News for SC Beekeepers: June 2010

Local news

South Carolina Beekeepers to Meet at Clemson University - The summer meeting of the South Carolina Beekeepers will be held at Clemson University, Clemson, SC on 15-17 July 2010.  Registration will begin on Thursday, 15 July at 12:00 noon in the Poole Agricultural Center Lobby. (See program for registration details) The meeting will begin at 1:00 in the Poole Agricultural Center Auditorium with session 1 of a 1-day beginner level beekeeping short course. The course is designed for individuals with no beekeeping experience, but everyone is welcome. The short course will break for dinner at 5:00 and session 2 of the short course will begin at 6:30 at the Cherry Farm Apiary and Honey House. The short course will end at 8:30 PM.

On Friday morning, we will begin with a general session at 8:00 and workshops will be held in the afternoon. We have several out-of-state speakers on the program including Maryann Frazier from Penn State University, Mark Carroll from the Carl Hayden USDA Honey bee lab in Tucson, Arizona, Laurence Cutts from Chipley, Florida, Ohad Afik from the University of Georgia honey bee lab, Athens, Georgia, Jerry Freeman from Hamburg, Arkansas, and Ann Harman from Flint Hill, Virginia. In addition, we have several speakers from South Carolina who will speak at the meeting. For more details, you will find a meeting program in this newsletter.

A barbecue pork/baked chicken dinner is planned for Friday evening at Jimmy Howard’s home in Pendleton.  Scheduled activities are the annual horseshoe pitching tourney and a smoker lighting contest.  Dinner will be served for $7.00/plate. On Saturday morning, we will have another general session beginning at 8:00 that will include many interesting topics and the meeting will end at noon.

We will have a honey show and competition at our summer meeting this year. Bring along a container of your best honey. Please do not place a label on your honey containers. Honey classes will be pint and quart extracted. There will be light and dark classes, so do not be concerned if your honey is dark. A “black jar class” will be included again. This class will be judged on taste only. Small black jars will be provided at the show, so bring a sample of your best tasting honey and take this ribbon home. We are also adding an additional class in the competition, 1 lb. block of beeswax.  Honey and beeswax entries should be turned in for the competition from 7:30 - 10:30 on Friday morning. And a big THANKS to Steve Genta and Clyde McCall for judging the contest entries.  Ribbons will be awarded for each category and a best of show ribbon will be included.

On-campus housing will be available in the Lightsey Bridge II student apartments for a cost of $19/individual/night. You do not need to make a reservation. Come by our meeting registration desk to process and pay for a room. The dorm will be an apartment arrangement with four beekeepers sharing an apartment. Each beekeeper will have a separate bedroom with one twin bed and all will share a bathroom. Bring your own bed linens, towels and pillow or you may pay $15 for a linen packet fee. Bed pillows are not provided so don’t forget to bring a pillow. Meals (breakfast 7-9:30, lunch 10:45-1:30, dinner 4:30-6:30) are available on campus at the Harcombe Food Court (15 minute walk from the dorm). There is also a food court (open 11AM – 6PM) in the Hendrix Student Center (10 minute walk from the dorm) which is about a 5 minute walk from our meeting site.  This is the same building where you can buy the delicious ice cream and famous Clemson blue cheese.

Accommodations are available off campus in the Clemson area as follows:

  • Clemson Sleep Inn, $67.99, Telephone: 864-653-6000, Fax: 864-653-3790,, includes hot bkfst
  • Clemson Days Inn, $62.99, Telephone: 864-653-4411,, includes contl. bkfst
  • Holiday Inn Express, 94.99, PH. 864-654-9410. Fax: 864-654-9411,, includes hot bkfst.

Mention that you are attending the South Carolina Beekeepers Convention to get the University rate. You will need to make your reservation by 1 July to get this rate. After that date, rooms may not be available.

Our designated parking lot for this meeting is the large parking lot directly behind the Poole Agricultural Center. I have been advised that there is a good chance that the road (Cherry Road) immediately behind our meeting building will be repaved during our meeting, so be prepared to take an alternate route to our parking lot. Signs will be posted on campus to help direct you to your parking area. You will notice that this parking lot has green marked parking spaces which are normally reserved for employees only. Please do not park in other campus parking lots that have green marked parking spaces or you will get a ticket. However, you can park in any commuter parking lot that can be identified by having orange marked spaces. You will need to pick up a hang tag for your vehicle at our registration desk immediately upon your arrival at our registration desk and place it on your vehicle.

