Attention North Carolina beekeepers,
Your help is needed to bring about a new honey bee research laboratory at North Carolina State University.
TO CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES, GO TO www.ncleg.gov
To the credit of Dr. David Tarpy, skilled professor of entomology and renowned researcher, NCSU has an outstanding apiculture research program. There are currently twenty-eight students in the program, including four doctoral and post doctoral researchers. However, this research is being conducted in one of the worst facilities in the University of North Carolina system. The program is housed in an old former residence that was constructed about fifty years ago. It has never been upgraded for safety, accessibility, security and bathroom facilities. The building continues to deteriorate. There is inadequate room for instruction, storage and research. To have more room, the back porch was closed in with reflective Styrofoam panels. In the basement lies the storage area; everything must be hauled by hand up and down the narrow wooden stairs. Overflow storage is outside, open air in the yard. The teaching classroom is in the former kitchen and dining area where long leak stains adorn the sheetrock ceiling. During rain showers, buckets are strategically placed in order to catch rain water that drips through the sheetrock. Representative Chuck McGrady toured the lab in 2018 and subsequently has declared that the building ought to be condemned. His statement is no exaggeration!
Key members of the General Assembly have taken notice of the need for a new honey bee research laboratory and are leading a major effort to secure the necessary funds (approximately $2 million) to build and operate a proposed new facility. NC House Bill 334 (full text here) introduced by Representative Chuck McGrady and has three additional primary sponsors, Representatives Mitchell Setzer, Pricey Harrison and John Ager. Twenty-five other members of the house are sponsors of the bill. HB 334 enjoys the support of both parties. Most recently, Senator Brent Jackson and Representative John Ager toured the lab and concurred that the facility should be replaced. Please contact your local members of the General Assembly and voice your support for House Bill 334.
Take a look at the following photos of two other state university bee lab doing comparable research. There are the recently constructed honey bee laboratories at University of Minnesota ($4.5 million) and the University of Florida ($6.4 million), then the honey bee lab at North Carolina State. The disparity in investment and facilities is profound. The pictures speak for themselves. – Rick Coor