Key Member of NC General Assembly Tours the NCSU Honey Bee Lab

Representative Chuck McGrady, co-chair of the House Appropriations Committee, heard from the NCSBA leadership about the sorry conditions at the NCSU honey bee lab and the urgent need for legislative support for NCSU’s apiculture program and decided to take a firsthand look. Rick Coor, NCSBA President and Charles Heatherly, NCSBA Apiculture Science Initiative chairman invited Representative McGrady for a guided tour from Dr. David Tarpy, NC State researcher, professor and NC State Cooperative Extension State Apiculturist. What they found was an outstanding apiculture research program that was being conducted in an embarrassing, dilapidated facility.

One would have to see it to fully appreciate it. The apiculture research program at North Carolina’s leading land grant university, NCSU, is poorly funded by the NCDA&CS and housed in old split level house at the backside of the Lake Wheeler campus. The classroom ceiling (the old home’s former kitchen and dining area) shows old, stained leak lines where rain drips into the building. There have been no upgrades for storage, clean up, bathroom facilities, security, safety appliances, or accessibility let alone any upgrades to facilitate the use or care of research equipment. A recent coat of paint is the only building maintenance that has been done since the apiculture program was relocated to there from the main campus about 20 years ago.

The NCSBA is endeavoring to secure adequate funding for the current apiculture program and $2.3 million for a new honey bee research facility.