Updated: July 20, 2017

Beekeeper Activities

Beginner Beekeeping School  

Our 2017 Spring Beekeeper Class
Has Completed

Still interested in becoming a beekeeper or
learning more about beekeeping this year?

Another Opportunity:

The Hampstead Natural Beekeepers association will present their Fall class, tentatively scheduled for 9/7 - 10/19 on Thursday evenings. Please visit their Website linked above for future, detailed information.

Bookmark this Activities Page and visit often to keep abreast of what's happening in the world of bees.

Upcoming meetings

Our next meeting will be on
Thursday, August 17th at 7:00 PM.


We have several upcoming events, New Hanover County Beekeepers will have a display table at the following upcoming events. Please come, meet some local hobby beekeepers, and have your honey bee questions answered:

Wednesday, June 21st Bee City USA presentation at Hallyburton Park 6:30-7:30pm


Saturday, June 3rd Pollinator Party at Airlie Gardens - another beautiful day at Airlie Gardens to celebrate the annual release of butterflies in the Butterfly House, and to celebrate pollinators in general. UNCW bee club president Maddi Ruff, grad student Brittany Saleeby, and NHCBA club president Laura McCabe staffed an information table as part of the garden's second annual Pollinator Party.

2017 Pollinator Party

Brittany and Maddi enjoying the beautiful day and sharing their interest in honey bees with visitors to the gardens.

2017 Pollinator Party

Past club president Ashley Stephenson and his wife Shannon staffed the Bee City USA booth next to us. Notice the GORGEOUS sunflower patch in the background. (Laura hopes her backyard bees were visiting the flowers!)

April 20th - club members James Wind and Curtis Howard brought an observation hive and discussed the importance of honey bees to students at the Wilmington Early College program at Cape Fear Community College.

The Presentation by Curtis

James describing the observation hive

Student viewing with a jeweler's magnifier

April 15th - this annual celebration organized by Cape Fear River Watch of the history, plants, animals, and water quality of Greenfield Lake took place on Saturday, our very own Laura McCabe manned (womanned?) a table describing the importance of bees in our lives:

LakeFest at Greenfield Lake organized by Cape Fear River Watch

Friday, March 24th, club members Susan Warwick, Bob Suddith, Kathy Savage, Shanhong Luo, Diana Kraus-Anderson, and Rocky Rawlas were ready and eager to answer beekeeping questions at Cape Fear Community College's Sustainability Fair.

New Hanover County Beekeepers supporting the CFCC Sustainability Fair

2/11/2017 - In honor of Valentine's Day, local bottle shop Fermental hosted a Mead Tasting on Friday, February 11th. Club President Laura McCabe was on hand to answer questions about beekeeping, honey, and mead making. The big crowd included several local beekeepers and home meadmakers.

Mead Tasting

1/16/2017 - On Wednesday, our own Karen Edgar (who is now also Secretary of the Brunswick County club!) spoke for 45 minutes to a standing-room-only Sierra Club crowd at Halyburton Park. Karen's topic:Cape Fear Sierra Club"It Is the Small Things, The Disappearance of the Honeybee." Karen is a nativeNorth Carolinian who grew up on a 40-acre farm near Asheville and traveled the world with her soldier husband and children before retiring in Wilmington. She manages 52 hives in two counties and has completed the requirements for her Journeyman Beekeeper certification.

12/7 - On Wednesday, December 7th, Club member Kathy Savage made 2 presentations to students at Hoggard High School, at the request of teacher Craig Waddell. Mr. Waddell schedules several speakers each quarter to talk about careers and education associated with horticulture. First Kathy gave an informal lunch talk, followed by a more in-depth presentation on honey bees and beekeeping to a class of 30 horticulture students. Kathy may have recruited some future beekeepers!

Hoggard High Presentations

10/28 - 11/6 - The Cape Fear Fair and Expo 2016 concluded on Sunday, November 6th. Our educational booth on the importance of honey bees to NC agriculture earned us a fifth place ribbon and a $120 check to the club! Special thanks to Laney High School student Matthew Messenger, club members Ken and Karen Edgar and president Laura McCabe for setting up and dismantling our display and thanks to other members who contributed their hive products (honey, candles) to round out our display.

