The Keeper Newsletter – 2017 April

Spring Beekeeping:  Swarms, nectar flow,

Swarms have been happening all over South Carolina as early as the first of March.  Swarms are honey bees natural way of insuring that the species continues.  As it happens, beekeepers race to the scene to get those bees.  SCBA hears from the general public to get help with a swarm of honey bees that has landed on their property.  They always identify that the fact they want to ‘Help Save the Honey bees’.  To those that have taken the time to respond to these request, Thank You!

Journeyman Lancaster Class

The 2017 Journeyman Lancaster was a success.  There were 35 students that attended 16 sessions over a 4-week period.  They all studied hard and did a great job giving each teacher their attention.  We are so thankful to David MacFawn, Staci Siler, Mark Sweatman, Ed Coleman, Larry Lawson, and David Arnal.  Don Carrier and Cynthia Robinson Facilitated the class.

if you are interested in hosting a class in your area contact David Arnal to get started in the planning stages.


Jimmy Starnes passed away from a motorcycle accident

James Richard Starnes “Jimmy”  May 23, 1966 – Apr 3, 2017

LANCASTER, SC: Mr. James Richard Starnes, Jr. “Jimmy”, age 50, passed away Monday, April 3, 2017 from injuries received in a motorcycle accident. He was born May 23, 1966 in Columbia, SC, a son of the late James Richard Starnes and Margarete Bohley Starnes and was the husband of Dale Byrnes Starnes. Mr. Starnes was employed with Howard Brothers Electric for 32 years. He was an avid hunter and a member of Stonesboro Trophy Club. He was also a member and Webmaster of the Lancaster Beekeepers Association as well as a certified teacher and mentor for the Clemson Extension. He loved riding his Harley Davidson, relaxing at the beach and was a member of Covenant Baptist Church.

Mr. Starnes is survived by his wife of 26 years, Dale Byrnes Starnes; a son, James Richard Starnes III “Trey” and his wife, Abbey of Marietta, GA; a daughter, Baylee Jordan Starnes of Myrtle Beach; three sisters, Lynn Starnes Rowell and her husband, David of Lancaster, Susan Starnes Smith and her husband, Rick of Fort Mill, and Frances Starnes Marze and her husband, Danny of Heath Springs.

Mr. Starnes was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Janice Marie Starnes.

The Celebration of Life Funeral Service for Mr. Starnes will be 2:00 pm Thursday, April 6, 2017 at Covenant Baptist Church by Dr. Bert Welch and Dr. Larry Twitty. Burial will follow at Lancaster Memorial Park.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 – 8:00 pm Wednesday evening, April 5, 2017 at Burgess Funeral Home and suggest memorial contributions be made to the American Stroke Foundation, 6405 Metcalf Avenue, Suite 214, Overland Park, KS 66202.


Taking on a beekeeper to mentor is a measure of a beekeeper that loves honey bees.  It is important to pass on your successes to new beekeepers, children and to the public.  You know how clueless you were at certain times of your learning, it is that way for all beekeepers.  We can all agree that coming together to talk about beekeeping at the monthly meetings is great.  But getting together in the bee yard can help a new beekeeper exponentially.  Even if it is not an ongoing mentorship, grab a new beek and get to a bee yard.

Open positions available

Secretary, MBP director, MBP Admin support

The Secretary position is open to anyone that wants to do something important on the state level.  This job position can be split up in three different volunteer positions: Executive Secretary, Media Director, and Program Committee Admin.  Please contact Bill Butts or Cynthia Robinson for more information.

The Master Beekeeping Program Director sets the tone for MBP.  That person will direct the training for all levels the MBP.  Contact Steve McNeely for more information.

The Master Beekeeping Program Admin Support is a paid position that collects the data from all the clubs and tracks that data for all levels of MBP.

Summer Conference

Summer Conference is scheduled for July 20-21 at the Florence Civic Center in Florence, SC.  We have a great line up of speakers and presentations that will make you do the Waggle Dance.  Make plans to attend and look for registration to open in May.

