Welcome to our May Member Highlight. Please welcome Mrs. Laura Krug, our Secretary, as we learn more about her interests.
What made you decide to keep bees? A book called the Fruitless Fall by Rowan Jacobson which was recommended to me by my friend Doris Fleischman. At the time my husband and I were attempting to grow oak trees on our property. We have a lot of oak timbers in our home and wanted to “give back to the environment”. The white tailed deer kept eating them. I thought after reading the book about the collapse of the honey bee, I could give back to the environment by being a steward for bees by keeping some colonies. At that time, my friend and neighbor Tevis Smith invited me to visit his hives with him. I thought it was fascinating and my husband Jim agreed to start keeping bees.
How many hives did you start with? I got them from Bill Smith.
How many years have you had bees? 5 years
How many hives do you have now? I plan to make some splits at the end of May.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in caring for bees? The most important lesson I’ve learned is that you have to learn a lot, ask questions, and look at your bees often.
What bee products do you make? I collect and bottle honey.
How and where do you sell them? We sold a lot of honey this past year to my husbands coworkers at the hospital. I also sell to friends. My husband Jim had great fun selling the honey. He has spent a lot of money purchasing equipment and bees these past few years.
What would you like your fellow beekeepers to know about you? That I think beekeepers are some of the kindest most generous people in the world. I have a great appreciation for nature. The bees have helped me respect it even more.
Do you treat your bees? Natural versus treatment free? Why? Yes I treat my bees, I try to follow Nancy Ruppert’s advice and treat only bees that require treatment, using the medications according to the instructions.
Do you use queen excluders? Why or why not? I generally do not use a queen excluder. I do not sell comb honey.
Do you use screened bottom board or screened top boards? I use screened bottom boards. I slide in a bottom board when treating for varroa mites.
Where do you buy your sugar? I buy sugar in 25 pound bags from Costco. We also use a lot of sugar to make sugar water for the large numbers of hummingbirds we feed all summer.
Are you interested in becoming a certified beekeeper? I just passed the written test to become a certified beekeeper and will take the practical test at our next field day, and will consider moving on to the Journeyman and master beekeeper.
When do you do when you’re not caring for your bees? I have spent a lot of my non beekeeping time this last 10 months recovering from a spontaneous subdural bleed. I am a lucky lady to be here but still struggle with left sided weakness that occurred as a result. I have learned that there are many wonderful and generous people in my life. I love taking care of my family: my wonderful husband Jim, my grown sons Erik and Brian and my daughter Sarah who just finished her first year at UNC Chapel Hill.
I also take care of our 4 rescue dogs Valley, Sohpie, Enzo and Lucy. I miss the frequent hikes I used to take the dogs on at Morrow Mountain State Park, and just started hiking again last week. I am a member of the Friends of Morrow Mountain State Park and am grateful to have this resource so close by. My husband and I enjoy visiting and hiking at Americas National Parks. I have three sisters that I like to be with as often as possible.
I enjoy reading (books usually get me interested in new adventures). I have a long arm quilting machine I am learning to use, there are many quilts in my future.. I have enjoyed scuba diving.
I worked for many years as a registered nurse and recently refreshed my license and was looking for a way to return to the field of nursing until last summer. I take my dog Valley who is a certified therapy dog to the Cancer Center here in Albemarle every week.
Our goal is to bring some smiles to the faces of the people there.
I am a member of First Lutheran Church and participate in their blanket makers group. I am the landscaper at our house and try to-plant things that bees like and deer do not. I am very grateful to be where I am and would rather sit on our porch to watch a lightening storm than do anything else.I would like to express my gratitude to all the help, prayers and support I have received from my beekeeping friends.