Cape Fear Fair and Expo 2016 Cape Fear Fair and Expo 2016
Cape Fear Fair and Expo 2016 Cape Fear Fair and Expo 2016

October 22nd - Club members Karen and Ken Edgar, Kathy Savage, Bob Suddith, Nicole Jones and Laura McCabe spent a cool, windy Saturday October 22nd hosting a booth at the annual Fire in the Pines festival http://www.fireinthepines.org hosted by The Nature Conservancy. Unfortunately local water restrictions forced cancellation of the controlled burn, which is a highlight of this event. But the sunny Saturday brought out many local families to enjoy the nature-themed exhibits and we got to meet Smokey the Bear!

President Laura McCabe and Friend

Kathy Savage and Karen Edgar and Friend

October 20th - President Laura McCabe spent her morning at Lake Forest Academy, talking to 3 groups of children Kindergarten through 8th grade, about honey bees. As always, the observation hive was a big hit, and the teachers seemed to enjoy the discussion as much as the kids!

President Laura McCabe Presenting

October 19th - Pier 33, downtown Wilmington riverfront - Chef's Feast supporting Food Bank of Central and Southeastern NC. Club member Amanda Jacobs of Sea Love Sea Salt and club president Laura McCabe participated by donating a year's supply of artisanal local sea salt flakes (Amanda) and a year's supply of her backyard honey (Laura). The combined silent auction item sold for $400!

October 14th - club member Karen Edgar and president Laura McCabe hosted a beekeeping information table at the Cape Fear Museum's "Night at the Museum". The two most frequently asked questions were: How many bees are in that Observation Hive? (answer: we guessed 1500-2000) Where's the queen? (answer: at home tending the rest of the hive!)

  • A night at the Museum A night at the Museum
  • The Life Cycle of our Honey Bees The Life Cycle of our Honey Bees
  • Karen and Laura Karen and Laura

October 4th - President Laura McCabe presented Brewing With Honey to the recently chartered Hampstead Natural Beekeepers club, which included tastings of 4 honey-based beverages brewed by Laura. The group asked lots of great questions and at least one person left with immediate plans to try her hand at brewing.

Brewing with honey

September 25th - club member Kathy Savage participated in Chabad of Wilmington's celebration of the Jewish New Year. Since honey is featured in holiday dishes to celebrate the sweetness of the new year, the group wanted to celebrate and learn about honey bees. They were very active listeners and had lots of questions and lots to add.

Jewish New Year 2016

September 10th - over 700 people attended the Arboretum's Native Plant Festival on Saturday, September 10th, and our club was there with an observation hive and display table. Special thanks to club members James Wind, Becky Sawyer, Nicole Jones and Bill Morrison for manning our table during the event.

2016 Native Plant Festival

Co-chair Catherine Nesbit sent us the following "thank you"

Dear Participants, Wow! Native Plants are more honored today because of you and your participation at the Native Plant Festival Saturday. It was a very successful event. The Native Plant Festival was planned and sponsored by an alliance of groups: New Hanover County Arboretum, Cooperative Extension, Master Gardeners Volunteers, Cape Fear Audubon Society, Cape Fear Garden Club, Southport Native Plant Society and Cape Fear’s Going Green. And with your participation in the festival, we all made the case for supporting native plants and wildlife. Thank you for your commitment to this cause. We hope you will participate in the third annual Native Plant Festival next year!


Catherine Nesbit
Co-Chair of the Native Plant Festival

June 18th: thanks to Tom Rhyne for hosting the 2016 Beginner Bee School Field Day at his bee yard. It was a perfectly lovely day to open a few hives and observe some very good looking bees!

Field Day - Bee School 2016

June 4, 2016 - the club had a table at Airlie Gardens for their Pollinator Party to celebrate the planting of a new butterfly garden and the opening of the butterfly house. Thanks to club members Bill Morrison, Bob Suddith and Randy Pickett for hosting our table and answering questions. As always, the observation hive was a big hit. Click here to visit our Miscellaneous Photos album for more photos for Pollinator Day.

