TN Beekeepers Association Update
Beekeepers across the state are gearing up for the upcoming nectar flow. Already we are seeing queens laying and bees actively bringing in pollen – all good signs! This time of year, under normal conditions, most of our Local Associations throughout the State would have developed beginners’ classes known as “Short Courses” for which TBA offers supporting funds. Under Covid conditions our Associations are getting creative! Instead of holding courses in classrooms with media, many are hosting their interested newcomers in their own bee yards. A little chillier perhaps, but still well attended according to those who have shared with us their success so far. Enthusiasm has been warm! Generally these “Short Courses” consist of several hours of sharing information about equipment, biology of bees, diseases and parasites of bees, and certain skills needed in the bee yard. One of the most important aspect of these meetings is pairing an experienced Club member to mentor new beekeepers through their first year at least. Many clubs also sponsor Hive Grant Programs where participants provide a portion of the cost of their first hive, the Club sponsors a portion of the cost, and TBA offers grant funding for a portion. Already we are hearing of some who have met in both January and February, and we are receiving information about many more clubs with plans to meet in March and April. Of course masks are still required, and social distancing, even though it’s still outdoors.
For the most up-to-date information on planned meetings and programs in your area, contact your local Beekeeping Association.