  • David Hackenburg Sr. – First one to realize CCD
  • Jennifer Berry – University of Georgia
  • Leo Sharsharkin
  • Jennifer Tsuruda – Clemson Extension
  • Phyllis Stiles – Bee City USA
  • Shane Gebauer – Brushy Mountain
  • Scott Derrick – Blythewood Bee Company
  • Chris Werner – Migratory Beekeepers Indian Summer Farms
  • Buddy May – Mentoring & Queen Rearing
  • Kerry Owen – Bee Well Honey Farm
  • Frank Licata – Soap Making
  • David Arnal – Journeyman Review & MBP Testing
  • Richard Guess & Lisa Riente – Mindful Beekeeping

This is a call for volunteers for the Summer Program.  There is a lot to do and help getting it done makes it a lot more enjoyable for all.  Sign putter uppers, Gift bag stuffers, registration helpers, Speaker helpers, Photo Contest Judges, Door prize helpers, and SCBA Logo table workers.

national beekeeping scene

I don’t have that at this time but will look around.  You know anything?


notice of Exec mtg May 5 at 10 am at the Farm Bureau Office bldg. in Lexington.

online presentation from summer program 2016 (i have the vids)

will work on the first one







For the Good of the Hive


One artist on a global mission to hand-paint 50,000 honeybees.


Matthew Willey

Asheville, United States




What are the funds being raised for?

  1. Alleviating financial pressure for communities that want to bring the initiative but don’t have the resources.
  2. Filming and editing so we can share the story of this local project with a global audience.

We are working with seasoned professionals like Yeti Nest Films to tell this story in a way that uplifts and excites the viewer. We believe that real connections, face-to-face are the most powerful healing element humans possess, but the second, and a much more expensive one, is video and film.


What has been done so far?

Last year was a flying success!  We painted 8 murals with over 1250 honeybees in them! We brought the initiative and the bees to an elementary school, a museum, a global corporation, a fire station, a dressing room at Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway, a skate park and beyond.

The Good of the Hive put out short form videos about the work and started gathering footage for our first documentary film. We conducted interviews with kids, beekeepers and bee-advocates. We engaged people with the bees through social media, inspired classrooms of kids and teachers to get excited about bees and Matthew literally had thousands of one-on-one conversations with people about bees.

What will The Good of the Hive be doing in the future?

It was an incredible year… but it was just the beginning.

With your help, The Good of the Hive is going to continue to create more murals that engage and inspire people. The Good of the Hive offers a place to hover in art, nature and connection with other people. We want to bring that energy to as many places as possible going forward, so we’re also creating large-scale installation art pieces that can travel in order to expand the reach and the experience of the initiative. We are also setting a goal of creating our first longer documentary film about the work. We will be adding new elements and experiences such as mini film festivals and art shows at mural sites to build momentum around the bees that literally changes the way people see and interact with these amazing creatures.

This mission is 15 years long for a reason. The artist, Matthew Willey, believes that the problems we are facing need long term commitment from individuals to spark the fire of change and then follow through with the time and effort for the change to take hold. He is living and breathing this with his work. In it’s fully realized form, The Good of the Hive is a thriving movement of people inspired to rediscover and cultivate our connection with the natural world. The bees are a muse and the conduit for connection between these two things for the artist.

Matthew believes that if we can align with what needs to be done to get the bees thriving again, we will be in an incredible position of having done something giant together. The bees are not interested in borders or what color or religion a person was born into. They care about their hives and the landscape. They simply and naturally perpetuate the health of the landscape they are in…  and so does The Good of the Hive. We are a global art project that works locally. Artist Matthew Willey is on a mission to get the world to remember that if nothing else, there is one tiny thing we can all agree on… the bee. And if we can agree on one thing, we may just remember how to agree on other things as well.

Why do we need help?

