An affiliate of the South Carolina Beekeepers Association

“What's the Buzz?”

The WBA has agreed to staff the Beekeeping Booth for two days at the SC State Fair.  

The shifts are:




We'll need at least two beekeepers per shift.  Wateree Beekeepers always "step up to the plate" for this event so we're confident we'll have plenty of volunteers! 

See you tonight!  If you can't make the meeting tonight, you can contact us using the "contact" button to volunteer for a shift.

I did this last year and had a good time.




Things to keep in mind for March: 


Hive population continues to drop and Drones start to disappear. The Queen is laying fewer eggs. Some or all colonies may need feeding. Some or all colonies may need Re-Queening. Look for increased small hive beetle activity. Look out for robber bees-reduce the entrance.


•Feed if necessary Pollen & Syrup

•Equalize colony strength

•Continue Mite Evaluations

•Attend Bee Meetings

•Update “Bloom Calendar


I hope everyone has had a successful summer in Beekeeping.  Mine has been unusual. I had five (5) swarms. Four (4) in one day!!

It was amazing.







Don’t forget to Harvest that other bee Crop!





Home made Solar Wax Melters are a must!





The “Mack Daddy







These were made from Treasure (junk!!!) that

was lying around the house.


Our president Mike Radcliffe Forwarded the following:

"To the Local Association Presidents, 
This is a quick note regarding mass emails from the State Associations.  I have sent out the August and September SCBA Update & Info (newsletter), as well as the President's letter for August and September.  I have heard from some people they do not receive anything from the state to their inbox and there is probably a reason for it. There is a reason for it but i would need to know who are the ones that are not receiving any emails from the State.   
During your meetings this month and next, if you would let your members know that we are trying to get emails safely in their inbox.  If they are not receiving emails have them please communicate that to me by emailing us at [email protected].  
All of the current communications are posted on the Website and Facebook (click on the FILE button under the header).  
One more thing....Please encourage members to print the newsletter for the non-digital people in your club or have it available at the meetings.  Thanks for everything!  

It is an honor to serve SC Beekeepers!
Cynthia Robinson"Until next time Happy Beekeeping







“What's the Buzz?” June 11,2014

 The SCBA compiling a list of members that would like to be shown as having bees available for pollinating.  If you would like to have your name listed please respond with the number of hives you could provide.  Once the list is complete it will be shared with the Clemson Extension department and posted on their web page for those needing bees to pollinate their corps.  Please be familiar with pollination contracts.

Contact Mike Radcliffe for more information.


Also Check out the South Carolina Beekeepers Association at http://www.scstatebeekeepers.org


Bee Activity -June:

   Unswarmed colonies will be boiling with


   Provide plenty of spacefor incoming


   Consider harvesting

   Placewet supers back on hive for bees to   

      clean up

   Watch for swarms

   Catch the swarms

   Have additional equipment ready to  

      house more swarms


If you want to increase your knowledge of beekeeping check out EAS, the Eastern Apicultural Society.  Their annual meeting is being held in Kentucky this summer.

There's a link to EAS on our Links page; or talk to one of our members we are glad to help.


If you have anything you'd like published in the newsletter, please use the "contact" button on any page of the website and send an e-mail to Charlie Raley. 

The website belongs to ALL of us, so help me keep it interesting for all!

Send me your:

  • honey recipes
  • humorous bee stories
  • bee related events in the area
  • links to interesting stories related to bees or beekeeping, educational resources for beekeepers, etc. 



Charlie Raley



“What's the Buzz?” May, 2014

The date has been announced for the Annual Wateree Beekeepers Association Picnic. The Association will supply the main course and beverages and everyone else is encouraged to bring a large side dish or dessert.It's Saturday, May 17th from 10:00am til 2:00pm. It will be held at Mr. Ed Royall's country property in Fairfield County.  

There is no cost to attend but we'll have the donation box set up for anyone who wishes to contribute a few bucks to help defray expenses. You are welcome to bring your family members. We are all anticipating a good time. 


WBA’s booth and presentation at the Sparkleberry Country Fair was a great success. It was a BEAUTIFUL day and lot’s of FUN for all involved! 


Linda Graham, our Secretary/ Treasurer, and Scotty Clark,member of our Board of Directors, visited Doby's Mill Elementary School for Earth Day was on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. They had great fun and answered many challenging questions.There was even a visit by a neighborhood bee!!


Linda Graham is also selling Wateree Beekeepers Association T-Shirts. They look great!!!! Every member should get one to help support our organization.


Danny Cameron a beekeeper in Lexington County has local Queens for sale contact 1-803-600-4576.  



The South Carolina Beekeepers Association Summer Conference 2014 will be held at Hendrix Student Center, Clemson University July 24- 26. 

The 3 day conference will feature open sessions with top honeybee researchers, a one day intermediate beekeeping short course, a certified and a journeyman written test, beekeeping equipment vendors, local SC vendors, door prizes, and a BBQ cookout.

See their website for details.



If you want to increase your knowledge of beekeeping check out EAS, the Eastern Apicultural Society.  Their annual meeting is being held in Kentucky this summer.

There's a link to EAS on our website; just visit the Links page to check out the EAS website. 



If you have anything you'd like published in the newsletter, please use the "contact" button on any page of the website and send an e-mail to Charlie Raley. 

The website belongs to ALL of us, so help me keep it interesting for all!

Send me your:

  • honey recipes
  • humorous bee stories
  • bee related events in the area
  • links to interesting stories related to bees or beekeeping, educational resources for beekeepers, etc. 



Charlie Raley



What's the Buzz

 April 2014

News of the Weird

I had an unusual but learning situation this week.

Last month, we let our very old Queen “Swarm”. She was so old she could not fly. She walked around on the bottom and outside of the box. We weren’t able to catch her to get rid of her so we don’t know what happened to her. I think she may of even went back into the hive.

The Problem


Fast forward to the late evening of Tuesday, April 8, 2014; the entire outside of the hive box was covered with bees from the top to the bottom. They were hanging from the top like they do inside the hive when they are drawing out comb. I did not know what was going on but it did not look like a swarm. A large amount of the bees were loaded down with pollen. The following day,  my son and I went into the hive to investigate. Believe me, it was not easy to get the bees already on the outside of the box to cooperate. We began pulling the honey supers off. After we set the second one aside, my son Ian said “Hey,  this excluder isn’t working! Wait a minute, there’s the queen.” He was right. There she was trying to force herself frantically through the queen excluder.

Mystery Solved


We usually have an extra entry hole drilled in our supers. She had simply entered one of these upon the return from her maiden flight. This caused a very confused hive and some really dumfounded beekeepers.  We took the excluder off and let her walk in, put everything back together and within minutes the hive went back to normal!

If you have any funny or unusual stories you want in the newsletter, please send them to me. You can simply click on the "contact" button, compose an e-mail and send it.  It will then be forwarded by the webmaster to me! 


