If you need honey bees remove from your property please see the Honey Bee Removal List.

If you are interested in Beekeeping in the Cookeville/Putnam county TN area (or anywhere for that matter) you can subscribe to email updates using the email notification widget just to the right >>> or you can contact me by leaving a comment.  Updates will include notifications about association meetings and activities, and other beekeeping related tidbits, but no chain mails, political propaganda or other spam.  Also your email address will not be distributed, sold or abused in any way.

Our regular meetings are usually on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM at  Collegeside Church of Christ 252 East 9th Street Cookeville, TN 38501.

2013 Association Officers

  • President – David LaFerney
  • Vice President – Matt Phillips
  • Treasurer – David Fox (outgoing 2012 President)

About the Photograph in the Page Header

The header photo is cropped from this picture taken by Shirley LaFerney (my lovely wife):

and shows from left to right – capped brood, white larva (open brood) curled up in cells and almost ready to be capped, and on the right are pollen stores.  The pollen is different colors because it has been gathered from different flowers, and you may notice that most of it has a wet sheen – bees mix pollen and nectar along with enzymes from their bodies which caused is to ferment into “bee bread” an extremely important high protein food supply.   You can click on this picture for a detailed view and then you can blow the image up even more by holding the Ctrl key while you hit the + button several times.


58 comments on this post.
  1. Mike Haney:

    I would like to personally thank you for taking the time to build and post this website. I think it will be an asset to our organization.

  2. Admin:

    Thanks Mike. If you can get me a digital file of the proposed by laws I can make that available for comments as well.

  3. Joe Weatherly:

    Thank you David for setting up the site. It definitely make it more convenient for me.

  4. Peggy Lynn Kilgore:

    Although I missed the first meeting and could not meet everyone, the new website has already been a good resource for me and I’m sure others. Thank you David for your hard work on the association’s behalf.

  5. Mike Haney:

    David I talked with some of the state officers that are with the TBA ,and they recommended that a limitaion of terms be installed in the by-laws for the officers of the association. When I have that clause typed up I will send it to you.
    thanks Mike

  6. Admin:

    Thanks Peggy, I hope you can join us on Dec 9.

  7. Marvin Dyer:

    We am looking forward to getting back into the beekeeping business. I had three hives and lost them. We want to find out what I did wrong.

    Marvin & Sue Dyer

  8. rich ware:

    I am interested in joining Cookeville Beekeepers. How do I go about becoming a member?

  9. Mike Haney:

    Our next meeting will be January 6th at 6:30pm. in South Hall located on the Tennessee Tech campus. I think you can find directions posted on this site. We would love to see you there.
    Mike Haney

  10. David Frounfelker:

    The Dec & Jan meetings have been great. I’m excited to get started! I suspect several members of the the group are interested in buying wooden ware. Has anyone tried to set-up a group/club purchase from either Kelly or Bon Aqua? If nothing else we might save on freight? I would be willing to help.

  11. Mike Haney:

    Combined orders would save on shipping and Walter T Kelly does give discounts for larger quanties

  12. Rich ware:

    Unfortunately I will not be able to attend any meetings as I live in Rome, GA. I was very excited to see a club in the area and I wanted to join and lend my support. I have strong family ties to Sparta and am a beginning beekeeper. So, how much are membership dues and where do I send them?

  13. David LaFerney:

    Really there is no need to pay any dues until you are able to materially participate. This web site and the email notifications pretty much are the newsletter – so if you sign up for that (email notification widget – top right hand area of the web page) you will pretty much be up to date with what is going on. If you are in the area for a visit and would like to attend a meeting we would welcome you as a guest.

  14. Nick Johnson:

    Hello I attended my first meeting last week for the March Beekeeping association meeting. I am a first time beekeeper and I was going to order my bees through BeeWeaver in Tx, but the man said he was not to fond of them because they are known as “hot” bees; therefore, I was wondering how to reserve my order of bees through the association i believe for the end of march is the second order? but i was just wondering I am James Gist grandson I will be doing bee keeping with him this spring IM VERY EXCITED!

