Page 1

Change out

The buzz about this important backyard hobby


Plants for pollinators SC STO R I E S

MARCH 2015


Meet the kudzu killer

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©2015 Zoysia Farm Nurseries, 3617 Old Taneytown Rd, Taneytown, MD 21787

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❑ Extra Step-on Plugger $8.95 + $3 Shipping ❑ Extra Amazoy Power AugerTM for 3/8” Drill $24.95 +$5 Shipping Amazoy is the trademark registered U.S. Patent Office for our Meyer Zoysia grass.

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THE MAGAZINE FOR COOPERATIVE MEMBERS Vol. 69 • No. 3 (ISSN 0047-486X, USPS 316-240) Read in more than 470,000 homes and businesses and published monthly except in December by The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. 808 Knox Abbott Drive Cayce, SC 29033

March 2015 • Volume 69, Number 3

Tel:  (803) 926-3 1 75 Fax:  (803) 796-6064 Email:

Spri Lawnn&g Garden issue



15 Practical beekeeping


Diane Veto Parham

Follow along as a first-time apiarist learns to stop worrying and love the bees.



Pam Martin


Sharri Harris Wolfgang DESIGNER

Susan Collins



Andrew Chapman Carroll Foster



Susan Scott Soyars Contributors

Lou Green Advertising

Mary Watts Tel: (803) 739-5074 Email: National Representation

National Country Market Tel:  (800) NCM-1181 Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. If you encounter a difficulty with an advertisement, inform the Editor. ADDRESS CHANGES: Please send

to your local co-op. Postmaster: Send Form 3579 to Address Change, c/o the address above.

Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, S.C., and additional mailing offices. © COPYRIGHT 201 5. The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, Inc. No portion of South Carolina Living may be reproduced without permission of the Editor. is brought to you by your member-owned, taxpaying, not-for-profit electric cooperative to inform you about your cooperative, wise energy use and the faces and places that identify the Palmetto State. Electric cooperatives are South Carolina’s — and America’s — largest utility network. SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING

4 CO-OP CONNECTION Cooperative news


21 The kudzu killer


Newt Hardie is on a mission We’re off to the races with dates to eradicate the “Vine and details for the state’s top spring That Ate the South.” equestrian events. Plus: Mark your SCENE calendar now for National Lineman 22 Power and light Appreciation Day #ThankaLineman. Now in its second year of operation, the Colleton POWER USER Solar Farm is shining new DIALOGUE light on the viability of 10 The future is all about you utility-scale solar generation Electric cooperatives have in the Palmetto State. always followed a consumerGARDENER centric business model. Now it 26 Gardening for pollinators looks like for-profit utilities are Try these simple steps to make your climbing on the bandwagon. landscape a paradise for the insects ENERGY Q&A that support S.C. agriculture.

12 Efficient indoor lighting

Columnist Jim Dulley offers some sound advice on home lighting options. SMART CHOICE



Mic Smith

Becky Billingsley, Mike Couick, Bret Curry, Jim Dulley, Jan A. Igoe, Charles Joyner, Mark Quinn, Brian Sloboda, Belinda Smith-Sullivan, S. Cory Tanner, Amber Veverka



28 Big on bugs

Giant robotic insects invade the South Carolina State Museum. RECIPE

14 Seasonal scrubbing

Make short work of your spring cleaning to-do list with these handy tools.

30 Stuffed with flavor


Stuffed pork loin Crab-stuffed portabella mushrooms Three-cheese-stuffed jumbo pasta shells Bell peppers stuffed with beef and rice

The buzz about this important backyard hobby


14 Member of the NCM network of publications, reaching more than 7 million homes and businesses

38 Caution: Zumba-phyte crossing Leave it to humor columnist Jan Igoe to turn the latest exercise craze into a full-contact sport.



Plants for pollinators SC STO R I E S

MARCH 2015

Printed on recycled paper

Meet the kudzu killer

Jennifer Tsuruda, Clemson University Cooperative Extension’s apiculture specialist, is all smiles as she handles a hive of honeybees. Photo by Carroll Foster.

