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Local beekeepers all the buzz

By Caitlin Rickard crickard@lebanondemocrat.com • Jan 14, 2014 at 6:00 PM

The Wilson County Beekeepers Association of Middle Tennessee met Monday at the Ward Ag Center, where guest speaker Trevor Qualls from Bon Aqua Springs Apiaries spoke to the local club on natural beekeeping.

The WCBA is a local group of active beekeepers and beekeeping enthusiasts in the Middle Tennessee area that meets monthly at the fairgrounds in Lebanon. The club holds guest speakers, events and meetings throughout the year on their common interest in bees.

Meetings welcome around 100 members and guests each month and Monday’s night meeting was no different with rows and rows of bee enthusiasts geared up to listen and take notes.

The meetings featured speaker, Qualls, makes and sells beekeeping woodenware and supplies in Middle Tennessee. He also travels and lectures to Beekeeping Associations, Lawn and Garden Clubs and Shows and different county agricultural groups in Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, Florida and Alabama.

Bon Aqua Springs is a family owned business located in Bon Aqua that specializes in natural beekeeping and quality assembled woodenware.

Products offered by Bon Aqua Springs include screened bottom boards, hive bodies, frames and foundations, traps, feeders, inner and outer covers, protective gear, accessories and tools, nuc equipment, queen rearing, hive stands and treatment and supplements.

According to the beekeeping calendar on the Bon Aqua Springs website, January is a preparation period and is a time for beekeepers to order bees and new equipment in order to get them by the spring.

Those with bees should check hives for stores and, by now, there should be at least 15 pounds of honey for them to eat on.

Beekeepers should also check all hives for missing tops due to treacherous winds.

Qualls spoke to the WCBA group of advanced and beginning beekeepers on the basics of natural beekeeping, prevention and treatment of diseases, avoiding using harsh chemicals, seasonal tips and issues and technical matter involving assembly and upkeep of equipment such as hive stands, drainage or air flow.

At the previous WCBA meeting in December, the group raised more than $1,000 in donations for the Wounded Warrior Project.

Next month’s meeting is set for Feb. 3, with speaker Mike Haney speaking on raising queens.

A beginning beekeepers workshop is scheduled for Feb. 8.

For more information on the organization, visit wilsoncountybeekeepers.org.

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