    Nick Johnson

  15. Mike Haney:

    Nick ,
    If you would give me a call we can get you a package, James should have my number.

    Great having you in the association!
    Mike Haney

  16. Chuck Gazlay:

    I have 2 new hives bought from Wolfe Creek and installed by Dr. Green on Friday. have had very difficult time with bees ….. please call me at 931-839-7557 or cell 931-260-1874. One hive is dead and the other one overcrowded. Talked to John Seaborn at Wolfe Creek and he is thinking of sending me a new queen and says I could do a split but I am a newby and don’t think I could identify the good queen. Could move her by mistake . Please help me I am in trouble!
    Chuck Gazlay

  17. Kevin Broyles:

    I have just moved to Putnam County and want to start raising bees. I saw your website and would like to get involved as much as I can.

  18. David LaFerney:

    Welcome to Putnam county! The best way for you to get involved is to subscribe to our email notifications (upper right) and start coming to our monthly meetings. The next one is tentatively scheduled for the first Saturday in May at 1:30 PM at an as yet undisclosed area bee yard for some hands on beekeeping goodness. Get yourself a mosquito face net and plan to come.

  19. Leonard Blitch:

    My wife and I attended the Cookeville Nature Fest and listend to your presentation. You did a fantastic job and were very patient in answering all our questions. We are interested in getting started with bees. You all suggested we attend your meetings and check out your website. Looking forward to getting started.

  20. Guy Ross:

    Here in NE Alabama our Italians chew the edges of the comb. I have read slated bottoms that go on top of the bottom board help with this.

  21. Matt Noble:

    Very nice web site, lots of helpful info. I just signed up for the news letter. I’m not to far away at Hazard, KY if I’m ever in your area at the right time I might stop in for one of your meetings. Thanks………..

  22. David LaFerney:

    Thanks Matt – we would love to have you visit.

  23. Jessica:

    I would like to attend with my son who is 15 and interested in learning. When is your next meeting and where. We would like to get started as soon as possible.

  24. Jessica:

    I’m sorry I see the information needed above on your site. Thank you!

  25. Teri Endres:

    Just started reading your website. I am interested in beekeeping. Hope I am not too late for this year. What is the best thing for me to do to get started quickly.
    Thank you,
    Teri Endres

  26. David LaFerney:

    Are you in the Cookeville TN area? If so, and you want to start ASAP then you will need a hive setup, and required equipment – which you can build or order, or you can buy one from sunrise apiary supply in Crossville. There may be other local options as well.

    Then of course you will need bees. You can get on the swarm list and hope to collect a swarm, you can also still order bees if you look around. There may even be an extra order or two of bees left after our club order is disbursed.

    And of course you should subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to keep up with what is going on in our region. And joining the Cookeville Bee Keepers will put you in touch with people who can help you get started – as well as if you get in a jam.

    Read, read, read….

    I hope this is helpful.

  27. Teri Endres:

    I am in Celina. I will contact Sunrise Apiary and see if I can get started right away. How do I get on a swarm list? Perhaps I can buy some from your order.
    Thank you,

  28. Carol Hadders:

    I am not sure about the web site requested. Please explain. My interest is getting bees
    is to help with my garden. I am very new at this and need to learn everything. I love to raise my our food. I need to learn from other mistakes and make it work here. I am learning as I go. How much is a package of bees? Our neighbor has lost his bees. ( I think his neighbor must be the reason. They spray their flower with a commerical weed killer. He tryed to explain the damage being done to his bees.) We wish people were more aware of this problem.

    I appricate any information.

  29. wendy williams:

    I checked on the queen yesterday (I installed the PACKAGE Tuesday – I am not referring to the nuc), and the queen is dead – the candy plug was not eaten all the way through. help – what do I do?????


  30. David LaFerney:

    Wendy, you try to get some kind person to hook you up with a queen. Call me.

    If you were on your own you would give them a frame of brood from your other hive – one with eggs and larva on it. As a matter of fact that would be a good thing to do anyway, because it will help to keep them from drifting to the other hive. If you give them a frame of eggs once a week for 3 – 4 weeks they will be almost sure to make a queen and be fine.