On the Agenda For a listing p m co lete s, see of Event 6 page 3


John Santiago


Charleston Walk for Water

Aiken Spring Steeplechase / Larry Gleason

Slow down—no running. During this leisurely 3.5-mile walk, sponsored by Water Missions International for World Water Day, each walker carries a water bucket to devote attention to the global water crisis and raise funds for WMI’s safe-water projects. Starting point is Brittlebank Park. South Carolina Living magazine readers get a $5 discount off registration by entering the code “SCLIVING” at checkout. For details, visit

MARCH 14, 21 AND 28


Equestrian events

Get your bow ties and sundresses ready to go to the races:


“A Day in the Life”

Start March 14 with the Aiken Trials, first leg of Aiken’s Triple Crown, at Aiken Training Track. The spotlight is on young horses that train in Aiken, like the famed Palace Malice. For details, visit

details, visit springevent.html or call (803) 648-9641.

Head to Elloree on March 21 for the Elloree Trials, where thoroughbreds and quarter horses race all afternoon. The Budweiser Clydesdales are guests this year. For

details, visit or call (803) 897-2616.

Finish with the 83rd annual Carolina Cup, a day of tailgating and steeplechase races, March 28 at Springdale Race Course in Camden. For details, visit or call (800) 780-8117.


For details, visit or call (803) 432-9537.

APRIL 10–11

Contemporary longrifle association

“See horses fly” March 21 at the Aiken Spring Steeplechase at Aiken Horse Park. Spectators also vie in contests for eye-catching hats and pants. For

Julie J. Prickett or call (803) 648-4631.

On shearing day at Old McCaskill’s Farm, visitors watch sheep getting spring haircuts and sample life on a working farm. McCaskill’s, between Camden and Rembert, has a working blacksmith’s forge, sawmill, spinning wheel, greenhouse and root cellar. Kids can watch chicks hatch, pet baby lambs and goats, grind corn from a cob, hand churn ice cream, and ride on Carolina marsh tackies. Border collie demonstrations and live country music round out afternoon entertainment.

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |

South Carolina Muzzleloader Conference, Show & Sale

A first in the Southeast, this new conference sets its sights on those who craft and collect muzzleloaders and accessories (powder horns, bags, bullets), focusing on the pre–Civil War era in Southern states. Artisans at South Carolina State Museum will showcase the wood-carving, metal-etching and other skills that go into crafting reproductions of historic firearms. Historic guns from the museum’s collection will be on display. For details, visit or call (803) 898-4952.



Energy that make sense

Install LED lighting In recent months, the price of LED lamps for residential consumers has steadily declined, and today it’s common to find 60-watt-equivalent LED lamps at many big-box retailers for $10 or less. LEDs can save 60 percent or more when compared to incandescent bulbs, and they last for years. To avoid flickering issues, look for name-brand LED lamps and be sure to use the lighting facts label to ensure you’re getting the style, color of light and features you want. For more tips on efficient home lighting, see this month’s Energy Q&A column on page 12. Upgrade your heating and air conditioning The Energy

Information Agency estimates that heating and air conditioning account for 22 percent of a typical home’s annual electric bill. If your HVAC system is more than a decade old, it may be time to consider an upgrade. Switching to either an air-source heat pump or a ground-source heat pump can yield significant savings, as these technologies are 20 to 45 percent more efficient than the existing heating or cooling system in the average home.

Can’t afford a new heat pump? Try taking better care of the

system you have. Simple maintenance, such as changing air filters at least every three months, will increase airflow to rooms, increase the life of your home’s existing HVAC unit’s motor and improve the air quality. Sealing and insulating ductwork is a DIY task that can be completed in a weekend and result in energy savings of up to 20 percent.

Seal the air leaks By locating and correcting air leaks around

your home, you can lessen the amount of work your heating and cooling systems need to do. To locate leaks, walk through your home on a cold day and feel for drafts around exterior doors and windows, electric outlets and entrance points for TV and telephone cables. In basements, target dryer vents, gas lines or any place with an opening in the wall. To fix leaks, apply caulk, spray foam or weather stripping as needed.

Invest in smart strips Home electronics, such as computers,

TVs, DVD players and other modern devices, consume power even when turned off. This phenomenon is called parasitic load, and sometimes these devices are referred to by the more playful term “energy vampire.” According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a full 75 percent of the power used to run home electronics is consumed when those appliances are turned off. Cutting off power by using a smart power strip is the best way to stop this senseless loss of energy. —brian sloboda


Ready to lower power bills and boost the comfort of your home this spring? Consider these five energy upgrades that will give you the most bang for the buck.

