For ten years or more there has been some desire for a State Beekeepers Association, but as there was no official employed in beekeeping work, no public project with which an association could connect its efforts in mutual helpfulness, the plan was held in suspension.
In 1915 the Bureau of Entomology, U. S. Department of Agriculture, assigned an expert apiculturist temporarily to this State to survey the beekeeping conditions and needs. As a result, a cooperative plan was agreed upon by the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the State Extension Sendee for the employment of an extension specialist in beekeeping, to bo located in the Division of Entomology, State Department of Agriculture, Raleigh.
This work began in September, 1916, and immediately a renewed demand arose for a State organization. Accordingly, plans were made to hold a State beekeepers meeting at Winston on January 11, 1917.
The Organization Meeting at Winston.
For this meeting the Board of Trade hall was secured. Much correspondence was exchanged with beekeepers known to be interested, some of whom were asked to prepare papers for the program. Circular letters were sent twice to over 700 beekeepers. Dr. E. F. Phillips, Apiculturist, Bureau of Entomology, U. S. Department of Agriculture, at Washington, and Mr. E. R. Root, of the A. I. Root Company, Medina, Ohio, were especially invited to attend find present papers. Mr. Bruce Anderson, county farm agent, furnished a very complete list of beekeepers near Winston, all of whom were notified.
By the hour set the hall was comfortably full. At the morning session the question of an association was discussed and committees were appointed. When the afternoon session began over 80 persons had signed the registry-book, these coming from twenty or more countics and representing about 3,000 colonies of bees. The register was then closed, but beekeepers continued to come, and the total number attending was about 150. Dr. Phillips and Mr. Root arrived on a belated train (no fault of theirs) and surprised the audience by responding when their papers were called. The program as rendered is given. From five to fifteen minutes were allowed for discussion of each paper.
The entire list of papers, including the evening lectures by Dr. Phillips and Mr. Root, was completed before actual organization was taken up, but even at that hour, after many had been obliged to leave by train, the reports of the committees were adopted and about thirty persons paid their yearly dues of one dollar, and these, added to others who had asked to be enrolled, started the State Beekeepers Association with about forty members.
1. "History," First Manual of the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association, 1917, pages 3-4.