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We'd like to know you better.
Beekeeping meets many needs for people. Some enjoy the solitude of coming home from a day at work to relax with the bees. Others enjoy networking with other beekeepers, telling of their adventures, accomplishments, and sometimes failures. For the new-bee, regardless of how well you have studied the books or how many classes you take there will be times when the bees confound you. Whatever the reason, know that there is a network of beekeepers out there to give advice, take a look, or offer a word of encouragement. Below is a list of local opportunities for networking with your peers.
We welcome new faces!
New beekeepers are always asking what they need to do to further their knowledge. Buy a book? Attend a class? Find a mentor? The answer most often given though is to find a local association and start attending.
Nothing takes the place of face to face visiting with other beekeepers. Mid-State Beekeepers Association builds in fellowship time at each monthly meeting. It's a time to introduce yourself to others, ask questions, brag, and sometimes, to admit the bees fooled you. Typical meetings are structured as follows: Call to order, Announcements, Business, What's happening in the hives this month, Break and fellowship time, followed by an Informal talk by a seasoned beekeeper on a topic usually corresponding to the current beekeeping season.
We always announce the meeting location and time on the front page of this website. Sometimes the location changes so if you missed the previous month's meeting make sure to check beforehand.
We welcome visitors. I always tell others that I attended meetings for 6 months before joining. So, if you want to visit, that's just fine with us! Come out and get to know us. Enjoy the meetings, fellowship, and knowledge you will gather each month. If you're a bit shy, introduce yourself to a board member and we'll connect you with a friendly beekeeping ambassador to start getting you networked.
For People Who Love Talking Bees Over Dinner
Bees Over Dinner currently meets at Zorba's in Irmo prior to our monthly membership meeting. Come around 5:30pm for an opportunity to talk bees with others prior to the meeting. We'll reserve the back room so look for us there.
Mid-State Beekeepers Association maintains a Facebook page which is primarily used for announcements and informal contact. There is no requirement for members to join and you won't miss any vital information if you don't use Facebook. If you'd like to visit us on Facebook we'd welcome your contact. As they say, Like us on Facebook.
Online Discussion Groups
If monthly meetings aren't enough, you have a non urgent question, or just want to socialize with other local beekeepers, here are some online options.
Facebook offers some informal discussion groups where discussion can be as broad as World Beekeeping or as local as your county. Sometimes the groups are maintained by beekeeping associations. Here are a few for the midlands and within South Carolina.
SC Midlands Beekeepers Discussion Group (open to all)
SC Midlands Beekeepers Buy, Sell, Trade Group (open to all)
So, you've been attending monthly meetings, you took the Beginning Beekeeper course, and you've been networking with on online groups and friends. Guess what? There's more, lots more, to mastering this art of beekeeping. To stay up to date with what's happening you may want to consider attending a beekeeping conference or take a local course on a more advanced level. The South Carolina Beekeeper's Association offers such a conference every year at Clemson in July. It's two and a half days of fun and fellowship with peers like yourself, advanced beekeepers, and University Educators on topics to help you understand and enjoy beekeeping. You'll learn what's happening in research, better ways to work your bees, and cool topics like queen rearing. In the Spring the SCBA does it again with a one day workshop typically held in the Midlands every other year and jointly with the North Carolina Beekeepers Association on alternate years. Also, the State Beekeepers Association oversees the Master Beekeeper Program which offers educational opportunities for those interested in this program.
Want to stay local? Mid-State Beekeepers Association promotes local classes as well. Recently we supported a local commercial beekeeper's class on Queen Rearing. Stay in touch with us and read our newsletters and you'll find more opportunities for furthering your beekeeping knowledge and skills through education and fellowship right here in the Midlands.
Local Courses and Education
Visit our continuing education page for more opportunities to learn.
Online Courses and Webinars
Midlands Area Libraries - Beekeeping Books
While not exactly fellowship, lots of people visiting this page are looking for ways to acquire more information on beekeeping. For that reason, I include here links to listings for library books at the Lexington and Richland County libraries.