For those who have ever thought it would be fun to keep bees and enjoy the sweetness of their work might want to check out the Burke County Beekeepers Association.

The Burke County Beekeepers Association will hold an Open House at 6 p.m. on Feb. 10 at the NC Cooperative Extension Building, located at 130 Ammons Drive in Morganton.

Displays of beekeeping equipment, honey tasting, membership opportunities and benefits will be explained, and an opportunity to enroll in the “Beginning Beekeeping” school will be available. Local beekeepers also will be available to answer questions regarding keeping bees in the county.

The “Beginning Beekeeping” school will be offered again this year by the BCBA starting Feb. 15 and running on consecutive Saturdays until Feb. 29. The three-day school will be held at the NC Cooperative Extension Building and those interested can enroll by calling the office at 828-764-9488. The cost of the school is $50 and includes textbooks, door prizes and an opportunity to win bee equipment.

Hilda York, who has maintained an interest in honey bees, enrolled in the BCBA annual “Beginning Beekeeping” school upon her retirement. At the school and bee meetings she partnered with newly elected BCBA President Linda Knowlton, who lives close by and equally shares her interest in honeybees. Together, Hilda and Linda (first female president of BCBA) have joined a host of other female beekeepers in our area interested in “saving our bees.”

It’s something that Hilda York found she enjoys and for which she has received kudos.

The Burke County Beekeepers Association awarded its annual “Best Honey in Burke County” to York, a local first-year beekeeper, during the organization’s monthly meeting.

York and her husband, Johnny, keep their hives at their residence in the southern part of Burke County. Their honey, a light amber, was one of the 13 entries which ranged from a dark to a very light amber honey.

York recently returned to her native Burke County after retiring from North Carolina Farm Bureau in Raleigh. The taste of her honey is attributed to the plentiful range of trees and agricultural fields in which her bees forage. She and Johnny share the joy of giving their harvest of honey to family and friends.

York attends the monthly meeting of the beekeepers association held at 6:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the NC Cooperative Extension Building. The association provides monthly educational programs on good beekeeping practices to local beekeepers. The public is invited to attend these meetings and join the association.

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