NC Honey Bee License Plate Update

Bee plateOver 300 pre paid applications for the North Carolina “Save The Honey Bee” specialty plate have been delivered to DMV.  This specialty plate, designed to honor our state insect, the honey bee and to promote the NCSBA, has also passed the 1st reading in the house.  More updates will be posed as the information becomes available.  You may also visit the Franklin County Beekeepers Association website for additional information.

Trivia question:  What does 1917 mean?
Trivia answer:  The year NCSBA was chartered.

Thank you for your support.
Sandy Carlson
FCBA Treasurer

A Message to NCSBA Membership on Dr. Ambrose

Bees!!! Perspectives Spring 2001To the beekeepers of the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association;

On this difficult and somber occasion, I find that my first duty as NCSBA President is to acknowledge the passing of our elected President, the late Dr. John Ambrose. It is an unfamiliar role that is cast for me; one for which I might not be particularly so well versed in and I trust that my friends, Dr. Ambrose’s friends, his family and all who read my thoughts will understand that I express them to all with the sincerest of intentions, knowing that Dr. Ambrose was perhaps the most important and influential person to ever serve in the NCSBA.

I have come to realize during the course of my own years that anyone of us shall be best remembered for what we gave to others and not for what we kept for ourselves. In this measure, Dr. Ambrose distinguished himself in his work with our organization and his influence will be evident for many years to come. He gave generously of his time and thought as the author of the Master Beekeeping Program, the Certified Honey Standard and the permanent honeybee exhibit at the North Carolina Zoological Park; a project of the NCSBA which was championed by himself and the late Mr. Ervin Rackley. Dr. Ambrose spent countless hours advising beekeepers of all levels, speaking with and teaching the members of our association and touching the lives of so many of us. No one man was ever more widely known and respected within the NCSBA.

Throughout our lives, it is not about how well we live or how well educated we become but more importantly it is how well we love that matters the most. Dr. Ambrose certainly loved his family, his friends, his university and his work with the NCSBA. Many of us came to know him as a kind and thoughtful man and became endeared to Dr. Ambrose regardless of how long or brief a time that we knew him. He was loved and respected by many people.

From this point forward, Dr. Ambrose’s fingerprints will be found on much of what the NCSBA accomplishes. I hope that I can express my feelings and the sentiments of many of us as I recall the last conversation between he and I, during which time I said to him,

Thanks for everything, Dr. Ambrose.

Rick Coor, NCSBA President 2015

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State Fair Honey Sales!

Make sure to stop by the NCSBA booth in the Exposition Building at this year’s NC State Fair! We have over 3000 pounds of honey that has been collected and bottled by members of the Stanley County Beekeepers, the Chatham County Beekeepers and the Neuse Regional Beekeepers, and is available for sale.

Help Support the NCSU Apiculture Program

Piedmont Regional Director Lewis Cauble has been tirelessly spearheading a challenge to all NCSBA local chapters to make a donation to the NC State Apiculture Program.  Lewis started the process by donating the sale from three nucs he sold this summer to the program.  He’s hoping others will follow his lead and donate a portion of their honey sales, queen sales, nuc sales, etc, to the NCSU Apiculture Program.

OrangeTarpyAwardLewis also approached his local chapter and suggested that they take a leadership role and set an example for other chapters to follow in donating to the Apiculture Science Fund.  Orange County stepped up with a $2500 donation and a commitment to revisit the issue again next year and possibly send another $2500 in 2015.

Orange County Beekeeper Association co-presidents Cynthia Speed and Chris Apple presented a check for $2500 for the Apiculture Science Fund at the 2014 Summer Conference in Wilkesboro.

