they have been proven as the best instructors.  They are Dr. Mike Hood, Donna Boozer, Staci Siler, Mell Wallace, Ed Coleman, Mark Sweatman, David Arnal, and David MacFawn.

Classes are held in Aiken, SC on three Saturdays beginning March 26


2016 Spring Meeting – Beekeeping is Your Business

The Spring Meeting will be held in Columbia at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Building on March 5.  On March 4 we will be setting up and need volunteers, plan to come join in the fun and help.  We are asking a lot of our own beekeepers to speak about their successful beekeeping businesses.  We are also lining up other outside speakers.  Vendors will be selling their products and equipment.  The cost of the meeting will be $20 that includes lunch.  Online Registration will begin January 15-please remember to bring your Photo ID to gain access to this secured facility.


Honey Bee Research Grant

Research on these types of topics should generate a step by step guide that is most applicable in the southeastern USA. These practical guides should give our beekeepers the highest degree of success when doing these activities with their bee colonies. Do the best that you can, if there are any questions the committee will call for more details and clarification.The research should identify what accomplished beekeepers and apicultural professionals consider being the “best practice” for each task listed above.These are the topics that have been submitted. The Grant Committee will still take any other topics.

  • Best methods for swarm prevention.
  • Most successful method for re-queening.
  • Proven methods and triggers for feeding colonies.
  • Steps to prepare colonies for winter.
  • Queen rearing on a small scale.
  • Mead making with honey from different areas of South Carolina.

WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU!Every idea is important to us, please have your findings turned in before January 15th.Name & Participants with contact info, Topic, Objective, Basic Outline of Method, Cost Breakdown, Material list, & Desired ResultSend your results to:Dwight Porter, Grant Committee Chairman
852 Earls Bridge Road
Easley, SC 29640 (please mark as research topics)


SCBA STATS  & Executive CornerState Membership Total: 1467 and 23 Clubs.2016 SCBA Membership are due

January begins a new to count your local and state membership.  Your club will be gathering all dues and submitting them to our State Treasurer.

November Balance Sheet:
General Fund $37,935  Research $10,814  Money Market $8,018, Master Beekeeper Program $7,090  Paypal Account $697              Total $64,555

Executive Committee Meeting
The Executive Committee met last in November and will meet Feb 5 in Columbia, SC
10am Master Beekeeping Program Review
12pm Executive Committee Meeting Agenda
Minutes from last meeting …click here
Larry Haigh’s President’s Message…click to open
Check List for New Local Associations – click here
Guideline for Beekeeper of the Year, Junior Beekeeper of the Year, and Extension Agent of the Year – click here
Youth Apprenticeship (draft) – Click here
Mentoring Program (draft) – Click here

SCBA Conducted the first LIVE online public webinar on ‘How to Get Started Beekeeping‘ in December 2015.  Viewers were invited from SCBA database and Facebook.  Once they logged on the 60 minute webinar outlined the cost of beekeeping, who to talk to, where you get support, What it takes to get started, and what type of training it requires.  Then viewers were asked to complete a survey.  They all gave the content a favorable rating.  Cynthia Robinson hosted the webinar and Kevin Nicholson presented the material with a PowerPoint.  We will continue to conduct these webinars throughout the year.

SCBA conducted it’s first statewide LIVE meeting for Bundle Administrators hosted by Cynthia Robinson and Marie Arnal.  Every BA was asked to tune in to hear about changes in entering/updating membership profiles.  BA’s do a lot of behind the scenes work for SCBA to keep the database up to update.  Some BA’s perform double & triple duty as secretary and treasurers. They are appreciated so much and will be receiving a special gift packet in the mail.

Online Meetings are possible for any clubs that want to bring in speakers or have a meeting with others across the state or across the country.  These meetings can be recorded for viewing later, viewers can take surveys, viewers can be asked to participate in polls and meetings notes can published when the meeting concludes.  If you would like to access that program contact Cynthia Robinson for details