Let’s continue to make the South Carolina Beekeepers summer meeting a great success; invite some beekeeping friends to come along for an educational vacation.  If you have questions about the meeting, please contact Mike Hood, ph. (864) 656-0346, email

Calendar for 2010

  • July 8-10 – NCSB will meet in China Grove, NC
  • July 15-17 – South Carolina Beekeepers will meet in Clemson,
  • August 2-6 – Eastern Apicultural Society Annual Conference in Boone, North Carolina, see for more details.
  • Jan. 4-8, 2011 – North American Beekeeping Conference (ABF and AHPA), Galveston, Texas

Invitation to the EAS Meeting in Boone, NC

We'd like to cordially invite beekeepers of every stripe to Boone, North Carolina August 2 -6, 2010. North Carolina is honored to host EAS once again, and Boone is the perfect spot for it. Part of the "high country" of the state, Boone offers countless fun outdoor activities and a perfect climate for our conference. We are diligently assembling our schedule for the short course, workshops, social events and the conference itself. Be sure to check our website for updates as information about the 2010 EAS Short Course and Conference becomes available.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Boone in 2010!

EAS 2010 President, Will Hicks

Bee Decline Linked to Fallin Biodiversity
By Richard Black, Environment correspondent, BBC News website

The decline of honeybees seen in many countries may be caused by reduced plant diversity, research suggests.

Bees fed pollen from a range of plants showed signs of having a healthier immune system than those eating pollen from a single type, scientists found.

Writing in the journal Biology Letters, the French team says that bees need a fully functional immune system in order to sterilize food for the colony.

Other research has shown that bees and wild flowers are declining in step.

Two years ago, scientists in the UK and The Netherlands reported that the diversity of bees and other insects was falling alongside the diversity of plants they fed on and pollinated.

Now, Cedric Alaux and colleagues from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) in Avignon have traced a possible link between the diversity of bee diets and the strength of their immune systems.

"We found that bees fed with a mix of five different pollens had higher levels of glucose oxidase compared to bees fed with pollen from one single type of flower, even if that single flower had a higher protein content," he told BBC News.

Bees make glucose oxidase (GOX) to preserve honey and food for larvae against infestation by microbes - which protects the hive against disease.

"So that would mean they have better antiseptic protection compared to other bees, and so would be more resistant to pathogen invasion," said Dr Alaux.

Bees fed the five-pollen diet also produced more fat than those eating only a single variety - again possibly indicating a more robust immune system, as the insects make anti-microbial chemicals in their fat bodies.

Other new research, from the University of Reading, suggests that bee numbers are falling twice as fast in the UK as in the rest of Europe.

Forage fall

With the commercial value of bees' pollination estimated at £200m per year in the UK and $14bn in the US, governments have recently started investing resources in finding out what is behind the decline.

In various countries it has been blamed on diseases such as Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), infestation with varroa mite, pesticide use, loss of genetic diversity among commercial bee populations, and the changing climate.

The most spectacular losses have been seen in the US where entire colonies have been wiped out, leading to the term colony collapse disorder.

However, the exact cause has remained elusive.

A possible conclusion of the new research is that the insects need to eat a variety of proteins in order to synthesize their various chemical defenses; without their varied diet, they are more open to disease.

David Aston, who chairs the British Beekeepers' Association technical committee, described the finding as "very interesting" - particularly as the diversity of food available to UK bees has declined.

"If you think about the amount of habitat destruction, the loss of biodiversity, that sort of thing, and the expansion of crops like oilseed rape, you've now got large areas of monoculture; and that's been a fairly major change in what pollinating insects can forage for."

As a consequence, he said, bees often do better in urban areas than in the countryside, because city parks and gardens contain a higher diversity of plant life.

Diverse message

While cautioning that laboratory research alone cannot prove the case, Dr Alaux said the finding tied in well with what is happening in the US.

There, collapse has been seen in hives that are transported around the country to pollinate commercially important crops.

"They move them for example to [a plantation of] almond trees, and there's just one pollen," he said.

"So it might be possible that the immune system is weakened... compared to wild bees that are much more diverse in what they eat."

