Durham County Beekeepers Association

It’s all about the bees!


cropped-cropped-april22nd-2013.jpgWelcome to the Durham County Beekeepers Association. We meet every third Monday of the month at 6:30pm at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. We have an educational speaker each month and an open discussion about our experiences in beekeeping. All are welcome to participate,

Membership in the DCBA is only $10.  Fill out the membership form and bring to the next meeting or mail it to the DCBA treasurer: Serena Reavis, 1607 Bivins Street, Durham, NC 27707

DCBA_Bylaws – signed by the DCBA board and approved by the membership at the April 18, 2016 meeting. 

For news and discussion, please join the DCBA Google Group.

Swarm Reporting

Reporting a Swarm

If you see a bee swarm, contact either Matthew Yearout (DCBA President) or Donna Devanney (DCBA Founder).

Swarms are often mistakenly reported when none is present. Our swarm extractors move quickly to retrieve honey bee swarms, and it is important that they not waste their time. Honey bees don’t wait around for us, and we miss an opportunity to catch a real swarm while chasing misreported swarms. For retrievable swarms, a DCBA member will come and extract the swarm ASAP. When you call/email, the following information will be very helpful:

  • Have you found a stationary cluster of thousands of bees?
  • Are they reachable?
  • Will a ladder be needed? How tall?
  • Are they on a tree limb or pole that can be cut or shaken, or are they on/inside something immovable and require a bee vacuum?

Identifying a Honey Bee

Flying insects can be difficult to identify if they refuse to stop buzzing around our heads. The key attributes to look for when discerning a bee from a wasp is fuzzy vs shiny.

  • Honey bees are fuzzy, as all cute animals should be.
  • Wasps are bald and shiny. Also they are skinny, and have a more pronounced “wasp waist”.

A google image search provides comparisons of honey bees and wasps, aka yellow jackets.

Identifying a Honey Bee Swarm

The word “swarm” if often used to describe just any large population of insects on the move, but its meaning is much more specific when speaking of Honey Bees. A swarm is not merely a lot of bees flying around, though you may see many bees flying around the swarm. The swarm is actually a relatively calm cluster of bees perched on some surface. A bee ball, as it were.

A google image search provides many examples of true swarms.

If you haven’t found such a ball of bees, then no one can extract them. They need to be in this dense, landed state for anyone to be able to gather them and take them away.

March Meeting

The Tuesday, March 15th DCBA meeting will be held at the Durham Cooperative Extension, located at 721 Foster Street @ 6:30pm (new, temporary location is across the street from Cocoa Cinnamon. There is usually parking on the north side of the building.)

Our speaker is the DCBA member, Jack Bishop and he will be discussing queen genetics, including his successes and challenges.. Please come join us and bring your Beekeeping questions for discussion with those present.  All are welcome!

Please see Matthew’s email to the Google group for upcoming DCBA events: