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Reader photo by Kristen M. Williams, of Boone, N.C.
“Honey,” at the corner of Carolina Lane and Woodfin Street, downtown Asheville
Taken July 9, 2011

Photographer’s notebook

I found the juxtaposition of the graphic mural with the exposed brick and barred window visually curious and decided to take a photograph that incorporated elements of the mural as well as the window into the composition. I used a Holga 120CFN, a manual plastic toy camera that uses medium format film.

Editor’s note:

No sourwood honey this year; possible honeybee starvation in August

Much has been made of the stresses facing honeybees, the producers of Kristin’s sweet photographic subject.

In Western North Carolina, the N.C. Beekeepers Association has 14 county and area chapters operating across the region of the N.C. State Beekeepers Association. This August was unusually challenging for area hives, the Buncombe County Beekeepers Chapter writes on its site.

On the site, the authors write that beekeepers would likely have to feed their hives in August because “starvation is possible with the dearth of nectar we have had this summer.” Also, they say, “in most areas, sourwood will not exist this year.” Slow Food USA writes: “Sourwood honey is so rare that a good crop sometimes only surfaces once every decade. Yet, its deep, spicy flavor makes it sought after by honey connoisseurs everywhere.”

If you’d like to learn more about beekeeping, here are some upcoming classes on honeybees, from Slow Food Asheville‘s website:

Natural BeeKeeping Workshops

Slow Food Asheville is a proud supporter of BEe Healing Apiary and The Center for Honeybee Research.  We are currently working on programs with both organizations to make “natural” bee keeping a nationally and internationally recognized way to raise bees.

First Class:

What: Natural Beekeeping Class for beginning and advance beekeepers.

When: Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011; 6-9 PM

Where: Madison Co. Ag Office

Learn about Natural Beekeeping from the bees’ point of view. No harsh or soft chemicals, no sugar shakes, no beetle traps, etc. Learn how your bees can become resistant and why. If there are enough beginners, we will go through the basics with a handout covering details about the hive, where to get equipment, pests and diseases (with pictures), and what to do in the yard for the first year. If there is time and desire we go through installing nucs.

2nd Class:

What: Are Honeybees Like Humans?

When: Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011, 6-9 PM

Where: Madison Co. Ag Office

Honeybees are more human than you may think. We will discuss what is required for a healthy bee and how it correlates with the human body. We will cover topics such as, nutrition, what plants to put in the ground for you and your bees’ health, the autoimmune system, what the bees require throughout the year, and more.

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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