In the US, the problem may have been compounded by loss of genetic diversity among the bees themselves.

In the UK, where farmers are already rewarded financially for implementing wildlife-friendly measures, Dr Aston thinks there is some scope for turning the trend and giving some diversity back to the foraging bees.

"I'd like to see much greater awareness among land managers such as farmers about managing hedgerows in a more sympathetic way - hedgerows are a resource that's much neglected," he said.

"That makes landscapes much more attractive as well, so it's a win-win situation."

The French government has just announced a project to sow nectar-bearing flowers by roadsides in an attempt to stem honeybee decline.

SOURCE: Source: BBC News website, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

UF Research find that "Killer" bees haven't stung U.S. honey production
By Stu Hutson, University of Florida News

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — In just a few years after Africanized honey bees were introduced to Brazil in 1956, the aggressive bees had dominated and ruined domestic hives throughout South and Central America. According to University of Florida research, however, the same story isn’t playing out in North America.

According to an economic analysis from UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, since their arrival in the U.S. in October 1990, Africanized honey bees (often called killer bees) haven’t had a substantial economic impact on the honey production of domestic hives — even after spreading throughout 10 states.

The analysis, published online by the journal of Ecological Economics, seems to indicate virtually no hive loss to the bees — any economic loss was likely due to the cost of preventive measures taken by hive keepers to keep the Africanized bees away, said Charles Moss, one of the analysts behind the report and a professor in UF’s department of food and resource economics.

“This helps to show that the primary concerns with Africanized honey bees are liability and safety, which are everyone’s concern and aren’t strictly attached to beekeepers,” Moss said. “Beekeepers already have a much more pressing economic concern from Colony Collapse Disorder.”

CCD is a mysterious phenomenon which has reduced the population of honeybees in the U.S. by about a third every year since 2006.

Moss said that the analysis indicates that beekeepers have been taking the optimal actions to reduce the effects of Africanized bees — actions such as those widely promoted by state agencies.

“I am not surprised about the lack of effect of Africanized bees on honey production,” said Jamie Ellis of UF’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory, who helps inform Florida’s beekeepers on how to deal with Africanized bees.

Ellis, who did not participate in the economic analysis, says beekeepers usually change their management styles when Africanized bees are in the area. These steps can reliably keep Africanized bees from overtaking domestic hives.

However, certain factors, such as the need to replace queen bees more often, may drive costs up. And some beekeepers may lose money if they choose to leave lucrative bee-removal businesses due to worries about Africanized bee encounters.

Jerry Hayes, head of apiary inspection at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, worries that a more severe economic impact on beekeepers may come from overzealous zoning of domestic beekeepers due to misguided worries that having domestic bees may attract the Africanized bees.

“Honey is a byproduct of pollination, which is the most important aspect of managed honey bees, he said. “If beekeepers are zoned, ordinanced and restricted out of areas because of fear — then it is people putting the strain on the keepers and their ability to produce, not the Africanized bees.”

SOURCE: APITRAK News - January 26, 2010

National Honey Bee Day
By Mike Thomas, Lewisberry, PA

August 21, 2010 has been designated as National Honey Bee Day. We are asking for state and county bee associations to participate, promote, and take advantage of this special occasion. The national honey bee day allows individual bee groups to benefit from a national approach by making our voices heard by the combined efforts of all participating.

National honey bee day 2009, consisted of 42 programs, across 16 states, all focused on educating the public and expanding the beekeeping industry. Some of the programs last year consisted of open houses at beeyards, educational programs at environmental centers, booths at county and state fairs, association membership drives, and honey tasting events.

This past year beekeepers all across the country voted through the national honey bee day website for a national theme. The selected theme for 2010 is "Local Honey - Good for Bees, You, and the Environment!" This year we have a goal to double the number of groups participating. Please consider contacting your local association if they are not participating in this worthwhile program.

National Honey Bee Day is administered through "Pennsylvania Apiculture, Inc." a non-profit 501 (c ) filed with the state of Pennsylvania. For additional information please visit the website

SOURCE:  Bee Culture,Information May 2010

Havilah “Huck” Babcock

Columbia – A graveside service for Havilah Babcock Jr., 90, was held 11 a.m. Thursday, April 8, 2010, in Babcock Cemetery in Appomattox, Va.