Pollinator Party 2016

April 18-22, 2016Earth Day 'Week' Bill and LaceyAnn Struve completed 2 Earth Day/Week presentations at Wrightsboro Elementary School, a one-hour presentation for one 3rd grade and another for one fourth grade

April 22, 2016: Bill Morrison and Rick Lawson participated in Cape Fear Community College's Earth Day celebration. The observation hive was a big hit with both the adults and children. Many questions were asked and answered regarding bees in general, how to plant to support pollinators, classes in beekeeping, swarms, etc.

Earth Day

April 11, 2016: Susan Warwick enlightened 3 3rd grade classes from Wrightsville Beach School about beekeeping and honey bees. One student became a beekeeper for the day; she put on the suit and went through the process of “inspecting” the hive! The students all had great questions, the best was probably, "when a drone mates with a queen, does he become king?"! There were even a few students ready to get some bees and start their own journey of becoming a beekeeper!

Wrightsville Beach Elementary

March 28, 2016: President Laura McCabe gave a presentation to a dozen members of the Sea Oats Garden Club, generating a $50 honorarium for NHCBA and a lovely thank you note from their President Mary Ann Huddle: "It was obvious to us all how much you enjoy and know about bees. Some of us may become beekeepers, but all of us have a much greater awareness of pollinators and their needs".

March 18-20, 2016:  We had a featured presence at the Cape Fear Wildlife Expo at the Wilmington Convention Center. Check out our display booth! Special thanks to club members Bob Suddith, Rick Lawson, Gilbert and May Kendzior, Nick Garner, Rick Williams, Nicole Jones, Burt Millette and David Bridgers for helping to staff our booth. On Friday of the event, President Laura McCabe delivered a presentation on beekeeping to an auditorium full of school children. As always, the observation hive generated the most interest from the kids.

  • Member Bob Suddith stands ready to greet visitors to our awesome booth. Member Bob Suddith stands ready to greet visitors to our awesome booth.
  • As you can see, we were given a very large booth space by the Expo coordinators. As you can see, we were given a very large booth space by the Expo coordinators.
  • As always, visitors were fascinated by the observation hive. As always, visitors were fascinated by the observation hive.

March 17, 2016: Club member Brian West delivered his annual presentation on beekeeping to club member Anthony Snider's Environmental Studies class at UNCW. This presentation is always popular and well received. Thanks, Brian!

February 25-27, 2016: North Carolina State Beekeepers Association Spring Meeting 2016 - Nearly 650 beekeepers attended NCSBA's 2016 spring meeting in beautiful New Bern, North Carolina. Participants heard from several renowned speakers, participated in workshops, and browsed numerous vendors. NHCBA was well-represented at the conference; our club's attendees included Ashley and Shannon Stephenson, Tom Rhyne, John Baum, Burt Millette, Nick Garner, David Bridgers, Anthony Snider, and Laura McCabe. The club also donated 4 $25 Lowes gift cards for raffle prizes and a handcrafted hive to the silent auction. We also enjoyed the charming New Bern's riverfront, restaurants and shops. It was a fun and informative weekend!

NCSBA Meeting 2016

February 18, 2016:  presentation to Cape Fear Community College class on Ken Wells' class on Sustainable Agriculture by Rick Lawson and Bill Morrison. Bill and Rick spoke about the joys and challenges of urban beekeeping to a class of landscape gardening and sustainability students.

February 15, 2016:  Club president Laura McCabe presented "Hobby Beekeeping" to the most recent class of Master Gardeners at the Arboretum; it was a full house with over 60 attendees. The group was especially interested to learn about the importance of pollinator-friendly plants, and Wilmington's place as a Bee City USA.

January 4 – February 8, 2016Beginning Beekeeping (Bee School).  Michael Goins took the lead and was assisted by and thanks go to club members Colleen Higgins, Julia Berger, Brian West, Ashley Stephenson, Nicole Jones, Susan Warwick, Lacey Anne Struve, David Bridgers and Tom Rhyne for their presentations. And, all Bee School students who took the written test on February 8th passed! Location:  New Hanover County Arboretum.