  31. David LaFerney:

    After a bit of thought I’m going to elaborate on this just a bit.

    You might think that when you take a frame of eggs from your nuc and give it to your queenless package that you would be weakening the nuc, but you aren’t.

    Until the nuc population has built up to a full sized hive the queen in the nuc has the ability to lay many more eggs than the nuc has the work force ability to care for, and the nuc has very little energy invested in a frame of eggs. So if you take out a frame of eggs, and replace it with a frame of empty comb – without moving any bees back and forth you can boost the queenless hive without hurting the nuc AT ALL. You could probably do that every 3rd or 4th day for the rest of the spring without hurting a thing – or as long as the other hive would produce comb. It would just be a bit of work for you.

    BTW, queens love to lay in foundation with just a little bit of fresh white comb drawn out on it.

  32. wendy williams:

    OK, thanks David.

    My nucs are deep, my package was put into medium framed box. So how would I go about taking a brood frame from the deep nuc and put into the medium framed hive??? What should I be looking for in the nuc as far as which frame to take out of the nuc and put into packaged hive???

    Please help.

  33. wendy williams:

    If anyone has a frame of eggs – please let me know, I would be glad to purchase, or trade for medium frames full of honey.

    Thank you.

  34. wendy williams:

    Another thought: How long will my queenless packaged hive bees stick around until I take care of this???

  35. Travis Walker:

    Help… I may have a problem…
    Out of curiosity I walked out to the beehives tonight to see if there was any action at the entrance (after dark, about 9:00 pm). To my surprise, the bees are bearding around the entrance of the hive. I didn’t expect this because its not hot outside tonight (mid 60′s).
    Then I noticed there were a lot of dead bees in front of the hive. Looks like it could be a hundred. Could this be robbing? Here are some notes on the hives:
    *Both of my hives are being top fed from the inside with 1:1 sugar water.
    *The hive with the bearding on the entrance and dead bees in front was started with a package last Tuesday… I guess it would be considered a weak hive. The other hive was started with a 5-frame nuc.
    *I picked up a few of the dead bees and a lot of them look like drones.

    Is it possible that the nuc-started hive is robbing the package started hive?
    Or are the package bees just forcing out the drones to conserve resources?[img]https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B8dWpZNWEkyuYTNJYWs3VjJnVkE[/img][img]https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B8dWpZNWEkyuVXMtUEtIVWU3Z1k[/img]

  36. Travis Walker:

    Here is a pic of the hive entrance:

    And here are the dead bees in front:

  37. David LaFerney:

    Robbing is always possible, but unlikely. There is a good flow on right now, and my bees will hardly even clean up spilled honey right now – and those are Italians which are notorious.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about a sprinkling of dead bees just yet. It doesn’t look bad to me in the picture.

    On a side note – do you have tile covered hive bases? Nice.

  38. David LaFerney:

    One thing – honey-b-healthy or any other “feed stimulant” containing lemon grass oil can set off robbing when nothing else does. Also, my bees are bearding too – if you want them to stop, put a box of empty foundation on the bottom of the stack for them to hang out in.

  39. Travis Walker:

    Thanks for the quick response David! I didn’t know if it was something I should be concerned about.

    And about the hive bases – I just put down four cinder blocks in a square, and I happened to have a few 12″x12″ tiles leftover from the kitchen so I just set them on top and it was a perfect fit.

  40. Raye Ann Simmons:

    For anyone-

    If you have used a heat gun to remove cappings before extracting your honey, please let me know what kind of heat gun, strength, etc.

