The Keeper Newsletter – 2017 June

In this issue….June Beekeeping, Summer Conference, MBP Update, SCBA Jobs available, About Paul Tabor and SCBA Executive Committee Minutes.

Summer Beekeeping:  Where’s the Nectar

Spring Swarm

All the nectar has turned into honey!  Take your time to gather all your harvesting gear and take the honey off.  Seasoned beekeepers consider asking a new beekeeper to come help during the process.  Be organized and make a list of all the items needed before you set out to the bee yard.  Plan your splits and other maintenance chores. Feeding is important during the dearth.  Monitor the weight of hives – feed if they drop in weight.  Observe front porch activity.  Make hive inspections at lease once or twice a month.

Why take honey?  Honey is bee food-it is what substance they eat every day.  We humans like it too-that is why we take what we know they can resupply for their stores.  Do you harvest other hive products?  Beeswax, pollen, propolis, or royal jelly? Honey bees have a lot to offer humans.  If you harvest it don’t waste it, make good use of it.

Beekeeper Conference

2017 Summer Beekeeper Conference

2017 Summer Conference Update

Ring Ring – The 2017 Summer Conference is calling.  What a line up of speakers we have?  David Hackenberg is real beekeeper who happen to be brave enough to say he had a problem when thousands of his colonies were gone.  Not boxes but the honey bees that were in the boxes.  You will here his story and more.  Jennifer Berry is always a great speaker and teacher.  Dr. Leo Sharashkin is BACK!  Dr. Leo is an expert in top bar hives and natural beekeeping.  Phyllis Styles will bring information on Bee City.  For ore info on the speaker including their bios …click here.

Stay informed on the Conference Details…. click here

  • New this year we have a VIP Reception for the SCBA Presidents, Vendors, Sponsors, and Executive Committee members.  We appreciate them!
  • Thursday night Banquet and Keynote Speaker with David Hackenberg
  • Journeyman Review
  • Master Beekeeping Program Test & Journeyman Practical
  • FREE Beginner Short Course taught by Wes Bommer
  • Honey and Beeswax Judging
  • Photo Contest

To view information on Conference Vendors and Sponsors… click here

Click here to register for conference

Click here to register to be a vendor or Sponsor

Executive Committee Minutes

The executive Committee met on May 5.  It was productive a meeting to continue the programs scheduled for SCBA.  The final details of the Summer Conference was discussed.  The Youth Education grant requests were approved.  A long time tradition to vote for Beekeeper of the Year and Junior Beekeeper of the Year was successfully accomplished.  We will honor them at the Summer Conference.  Other reports from the Executive Officers and Local Area Reps were heard.

Click here to open Minutes


Lancaster Journeyman Class

Master Beekeeping ProgramThe 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 Passes Away

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.

Memorial contributions should 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 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 Job Positions Available at SCBA

Secretary, MBP director, MBP Admin Support

The position of Secretary with the SC Beekeepers Association is open to anyone that wants to do something important on the state level. The position can be split into three different volunteer positions: Executive Secretary, Media Director, and Program Committee Administrator. Contact Bill Butts or Cynthia Robinson for more information.

The Master Beekeeping Program Director sets the tone for MBP, and 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 data for all levels of MBP.


Need Volunteers and List of Summer Speakers

The Summer Conference is scheduled for July 19 – 21 at the Florence Civic Center in Florence. 

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
  • Dr. Leo Sharsharkin
  • Jennifer Tsuruda – Clemson Extension Service
  • 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.

 Paul Tabor Donates for Youth

Paul Tabor donated 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.