S.C. co-ops celebrate National Lineman Appreciation Day

On April 13, 2015, co-op members across South Carolina and the nation will honor the hard-working men and women who keep the lights on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Save the date, and on April 13, let your co-op’s line crews know how much you respect their service with a message of thanks using


on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Or post your message on our Facebook page



Your home works hard for you. Consider giving it an energy checkup. Hire a professional energy auditor to diagnose where your house could be losing energy and where you can start saving money. Auditors check for air leaks, inspect insulation, survey heating and cooling equipment and more. After making efficiency upgrades, you could save 5 percent to 30 percent on your energy bills. Source:   | March 2015   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


On the Agenda O n ly o n

Bonus Article One honey of a hobby. Learn more about backyard beekeeping from some of the state’s top amateur apiarists. Read the bonus article “One honey of a hobby” from the June 2011 issue of South Carolina Living. Go to

Bonus video Butterfly a pork loin. Watch Chef Belinda’s stepby-step demonstration of how to butterfly a pork loin, and you’ll be ready to prepare your own stuffed entree. Enjoy the video and other cooking tips at chefbelinda.

Interactive features Take the Bee Smart Quiz. Test your knowledge of honey­bees and other pollinators with a true/false quiz, courtesy of Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. See Get the South Carolina Living email newsletter. Have you ever wished you could get the latest stories, videos, recipes and prize drawings sent directly to your email inbox? Now you can. Sign up today for our free email newsletter at

Like us on Facebook Our Facebook page celebrates all that’s great about living in South Carolina. Join the conversation and share your photos at

S.C.RAMBLE! By Charles Joyner, See Answer ON Page 35

The youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence was a 26-year-old lawyer from Charleston,

_ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . r c d s b c b e l m r c a r Use the capital letters in the code key below to fill in the blanks above. A D E G L R T U W means s c r a mb l e d


Coffee’s on, but don’t forget to turn it off There’s nothing like a cup of

coffee or hot tea to start your day, and when it comes to preparing these hot beverages, we’ve come a long way from the days of percolating coffee on a wood-fired cookstove. Thanks to electricity, there are countless appliances and methods for concocting hot beverages. The new kid on the block is the singleserve hot-beverage maker, which uses a small, disposable plastic cup filled with ground coffee, hot chocolate, tea or even cider. That expeditious cup of “joe” comes with a hidden price tag, however. Much like conventional water heaters, the single-serve unit spends most of the time sitting idle while a heating element maintains a high water temperature within a boiler reservoir. This process ensures a very short brewing time, but it’s also wasting energy between cups. Infrared images of the single-serve brewer in my office (shown above) tell the story. Note that there is a significant amount of heat leaving the unit. Even drip-style brewers can generate significant wasted heat when the burner is left on for extended periods of time. When left on continuously, the single-serving brewer in my office consumes approximately three kilowatt-hours of electricity per day. That costs us approximately 30 cents a day or $9 a month for the convenience of 24/7 caffeine availability. During the winter, this heat loss may be a welcome addition to the room, but in summer, it requires the air conditioner to work even harder. For maximum energy savings, use the timer function on your ­single-serve brewer or drip-style coffeemaker to automatically shut down the heating unit if the appliance is going to sit idle for most of the day. —bret curry

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |

A thermal image of a single-serve coffeemaker reveals that the unit is producing nearly 110 degrees of heat gain to the room.

GONE FISHIN’ The Vektor Fish & Game Forecast provides feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour. Minor peaks, ½ hour before and after. Minor

AM Major


PM Major


17 10:31 4:46 4:01 10:46 18 11:01 5:16 5:01 11:31 19 5:46 11:46 — 5:46 20 6:16 12:01 6:31 12:31 21 12:46 6:46 7:31 1:01 22 1:16 7:16 8:16 1:46 23 1:46 7:46 9:16 2:31 24 2:31 8:01 10:46 3:31 25 3:01 8:31 — 4:31 26 12:46 9:01 — 5:46 27 10:01 3:01 — 7:16 28 9:31 3:31 1:01 8:16 29 9:46 4:01 2:31 9:16 30 10:16 4:16 3:31 9:46 31 10:31 4:31 4:16 10:31