    Thank you-Raye Ann Simmons

  41. David:

    I was wondering as I may relocate to that area from KCMO….is beekeeping profitable in the area?…One question is can one rent hives to local farmers for pollination?…Is there enough crop farming, and/or enough bees?….Thanks in advance for any info that may help……Dave

  42. Therel Utsey:

    I like this ,you all have a lot of good imformation I would like for someone to give me a recipe to feed my bees I am putting a new queen in 8-16 -12 I live in south carolina but there is not much going on now they have been queenless two weeks so I don’t have any nurse bees please help what do you think will happen? thank’s I realy wan’t these bees to make it through the winter but I realy don’t know what to feed them.
    Therel Utsey

  43. David LaFerney:

    Therel, feed your bees 1 to 1 ratio sugar water at this time of year. 1 pound of sugar plus one pint of water, but be careful not to set off robbing. My favorite way to feed is from an upside down quart jar with push pin holes in the lid – on top of the hole in the inner cover. Just put an empty super between the inner and outer cover to make room for the jar. Good luck.

  44. Greg Harris:

    Mike, i may be looking for a queen bee for a hive you have any left ? give me a call 858-6040 thank you

  45. David Fox:

    I was reading the info about making splits. While there I looked over all the stuff you had put on the website. Very useful stuff. Thanks.

  46. Mike Studer:

    Your Association has an excellent website. Great info for the beekeeping community. Keep up the good work.

  47. Heather Ramirez-Sanchez:

    Hello, my family has just moved to Tennessee. We purchased a small farm in livingston and I want to start raising bees. I plan on going to the January 25 or 26 meeting in Livingston and was wondering if I needed to let anyone know that I wanted to attend. I would also like to purchase bees and a small 5 frame Nuc or hive, maybe both? Also if anyone has any equipment to sell shoot me an email and let’s talk. Rhramsan@yahoo.com

    Heather Ramirez

  48. Jack Burdette:

    I am new to beekeeping. I cannot make tonights meeting. Is there any way I could reserve a package and drop off a check on Friday 2/8?

    Thanks for your help.


  49. James murff:

    New subscriber to newsletter

  50. Neil Shelton:


    I’d like to make you a not-especially-lucrative offer to write an article for Homestead.org.

    Could you please email me at your convenience?

  51. Tess:

    Where will you be meeting in June? I just subscribed to your newsletter list, and I have a couple of other people from Jackson county interested in attending.

  52. terry maddux:

    Just completed my subscription confirmation. I live in the Eastlake area and own an additional lot just behind my backyard….My intentions is to order 2 hives this fall and have them ready to put into action this next spring (2014) ….Hope to get to attend some of the meetings and gain enough information in the coming months to get started…….

  53. Thomas Vanden Bosch:

    My name is Tom Vanden Bosch. I have experience with Honeybees. I am looking for work in an Apirary. if you could help I would be very appreciative. Thanks Tom

  54. Bill Allen:


    Since we have many customers in Tennessee and other parts of the Southeast, I wanted to contact your organization
    to see if there might be an interested in our honeybee products for your members. These include t-shirts, sweatshirts,
    hoodies and various caps, which can be seen on our website http://www.jandbcreative.com under Beewear.

    Unfortunately, I was unable to reach an agreement to extend the Licensing Agreement with the illustrator,
    as a result, we’re having a “close out” sale with 50% off [except for mugs] while supplies last.

    Thanks for your time and let me know if you have questions or need additional information.

    Best regards,


  55. April Lake:

    Hello, I’m a private beekeeper in southwest Virginia located in Carroll County. Hello to all of you. April

  56. Randy Bolin:

    Hi, I am ready to start beekeeping. We have a farm in Buffalo Valley and hope to start organic gardening this year. Would love to get information on buying bees, applying for the hive grant, as well as rubbing shoulders and I hope some mentoring from the group. I will be in attendance on Feb. 6. What are the things I need to do now before the meeting to get into the drawing?

  57. Jack Higgs:


    I just ran across your website today and found it informative. I am a Cookeville native now living in the mountains of Colorado. I am a first year beekeeper living at 8100 feet elevation. My two hives wintered over and are now coming back to life as things start greening up here in the mountains. Here is a youtube video of some visitors to my hives back in the summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1FWwXrZvmU

    Keep up the good work with the website!

  58. Dave Johnson:

    Would like to attend your meetings and learn more about beekeeping

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