We have proven that this work brings people together. Last year was on a shoestring and at the helm of the initiative was a man that worked tirelessly to get the work done… and that will continue.

But with that said, the initiative has the potential to expand to include so much more with your help. We need your support. We fully intend to change the world for bees, but we need humans to help make that happen. The beauty is that every problem the bees face is human-made. So that means that it is also human-solvable.

Why is it important to do this work in THIS way?

Art and nature touch everyone. They are a vital part of every fully realized human life. The Good of the Hive is working to be a vehicle for people to access art, beauty, and nature in profound and lasting ways. And because we are a ‘for benefit’ company (meaning our bottom line is always the bees and not the dollars) we have the possibility to expand to whatever scale is necessary to create whatever kind of change is necessary for the good of beehives and the good of human hives. And because an artist is at the helm of this growing company, beauty, compassion, healing and sensitivity are all active parts of the ‘business’ model. We believe that people and animals like bees create the reality of the world. We believe that inherently people, like bees, are good. And we are creating an initiative that harnesses that energy and invites people to join us in a wave of change that is not against something, but rather ‘for’ the good of it.







Paul Tabor

Paul Tabor donated a sum of money to SCBA to be used for the purpose of educating youth in beekeeping.  With this fund SCBA worked on a program that provides grant money to official Beekeeping Associations.  That is how the Youth Education Program started. 

Happy Birthday Steven Taber. Today we honor one of our own. Born and raised in the South Carolina Midlands where he got his start in bees. Later returned and died in Elgin, SC after spending a lifetime of service in various research capacities involving entomology and honey bees and specializing in queen rearing. Today we honor Stephen Taber III.

Stephen Taber III. (17 April 1924 – 22 May 2008) was an American apiologist, noted authority and author in the field of artificial insemination of queen bees for the purpose of developing disease resistant and gentle bee colonies.

Mr. Stephen Taber III, was a world-recognized honey bee researcher. He was born on April 17, 1924, to Dr. Stephen Taber II and Bessie Ray Taber of Columbia, S.C. His father was the South Carolina State Geologist from 1912 to 1947 and the head of the Department of Geology at the University of South Carolina, where he was involved in the engineering of the Santee Cooper Dam among many other projects.

Steve became interested in bees at an early age, using the banks of the Broad River in Columbia as his research yard. Steve’s first commercial beekeeping experience was in 1941 in upstate New York where he worked one summer making $30 a month. He continued working in NY and later Wisconsin where he claimed to have learned much of the basics of beekeeping.

He graduated from University High School in Columbia, SC in 1942 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an Aviation Cadet in October that same year. While serving in the Navy, he taught beekeeping as a sideline job at several local universities. Steve was later honorably discharged from the Navy in September 1945 after the end of World War II. After the Navy, Steve attended the University of Wisconsin. In 1950, he graduated from the University of WI in Madison, with a Bachelor of Science, specializing in Bee Research under the tutelage of Professor C.L. Farrar.

His first position was with the Entomology Research Division of USDA as an assistant to Dr. O. Mackenson in Baton Rouge, La. This is where he met his longtime friend Murray S. Blum. It was during this time that Steve pioneered the use of instrumental (artificial) insemination, undertaking some of the first seminal and biochemical investigations carried out with invertebrate spermatozoa.[citation needed]

After 15 years in Baton Rouge, he was transferred to the USDA Bee Research Center in Tucson, Arizona, where, in his words, “I was my own instructor.” Steve traveled extensively teaching, lecturing, and researching.

Some of his students are leaders in the world of beekeeping research today. His book, “Breeding Super Bees,” will attest to some of his research and his studies around the world. His articles and research publications are still being referenced by honey bee researchers worldwide. Articles written by Steve, and his collaborative efforts with others, appeared in numerous publications for more than 50 years. They include American Bee Journal, Gleanings in Bee Culture, Journal of Economic Entomology, Journal of Apicultural Research and Beekeepers Quarterly.