March 31

10,000 Girls and A Queen Arriving Saturday, April 23

Jax is getting ready...How about you?

Jax is getting ready…How about you?

It’s official, I will be traveling to West Jefferson EARLY Saturday morning on the 23rd  to retrieve 10 Nuclear Bee Hives (10,000 bees and 1 Queen per Nuclear Hive) for insertion into our new hives.  We will gather at 2:00 PM at the Smith Apiary for a demonstration of how to insert your bees into their new home, and then you will work together in pairs to insert your bees into their new hives.  I delayed picking the bees on April 16 as this is a big dedication and planting day at our Community Garden.  This gives you one extra week to get those hives in shape, view the materials I have already posted, and read assignments in your Backyard BeeKeeper’s book and this blog.

Assignments for this week – To be completed by April 6:

  1. Please read Everything prior to Chapter one in your Backyard Beekeerper’s Book
  2. Part C on our Blog – Understanding and setting up your beehive on site
  3. Post any questions and/or comments on THIS post in the comments section found at the bottom of this post.
  4. Do not hesitate to contact me through text or phone (704-827-7989), Comments in this blog, or email:

Some of you are interested in purchasing full bee suits.  I will be getting a price on this and posting later this week.  It is not a requirement, but it is a nice thing to have and is more convenient.

March 21

Your New Bees Arriving Soon!

bee 1

According to Shelly Felder, owner of the Honey Hole, our bees may get here a little earlier than expected.  We are uncertain of the date, but we all need to be ready.  This means you need to make painting your hive a priority.  I suggest using a high grade latex paint (2 coats) as your base.  White is the traditional base color, but I have also used brillant Yellow and a light shade of purple and green for the supers (upper boxes of the hive).

Please refer to the Part I Setting Up  and Establishing Your  Hive tab for more information on painting your hive.


March 19

West Jefferson, The Honey Hole, and Now…You!


A HUGE thank you to Bill Piercy for driving his truck and spending an entire day with me to retrieve all the equipment we have ordered for our first ever “Hands On” Bee School on our new Frances Smith Aviary and Community Garden Property.

As you can see, once we arrived home  I had plenty of help getting everything organized.  Sean and Andy picked up their equipment today and are already excited about painting their hives and including some original art.  It’s going to be exciting….it’s going to be fun, and most importantly you are going to contribute to our national effort to save and sustain our honey bee population.

You will notice our blog continues to grow and change.  Please scroll down on the right panel and sign up with your email.  Every time we post something new, it will automatically notify you via email.  Also not at the end of every post is a place you can make comments, ask questions, even send us links to other websites with interesting information about our beloved honeybee!  A blog allows us two way communication!

Our class roster for 2016 includes some really fine folks in and around our community including:

Andy Lathem, Sean More, Josh Anders, Leigh Brinkley, Erin Denison, and Irene Pharr.

Our instructors will include Mr. G and Jaxson Allen (Mr. G’s grandson).  Teacher Assistant is Bill Piercy.

Please start using the educational materials I have posted right away and soon as you pick up your materials, get out our Instructional Book – The Backyard Bee Keeper !   For now you may skip around and read whatever interests yo, but soon I will be giving you specific assignments.  Let’s get started!


March 17

Together, We Begin!

Welcome to the Mount Holly Farmers Market Frances Smith Bee Apiary and Hands On Bee School.  You are now looking at our new Bee Blog which will be a place where we communicate with each other and I will post tons of information to enhance your education.  Some of the things you will find here (but not limited to include:

  • Learning videos that will give you a head start on the different activities we will be doing at the Smith Apiary with your bees
  • Informative articles and websites you may visit as a part of your learning curve
  • Professional Bee Keeping Organizations
  • Links to sites for your children so they may learn Bee Keeping with you
  • Photography of our efforts to learn and raise bees
  • Documentation of our efforts to move from “Bee Havers” to Bee Keepers”
  • Dates and times when we will gather as a group for activities at our apiary or classroom activities (location to be announced)
  • Posts and questions from you so that we may all learn together
  • …and much, much more!