Honeybee experts teach keepers how to save bees this season

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Honeybee experts are trying to help beekeepers save their bees this season.

The North Carolina State University Apiculture program and the Brunswick County office of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension hosted “Bees Academy” this weekend.

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“We are having a bee keeper training for intermediate beekeepers…existing bee keepers… to try to improve their craft so they can improve honey bee health and to decrease the number of mortality of bee hives that we see across the state,” Honeybee specialist David Tarpy said.

Tarpy says the programs topics ranged from beekeeping management to dealing with pesticides.

“Beekeepers are stewards and active managers of beehives so that the bees can be transported in and out of agricultural crops to do that pollination service,” Tarpy said.

He says the two-day program goal is to help prevent bee loss over the winter.

“Especially this time of year, it’s really imperative that they keep under control this very harmful parasitic mite,” Tarpy said. “It’s called Varroa destructor and our bees don’t really have any natural defenses to them.”

He says this mite becomes more active in the fall.

Tarpy says 40 beekeepers attended this weekend’s training. The training is designed to be the perfect preparation for anyone planning to take the Journeyman Beekeeper’s exam.