New beekeepers are encouraged to join association in Spartanburg

July 27, 2013 by  

Buddy Williams and other members of the Spartanburg Beekeepers Association hosted a gathering and test for those interested in earning their state certification, at Williams’ home on a recent Saturday afternoon. No doubt flyer printing and poster printing were used to encourage those who are interested in beekeeping, either as a professional or as a hobbyist, to attend the event. Bees are on the decline, not only in the state but across the country.

The Spartanburg Beekeepers Association was created about four years ago and had about 10 members, but now includes more than 90 and meets the second Thursday of every month. According to Williams and Joan Slemenda, a former school teacher and beekeeping hobbyist, there is a need for beekeepers; there has been an outbreak of Colony Collapse Disorder in the bee community, where worker bees cannot find their way back to their hives, causing the hives to fail. Consequently, Slemenda said, the issue is one of pollination and without the bees, not only beekeepers but farmers can lose the source of their income – honey.

In order to become a beekeeper certified by the state, individuals need to complete six weeks of beekeeping courses and maintain hives of their own for one year. After that point they can take the test, which is the last step in the process. Those from across the state who took the test at Williams’ home will be recognized at Clemson University this summer at a special ceremony.