Beekeepers hosting workshop Saturday

Apr. 25, 2013 @ 06:09 AM

This past winter left beekeepers across Western North Carolina devastated since finding half or more of their honeybee populations dead or missing, and nobody knows for certain why. The phenomenon is known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

“Losses have been steady at 30 percent, but this year it looks really bad… like 50 percent or higher across North Carolina. I’ve talked to some beekeepers that have lost two-thirds of their hives. We’re creating as many new colonies as we can to replace the honeybees, but the beekeepers won’t make it more than a year or two at these levels,” says Carl Chesick, Executive Director at the Center for Honeybee Research.

Beekeepers from the Center for Honey Bee Research, Asheville’s Bee City USA and Rutherford County Beekeepers Association will gather at the third Annual Buzz on Bees on Saturday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. They will educate the public on current problems facing honeybees, like CCD, and what people can do to get involved and help our area’s dying bees.

At Buzz on Bees, glass-enclosed observation hives will allow guests to study live honeybees up close and marvel at these hard-working insects. Local beekeepers will explain the art of beekeeping and honey production with their equipment on display. Bee City USA will lead pollinator hunts for kids and families, helping them understand how bees pollinate plants and how to attract them to the  backyard.

A professional storyteller will present brief programs for kids, and a children’s crafts area will offer fun facts on honeybees, coloring and an opportunity for kids to make their own bee costumes with antennae. Some local honey and beeswax products will be available for purchase. Buzz on Bees will be held at Park tents in the top parking lot. There is no additional cost with paid Park admission, which is currently $12 adult, $6 youth (ages 5-15) and free for 4 years and under. Event details are online at chimneyrockpark.com.