CBA History

Our Beginnings
In July, 1969, a pilot committee met for the planning of an organization of a beekeeping association for McMinn and Meigs Counties.  Those present included beekeepers David and Lois Robinson, Normand Wade, Philip Quinsenberry, R.J. Knirr, TN State Apiarist Karl Teasley, and McMinn County extension Agent, J. Huse Martin.

The Purpose for the association was for education and its goal was to help those with an interest in beekeeping establish a good foundation by teaching the principles of beekeeping.  Its hope was to also help build relationships of beekeepers within the community.

The very first organization meeting was held August 15, 1969 at 7:30 pm in the meeting room on the lower floor of the Federal Building at 216 Jackson St. NE in Athens.  It was at this meeting that a film, "The Miracles of the Bees", furnished by the A.I. Root Company, was shown.  It is noted that it was shown in color and with sound!

The Cherokee Beekeepers Association received its name when the State Apiarist, Karl Teasly, who lived in Polk County by the Cherokee National Forest, suggested it because this was the area where the Cherokee Indians once lived.

Woman's View Point on Beekeeping
At a CHEROKEE BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION meeting in 1971, a presentation was given by Mrs. Lois Robinson on a "Woman's View Point on Beekeeping".  She shared some of her own experiences with beekeeping and honey.  As a woman she had the advantage of being there at the right time when it came to working with bees, especially when it came to hiving swarms.  "Most swarms come out around noon or later in the afternoon and most of the men of the house are still on that 5 day a week, 8 hour day schedule so, someone needs to hive that swarm."  In regards to honey, it was her desire to get all women using honey in their cooking and diets.  "Honey is a wholesome food and it is important to promote its uses."  One technique she shared was to take about 1 and a half pound of comb honey, put it and a stick of butter in the blender.  Whip it well and store in covered container in the refrigerator.  Mrs. Robinson stated "It takes a special person to be a beekeeper.  Not everyone can be a beekeeper.  This special person making a beekeeper must not only be calm and not nervous, but they must be willing to work hard and rejoice in their work, because beekeeping does have many rewards.  Let's join together both men and women to promote the us and importance of honey and bees."