The Buzz

MONTHLY MEETING INFORMATION:  The Outer Banks BeeKeeper’s Guild meets the second Wednesday of each month.  Our home base is the Kill Devil Hills Library’s meeting room; however, meeting locations may change according to programming, so be sure to check this site for updates or “subscribe” for our posts below.  Show up anytime after 6:30 p.m. to socialize, and we’ll begin at 7:00 p.m.  If you arrive after the Library has locked their front door at 7:00 p.m., follow the sidewalk on the left side of the building around to the back door. If you would like to participate in the raffle, bring a little cash for ticket donation and/or any items to be raffled (do not have to be bee-related).  The raffle is usually held at the end of most meetings.

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Great hurricane-preparation advice for your hives forwarded (many thanks!!) from Dr. Tarpy at NCSU:

Hi everyone,

With uncertain track of hurricane Irma, there are some important considerations for beekeepers who may be affected by the heavy rain and winds. Please further disseminate to your local network of beekeepers.

First, make sure hive equipment is secured to resist strong winds. A simple brick on the top lid is likely to be insufficient to keep the lid from flying off in winds above 50 mph. A lidless hive can cause problems for the bees by introducing moisture and letting heat escape. Strapping the lid down with ratchet straps or securing with duct tape might be in order, particularly for outlying yards. The same is true for hive boxes, particularly if they are relatively new (i.e., the bees have not yet propolized them together sufficiently). Also consider removing unnecessary boxes (e.g., top-hive feeders) to minimize the wind profile.

Second, be sure to have the hives on sturdy stands or level ground. Entire beehives can be blown over by strong winds, particularly when they are fairly tall with many honey supers or are otherwise top heavy. If the hives are on tall or insecure stands, you can move them onto (dry) level ground temporarily to lessen the chances that they topple. Importantly, if you’re using solid bottom boards, be sure to have your hives tilting forward so that rain water does not pool and collect on the floor of the hive.

Third, beware of falling trees and tree limbs. These can be particularly problematic for beehives since they can completely crush all equipment and kill the entire colony. It is also hard to prevent with some sort of barrier or cover because of the sheer weight of many trees, so if you apiary is in a wooded location you may need to move the hives temporarily.

Fourth, make sure the hives are not in low-lying areas or those prone to flooding. River banks can be useful apiary locations because of their proximity to fresh water, but in flooding conditions entire apiaries can be tragically swept away. Be sure to move any beehives in flood plains until the waters have subsided. Beehives on the ground but in recessed areas can cause water to flood the entrances and may even suffocate the bees if not given an upper entrance.

Finally, following heavy rains like hurricanes, various local and state agencies have traditionally sprayed regions with stagnant water to control mosquito outbreaks. While important for public health, such insecticides can be extremely problematic for honey bees. If you are registered through the NCDA&CS, you will be contacted directly if your beehives are in an area schedule to be sprayed. If you are not registered, however, the state has no means to notify you and your bees may be at risk to insecticide exposure. Please consult the Agricultural Chemical manual for information and advice about how to mitigate exposure to pesticides.

Hope your bees stay safe and dry! Sincerely, David


David R. Tarpy
Professor and Extension Apiculturist
Department of Entomology, Campus Box 7613
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7613

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, September 13, at the Kill Devil Hills Library starting at 7:00 p.m.  Please remember, the Library asks that we not bring food or drinks due to their new carpet, and they do lock their front door at 7:00 so if you arrive after then please follow the sidewalk along the left side of the building to the back door.

Our guest speaker will be our region’s NC Department of Agriculture Apiary Inspector, Adolphus Leonard!  Adolphus will be addressing the subject of preparing a beehive for winter, what exactly is going on while the bees “cluster” for winter (cluster dynamics), and will include a Question & Answer session regarding ANY AND ALL questions you have!

Here is your chance to get personalized advice from an Expert in the Field!!  It has been awhile since we have had Adolphus visit, and he has a WEALTH of knowledge.  Bring any and all questions regarding anything related to honey bees.  Hesitant to raise your hand to ask?  We all know that feeling, so we will also have a “question jar” on hand where you can submit them in writing prior to the meeting start.  Additionally, if you can’t be present at the meeting, feel free to forward your questions to me and I will ask them for you!