Business Sponsorships & Business Memberships   Master Beekeeper Program
SCBA now can offer Businesses Memberships for $50.  SCBA is asking businesses to partner with them to help fund SCBA Honey Bee education.  What they get for their membership is a digital image space on the website, newsletter and all printed SCBA publications. These memberships are renewable each year.SCBA offers Business Sponsorships to any business, civic group and/or individuals.  Funds collected will go to SCBA Honey Bee education. These sponsorships relate to the Spring and Summer Conferences.  Sponsorship amounts are Queen-$3k, Worker-$1.5k, Drone-$1k. and Colony-$300.  Business Sponsors also include Business Membership.   These funds are used for speaker fees, and conference related expenses.SCBA Honey Bee education relates to our Youth Education Programs.  These programs are being defined and will have more information by years end. If you are interested in getting involved in the program contact David at  David will need help in maintaining paperwork & MBP Database, proctoring and issuing MBP tests, qualifying and distributing certificates.Journeyman Class being offered in Aiken County.  This will be held over three Saturdays beginning March 26, April 16, and April 23.  The cost is $80.  If you are interested, please contact Alan McClay (email:, phone: 803-641-4850)Teachers for the Certified Class can download the Curriculum…click hereThe Certified Cover Sheet is click here.Make sure new student info that take the classes are given to the Bundle Admins so they enter them into the State Database.
January Beekeeping
Beekeeping Resources
 Over the December month, you may have noticed the warm weather with very few temps below 55 deg.  During this time keep checking the weight of your hive.  Do the easy three finger lift test, if it is hard to lift-good.  If it is easy to lift-bad.  You should check your hive and feed sugar syrup.  A good rule of thumb is whatever the negative amount that is how much sugar syrup you should feed.  If it is down 10# then feed 10#of sugar.  That should bring the weight back up.
Right now the queen is probably laying eggs.  When it turns cold, you may see brood on the front entrance or on the ground.  That is what we call chilled brood. Honey Bees will cluster near the food source, if they cannot cover all the brood then the brood uncovered will become chilled and die.  That is why it is a good thing to go into winter with lots of bees.
A recent post from Buddy May explains what he is doing….
In several hives checked, we found capped and uncapped larva. I wanted to share this information with you, just in case you have not had an opportunity to look into your hives recently. We are feeding with 1:1 sugar water and Mega Bee pollen patties. With the weather at 72 degrees F, many things will be happening ahead of normal schedule. Better bee prepared. The weather will change in the next week to freezing temps and we will shift to fondant or sugar candy with imbedded pollen patties, placed on the top of the frames of the brood cluster. You might want to check your hives soon to confirm your hive cluster situation. Because of the warm winter, Randy Oliver has warned of a very active Varroa Destructor this summer. Check out his web site for control of the Varroa with Oxalic Acid.
 We want you to be able to have access to beekeeping informational resources.  These are resources are to help remind you and to help build your beekeeping skill.
WinterSpring and SummerFallMaking Increases(We are in process of editing these for recent changes/updates for these resources.  We will output them when they are complete)
Here is a great video from Mountain Sweet Honey..view the video 
Bees In Your Back Garden …view video 
Clemson Voluntary Beehive Mapping
Beekeeping Classes & Honey Bees
Register to Receive Notifications by Email when a pesticide applicator may apply pesticides near your bee-yards (Free!).  Update your Bee-hive location data (Note: requires password).  If you need to transport bees out of SC, you will need to Request an Export Certificate.  Link to the Beekeepers Mobile Tool for phones and handheld devices.  If you have questions, please contact us by e-mail  at =======================Extra Bee InformationAmerican Bee Federation is hosting a Webinar Series
Click here for more details
Florida Beekeepers Association Conference
November 22-25

American Bee Federation  January 5-9

Pointe Vedra Beach, Florida2016 Spring Meeting in Columbia, SC at the Blue Cross/Blue Shield – March 5

The Theme will be Beekeeping Businesses

Registration will begin January 15Summer Meeting in Charleston at Trident Technical College in July 21-23

Laurens Bee Club – Jan 14Lakelands Beekeepers – Feb 4York County Beekeepers – Feb 24
Selling Honey Bees too
Fort Mill Bee Club – January 4th

Piedmont Beekeepers
 – TBA
Spartanburg Beekeepers – Starts Jan 16Charleston Area Beekeepers – Jan 16&17MidState Beekeepers – Class Sold Out
Selling Honey Bees too
The Carolina Honey Bee Co.- Jan 9
Selling Honey Bees too
Wateree Beekeepers – Jan 14Journeyman Class Offered
Aiken Journeyman Class – March 26, April 16 & April 23
download Reg. Form & Flyer
Short/Basic ClassesBee Well Honey-Boot Camp – TBA
Selling Honey Bees too
Honey Bees For SaleTinker Honey House – Allen JohnsonBeekeeper On Duty – Cynthia RobinsonMay Farms LLC – Buddy MayFor more classes offered contact a bee club near you….click here for list
Queen Rearing Spreadsheet Offer
David MacFawn is offering a special business insight for beekeepers…..”I have developed a queen rearing financial analysis spreadsheet that I am interested in getting validated with an operational queen rearing operation. I am interested in targeting small or fledgling queen rearing operations. If you are a small or fledgling queen rearing operation and are interested, please contact me. I would be willing to do some financial analysis for free in exchange. 

