SCBA Fall Field Day

We will meet at Judy’s Restaurant in Albemarle at 7:30 AM on Saturday, September 22nd, for our Fall Field Day. We have the larger of the two back rooms reserved — Just tell the guy at the desk that you’re with the beekeepers.  Judy’s is on the 24/27 Bypass — street number is 720 Hiway 24/27 East.

We will depart the parking lot at 8:30 AM, and PLEASE CAR POOL, as some folks’ places don’t have room for 30 cars! We will make a large loop from Judy’s, and will end up back there at the conclusion of the tour. The club will provide bottled water, but please bring a bag lunch, your protective gear, and your inquisitiveness.


3 thoughts on “SCBA Fall Field Day

  1. A huge thank you to the organizers of the SCBA Fall Field Day. As a rookie beekeeper, the day was helpful in so many ways and I am quickly learning that bees definitely do have a mind of their own. Thanks also to the folks who hung in there for the day before arriving at my house. Having this group take a look at my starter hive and hearing opinions from you folks who have been at this for some time now was good. I look forward to future events, and Nancy…..I am amazed at your level of knowledge and dedication. We are indeed fortunate to have you.


  2. Thoughts on a bee club field day…by Tony Hill

    It’s Saturday night, close to 9 PM; I’ve been watching interminable non-descript football games, and have been reflecting back upon our marathon SCBA Field Day today. We had a nice time jibber-jabbering at the restaurant in the early morning, and got started on the tour at 8:30AM. Now, for those of you who want to read about an orderly, measured tour around Stanly County’s apiaries, stop reading now. This was a tour around (mostly) brand new beekeeper’s apiaries — most of which measured 1-3 hives. We were not looking at professional, commercial beekeeping operations, nor were we inspecting hives of the old, experienced, super-duper beekeepers’ operations (if there are any such things!).

    If you wonder why otherwise normal people will commit to keeping up to 50,000 stinging, sometimes evil, insects in a wooden box — and will go down into that box to find out how well those bugs are doing — you will begin to get a glimmer of why the bee field days are such a delight. All of the beekeepers, most especially the newbies, were so proud of their bees and their hives, that (had they not been wearing protective gear) they would have been bursting their buttons. After all, those girls were THEIR bees, not someone else’s. Keeping bees, especially in this trying time, is very much a personal journey, and is never devoid of emotion, ranging from joy to outright pain.

    We saw bee hives perched on beautifully welded, elevated platforms; bee hives down low on the ground on cement blocks; hives on the most elaborate landing platforms you’ve ever seen (you could land an attack fighter jet on one of those things, for crying out loud); what you did not see were two bee yards that looked the same, with hives that looked the same. The insides of the hives were likewise never the same — some hives with great promise (judging from the outside) were maybe not so super, while other, seemingly nondescript hives turned out to be pretty stout inside.

    We, at the Stanly County Beekeepers Association, have been blessed by an abundance of new, energetic beekeepers in 2012. While you are the future of the club down the road, you are far more importantly the foundation of the beekeeping here in the piedmont of North Carolina for far in the future, and we are so happy to know you and welcome you to our association.

    As always, we all give our heartfelt thanks to Nancy Ruppert for her professionalism, good humor, knowledge, and (most of all) her patience in conducting a superior learning experience for all of us.


  3. When Bob and I left the field day Saturday we didn’t talk much on the drive home because we were overwhelmed. This being our first bee field day we had no idea what to expect. Our heads swam with more information than we knew what to do with and we were exhausted to the point that naps were required when we got home.

    Around dinner time we did talk about what we had learned:

    Bob learned how to handle the hives by watching Nancy’s gentle manner and soft touch. She never hurried when working with the bees yet she knew when to get out of their way; knowing how bees respond to different stimuli has its benefits. Bob noticed that her smoker always had smoke but she used small puffs and didn’t smoke that often. Yep, we’ll be smoking less often.

    Throughout the day Nancy not only offered safety tips but she shared her extensive knowledge of the bee life cycle, diseases, and medications. Thanks Nancy.

    Nancy is an excellent observer and explained what she saw in each hive. I enjoyed the way she patiently inspected each foundation and looked for the queens. We’ve had our two hives since late spring and hadn’t opened the brood box since because I was afraid the queen would fly off. Now I’m more comfortable in looking for the queen and watching how her caretakers work with her. Yes, Nancy we’ll be taking your advise and suggestions in caring for our bees.

    For the first time I saw an egg, different stages of larvae, and baby bees. I not only learned about different patterns of combs but why they were that way.

    A big THANK YOU goes to the more experienced SCBA members who shared their knowledge and experience, helped move boxes, and otherwise assisted Nancy as needed. I appreciated hearing about their experiences and lessons learned. Bet those boxes were heavy!

    Mark and Ellen McCarter showed us their production room and told us how they processed their honey. Thank you Mark and Ellen.

    Tony Hill organized this day and kept everyone on schedule. That was nice; this way we could immerse ourselves in conversation but when it was time to leave, Tony gave us the ‘heads up’. Thanks Tony

    Overall Bob and I have a new found confidence when working with our bees and because of this we feel that we’ll be better beekeepers than before. Thank you SCBA for being there for the bees and for us new comers.


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