We’ll also include our usual raffle, so please bring any items you’d like to donate (bee related or otherwise) and/or some dollars to donate toward a ticket to win!

Hope to see you next Wednesday, Sept. 13!


Posted by Denise Deacon on August 25, 2017
Category: Uncategorized

More Beehive Grant Application Information now available!!!  The following comes from our NCSBA President, Rick Coor:

NCSBA Chapter contacts, please share with your members.

Attention beekeepers of the NCSBA:

Many of us have heard about the Beehive Grant Fund which was approved this year by the NC General Assembly. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund officials have asked the NCSBA to forward information concerning the fund and how to submit an application to the members of the NCSBA. Information has been posted at and the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association Facebook page.

Interested persons should read this information in its entirety and email any questions to the Born and Bred Program chairman Paul Newbold at

Rick Coor
NCSBA President

NOTE: Change of Date to February 24, 2018

Some of you may have already received this notice. If you have already purchased your tickets, you have two options:
Full Refund
Transfer ticket to Feb 24 event
Let us know what you want to do as soon as possible.

Same time, same place, same speaker. Different date.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

If you have not purchased your tickets, contact me and I will send you a ticket application. Highly recommended speaker if you have an interest in organic beekeeping.


NC Bee Education & Training, Inc – a 501c3
Sponsor of Ray’s Bee School
Training Beekeepers for Today and Tomorrow.


In case you missed him at our event last March, or would like to increase your natural beekeeping knowledge, here is your chance to see Michael Bush speak in Smithfield, NC, on October 14!  Sign up now for this one-day event by visiting either of these sites:

Michael Bush – Apalooza Tickets

Michael Bush is a world-renowned author, speaker, and proponent of natural beekeeping methods, and you can view more information about him at his website:


NOTE:  CHANGE OF VENUE:  Instead of the KDH library, our next regular meeting of the Outer Banks BeeKeepers’ Guild on the second Wednesday, August 9, will be a social/group extraction/learning event at Denise Deacon’s house in Kitty Hawk!

When:    Wednesday, August 9
Where:   1101 Colleton Ave., Kitty Hawk (detailed directions below)
Time:     Extraction… anytime after 5:00 p.m until ?
               Food and Drinks… anytime after 5:00 p.m until ?
               Speakers… from 7:00 p.m until about 7:30 p.m.

Extraction: As we did last year, we’ll have the A/C cranking in the garage for added comfort  We plan to have three extractors and uncapping equipment set up and available for anyone who would like to extract…bring one frame or many – a whole box or two! Be sure to bring your own receptacle with a tight lid in which to carry your honey home. We’ll have ziplocks so that you can keep your own cappings if you’d like, and large bags to transport your supers with wet frames back home. Come early if you are able, any time after 5:00! We’ll keep ‘em spinning through the evening until everyone’s finished.

Food & Drinks: The Guild will provide sandwiches, fruit & veggie trays, chips and pecan bars. A selection of beers & wines, soft drinks and bottled water will be on hand. Please feel free to bring a covered dish to share if you’d like and your own beverage of choice if you’re particular!

Guest Speakers: Paul & Cheryl Newbold from the Elizabeth City group (Beekeepers of the Albemarle), will be here to speak about proper honey handling and preparation for honey judging contests. Paul is head of the NCSBA Master Beekeeper’s Program, and Cheryl is our NCSBA Regional Director, so they will also be available to answer any questions we’d like to pose!

Social: EVEN IF YOU HAVE NO HONEY TO EXTRACT AT THE MOMENT, come on out to meet others and learn something new from the Newbolds! Feel free to come by at any time during the evening for however long you can stay.

DIRECTIONS: Address is 1101 Colleton Ave. in Kitty Hawk. At the Chevy dealer near the Wright Memorial Bridge, turn south onto Barlow Lane. Follow Barlow back into the neighborhood, it takes a sharp curve left and immediate sharp right – don’t turn off onto Pine Hill. Continue a short way on Barlow until the pavement turns into a packed gravel road… keep going just a little further and you’ll find it! Dark brown craftsman-style house with white trim, beehives in front yard behind bamboo fence… surfboard street sign shows corner of Barlow & Colleton. Park along the sides in the grass wherever you can (we don’t have much of ANY traffic down this street), or in the driveway. (If you go much further past the house, the gravel turns to sand so be wary unless you have 4WD!)