Upcoming Dates to Remember


Sparkleberry Fair  = Saturday Apr 26        

                              9:00 AM - 4:00 PM


 WBA Monthly      = Thursday May 1,                       

   meeting                6:30 PM - 8:00 PM


Annual Picnic       = Saturday May 17,

                             10:00AM – 2:00PM


A link with several good articles on Colony Collapse 





What's the Buzz 

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Hi everyone,

My name is Charlie Raley. I have recently taken up the position of Editor for our Newsletter.

My son and I have been keeping bees since 2007. We joined Wateree Beekeepers shortly after.  

If there is anything anyone of you would like to see posted get in touch with me either through the website "contact" button or at our meetings.





Newsletter Revived!

We would like to introduce you to our new Newsletter Editor, Charlie Raley.  Charlie will now be publishing our monthly newsletter again for the first time since 2012, starting this month! (April, 2014)  Feel free to send him anything you consider newsworthy.  Just click on the "Contact" button on any page of this website and send us your news.  We'll be sure to pass it along to Charlie!  We'll also send out an e-mail blast to let you know when the latest edition of the newsletter is available!  Thanks Charlie!  


ps...we had some other volunteers to help with the newsletter but somehow we lost your names.  Please contact us again to let us know if you're willing to help.  Charlie might need a break from time to time!   

Reprinted From "News for South Carolina Beekeepers"

February 2013 Vol. 24, No. 1


SPRING MEETING. The South Carolina Beekeepers Association will host a joint meeting with the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association on 1-2 March 2013 at the Baxter Hood Convention Center, York Technical College, Rock Hill, South Carolina. You will find included in this newsletter a meeting program. The Baxter Hood Convention Center is conveniently located near I-77 (see enclosed map). Take exit 79 off I-77 onto Dave Lyle Blvd.-West toward the city of Rock Hill. Go approximately 1 mile and take a left on South Anderson Road. The Baxter Hood Convention will be on your left just after turning on S. Anderson Road.

This will be a very informative meeting and we hope to have a good turnout of South Carolina beekeepers to welcome our beekeeping friends from the Tarhill State. You will note on the tentative program that we have some outstanding speakers scheduled for the meeting including Jerry Hayes, Monsanto, St. Louis, Missouri; David Tarpy, N.C. State University; Sue Cobey, Washington State University; Bart Smith, USDA/ARS Beltsville, Maryland Bee Lab; Stanley Schneider, UNC-Charlotte; Jamie Ellis, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville; and Mike Hood, Clemson University, Clemson, SC.

You will need to preregister for this meeting. Go to our South Carolina Beekeepers website <scstatebeekeepers.org> to register by PayPal by20 February 2013 or you may use the mail-in pre-registration form included in this newsletter.

The meeting program on Friday evening will include a delicious meal which will be catered by Jackson’s Restaurant, Clover, SC. A band will perform during the meal and the dinner will be followed by our keynote speaker, Mike Hood. We must have an accurate headcount for the meal so you will need to pay in advance with your registration fee. There will be a $10 extra registration fee for beekeepers who show up at the meeting and have not preregistered.

You must make your own hotel reservations by contacting the hotel of your choice. The conference center is located about two miles from several hotels including: Baymont Inn & Suites, rate: $79, breakfast included (803-329-1330), Wingate by Wyndham Inn, rate: $89, breakfast included (ph. 803-324-9000), and the Hampton Inn, rate: $104, breakfast included (803-325-1100). Highly recommend you make your hotel reservations soon because there are other events going on in the Rock Hill area that weekend. Other hotels in the area include: Holiday Inn, rate $99, breakfast not included (ph. 803-323-1900), Microtel Inn & Suites, rate $98, breakfast not included (ph.803-817-7700) and Towns Place Suites by Marriott, rate $109, breakfast included (ph. 803-327-0700).

Don’t delay; make plans today to attend this exciting meeting.

Editor’s NoteAs you may know, I will be retiring from Clemson University on March 31, 2013, so this will be my last "News for South Carolina Beekeepers" newsletter. It has been my pleasure over the past 24 years to provide you beekeeping news on the local and national levels. Thanks for your support over the years

-Dr. Mike Hood


Calendar for 2013


February 8-9, 2013Georgia Beekeepers Association will meet at Lake Blackshear, Cordele, GA.

March 1-2, 2013South Carolina Beekeepers Association will meet jointly with the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association in Rock Hill, SC.

July 25-27, 2013South Carolina Beekeepers Association will meet at Clemson University, Clemson, SC

August 5-9, 2013Eastern Apicultural Society Annual Conference, West Chester, PA.


What's the Buzz?  August 2012

The SC Beekeepers Association meeting was at Clemson July 19th through 21st.  Those who were able to attend can share information with the rest of us at the next meeting.

Remember National Honey Bee Day is Saturday, August 18, 2012.  WBA will be at the Camden Farmer's Market again this year.  Please plan to help for a while, or at least stop by to show your support.


The September meeting will be on Thursday, September 6th from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

What's the Buzz?  July 2012

Our 2nd Annual WBA Picnic was wonderful.  A big THANKS to Ed & Helen Royall for allowing us to enjoy their country property, again.  Those who missed it missed a lot of good food and fun.  It was terribly HOT, but thanks to Ed for the comfortable air conditioning inside, giving us a place to cool off.  We're already thinking about next year's picnic!

We would like to incorporate a door prize into each monthly meeting.  We hope that this will encourage attendance and add an element of fun to the night of information and socialization.  The board would like to invite anyone to contribute a prize or a donation toward a prize.  We will be collecting items/donations at the September meeting.  We all know that it doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate for a beekeeper to like it!  (Bring it in a bag and give it to Mike or Richard for safe keeping.)  Thanks for your help!

Don't forget the SC Beekeepers Association meeting at Clemson July 19th - 21st.  This is a fun and informative event.  Make plans to attend.  Details are available at their website (http://www.scstatebeekeepers.org/).

For those who want to find a reason to celebrate...June 18th - 24th is National Pollinators Week.  All beekeepers should be proud!!

National Honey Bee Day is Saturday, August 18, 2012.  WBA will be sponsoring a booth at the Camden Farmer's market again this year.  We'll have an observation hive and lots of other educational material.  Please plan to help at the booth for a while, or at least stop by to show your support for our favorite insect!

In September we will start selling gift certificates for next years beekeeping class.  These will make great Christmas gifts or birthday gifts and this would also be a great way to encourage someone to get  started in beekeeping! Spread the word! 


The next meeting will be on Thursday, August 2nd from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

There will be NO MEETING IN JULY.

S.C. State Fair is October 10 - 21, 2012. 

Be sure to check our website for meeting dates and topics.