(Read more about the Orange County donation in the Fall Buzz Newsletter)

According to Dr. David Tarpy, the NC State Apiculture Program requires approximately $500,000 per year in outside funding, mainly to hire technicians and students (contrary to common perception, these positions are neither free nor covered by recurring state funds). While the salaries are obviously the largest expense and are typically covered by larger (six-figure) competitive research grants, any and all miscellaneous donations are welcomed and indeed important to the overall function of the program. Gifts such as the proceeds from the NCSBA silent auction are important for the Apiculture Program to pay for expenses that cannot be charged to a research grant, such as telephones, gas for the bee truck and other travel, new computers, even printer toner. In doing so, these miscellaneous gifts and donations help to “grease the skids” of the program and enables them to be opportunistic where they otherwise might not be able, particularly when it comes to student research. For example, it helps the program to have a student present at a meeting where they otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend, conduct an additional experiment, or pay for undergraduate helpers for the summer.

There are three means to donate to the Apiculture program.

  • Donate online at the Apiculture Program website homepage.  You can pay by credit card and the donation goes through the NCSU Agriculture Foundation.  To donate this way, go to and click on the large red “Make a Donation” button.  Note: Donations made through the online system garner only a 5% overhead charge.
  • Donate directly to NC State’s Apiculture Science fund as an unrestricted donation for the general support of research and extension programs. There are many research projects currently underway and are listed on the research and extension websites (  Note:  Donations made for research on a specific topic garner a 51.5% overhead charge deducted from donated funds.  However, a “no strings attached” donation to the Apiculture Program general research program generally has most of the overhead fees waived (only 5% overhead charged) and this helps the donation go much farther.  If you choose this option to donate, make sure to attach a letter with the donation stating your intension for the donation.
  • Donate items to NCSBA for the Spring or Summer Conference Silent Auction.  Proceeds from this auction goes to the NCSBA Apiculture Science fund.  The monies are held in the NCSBA account until needed.  When the need arises among students in the NCSU Apiculture program and there are sufficient available, Dr. Tarpy has the student(s) write a short grant to the NCSBA.

This arrangement with NCSBA has many benefits including:

  • Students gain some valued experience in grantsmanship
  • The arrangement helps to secure a closer bond between the NCSBA and NCSU Apiculture program members,
  • Students are held accountable for their research.

The following documents explain fees assessed on donations made and answer many common questions:

Lewis Cauble and Orange County are not the only NCSBA members or chapters who have stepped up to help support the NCSU Apiculture Program.

tarpyCameraAwardRick Coor and Kim and Tom Underhill held what they called a “swarm out session” In Raleigh that focused on queen rearing.  Tom and Kim hosted the event at their home and provided lunch for all that participated.  Rick presented a hands-on demonstration of the step-by-step method he uses for queen rearing.  Participants even had an opportunity to try their hand at grafting.  Monies from the event were donated to Dr. Tarpy for the purchase of a new camera.  The “check” was presented at the Summer Conference in Wilkesboro.

The McDowell County Beekeepers have also committed to a donation to the Apiculture Science Fund.

If your chapter can’t afford to make a substantial donation, think about collecting change at your meetings and making a donation at the end of the year through the online donation form.  Every little bit helps the program and ultimately the honeybees.


If you or your chapter makes a contribution, send the information to so we can add you to our success stories listed above.


Spring 2015 NC/SC Joint Meeting – Planning Underway!!

Members of the NCSBA Executive Committee have been hard at work planning next spring’s joint meeting with the South Carolina Beekeepers Association.  Here are a few details to whet your appetite:

  • The meeting will be hosted by the Union County Beekeepers.
  • The meeting location has been determined.  It will be held at the Agricultural Conference Center near Monroe, NC.
  • The theme of the meeting with be “Protecting Our bees”.
  • The date of the meeting is February 5-7, 2015…mark your calendars now!
It’s not too soon to start thinking about how you might be involved in the meeting, even if you aren’t one of the folks in Union County who are going to be very busy in the coming months.  If you have a special project that you have been working on (perhaps something related to your Master Beekeeper requirements) and feel that it would be of interest to a broader audience of beekeepers, please submit a brief description to Ed Hunt ( or Paul Madren (, for possible inclusion as a meeting workshop.We’ll keep you posted as plans progress!

Call for Conference Photos

I hope everyone who attended the State Conference had a great time! If you have any photos that you took during the event that you would like to share, please send them (or a link to where they are online) to Please include a statement that the photos are yours and you give NCSBA permission to reproduce them publicly on Also, let us know if you would like attribution.