Welcome to the Wannabee Hobby Beekeepers site.  Our club was organized in 2009 and has grown to over 200 members.  The purpose of our club is to create and further develop interest in honey bees and beekeeping in our beautiful Black Hills area as well as elsewhere.  Our club provides a forum to share knowledge and mutual interests in beekeeping.

The Mission of our club is to provide our membership and the general public with information and discussions to promote honey bees and beekeeping in the Black Hills.

2014 Meetings

Our monthly meetings begin at 6:00 PM on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Canyon Lake Senior Citizens Center.  Not a member?  Join us anyway to see if you would be interested.


Summer 2014 issue of lobbying to allow bees in the Rapid City limits

Assistant City Attorney Allison Marsland attended our July 2014 Wannabee Club meeting to observe and answer questions.  She stated that it will take 4-6 weeks to research and draft a new ordinance pertaining to whether honey bees will be allowed within city limits on non-ag land and, per law (as it would amend Zoning Title 17.10.20), it must be presented for 2 readings in front of the Zoning and the Planning commissions. They are hoping to have an ordinance completed in 6 weeks so by mid-to-late August.

Their office will inform Tom Allen and John McDowell when the public hearings regarding this and the reading of the ordinance will take place. These are public meetings so anyone can attend and voice their opinion either FOR or AGAINST the keeping of honey bees within city limits.

Patty Pate made a motion to form a committee of the following members to work on providing input and recommendations to the city council for the new ordinance:

  • President Tom Allen
  • Vice President (and previous President) Bill Clements
  • Past President of Founder Jerry Owens
  • John McDowell

The motion was seconded.

Two members mentioned that, even if you do not live in Rapid City, this issue is very important for whatever town/city you do live in. What Rapid City decides will have an effect on what other towns/cities do in the future. We want Rapid City to be on the leading edge of this decision and to support honey bees.

Please contact one of the above committee members with your ideas.


Bob Reiners is our SD State Apiarist and he will provide free hive inspections for those of you who have registered your hives with the State AND you have lost your colony for unknown reasons.  He will try to help determine what went wrong.  His contact information, as well as information for all other states, can be found here — the Apiary Inspectors Of America.

See this May 4, 2014 RC Journal article ‘Bee-friendly garden can help struggling species‘.  Also view the information under the ‘Beekeepers Calendar‘ tab; scroll down to the Gardening section.

Be sure to register your honey bees with the State of South Dakota.  See the SD Department of Agriculture Beekeeping and Apiary Resources site for beekeeping information specific to our area.

Welcome our new 2014 WannaBee Club Officers.  See the Buzz Us page for more details.

  • Tom Allen – President
  • Bill Clements – Vice President
  • Jeanie McCallister  – Treasurer
    • Andrew Muxan was Treasurer thru 5/2014 & resigned to move
  • Michelle Hovland – Secretary
  • Dan Mulally – Librarian
  • Michelle Grosek – Facebook
  • Linda Anderson – Website


President Tom Allen recommends this webinar ‘Ten Rules for Modern Beekeeping‘ from the Ohio State University Bee Lab.  (05/24/2014)


Did you know?  North Dakota and South Dakota are the 2 top honey-producing states in the country.  In 2012 – ND produced about 34 million pounds of honey while SD produced around 17 million pounds.  See March 22, 2013 RC Journal article.

South Dakota designated the Honeybee as the official state insect in 1978.  Other states that have designated the honeybee as a state/agricultural insect (or bug) include Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  The North Dakota state insect is the convergent lady beetle.

Biggest honeybee keeper in South Dakota (and the world!) is Richard Adee of Adee Honey Farms.  See more about Adee Bees in this article from the Twin Cities Pioneer press (8/24/2013) and this you tube video.

In 2009, South Dakota had 185 registered beekeepers with 30% being commercial producers and the remaining 70% being hobbyist beekeepers.  There were 290,000 colonies registered in the state in 2009.  Nationwide, the average annual production per hive was 67 pounds (from 2002 to 2007).  In South Dakota it was an estimated 71 pounds per hive in the same time frame.  South Dakota ranks between 1st and 5th in the United States in total honey production (in 2009, we were number 2 with 17.8 million pounds of honey produced).

Fun for kids of all ages – ‘Why honey bees are better than politicians

Check out our Colony Collapse Disorder page where we try to add current articles/videos related to CCD/Honey Bees each month.  Last updated November, 2013

Don’t forget to check out the Buy/Sale/Trade page and the Classes and Events page with informative information and links to ‘how to’ workshops.