What's the Buzz?  June 2012

Don't forget about our 2nd Annual WBA picnic at Ed Royall's country property in Fairfield County on Saturday, June 23, 2012 from 10:00 until 2:00.  We will plan on eating at noon.  Make plans to attend and bring your family.  A side or dessert will be a greatly appreciated for all to share.  Please email Mike Radcliffe or Richard Guess to let them know how many in your family will be attending, so we can plan properly.

Our speaker for the June meeting was Steve Genta.  Steve is a Master Craftsman Beekeper and a National Honey Judge.  His presentation on queens was very informative and his style was entertaining.  Hopefully, everyone left with more bee knowledge than they came with.

Don't forget the SC Beekeepers Association meeting at Clemson July 19 - 21.  This is a fun and informative event, so you will want to make plans to attend.  Visit The State Association website for more details at http://www.scstatebeekeepers.org/ .

Catawba Elementary School in Elgin is looking for beekeepers to do presentations next year for the students.  WBA has agreed to attend this event.  It is scheduled for April 23, 2013 from 8:15 until 11:30.  Anyone interested should let Mike Radcliffe know.  There is plenty of advance notice on this one!!

National Honey Bee Day is Saturday, August 18, 2012.  WBA will be sponsoring a booth at the Camden Farmer's Market again this year.  We'll have an observation hive and lots of other educational material.  Please plan to help at the booth for a while, or at least stop by to show your support for our favorite insect!


The next meeting will be on Thursday, August 2nd.

There will be NO MEETING IN JULY, due to the SC Beekeepers Association meeting at Clemson the same month.

Happy Beekeeping!!! 


What’s the Buzz?  May, 2012


The biggest news is our 2nd Annual WBA Picnic.  It will be at Ed Royall’s country property in Fairfield County, again.  Directions will be available at the June meeting.  Make plans to attend for lots of fun and good food.  We are asking for a contribution of $5.00 per person to off-set the cost of supplies for the basics.  Please sign up for a side or dessert to share.  This can be done at the June meeting.  We need to get an idea of the number planning to attend.

The bee exhibit set up by the WBA at the Sparkleberry Fair on April 28th was well attended.  Thanks to Mike Radcliffe for his all day attendance and all of those who also volunteered and helped out.  We had quite a few folks interested in bees and many signed up for a future class. 

Don’t forget the SC Beekeepers Association meeting at Clemson July 19th – 21st.  This is a fun and informative event, so you will want to make plans to attend. 

National Honey Bee Day is Saturday, August 18, 2012.  WBA will be sponsoring a booth at the Kershaw Farmer’s Market again this year.  We’ll have an observation hive and lots of other educational material.  Please plan to help at the booth for a while, or at least stop by to show your support for our favorite insect!


Our June meeting will  be on Thursday, June 7, at 6:30 p.m.

Remember, will be NO MEETING IN JULY, due to the South Carolina Beekeepers Association meeting at Clemson this same month.


What’s the Buzz?  April, 2012

Now that we all have our bees, I’m sure life has changed a little for some of us.  New bees require some work, and old bees need attention this time of year, too.  Our Wateree Beekeepers Association (WBA) has some great experienced beekeepers with a wealth of knowledge.  Hopefully everyone’s bees are doing well! If you haven't done so already, check out all the great pictures that have been added to our photo gallery on the "photos" page.  Even better, contribute some pictures yourself!  While you're at it, join the Wateree Beekeepers Association Facebook page too!  The more ways you have to stay connected, the better!

Thanks to Craig Bell for allowing us to visit one of his apiary sites for our bee practical that was on March 17th.  We had a good turn out and it was a great experience for all who attended.

Even as busy as we all are this time of year, Wateree Beekeepers has found the time to take advantage of several opportunities to educate the public about the importance of bees and beekeeping. Larry and Linda Graham had an observation hive at a Mental Health America community event at the Brantley house on Broad Street recently.  They also gave out flyers about our Association. On Saturday, April 14th, we'll have a booth and an observation hive at the Coker College Earth Day Celebration at Calmia Gardens in Hartsville.  Then, we'll "sneak" just across the line into Richland County for the Annual Sparkleberry Country Fair at the end of this month.  We could still use some help at the all-day Sparkleberry Fair exhibit.  We'll pass around a sign up sheet at our monthly meeting on April 12th.    

Those who are interested in taking the written test for the Beekeepers Certification, it is scheduled for May 5, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.  See or call Mike Radcliffe to let him know you are interested.

At the April meeting (April 12th), we will be discussing an upcoming annual picnic for the WBA.  You won’t want to miss it!  The date will be posted on the website calendar.

Don’t forget the SC Beekeepers Association meeting at Clemson July 19th – 21st.  This is a fun and informative event, so you will want to make plans to attend.


The meeting in May will be on Thursday, the 3rd.

There will be NO MEETING IN JULY, due to the South Carolina Beekeepers Association meeting at Clemson this same month. 



What’s the Buzz?  March, 2012

Spring is around the corner, according to the calendar; however, the weather around here is screaming “Spring” already!  For those with bees, it is a fun time to watch them.  For those of us who ordered package bees, we are anxiously awaiting their arrival.  The delivery date is April 1st and Richard and Mike will be taking care of getting them to Camden for us.  Thanks, in advance, for the extra time and effort expended for the Wateree Beekeepers Association. 

The March meeting was well attended.  Craig Bell spoke on nucs and how to start them. Hick Etters spoke on swarms and ways to capture them.  We also had a demonstration of the construction and use of a bee vacuum by Jamie Rowe.

The spring meeting of the South Carolina Beekeepers Association was Saturday, March 3rd and was very interesting.  It’s refreshing to see so many beekeepers at one location.  We may all have different motives for beekeeping, but we are all helping the environment.  Honey is the sweet reward for our efforts.

 Try to make plans to attend the South Carolina Beekeepers Association summer meeting at Clemson July 19th – 21st.  More details will be announced at our future meetings. 


The meeting in April will be the SECOND Thursday, April 12, 2012.

There will be NO MEETING IN JULY, due to the South Carolina Beekeepers Association meeting at Clemson the same month.


What’s the Buzz?  February, 2012

The new beekeeping class is winding down, as this Thursday, February 16th will be the last class.  All bee equipment that has been ordered through Wateree Beekeepers Association (WBA) will be available for pick up at the meeting this week.  The field study class is presently scheduled for March 17, 2012, but could change with inclement weather conditions.  Be sure to have your veils, gloves and tools for this informative outing.

February is a good month to get new equipment put together and painted and ready for the spring delivery of our bees.  Package bees ordered through WBA should be here at the end of March.  Richard will notify everyone by email of the date, place and time for pickup.  This is an exciting day for new beekeepers!

The March meeting will be on March 1st at 6:30.  We will share useful information, give door prizes and it is also a good time to socialize with other beekeepers. You won’t want to miss it! 

Happy Beekeeping!