Mr. Babcock, husband of the late Coralee Gilliam Babcock, died April 4, 2010. Born March 29, 1920, in Appomattox, Va., he was a son of the late Dr. Havilah Babcock and Alice Hudson Cheatham Babcock. He was a graduate of the University of South Carolina, Class of 1941.

Surviving are his daughter, Barbara Babcock Weston and her husband, William Ray Weston Jr.; grandchildren, William Ray Weston III and his wife, Claire Carney Weston, Havilah Babcock Weston and his wife, Robin Parker Weston, Eliza Frances Weston, all of Columbia; great-grandchildren, Beatrice Grace Weston, William Ray Weston IV.

Essayist ask: ‘Is my community bee-friendly?’

Beekeepers go about their business, making allowances for a farmer who favors frequent insecticide sprays, or the county road department that mows roadsides, or neighbors who know little or nothing about bees. But, how do all these factors add up? Is your community bee-friendly?

That was the question for the 2010 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest, sponsored by the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees. Essayists were to survey their communities to see what is being done, or could be done to help honey bees. Are there classes to attract new beekeepers – or laws that prohibit beekeeping? Entries were received from 22 states.

The top essayist, Shelby Kilpatrick, 16, of Copper Canyon, Texas, did just as suggested: she created a survey form and circulated it around her community, drawing 135 responses. She concluded her essay, entitled, “For Bee or Not For Bee,” saying, “There is no doubt that my community is ‘For Bee’ and wants to be even more bee!” She plans to “reward survey responders with educational tips enabling them to become more honey bee friendly.”

Shelby is a beekeeper herself and a member of the local and state beekeeper groups. Her first place prize is a cash award of $750.00.

The second place essay came from Sean Huss, 15, of Spencer, Ind., who receives $500.00 for his efforts. Sean is also a beekeeper and was named “Young beekeeper of the Year” for 2009 by the Indiana Beekeepers Association. He developed a definition for a bee-friendly community and decided that his fits the bill. His definition is a community “that (1) does not discourage beekeeping and has no legal restrictions to keeping bees; (2) contains good bee habitat – a diverse range of native plants and wildflowers and cultivated crops, fruits and vegetables that can be used by bees as sources of nectar and pollen; (3) has people who care about the environment and limit their uses of pesticides; and (4) has good sources of help and education for farmers and beekeepers.”
There was a tie for third place. Abby Lyons, 11, of Dwight, Neb., and Ann Barlow, 14, of Milford, N.H., each receive $250.00. Abby decided that her community is bee-friendly, while Ann resolved to help her community improve. Abby is a beekeeper and Ann’s 4-H club has bee, giving all four national winners first-hand exposure to honey bees.

Each state winner, including the national winners, will receive a copy of a book about beekeeping.

The essay topic for 2011 is “U.S. Honey: A Taste for Every Preference.” The 4-H’ers are encouraged to investigate the local/regional honeys of the United States and see how they differ in taste and color.

Students interested in writing should contact their local 4-H offices for contest details. The state selection must be done through the 4-H system.


AWARDS:  Cash Prizes to 3 Top Winners:  1st Place -- $750.00; 2nd Place -- $500.00; 3rd Place -- $250.00

Each State Winner, including the national winners, receives an appropriate book about honey bees, beekeeping, or honey.

TOPIC:  For the 2011 essay contest, the essay topic is: “U.S. Honey: A Taste for Every Preference”

The taste and color of honey varies according to the flowers where the bees gather the nectar. Each different type of plant will yield honey with a different taste. The same plants, growing in different soils and climates, can yield different honey. The 4-H’ers are encouraged to investigate the local/regional honeys of the United States and see how they differ in taste and color. Is a honey dark with a rich flavor, or light in color and mild-tasting? One honey may be the choice for topping your pancakes; another may be best for baking cookies or cakes. Actual access to the honey for tasting is not required – just find out about some of the characteristics and write about them.

The scope of the research is an essential judging criterion, accounting for 40% of your score. The number of sources consulted, the authority of the sources, and the variety of the sources are all evaluated.

Personal interviews with beekeepers and others familiar with the subject are valued sources of information and should be documented. Sources, which are not cited in the endnotes, should be listed in a “Resources” or “Bibliography” list.