David MacFawn

Master Craftsman Beekeeper / MBA-Finance

205 Ridgecreek Drive

Lexington, SC 29072803-957-8897==========================Bring the Communication to Your InboxThis year there will more posts on Facebook, Twitter and Periscope.  There is so much information that is published from top researchers all around the globe every day about honey bees and beekeeping.  We cannot get that to you without bombarding your inbox.  We don’t want that for you or cause more work for us.  So ….we will post the most important info in the newsletter and on the website.  To pick up all the other super duper information you can find it on Twitter or Facebook.Facts about SCBA Facebook & Twitter:

We have 1,134 friends that follow us on FacebookWe have too many to count post asking post asking questions about beekeeping and honey bees.We have wonderful pictures posted from SC beekeepers -love that!On Twitter, we follow 59 top researchers, newsmakers for honey bees, apiaries & publishers.On Twitter, we have 134 followersOur Tweets that are posted not only go to our followers but go out to the world-that’s important news.As we Tweet and Facebook Post, the information is instant to you.Periscope is a way to LIVE broadcast any beekeeping function, whether it is visiting your hive or conducting an inspection in your apiary.   Consider sharing your inspections LIVE.  It is an app for your smartphone.In conclusion, we are not asking you to do anything that is contrary to how you live or want to receive beekeeping news.  We want you to use the internet responsibly.  We are sharing a way for you to get information about honey bees quick.

We are very thankful for what has been accomplished.  SCBA membership should be proud of themselves and proud of the executive committee that make the decisions to bring resources to help you become better beekeepers.A Year in the Life of SCBAIdentified roles for Dr. Tsuruda when working with SCBA.New bylaws drafted and approved by MembershipEstablished a great working & productive Executive Team.Conducted two successful SCBA Membership meetings. Monroe NC and Clemson.Master Beekeeping Program– Created a New Committee with a new director-David Arnal, Held Journeyman Classes in Furman and Clemson/Testing in JulySC Honey Bee Research Grant program Director named-Dwight Porter and a grant awarded to Mark Sweatman on queen rearing.New guidelines for SC Honey Bee Research Grant Program2015 July Conference – large attendance, more workshops, gift bags to every registrant, and record amount of door prizes.Conducted 2 successful Spring and Summer RegistrationsAwarded many certificates to new beekeepers and Journeyman at Summer ConferenceFirst Time established Conference Sponsors with $8,000 in sponsorship.Conducted ‘After Conference’ survey for attendees.Continued the Queen Rearing project for Local Association members in 2015.Sent our EAS delegate Ralph ‘Buddy’ May to Canada  for 2015 EAS Conference.State Fair Success– Kathy Kittle Thank You!  And Thank You to Honey Judges, Sellers, and Educators!Internal SCBA guidelines added for Beekeeper of the Year.Named Beekeeper of the Year-Wes Bommer, Junior Beekeeper of the Year -Brandon Deitz, and Extension Agent of the Year – Bryan SmithAwarded Ralph “Buddy’ May Master Beekeeper at Spring MeetingAdded New Local AssociationsPaid Treasurer & Secretary position added.Established viable Financial records and created the operating budget.Published 12 Monthly NewslettersPublished 4 quarterly President updatesPublished four beekeeping resource documentsPublished many beekeeping blogs from membersNew laptops for Sec/TreasurerMaintained SCBA websiteResources made available for Businesses / Membership / Local AssociationsWrote letters of recommendation for MembersConducted Public LIVE online webinarLooking ahead for SCBAMaster Beekeeping Program move to Clemson,Create online class and practical instruction and evaluationDraft guidelines drawn up for Structured Mentoring, Youth EducationExpand membership and Local AssociationsEstablish the Steve Tabor Fund for youth honey bee educationPossibility of getting sand sculpture for SCBA at SC FairPost better resources for SC beekeepers for submitting quality honey and beeswax for judging.Create mailouts for non digital beekeepers.Establish an SC Beekeeper advisory committee through SC Farm Bureau

Happy New Year!It is an honor to serve SC Beekeepers