November Meeting of SCBA

The Stanly County Beekeepers Association will meet November 8th at Rocky River Springs Fish House.  The meal will start at 6PM and the business meeting will follow at 7PM.
The program will be a discussion of the North Carolina Certified Honey Producer program, plus some thoughts on getting ready for Spring splits.
Tony Hill in Frog Pond, North Carolina

Honey Plants in North Carolina — the Piedmont

I recently visited the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association (NCSBA) website and previewed the plants they say are growing in the Piedmont (Our corner of the world.).

At first glance I am pleased that J. Ambrose with the NC. Cooperatiive Extension Service had put this table together. It is a wonderful quick reference of knowing what to plant, when to expect it to bloom, and for how long. J. Ambrose and NCSBA do stand by solid research. I appreciate this important attention to detail.

Upon closer inspection, the table became complicated and textural — to me. Being a visual learner I couldn’t tell (easily) which plants blooming cycle overlapped and which one’s didn’t; which ones were cool weather plants and which were heat/drout survivors. (Yes, I’m new to gardening, too; but I’m learning.)

We’re also new to the bee world and are still preparing our property to care for them. Although we’re surrounced by miles and miles of forest, I’m quite sure the little ladies could find plenty of pollen and nectar throughout most of the year. However, we want to help them as much as possible to stay heathy, alive, and here.

So, I took the NCSBA’s table and turned it into a floating bar chart so I could visualize the plants association with each another. This chart tells me at a glance what time of year has the most blooms, the least blooms, the most overlapping blooms and no blooms at all.

It tells me which plants bloom the longest compared ot the shortest blooming time. Do I want to even bother with short blooming plants? Probably not.

I for sure want alsike clover (102 days), white clover (102 days), smartweed (126 days) and sumac (151 days). They bloom over 100 days. I more than likely will not plant black locust (10 days),  persimmon (13 days) , black gum (14 days) or holly (15 days); at least not for their supply of nectar or pollen. Which is contrary to my goal.

We have plenty of dandelion (60 days). Not a problem. Now I can just leave it alone.

I now know that I have to step up my feeding program between August and February. Or, at the very least, my bee care changes during the winter months. Yes, I already knew this but the blooming schedule proves it — again. Mother Nature is incredible, isn’t she?

For you other visual learners out here, attached is the floating bar chart depicting the Honey Plants in North Carolina.

Hope this helps you care for your bees.Select the link (in bold) below.

Pat Allen, SCBA

Honeybee Blooming Plants in NC Piedmont

Celebrate the Farm and Food Council

Come to celebrate with us the formal recognition
 the new tri-county Farm and Food Council
Anson, Montgomery, Stanly Counties
Tuesday, October 23, 2:30-4:30
Stanly Community College Albemarle Campus
Dennis Community Room
 (Directions below)
On the agenda:
Recognition of the Interim Board and their hard work
Introduction of the new Board
Speaker:  Teisha Wymore, CEFS Dir of NC 10% Campaign
Updates on exciting regional projects/initiatives
All interested in the new Farm and Food Council are welcome
For more information, contact Nancy Bryant,, 704-474-9134 or Robin McCree,
Directions to SCC Campus, 141 College Dr, Albemarle 28001
The SCC Campus is off of 24/27/Albemarle Rd, west side of Albemarle.  Coming from either direction on 24/27 there are signs to turn off of 24/27 and enter the main gate of SCC at the bottom of the hill.  Go up the hill and turn left at the first road toward the Peterson Building and park in the visitors’ lot.  Go in the left-hand door, up the stairs to the Dennis Community Room. (no elevator)

Legendary State Bee Inspector Bill Sheppard Visits!!!

The Stanly County Beekeepers Association will meet on Thursday, October 11th, at Union Chapel United Methodist Church (old US-52 South of Albemarle), at 6PM.  We will have a Pot Luck Supper, and the business meeting will follow at 7PM.
Bill Sheppard will then give a presentation on winter management of colonies (and whatever else pops into his head).  Be advised that Bill is retired now, and we don’t get much opportunity to enjoy his uniqueness.  He is one of a kind, and if you haven’t met him, you should do so.  This is a bucket list item for all area beekeepers.
Besides his knowledge of bees and beekeeping, his story telling and humor, and his gregarious personsality, Bill has a legendary appetite for home cooking, so all you cooks out there:  Let’s give him a true Stanly County Feast.