Note that “honey bee” is properly spelled as two words, even though many otherwise authoritative references spell it as one word.



  1. Contest is open to active 4-H Club members only. 4-H'ers who have previously placed first, second, or third at the national level are not eligible; but other state winners are eligible to re-enter.
  2. Requirements (failure to meet any one requirement disqualifies the essay):
    1. Write on the designated subject only.-
    2. All factual statements must be referenced with bibliographical-style endnotes
    3. A brief biographical sketch of the essayist, including date of birth, gender, complete mailing address, and telephone number, must accompany the essay.
    4. Length – the essay proper: 750 to 1000 words.
    5. The word count does not include the endnotes, the bibliography or references, nor the essayist's biographical sketch – which should be on a separate page
    6. Preparation for National Judging: ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS ONLY. Prepare your essays double-spaced, 12-pt. Times or similar type style, following standard manuscript format. Submit as a Microsoft Word compatible document.
  3. Essays will be judged on (a) scope of research - 40%; (b) accuracy - 30%; (c) creativity - 10%; (d) conciseness - 10%; and (e) logical development of the topic - 10%.
  4. Individual essayists should not forward essays directly to the Foundation office. Each state 4-H Office is responsible for selecting the state's winner and should set its deadline so state judging can be completed at the state level in time for the winning state essay to be mailed to the Foundation office before March 1, 2011. No essay received after March 1 will be considered.
  5. Each state may submit only one entry.
  6. Final judging and selection of the National Winner will be made by the Foundation's Essay Committee, whose decision is final.
  7. The National Winner will be announced by May 1, 2011.
  8. All National entries become the property of the Foundation and may be published or used as it sees fit. No essay will be returned. National winning essays will be posted at:
  9. Email the winning state entries to: In the subject line: Beekeeping Essay. All entries received will be promptly acknowledged; if you have not received an acknowledgment after 3 business days, please resubmit.

2010 SCBA Summer meeting schedule

    July 15, 2010  (Tentative Program as of May 10, 2010)
    View the event page to learn more >

    New Summer Snacks for Kids

    Looking for healthy snacks to serve your children this summer? Look no further! (Courtesy of the National Honey Board)

    1-1/3 cups ground toasted almonds, ground coconut, candy sprinkles or graham cracker crumbs
    4 just-ripe bananas, peeled
    1/2 cup honey
    8 popsicle sticks
    Spread ground nuts (or other topping of choice) on a plate or plates. Cut bananas in half crosswise. Insert a craft stick into each cut end. To assemble, hold each banana half over plate or waxed paper to catch drips. Spoon about 1 Tbsp. honey over banana, rotating and smoothing honey with back of spoon to coat all sides. (Or, squeeze honey from a plastic honey bear container and smooth out with spoon.) Roll banana in topping of choice until coated on all sides, pressing with fingertips to help topping adhere. Place pops on waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining bananas, honey and topping.

    1/2 cup honey
    1 Tablespoon cornstarch
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3 cups (16 oz.) pitted cherries or blueberries, thawed if frozen
    3 large peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
    In large saucepan, combine honey, cornstarch, vanilla and cinnamon; mix well. Stir in fruit. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes or until fruit is tender. Remove from heat; transfer to large bowl. Remove 1 cup of liquid from fruit mixture. In medium bowl, combine liquid with yogurt. Pour into small pitcher. Refrigerate both mixtures for at least two hours. To serve, spoon fruit mixture into 4 large bowls. Pour yogurt mixture evenly over fruit in bowl.

    12 cinnamon or chocolate flavored graham crackers, 2x2-inch squares
    2 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter
    2 Tablespoons honey
    1 medium ripe banana, sliced
    Arrange six graham crackers on serving plate. Stir together peanut butter and honey until blended. Spread peanut butter mixture generously over six crackers. Arrange banana slices over peanut butter. Place second graham cracker on top of each.


    Comments or Questions, Contact:

    Mike Hood,  Extension Apiculturist, 864-656-0346,

    Clemson University, Dept. of Entomology, Soils, & Plant Sciences
    Attn: "News for SC Beekeepers", Editor
    Box 340110, 116 Long Hall, Clemson, SC 29634-0110
    Phone: 864-656-3111, Fax: 864-656-0274

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