What's the Buzz?  January 2012

Happy New Year!!   We have a lot planned for 2012 as we start a new year. The Beginners Beekeeping Class will start on January 12th.  If you’re a member of Wateree Beekeepers Association, you are able to “sit in” on a class at no cost  if there's a topic of special interest.  The classes will be from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EVERY THURSDAY evening starting January 12th

The February 2nd Beekeeping Class will coincide with our monthly Wateree Beekeepers meeting so it will be a chance for Association members to meet any class participants who are not already involved in the Association.  We'll ALL sit in on the class that night as part of our monthly meeting!  This is a great time to meet the “newbees”.  By the way, we had over THIRTY people at our first meeting of the new year, so since we're combining our February  meeting with the Beginners Class, you might want to get there early to get a good seat! 

At the last meeting we were reminded by Wes Boomer, president of Mid-State Beekeepers Association and past president of the SC State Beekeepers Association, to replace 2 or 3 frames in the brood box and the bee feed super every year. We should check our hives to see if they are disease free and to assess Varroa mite levels.  We have been preparing for our new bee packages by getting new equipment put together and painted.  Our new bees will be here before we know it! 

Stay warm and healthy! Don't forget, January is the month to pay your 2012 Association dues.  Remember, your Wateree Beekeepers dues also includes membership in the SC State Beekeepers Association so at just $20 per person or $30 per couple/family,  it's a REAL bargain!  If you pay your dues before the end of January, you're eligible for the drawing at our February meeting to receive a refund of all or part of your dues.   If you have anything you would like included in a future newsletter, please send it to me at [email protected] and I’ll be glad to add it. 

                                Happy Beekeeping!                       

What's the Buzz?  November 2011

The South Carolina Beekeepers Executive Committee meeting was Friday, November 4th in Columbia. Mike Radcliffe planned on attending. The 2012 South Carolina Beekeepers Association Spring Meeting will in Columbia on March 3, 2012.  See the website for postings of other upcoming meetings and locations.

The Wateree Beekeepers Association was represented at the South Carolina State Fair in October.  It was reported that there was a better turn out this year than last year.  Thanks to Charlie Miles, Mike Radcliffe, Richard Guess, Linda and Larry Graham for helping out and donating their time.

The membership fee for the Wateree Beekeepers Association is due in January, but Linda Graham is accepting payment now.  It is $20.00 per person or $30.00 per couple.  We have a new beekeeping class starting January 12, 2012.  Let your friends know!

Congratulations to Charlie Miles for being our new Board Member!  He is taking Staci’s place and I’m sure he will be a great asset to our organization.

Thanks to Hick Etters for speaking at our November meeting.  He discussed winterizing our bees and reminded us that all excess supers should be off by now.  Anyone using screened top boards should remove them and replace with solid top boards, although screened bottom boards are fine to be open all winter in South Carolina.    Hick also discussed different medications that can be used.  He shared another way to feed the bees in the winter is to put newspaper on top of the top board (make a hole in the paper to match the hole in the top board) and sprinkle sugar on it.  Wet the sugar with a spray bottle of water.  Once the sugar is wet the bees will eat it.  If the sugar is left dry the bees will carry it out of the hive as a foreign substance.  Hick reminded us that our wooden ware should be stored with moth crystals and can be stacked 5 high. He also said that Walter T. Kelley Company has free shipping in November.  Now is a good time to order bee supplies needed for next spring.  We always enjoy hearing Hick speak to the group!

 The December meeting is December 1, 2011 at 6:30!!  See you then!

 Happy Beekeeping!  

What's the Buzz?  October 2011

Thanks to Mike Radcliffe for manning the educational booth at the Fall Festival in Kershaw on September 17th.  We received a very nice thank you note for our participation at this event and Mike did a great job!

The South Carolina State Fair is October 12th - 23rd.  The Wateree Beekeepers Association will have a table set up on Saturday, October 15th and Sunday, October 16th.  Thanks to those who have volunteered to help out.  If you are interested in helping out or need more details, contact Mike Radcliffe (438-8481)or Richard Guess (968-5262).

Thanks to Jack Corbett for being our guest speaker at the October meeting.  He has over 35 years of experience in beekeeping and we appreciate the knowledge he shared with the group.  It seems unanimous from our older beekeepers that beekeeping is harder now than it was years ago.  For us "newbees", we don't know the difference!  We had some good door prizes at the last meeting.  Linda Graham had the winning ticket for a screened inner cover that Hick Etters made and Hick had the winning ticket for 2 Riverbanks Zoo tickets.  We enjoyed good snacks and conversation at the end of the bee meeting. 

October is a good time to plan for the spring, especially if you need new equipment or your old equipment needs repairs.  If your bees will need to be fed sugar syrup over the winter, stock up on sugar and get the feeders ready. Don't forget to treat for wax moths over the winter with moth crystals!  Wal-mart in Camden was sold out last time I checked!

The next meeting is November 3rd at 6:30 p.m. and we hope to see you there!


What's the Buzz?  September, 2011

Our cookout at the September meeting was a big success!  We had lots of good food and fellowship.  Thanks to all of those who helped and brought sides to share. 

This Saturday, September 17th we have been invited to have an educational booth at the Fall Festival in Kershaw.  This is a free event and we are happy that the Wateree Beekeepers Association was asked to be represented.  The event is from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Stevens Park in Kershaw. 

The South Carolina State Fair is October 12th - 23rd this year.  The Wateree Beekeepers Association will have a table set up on Saturday, October 15th and Sunday, October 16th.  Mike Radcliffe and Richard Guess will be there and they will need other volunteers who are willing to spend time sharing bee knowledge with others.  The shifts are 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.  At least 8 people are needed to help for this event.  Please contact Mike (438-8481)or Richard (968-5262) for more details if you are interested.

Our fellow beekeeper, Spencer Watts, recently took an extended vacation to Alaska.  Along the way, he took time to take photos of apiaries in South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.  The photos are beautiful and I will put them on our website for you to enjoy.

Our next meeting is Thursday, October 6th at 6:30 p.m.  See you there! 


What's the Buzz?  August, 2011

We are well into August and I know the Kruger's bees are very hot and drinking plenty of pool water! Remember to have a continuous water source for them during these very hot summer days. 

We are in need of a "bee logo" for the Wateree Beekeepers Association.  It was suggested to incorporate a bee in a life jacket or in a boat on Lake Wateree.  If we have any artists in the group, please feel free to sketch something for us to consider.  We would like to make t-shirts with the logo for sale to members and anyone else interested.  Sounds like a great project and fund raiser!

We had a great meeting in August.  Hick Etters talked to us about his treatments for varroa mites, tracheal mites and hive beetles.  Hick reminded us of the importance of checking for disease before the fall and treating the hives as needed.  He even shared his special recipes for Grease Patties and Pollen Substitute!  (THANKS, HICK!) He also discussed predators like skunks, raccoons and possums and the need to keep the hive raised 18 to 24 inches to discourage them from getting into and ruining the hives.  Hick also added, much to my surprise, that Blue Jays and Mockingbirds will eat foraging bees.  A very interesting meeting and thanks to Hick for sharing his beekeeping knowledge with the members.

August 20th is National Honey Bee Day.  Wateree Beekeepers will be sponsoring a booth with Craig Bell at the Camden Farmer's Market 8:00 a.m. until noon.  There will be an observation hive that should interest the crowd. Let Richard know if you would like to help "man" the booth that morning.  He will be there all day and some of our members have already agreed to help out at this local function.

Our next meeting is September 1st and we will be having a cookout at our meeting location in Camden.  We are having hamburgers with all of the fixin's, sides and some desserts.  If you can bring something to share, Richard has a sign up sheet or you can contact me ([email protected]).  We will begin at 6:00 for this meeting, so we'll have time to eat first.  We will have David McFawn, Master Beekeeper, and Author of Getting The Best from Your Bees as our guest speaker.  He is planning to show us a very interesting presentation.  I know you won't want to miss it!

September 17th we have been invited to have an educational booth at the Fall Festival in Kershaw.  This will be another opportuntiy to share our bee knowledge with others.  The time for this event will be announced at the September 1st meeting.


What's the Buzz?  July, 2011

At our last meeting, there was a discussion about the bees drinking from hummingbird feeders and how to avoid this.  “Bee-ware” of feeders claiming to have bee guards in place.  The guards are supposed to be in place to prevent the bee’s from reaching the sugar water, yet allow the hummingbirds to reach it.  As you can see, this is not the case on the feeders we bought. 

 Summer Meeting

The annual summer Meeting of the South Carolina Beekeepers Association was a great success and well attended.  In fact, we are about to outgrow our meeting space.  The general sessions was standing room only in an auditorium that seats 225!  Wateree Beekeepers had 4 members attend.  Next year, we may want to cancel our July meeting as other associations do and encourage everyone to attend the meeting in Clemson instead.

An intermediate beekeeping short course was the feature on Thursday. We were still in session at 8:30 p.m.!  Beekeepers take their learning seriously!!  Of course, there was also the Friday night cook out featuring catering by Frank Blanchard and a smoker lighting contest and horse shoe competition.  If you've never been to one of these cook outs, you owe it to yourself to go next year!

Honey Harvest

Some of our members have already extracted honey.  For details, check with Larry and Linda Graham.  They won't mind the opportunity to brag on their bees a little!  We realize there are other members who still need to extract, so we're still hoping to organize an extracting day at the Kershaw Homemakers Building (where we meet each month).  Stay tuned to the website for details.  If you're a registered member of the website, you'll get an email notice (just one of many benefits to being a registered website member!).

Next Month 

You won't want to miss next month's meeting when Hick Etters shares his "secret" recipe for pollen patties.  He's had this recipe for years but we convinced him to share it with us.  He's also going to talk about IPM (Integrated Pest Management).  So, on August 4th at 6:30 p.m., the Kershaw Homemakers Building is the place to be! 

 New Editor

After numerous pleas from the previous editor, I was finally convinced to take over the newsletter to help out.  Now I will need YOUR help to send me information that you would like to be included or to share with others.  Send your great ideas to me at [email protected] for me to include in future editions.


What's the Buzz?  June, 2011


 Our youngest Association member made the front page of his local newspaper , The Clarendon Sun, on June 14.  McKenzie Willard completed our first  Beginners Beekeeping Class recently and he is now managing three hives with a little help from his dad, Jay Willard.  McKenzie was quoted in the article as saying, "as long as you make a good environment for them (the bees) they'll stay and help the strawberries and make honey".  Obviously McKenzie was paying attention during class! We've put a link to the online version of the entire newspaper article which includes some great pictures!  Check it out on our "Links" page!

We had our first annual Association Picnic this month on Saturday, June 11th.  Ed Royall and his lovely wife were our host and hostess and we had over thirty in attendance.  The main course food was EXCELLENT thanks to Reggie, the grill master, and Kurt his able intern!  There was grilled chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and, for extra measure, 20 lbs. of "mudbugs" as Reggie prefers to call crawfish!  There were also LOTS of great side dishes including several delicious desserts.  Special thanks to Ed for sharing his "getaway" so generously! We're already hoping he'll do the same next year!

The  written test for Beekeeper certification was offered on June 18th.  Mike Radcliffe conducted a review that started at 8:00am.  Showing up at 8:00 on a SATURDAY morning takes DEDICATION!  As of the writing of this newsletter, we haven't heard how many took the test.  We'll probably schedule a make-up date for those who weren't able to make it on Saturday.  

As you'll notice, there was no newsletter in April or May.  We're still looking for someone to take over the newsletter.  It really doesn't take any special computer skills and it can be done with a commitment of just a few minutes a month.  It might be just the way for YOU to stay connected to the Association and make a contribution from which everyone benefits.  

We're tentatively planning an "extracting day"  on July 9th or 16th if we can secure our regular meeting space for that day.  We'll discuss details at our July 7th monthly meeting!  This will be a GREAT chance for us all to pitch in and help each other with one of the most satisfying experiences in beekeeping.  We're thinking about asking folks to make a 50 cents per frame donation to the Association for the extracting.  

Although you wouldn't know it from the HOT weather we've been having lately, we're still a few days away from the official start of Summer so let me be the first to wish each of you a WONDERFUL summer.   HAPPY BEEKEEPING!


What's the Buzz? March 2011

     March has been a VERY busy month for our Association!  Our first Beginners Beekeeping Class culminated with a trip to a bee yard outside Camden on Saturday, March 19th.  Prior to this "gloves on" experience, members of the class had completed well over 20 hours of classroom instruction provided by various beekeepers and coordinated by our Association President, Mike Radcliffe.  Mike did a fantastic job of designing the class, arranging for the instructors and teaching many of the classes himself.  There are obviously MANY reasons why we chose him as our president and he definitely proved himself worthy with this endeavor!

     Special thanks go out to Craig Bell, owner of Bell Honey, for allowing us access to one of his bee yards for the experiential class on March 19th.  Craig also served as one of the instructors. Other association members also served as instructors.  Thanks Hick, Mark and Staci and anyone else I might have missed!  It was a beautiful day and we learned a lot from each other!  

     The youngest graduate of our Beginner Beekeeping class is nine years old and we won't say how old the oldest member is! We had over twenty students register for the class and the majority of them had perfect or near perfect attendance!  

Package bees will be arriving in at least two shipments, one in March and one on April 2nd.  Lots of our "newbees" got their equipment from the new Dixie Bee Supply and County Store in Lancaster and received a 10% discount on their first order.  Special thanks to Dale Starnes, the owner.  Be sure to support him with your business in the future.  We have a link on our "Links" page to make it easy for you!  

