Now that you're here,spend a few minutes browsing our site to learn more about the fascinating honeybee, beekeeping and our Association of beekeepers.
We'd also LOVE for you to sign our GUESTBOOK by clicking on the Guestbook link at the
top of any page. Tell us a little about yourself or tell us how you found us or give us
some feedback on our website so we can keep growing and improving!
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It also only takes a few minutes, it's free and we'll send you e-mail reminders of our monthly meetings as well as notices of bee-related educational activities and other events in the area. We do NOT share your e-mail address with any other organizations.
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Each year in March, our Beginner's Beekeeping Class culminates with what we like to call the "gloves on" experience. Class members are given a chance to gather at an apiary and actually see inside an active hive. This year for the first time we actually used the backyard apiary of one of our Association members rather than a commercial bee yard. We didn't really plan it that way, but beekeepers are pretty accustomed to making last minute plans! It actually makes a lot of sense because the majority of our members are backyard or hobby beekeepers anyway. We turned the event into an impromptu picnic! We're already dreaming about having our own Association Apiary by next year!
Every year in late March or early April, a couple of our Association members make a "pilgrimage" to a little town in South Georgia called Baxley. It happens to be home to one of the Southeast's largest Apiaries and suppliers of package honeybees. This year we picked up over 120 packages of Italian honeybees. Each package contained three pounds of bees and one queen. We never waste any time getting the bees back to Camden where we know a group of excited beekeepers are waiting to pick up their packages and take them to their new homes all over Kershaw and Sumter Counties.
We try to take a few pictures each year to share on our website. We've posted a few here. If you'd, like to see more,visit our Photo page and browse through the gallery!
Nothing like a little free advertising for our favorite package bee supplier
Packages are stacked in groups of ten as they come in on flatbed trucks from the bee yards.
The expert crater carefully spaces the boxes for maximum ventilation and then uses strips of wood to secure them against shifting in transit. It's not unusual for this crew to fill and load over a THOUSAND packages of bees in a single day! If you know what you're doing, you can fit over 120 packages safely in the bed of a Toyota Tacoma!
At our November, 2013 monthly meeting, Association Board member Glen Perdue gave a presentation on how to sell your honey legally in South Carolina. As a follow-up, we thought it might be helpful to provide some links to important information from the South Carolina department of Agriculture's website.
A recent change in the law in South Carolina allows beekeepers to sell up to 400 gallons or 4,800 pounds of honey annually directly to end users without having the honey processed in an approved honey house. However, in order to do this, you must obtain an Exemption Certificate from the Department of Agriculture. There is NO COST for this certificate. Below is a link that will take you to the SCDA application for a honey exemption certificate: Along with your application, you must submit a sample of your honey label for approval. Below is a link to the requirements for honey labels in South Carolina: Remember, you CAN sell your honey directly to end-users in South Carolina WITHOUT processing it in a honey house approved by the SC Department of Agriculture. However, in order to do so legally, you MUST have a Honey Exemption Certificate and you can ONLY sell your honey DIRECTLY to end-users. In other words, you CANNOT sell your honey wholesale. Also, ALL the honey you sell must be properly labeled and you are limited to selling no more than 400 gallons of honey annually
Along with your application, you must submit a sample of your honey label for approval. Below is a link to the requirements for honey labels in South Carolina:
Remember, you CAN sell your honey directly to end-users in South Carolina WITHOUT processing it in a honey house approved by the SC Department of Agriculture. However, in order to do so legally, you MUST have a Honey Exemption Certificate and you can ONLY sell your honey DIRECTLY to end-users. In other words, you CANNOT sell your honey wholesale. Also, ALL the honey you sell must be properly labeled and you are limited to selling no more than 400 gallons of honey annually
Spring is always a busy time of year for Beekeepers and for our Association. We get lots of requests, especially around EARTH DAY, for a beekeeper to come to an Elementary School, Community Festival, Garden or Civic Club or other event to highlight the importance of the honeybee. Typically, we try to bring along an Observation Hive full of live honey bees because nothing draws and keeps a crowd of children or adults quite like a few thousand live bees behind glass!
A critical part of our mission as an Association is to educate the public about the importance of the honeybee and other pollinators because of issues like the overuse of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides in agriculture, the loss of bee habitat and inadequate forage for bees to name just a few. Every time we take a few hours out of our busy schedules, we are serving as Ambassadors for the insects who have no voice of their own!
Special thanks are in order for Mike Radcliffe, Richard Guess, Debbie Kruger and Linda Graham for volunteering their time recently in this ongoing public service. We're asking other members of our Association to contact us so we can add your name to our "Speakers List". Even if you're a new Beekeeper, if you've taken a Beginner's Beekeeping Class then you already know MUCH more than most folks about the honeybee, plus we'll always try to pair you up with a more experienced Beekeeper for your first few "gigs".
Here's an example of two "bee" questions that were asked by elementary school students at a recent Earth Day Celebration. If you don't know the answers, why not take a moment to search the internet for answers? Then you WILL be smarter than a 5th grader!
1. How many times a minute can a bee flap her wings?
2. How fast can a bee fly?
WBA and Honeybees are "in the news" locally
Recently, our Association was mentioned and one of our members was interviewed by a local news station about CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder. If you'd like to read the online story and see the video, click on the link below.
We always love it when the honeybee gets attention. One of the goals of our Association is to educate the public about the importance of the honeybee so we try to take advantage of opportunities when they come along!
Wateree Beekeepers Association is proud to unveil our first LOGO. We will soon be taking orders for t-shirts, polo shirts, sweat shirts and lots more, all featuring this unique and colorful logo. Check this website frequently OR register to receive e-mails containing details on how to order!