— Our next meeting is on Monday, February 19th, 2018 at Sarah P Duke Gardens, 6:30-8:30pm

Just a reminder that DCBA meets the 3rd Monday of each month at Sarah P Duke Gardens, 6:30-8:30pm, unless otherwise announced.  Below is this years schedule.  Please remember that we also have field days at the Duke Campus Farm Apiary , 2pm, the first Sunday of each month, with exception to February (please see the Swarms and Bait Hives Workshop for February’s field day details).  Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that DCBA and NCSBA dues, $10 and $15 respectively, can be payed at any DCBA meeting or event, but are not required to attend DCBA meetings (click here for DCBA Membership Form). 

2017 Club Meeting Schedule:  (2018 schedule coming in January after 1st meeting)

  • January 16th, Will Hicks, NC Department of Agriculture Apiary Inspector, Open-ended Conversation
  • February 19th, David Fruchtenicht, Preparing for Swarms 
  • March 20, Cheralyn Schmidt, NC Cooperative Extension Agent, Cooking with Honey
  • April 17, TBA, Queen Rearing
  • May 15, Robert Gotwals, NC School of Science and Math, Computing the Honeybee
  • June 19, Donna Devanney, Extracting Honey
  • July 17, Randall Austin, Mites/SHB/Treating
  • August 21, Midyear Potluck
  • September 18, Annie Krueger, Research Associate-Pollinator Safety, Bayer Crop Science, Nutrition
  • October 16, Overwintering – Panel Discussion
  • November 20, End of Year Potluck and Planning Meeting

2018 Officers and Coordinator Roles

  • President- Matthew Yearout
  • Vice President- Grey Reavis
  • Treasurer- John Cowan
  • Secretary- Molly Strayer Brown
  • Education Coordinator- Michael Parsons
  • State Fair Coordinators- Bonnie Pivacek, Janice Thomas
  • Club Apiary Coordinator- Stan Holt
  • At Large- Donna Devanney
  • GAP Coordinators – Gayle Young, Pakis Bessias

Bee School Field Day

2018 Bee School starts Tuesday, January 16th and continues through March.  The field day is open to all club members, and will be on March 17th, it will be in the morning, though the exact time and location is still to be determined.  If you have been keeping for over a year, then you may take the Certified Beekeeper practical exam, so put it on the calendar.

Google Group/Communications 

Some of you are receiving this message because you signed up for bee school or are on the waiting list.  I won’t make a habit of messaging you, though I do plan to send a a few more event notification. Please let me know if you do not want these messages, please join the DCBA Google Group if you wish to receive additional notifications and/or to engage the beekeeping community of Durham, https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!forum/durham-county-beekeepers                     

Looking forward to a new year of beekeeping adventures!


DCBA, President

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.  (See full or shorter snippet of TEDxDuke video featuring DCBA and Durham!)

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: John Cowan, 3514 Shady Creek Drive, Durham, NC 27713

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.