In conclusion, we're desperately seeking a volunteer to write this monthly newsletter.  Currently, the poor overworked "webmaster" is trying to keep up the website AND write the newsletter too!  If you're interested, it's a REALLY easy gig!  You can do it from your home computer straight onto the website.  Please contact me if you think you might be interested.  We'll even let you try it on a trial basis for one month with no obligation.  Kinda like a "test drive"!  


What's the Buzz? February 2011

The information below is reprinted from the February, 2011 Edition of "News for South Carolina  Beekeepers"  




SPRING MEETING. The South Carolina Beekeepers will meet jointly with the North Carolina Beekeepers on 4-5 March 2011. The meeting will be held at Gaston College (210 Hwy 321 South, Dallas, NC 28034) which is near Gastonia, NC. Directions: Take I-85 Gastonia exit 17 toward Lincolnton. Turn left at US-321 North (N. Chester Street) and go about 1.5 miles, then take the exit toward Gaston College. Turn left at Grier Beam Blvd. At the traffic circle, take the 3nd exit onto Life Skills Lane. Turn left at Safety Officers Drive. Take the 1st left to stay on Safety Officers Drive. 

This will be a very informative meeting and we hope to have a good turnout of South Carolina beekeepers. You will find in this newsletter a meeting program. The executive committee of the South Carolina Beekeepers will have a meeting at 11:00 on Friday, 4 March. The meeting program will begin at 1:00 with a general session and the evening program will feature Larry Connor who will give the keynote address titled “The Problem with Queens.” A general session will kickoff the program on Saturday morning and it will be followed by workshops that will continue into the afternoon. See the program in this newsletter for further details. 

You will find a pre-registration form included in this newsletter. You will want to complete the form and mail it along with your check 10 days prior to the meeting, otherwise you will be charged an extra $5 fee for onsite registration. Lodging is your responsibility, so check out the large selection of hotels that are listed at the bottom of the pre-registration form. Hope to see you soon at Gaston College. If you have any questions about the meeting program, travel, or lodging, please give me a call at 864-656-0346 or email: [email protected] 

SUMMER MEETING. The South Carolina Beekeepers will meet at Clemson University on 14-16 July 2011. The meeting will begin on Thursday, 14 July, at 1:00 with an intermediate level beekeeper short course and a queen rearing short course held separately. Out-of-state speakers for this meeting include Keith Delaplane from the University of Georgia, Debbie Delaney from the University of Delaware, Jeff Harris from the Baton Rouge USDA-ARS Bee Lab, and Juliana Rangel from NC State University. Make plans now to attend this meeting 


What's the Buzz? January 2011

    Happy New Year and Happy Birthday!   We're two years old!  Hard to believe it but it's true!  We've grown a LOT over the past couple of years and we've got a lot going on as we start a new year.  We had 27 people at our first meeting of 2011 and it looks like about 15 or more have registered for the Beginners Beekeeping Class that starts on January 13th.  
We're still looking for someone to take responsibility for writing this monthly newsletter since the old "webmaster" has been doing it for almost a year now, along with keeping up with the rest of the website as well.  If there's a member who would like to give it a try, please contact Richard Guess at [email protected]  
Remember, if you're a member of Wateree Beekeepers Association, you can drop in on one of the Beginners Beekeeping Classes without being registered for the entire course.  You just have to behave yourself!  The classes will be from 6:00pm to 9:00pm EVERY THURSDAY evening starting January 13th and running through February 17th.  We'll be getting a list of the topics for each class on this website under the "education" page as soon as we can.  
The February 3rd Beekeeping Class will coincide with our monthly Wateree Beekeepers meeting so it'll be a chance for Association members to meet any class participants who are not already involved in the Association.  We'll ALL sit in on the class that night as part of our monthly meeting!  
Be safe, stay warm and, as Kim Flottam always says, "keep your hive tool sharp".    Even in the dead of Winter it's not bad advice!
What's the Buzz?

April/May, 2010


It doesn't take a particularly observant person to notice that our newsletter has fallen behind!  We lost our faithful newspaper editor, writer, and producer when she and her family moved to Virginia!  We really miss the Poyfairs but hope they're doing well in their new home!  It's been a VERY busy couple of months for the group.  We will be asking at our June meeting for a volunteer to "step up to the plate" to take over the newsletter.  With the wonders of modern technology it really doesn't take much time but the current webmaster just can't do it all!  As the old saying goes, "many hands make light the work", so we could even have several members take turns with the newsletter.  That way, LOTS of folks get a chance to try their hand at keeping the group informed.  

 At our May meeting, we adopted a resolution in support of reinstatement of the beekeeping merit badge by the Boy Scouts of America and pledged to mentor any scouts in our area who might seek the merit badge.  We had over 20 people in attendance at our meeting! Mike Radcliffe and Craig Bell did an excellent job in presentations on the basic tools of Beekeeping, how to read frames, when to add and remove supers and how to know when your honey is ready to be harvested.  All the reports from the "field" indicate that it's shaping up to be a good honeyflow so far this year!  See you all June 3rd at the Homemakers Building! 

News Flash!!!  At our June 3rd meeting, Reggie Conklin hit one out of the park when he agreed to take over our newsletter.  Not bad for a guy who's got one arm in a sling for the next three months! Feel free to contact Reggie with any news items you might have for inclusion in the newsletter.  Jeff Ryckman agreed to coordinate refreshments each month!  Thanks Reggie and Jeff!  

What's the Buzz?

 Reprinted below is some information from the SC Beekeepers Association's  November, 2010 Newsletter

Cut and paste the address below into your web browser to see the entire newsletter or use the link on our "Links" page to access the SC Beekeepers Association page to view the archive of past Association newsletters


News for SC Beekeepers: November 2010

Local News 

As a result of drastic cuts in the Clemson University Public Service Activities budget, there are no funds available to print and mail paper copies of this ―News for South Carolina Beekeepers‖ newsletter. This newsletter will continue to be published in the same format, but it will be accessible by electronic form only. There are three avenues for you to access the newsletter which will continue to be published three times annually (February, June, and November). You may find the newsletter available on two websites, the SCBA website, scstatebeekeepers.org, or my website at Clemson University,www.clemson.edu/extension/beekeepers. The newsletter will be emailed to each local beekeepers association in the state through a designated person who will further distribute the newsletter to their membership. It is important that an accurate email listing of membership be maintained at the local level. This newsletter has now been published and mailed for 21 years to South Carolina beekeepers and I hope that you will continue to access and review it electronically. 

Spring Meeting

The North Carolina State Beekeepers Association will host our joint 2-day spring meeting at Gaston College, Gastonia, North Carolina on March 4-5, 2011. This is a convenient meeting site for many South Carolina beekeepers, located about 15 minutes drive west of Charlotte. The February 2011 ―News for South Carolina Beekeepers‖ newsletter will give further details of this meeting. Make plans now to attend this joint meeting with our beekeeping friends from North Carolina. I‘m sure the program will be outstanding and I know the fellowship will be great.  




