Meetings: The Watauga County Beekeepers Association usually meets at 6:15 pm on the first Tuesday of each month, from February through November, in the downstairs meeting room of the Watauga County Agricultural Extension Center (971 W. King St., Boone).  Because of elections in 2020, the March and November meetings will be held the first Wednesday of those two months. All other meetings will be held on the first Tuesday of the month.  Everyone is welcome.

The February 4th (Tuesday) meeting will feature speaker Karen Speer’s presentation on “Turning Your Hobby into a Small Business.”  Karen and her husband, Ed, own and operate Sweet Betsy Farm in Marion.  They provide local honey, bees, eggs and agritourism experiences to individuals and groups.  Karen is a NCSBA Master Beekeeper, an officer of the McDowell Honey Bees, and chairs a very successful annual beginner beekeeping school.  I think you’ll find Karen’s presentation very interesting.  
February’s meeting will have a silent auction fundraiser.  The Executive Committee conducted the Association inventory and identified excess items for the auction.  If you would like to donate equipment or items for the auction, please bring them to the meeting.  Also during February’s meeting, Treasurer Angie Matheson will be collecting annual dues, which are $10, or $15 if you would like an Association hat or tee shirt. 
Don’t forget to pick up your raffle ticket when you sign in at February’s meeting.  We have some nice prizes to give away.  And, if you don’t have time to eat before the meeting, refreshments will be served.
Looking ahead, the Education Committee has made arrangements for EpiPen training during the March 4 (Wednesday) meeting.  The training will be provided by our own Watauga County Rescue.

Watauga County Beekeepers Association Bee School 2020

Let the Watauga County Beekeepers Association help you through your first season of beekeeping by enrolling in their Beginning Beekeeping and Apiary Mentoring Course.  The classroom instruction component of this course will address topics necessary for students to successfully begin beekeeping, and include, among other topics, choice of equipment, apiary site location and construction, maintenance of healthy colonies through the seasons, honey extraction, and honey and wax production. In addition to classroom instruction, this course will conduct in-the-field mentoring sessions at select student and instructor apiary sites.  These mentoring sessions will provide students with hands-on experience while being supervised by expert beekeepers.  For those interested, the Certified-level Beekeeper written exam of the Master Beekeeper Program (North Carolina State Beekeepers Association) will be offered after the conclusion of the classroom instruction.  At the conclusion of the mentoring sessions, the practical exam will be offered.

Classroom Session Dates, Time, Location: 

                Saturday, March 14, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Watauga County Extension Center

                Saturday, April 4, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Watauga County Extension Center

                Tuesday, April 7, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Watauga County Extension Center

Mentoring Sessions Dates and Time:

Mentoring session will occur once monthly, May through August.  Dates and times will be determined by students and instructors at the conclusion of the classroom sessions.

Tuition and Fees:  $75 Total.  $10 for WCBA membership and $15 for NCSBA membership are included in the total cost.

Textbook:  Howland Blackiston, Beekeeping for Dummies, 4th Ed.  (2017) ISBN-10:  1119310067 and ISBN-13:  978-1119310068.  Available for purchase at for $14.19.  Also available at local beekeeping supplies stores (Hidden Happiness Bee Farm, Deep Gap; Millers Bee Supplies, North Wilkesboro).

Pre-registration is required.  To pre-register, send an email to with the subject “WCBA Beginning and Mentoring Course Pre-registration.”  In the body of the email, please provide your name, phone number, and mailing address.  You will be notified if space is available.  Tuition will be collected at the first classroom session.