Questions or comments? Feel free to call!
Denise Deacon, OBBG President, 252-722-3118

Local Honey for Sale!

Posted by Denise Deacon on July 20, 2017
Category: Uncategorized

OBX beekeeper Dorothy Morris is owner of Bells & Whistles at The Flower Field in the Dunes Shops at MP 4.5 in Kitty Hawk, a full service florist and event design business.

She has her own honey from her Kitty Hawk hives for sale in her shop located at MP 4.5 (The Dunes Shops), and has offered to sell anyone else’s local OBX honey as well! Don (who won last year’s People’s Choice award at our honey contest) also has his in stock there. The going rate is $20 per 16 oz. by weight. It seems to be a great pairing… honey for sale at the flower shop!!

If you are an OBX beekeeper and have harvested (or will in the future) and would like to take advantage of this helpful service, she asks a small commission. Please feel free to contact her (Dorothy) at (252) 441-9310.

If you would like to purchase honey, please visit her shop on the days and hours listed below. Please also refer to our “Honey” tab above for information about the superiority of local honey, as well as other helpful tips!

Bells & Whistles at The Flower Field, located at MP 4.5, the Dunes Shops, 3701 N. Croatan Hwy., Kitty Hawk, NC

Hours: Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (252) 441-9310

Gentle reminder that we will be taking our mid-year break and there will be no meeting this month – July – 2107.

HOWEVER… Please mark your calendars for our next second-Wednesday meeting, which will be August 9, when we will learn how to properly prepare our honey harvest for bottling/packaging, along with tips for submitting it in honey contests!  (Don’t forget, we do plan our second annual Honey Contest toward the end of this year!! 🙂

Our guest speakers/teachers are Paul & Cheryl Newbold, who have both won categories in the NC State Fair competitions! A reminder email will be sent out about a week prior to the next meeting.  Please be sure to “subscribe” to be on our email list.  If you have any questions or suggestions for future meeting topics, feel free to contact me… I’d love to hear them!

Denise Deacon, 252-722-3118

Hatteras Island Bee Rescue

Posted by Denise Deacon on June 22, 2017
Category: Uncategorized

Great Job, Gentlemen!  Outer Banks BeeKeepers’ Guild members Kenny Brite and Ken Randall recently rescued a colony… read all about it on the Island Free Press website

The next monthly meeting of the Outer Banks BeeKeepers’ Guild will be this Wed., May 10;
But please note… DIFFERENT LOCATION!!!

Come socialize & network with the Guild and the gang from OBX Green Drinks!
Guest speaker is commercial beekeeper Tracey Helton (with PowerPoint presentation by Denise Deacon).

Date: Wednesday, May 10
Time: 7:00 p.m to socialize, meeting/presentation begins at 7:30 p.m.
Place: Waveriders Coffee & Deli, Pirate’s Quay Shopping Center
3022 S. Croatan Hwy., Nags Head

OBX Green Drinks is a group that meets monthly (except during summer) to socialize and hear speakers on a variety of “green” topics. They have lined up commercial beekeeper Tracey Helton for the evening (Guild President Denise Deacon will also present briefly to the group about the importance of pollinators).

Waveriders will have their bar & deli open beforehand during the socializing and stop serving at 7:30 while the meeting goes on to lessen distraction, so arrive early (even before 7 if you’d like!) and order your food & drinks first 🙂

OPEN TO ALL!! Please join us for a fun and informative evening talking about our favorite subject – honey bees!

It’s that time of year… Dare County Mosquito Control may be out & about in the evenings spraying.  If you are a beekeeper, they honor requests to refrain from spraying at your property (300′ prior and 300′ after).  Please contact Mac Gray, who is the Dare County Vector Control Supervisor, at either or by phone at 252.475.5885 to get on the list and for any other questions you might have.  You can also submit a written request through their website:

Even if you have been on the list in the past, it is a good idea to resubmit to make sure you’re on it!