June/July, 2010

There's ONE word that sums up June and July for most of us...HOT!  Well...o.k....two words...HOT and STORMY!  We've had lots of really hot weather and lots of afternoon and evening thunderstorms.  At least once, however, we've been perched on the brink of an official incipient drought so in spite of some real downpours, it's actually been a pretty dry summer overall.  Three of our group members made it up to Clemson for the State Beekeepers Association Summer Meeting in mid-July and at least two are planning to attend the EAS (Eastern Apiculture Society) School and Conference on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC the first week in August.  

Our last two meetings have been well attended and we've covered some interesting topics and had some great discussions.  Folks are getting more involved and our group is growing both in terms of attendance at our monthly meetings as well as registered members of our website.  Keep spreading the word and encourage folks to register for the website and visit it frequently. It can become a great tool.  

We've expanded the website by adding some new features including a blog (which hasn't really caught on too well) and a streaming newsfeed called 'buzzworthy" which has some pretty interesting stories from time to time.  We've added a few new links as well.  Of course, there's lots of room for folks to upload pictures and video once they register.   We can also expand the classified section anytime anyone has anthing "bee related" to buy or sell.  Just let us know!  

Finally, don't forget that our August meeting date has been moved to the SECOND Thursday in the month to accomodate the EAS meeting in Boone.  We're going to feel REALLY bad if anyone shows up on the first Thursday of the month and finds a locked building!  We'll try to have someone put a sign on the doors just in case someone forgets!  Mark your calendars and call your friends and tell them to call you and remind you so that the "someone" won't be YOU!  Try to stay COOL and we'll see everyone on Thursday,  August 12. 

What's the Buzz?

 March 2010 Newsletter

Just when you think winter is over...It is March and a mixture of rain and snow is falling! Fellow beekeepers agree that this winter has been particularly tough. The long lasting cold and rain has caused the untimely death of local honeybees. Let's hope that March is coming in like a lion and will go out like a lamb for this group's hives!

February offered another successful and informative Kershaw County Beekeepers Group meeting. A reminder was given on the EAS Beekeepers meeting in Boone, NC on July 15-17th. Everyone who has a chance to go should enjoy themselves in beautiful Boone, NC. There was also an announcement that the KCBG would like to have group participation in upcoming meetings. Participants will be needed to start doing presentations on beekeeping. Make sure to volunteer at this month's meeting...or we may have to install a draft! There was also a KCBG Planning Committee Meeting held at the end of the month. Great food and great ideas were in order! Those who attended: Richard Guess and Christine Derrick, the Grahams, the Poyfairs, Mike Radcliffe, and Craig Bell. All members should be excited with the next 6 months meeting agendas. Thanks to all that participated.

Unfortunately, this month yielded some disappointing beekeeping news. The United States honeybee deaths have increased again. Jerry Hayes, Assistant Chief of Apiary Inspection, for the Florida Department Of Agriculture, has made a gloomy observation. The direct quote: "The reports I have gotten from beekeepers is that about 30 % of the healthy colonies that have gone to California-for this 2010  almond pollination to fulfill pollination contracts-have died in two to three weeks." California is scrambling to find enough hives to pollinate their almond orchards.

The average age of beekeepers is 60 years old...and the honeybee crisis is continuing to threaten the US food supply. Taking note of this, the popular ice cream brand, Haagen-Dazs, is attemting to highlight the importance and need for apiary enthusiasts. Haagen-Dazs has announced it's Haagen-Dazs Loves Honey Bees campaign. The company has donated $620,000 to Pennsylvania State University and the University of California, to further it's honeybee research.They are continuing their Vanilla Honey Bee Ice cream flavor, and a portion of the proceeds goes towards helping the bees. They are also working with the Boy Scouts to help encourage a new generation of beekeepers. Sounds like a good reason to eat more Haagen-Dazs ice cream!

Now onto more lighter news. March 12-13th will be the 3rd Annual Bee College at UF Whitney marine labs. They are located in St. Augustine, Florida. This Bee College is open to everyone. It will include 20 speakers form around the country, workshops, and a honey show. You can check out the schedule and more information at http://www.ufhoneybee.com/ . What a great excuse to go visit sunny Florida during March!

Don't forget our March 4th meeting this Thursday at 6:30 at the Camden Homemaker's Building. Let's make March a record attending month!

Happy Beekeeping!

~Crystal Poyfair


February 2010 Newsletter

Now that the one year anniversary party is over, it is back to bees-ness...

US District Judge Denise Cote has banned the sale of the pesticide spirotetramat (aka Movento and Ultor) that is produced by Bayer. As of January 15th, it is illegal to purchase this pesticide that has threatened this nation's honeybee population. Bayer has responded with disappointment with the court's decision, stating that "spirotetramat has been extensively tested in laboratory and field studies and has shown excellent performance, with regard to bee safety." At this time,Bayer has not filed an appeal.

A study has been conducted at the University de Toulouse, France determining whether or not the honeybee can recognize human faces. Professor Martin Giurfa has discovered that the honeybees use a technique called configural processing to form a recognizable pattern. They have concluded that bees do indeed remember human faces by using this configural processing. They are hoping their research will help face recognition experts in fields such as airport security. To find out more, look for this upcoming article in the February 15 issue of The Journal of Experimental Biology. Better be nice to your bees!

While it is too cold to do anything outdoors, you may want to consider curling up with a book by the fire (or heater!). Consider Generation A by Douglas Coupland. A fictional story that takes place in the near furure, it is narrated by 5 characters who exist in a world where bees are thought to have become extinct. There is a global pollination crisis, and it causes some pretty big changes. These changes also cause heroin addicts to become extinct. After all, bees pollinate poppies, which means no more heroin! So, check out this book if you have the spare time, and if you like it, make sure you suggest it to your "bee friends".

Don't forget to join us this Thursday, February 4th at 6:30 pm in Camden for our monthly beekeepers meeting. Visitors always welcome! And for those who are doing the Midstate Beekeepers Association's Beekeeping Short Course, session 2 will be held Saturday, February 27.

Also, make sure you check out our classifieds and recipe pages.

Happy Beekeeping!

