The South Carolina Master Beekeeping program began in 1996 and is designed to provide interested students with the basic knowledge and skills needed to become successful beekeepers and to be able to share their enthusiasm and knowledge with the public. A successful beekeeper is one who can keep Read More ...
Honey Bees… The Sweetness of a South Carolina Summer
Help ensure we have the home grown sweetness of a South Carolina summer. Apples, cantaloupes, cucumbers, squash and watermelons are just a few of the nutritious, safe and locally grown fruits and vegetables we have come to expect from our South Carolina farmers. But one of the farmer’s hardest working allies is under attack…
The honey bee, primarily responsible for pollinating almost one third of the food crops we eat, has had to fight for survival. First it was the tracheal mites from Europe, then the varroa mites from Asia, next the small hive beetles from Africa, and now beekeepers throughout the United States are faced with a mysterious “colony collapse disorder” that results in death of previously healthy colonies.
Over the past 60 years the number of managed honey bee colonies in the United States has declined from about 5.5 million colonies to less than 2.4 million colonies today. Yet, the value of increased yield and quality achieved through pollination by honey bees alone in the United States is estimated at $14.6 billion today. In South Carolina, the annual value of farm cash receipts from agricultural crops that require bee pollination is over $25 million. This value does not include home garden vegetables and fruits or plants for wildlife food that depend on bees for pollination.
While the honey bee is probably not in danger of extinction, keeping enough healthy colonies to ensure continued availability of wholesome, nutritious, locally grown fruits and vegetables in South Carolina is becoming more and more difficult.
So, please join the South Carolina Beekeepers Association (SCBA) and Clemson University as we jointly search for solutions. Become a “research partner” by making a tax deductible contribution to the South Carolina Beekeepers Association “Save Our Bees” fund. Administered by the SCBA, this fund will be used to underwrite small research projects investigating problems facing South Carolina beekeepers.
Want to do more?
Consider establishing or contributing to a research endowment that will ensure a long term institutional commitment to beekeeping and South Carolina farmers. Your generosity will help ensure the fruits and vegetables of South Carolina summer are enjoyed by our children and grandchildren for years and years to come.
Mail check made out to SC Honey Bee Research and send to:
P.O. Box 21298
Hilton Head Island, SC 29925
Or make an online Donation by clicking below. You will be asked to complete your PayPal login and fill in an amount. Or you can complete the Donation by using your Debit card.
History Making Hive Scale Project?
A grant proposal has been accepted by the SC Beekeepers Association from Bobby Dunn, of Spartanburg Beekeepers Association, to institute a statewide, real me, online hive monitoring system that will be installed in select hives across SC State in which hive weight, temperature, and humidity will be measured.
Hive computers will sample scales and sensors every few minutes and provide real time access to the data via the Internet. By determining the beginning, end, and quantity of nectar flows, beekeepers will be be able to tell when to add and remove supers, when to move hives, and where to locate hives for maximum honey production.
This project will generate more interest in beekeeping and attract students to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Collected data will be displayed on each participating South Carolina Associations’ website and then, by working with teachers and professors, this data can be used in the classroom and we will be looking to increase not only our honeybee population, but also our honey and our food supply. All this results in a bounty of fruits and vegetables, which will result in keeping lower food costs for everyone. Sounds like a win-win situation.
Currently, Georgia is monitoring some of their hives, led by project engineer, Paul Vonk, and visual, live information graphs can be seen at http://hivetool.org. Paul and Bobby will be working on this SC project together. At the present time, ten hive scales are being scheduled to be installed in qualifying hives of different associations around South Carolina. Your association will be hearing more about this in the near future.
NASA’s Honey Bee Net (http://honeybeenet.gsfc.nasa.gov), established a similar project in 2006. When South Carolina implements their system, they will be the first automatic statewide system and will furnish NASA our data for climate and land use research. SC Beekeepers then will also have more information, which they can then access online.
Isn’t this exciting news for South Carolina Beekeepers!! Let’s get behind them and support them with any resources that you or your association could share with them..