~Crystal Poyfair

January 2010 Newsletter

Happy New Year Everyone! Not only is it a new year, and a new decade, but it is the one year anniversary of the Kershaw County Beekeepers Group. Our growing group started out with just 3 members...Richard Guess, Christine Derrick, and Mike Radcliffe. Late summer 2008, Richard, Mike (who happened to be president of the Midstate Beekeepers at the time), and Craig Bell talked a bit about whether there would be enough interest in the Kershaw area to start a beekeekers group over here. Richard obtained a mailing list of local beekeepers, and although there was little response, decided to forge ahead with his vision. The first meeting was scheduled for January 2009 at the Seafood Hut in Camden. Three people showed up..yep! You guessed it! Richard Guess, Christine Derrick, and Mike Radcliffe. Over dinner, the new group discussed beekeeping and Richard volunteered to start a newsletter. It obviously worked, because the following month 6 people showed up for the meeting. And the rest, Richard says, is history. So congratulations Kershaw County Beekeepers Group! You made it one year, and continue to grow. And special thanks to those who founded our group. We've come a long way in one year. A new meeting place, a special speaker (Dr. Hood), a newsletter, a website, and great members. I can only imagine what great things will come this year...perhaps a springtime cookout, a calendar, more volunteers at local fairs, etc.

If you get the chance, check out PBS's bee video: The Silence Of The Bees.  This episode discusses the mystery of the disappearance of the honeybee. Click on this link to watch the trailer, or to watch the whole episode: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/silence-of-the-bees/introduction/38/.

New York beekeepers have a reason to celebrate. Last month the Big Apple uplifted a 10 year ban on beekeeping. Now, those who kept bees illegally can finally do so without worrying about nosy neighbors, and can step out and educate other New Yorkers on the importance of beekeeping. Way to go New York!

European beekeeping is going strong with the Sustainable Beekeeping Conference in Germany. The conference will be held Feb. 13-18th, 2010. Hmmm...sounds like a business trip write off to me for commercial beekeepers! So those of you who do beekeeping for a living, and are looking to visit a new country, you may want to check out this conference! It centers on spiritually oriented holistic beekeeping, and also discusses important topics such as swarming, feeding, and natural comb building. They are currently researching a new treatment that uses high level of heat to rid a hive of varroa mites.

Do not forget to join us this Thursday, January 7th at 6:30 pm for the first meeting of the new year! Bring a friend, and we'll introduce them to the joys of beekeeping. The more the merrier!

Happy Beekeeping,

~Crystal Poyfair

 December 2009 Newsletter

Welcome to the December 2009 Newsletter edition of What's the Buzz?!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend. More festivities are up ahead, with our monthly beekeeping meeting being the first fun of the month. The Kershaw County Beekeepers Group meeting will be this upcoming Thursday December 4th, 6:30 pm at Camden's Homemakers Building.

Just a reminder...if anyone has anything they would like to contribute to the newsletter, feel free to contact our group website email [email protected]. Items contributed can include news updates, beekeeping tips, photographs, jokes, artwork, etc. Also, you may want to consider selling bee related items on our classified page for the upcoming holiday season.

Clemson University is having it's annual Beekeeping Contest. The 2010 4-H Beekeeping Contest is right around the corner, and essays must be turned in the Clemson office by January 15th, 2010 for judging. If you would like more information on how to participate, or contest rules, please feel free to email our website email, or email Crystal Poyfair at [email protected]. Please make sure you write 4-H beekeeping Contest in the subject lines just in case it goes into the spam folder.

Thanks to "word of mouth", the Kershaw County Beekeepers website is gaining interest from beekeepers who have yet to join our merry hive. If you are a beekeeper, or are interested in learning more about this fascinating hobby/business, please come out to one of our meetings. We would love to have you! There will also be Beginning Level Beekeeping classes held Saturday, Jan.30th, 2010. This will be hosted by the Mid-State Beekeepers Association.

Since this is the slow season for our hives, this is a great time of year to catch up on some reading and research on apiculture. With Christmas right around the corner, you may want to buy a loved one, or yourself a book on beekeeping or a subscription to one of the beekeeping magazines. This is also a great month to order a new hive, etc. from Brushy Mountain and save on shipping! Packaging your honey in a neat gift basket makes a great holiday gift for a relative, friend, or Queen Bee.

I hope to see everyone at the meeting this Thursday...let's make this our record breaking attendance month!

Happy Beekeeeping and Happy Holidays,

-Crystal Poyfair


 November 2009 -What's all the buzz about? Our new newsletter...What's the Buzz ?!

First of all I would like to thank everyone in the Kershaw County Beekeepers Group for allowing me the honor of writing your monthly newsletter. I look forward to your feedback, and your creative input. If anyone has anything they would like to share in the newsletter, i.e. photos, artwork, jokes, etc. feel free to email me. I will try my best to include everyone's contributions.

It sure has been a busy month for our group! A new website, a new newsletter, and a new email address: [email protected]. We even have a classifieds section for our members. If you have anything bee related to sell, do not hesitate to contact us at our new email address. Our recipe page is always open to new additions, and our calendar will help keep you posted of those special events. The Kershaw County Beekeepers Group members, Richard Guess and Crystal Poyfair have been working the past couple of weeks with special webmaster guest, Seth Poyfair, to bring this new site to all our members. We hope you enjoy browsing our pages!

Our last meeting was fantastic! A good crowd and LOTS of honey samples! We were even treated to Mrs. Linda Graham's home made biscuits! Some of us couldn't resist going up twice. A special thanks to everyone who participated, and donated their liquid gold. Our next meeting will be held Thursday, November 5th at 6:30 pm at the Homemakers Building. We look forward to seeing everyone there.

Speaking of liquid gold...did you know that ancient Egyptians not only considered honey the food of the gods, but that it could also be used in place of gold to pay their taxes?! Perhaps there would be more incentive to protect the honey bee if we could still pay our taxes in honey!! A sweet deal, indeed.

There has also come to my attention recently a new venue in bee related income. Selling hives/nests from various bee and wasp species on the internet. Classrooms, collectors, and nature related organizations have been purchasing used hives/nests from Ebay and other sources for educational, and personal use. So, if you have an extra hive sitting around, you may want to consider selling it before pitching it out.

There are honey bee articles in some current magazines on the stands, if anyone is interested. Mother Earth News has an article on whether pesticides are killing our bees. And Urban Farm also has an article on beekeeping in the suburbs. So the next time you are at Tractor Supply Company, you may want to check them out. Our Kershaw County library also has books and a video on beekeeping.

Want to become a member of the Kershaw County Beekeepers Group website? Just go to our home page and register in the Members Area. If you need assistance, we will discuss the new website at our next meeting, or you can email us. 

In these turbulent times, it is nice to look to our honey bees for a little stress relief. For some of us, it is the joy of working with the honey bee. For others it is the end reward: honey, or the relaxation of curling up with a good book or magazine on apiculture. So I will leave you one more way to relax (with honey)....

Glorious Green Face Mask

1 Mashed Avocado

1/3 cup of honey

1/2 cup of oatmeal

In a bowl, mix the mashed avocado with the honey, then add oatmeal. When all the ingredients are mixed well, apply to your face and relax for 15 to 20 minutes. Wash the mask off with cool water.

Happy Relaxing and Beekeeping!

- Crystal Poyfair