1 11:01 4:46 2 5:01 11:16 3 5:31 11:46 4 12:01 5:46 5 12:31 6:01 6 1:01 6:31 7 1:31 6:46 8 2:01 7:16 9 2:46 7:46 10 3:46 8:31 11 9:46 12:46 12 7:46 2:01 13 8:46 2:46 14 9:31 3:31 15 10:01 4:01 16 4:31 10:46

5:01 11:01 5:31 11:31 — 6:16 6:46 12:16 7:16 12:46 8:01 1:16 8:46 1:46 9:46 2:31 11:01 3:16 — 4:31 — 6:01 12:01 7:31 1:46 8:31 3:01 9:31 4:16 10:16 11:01 5:01


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The future is all about you In the January issue of South Carolina Living, we

outlined some of the technological and regulatory issues reshaping the energy landscape for South Carolina co-op members. That same month, an industry newsletter titled Utility Dive asked thought leaders in the for-profit utility sector how they saw their businesses evolving in response to the same dynamics. The article was eye-opening. What the experts predicted was a consumer-centric business model that might be considered radical for investor-owned utilities, but that’s been a part of co-op DNA from the beginning. Allow me to cite a few examples from the Jan. 28 article and offer my own commentary.

Utilities must engage their customers with information and new products

I couldn’t have said it better myself. In South Carolina, electric cooperatives pioneered whole-house efficiency programs, helped pass a state law creating a level playing field for consumers seeking to install distributed energy resources (DERs), and were a driving force behind the creation of the Colleton Solar Farm—the state’s largest solar facility. (See page 22.) While we embrace DER technologies, co-ops also recognize that our current power infrastructure will be necessary to fill in the gaps. Electric cooperatives will still be obligated to provide power when DERs can’t meet the need, and we’ll play a vital role in integrating new and old energy sources to ensure that members always have safe, reliable and affordable electricity. Co-ops will be the backbone and the nervous system of the grid of tomorrow.

The industry must find a vision “There are multiple technologies that are creating disruptions in the old business model of [the] utility, including For his contribution to the Utility Dive article, Karl solar, storage, electric vehicles, many advances in home Rabago, executive director of the Pace Energy & energy management,” says Abhay Gupta, CEO and Climate Center, takes utilities to task for not seeing founder of Bidgely, a utility analytics firm. “The customer the bigger picture. “We need to keep this chronically will go to their utility looking for the right information…. insular industry open to infusions of new thinking,” All of these things will tie seamlessly into either being he says, suggesting that utilities move to performanceoffered directly by the utility, or by one of the partners of based regulation and services. the utility.” A lack of vision might be true in the for-profit utility Gupta notes that the most important challenge for arena, but it certainly isn’t the case for South Carolina investor-owned utilities in this shift will be learning how to electric cooperatives. Co-ops are guided by the vision engage consumers and earn their trust. of building stronger communities, and there’s nothing As not-for-profit utilities that put the interests of memmore performance-based than answering to your conber-owners first, South Carolina’s electric cooperatives sumers—make that your friends and neighbors—at the already enjoy the trust of consumers. When these new co-op’s annual meeting. technologies become available, cooperaAnnual-meeting season starts again this spring, and this year tens of thoutives will naturally take the lead as expert advisers and, in some cases, the suppliers sands of co-op members will attend to GetMore of goods and services. vote on board members and hold manVisit for related agement accountable. This may be stories including: The centralized grid will coexist with radical thinking to the for-profit utility “The Future of Energy,” an renewables, distributed generation and world, but in co-op country, it’s the way insightful look at the chalenergy efficiency we’ve done business for 75 years. lenges and opportunities that “We believe the energy system of the exist for co-ops as we transifuture is one in which the current grid tion to the grid of tomorrow and central power generation co­exists “The Co-op Difference” with distributed generation, renewables explores the seven principles and energy efficiency,” says Chris Gould, that define South Carolina’s senior vice president of corporate stratnot-for-profit, member-owned egy and chief sustainability officer of Mike Couick President and CEO, electric cooperatives Exelon Corporation. The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina 10

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |


By Jim Dulley

Efficient indoor lighting for your home


Lightbulb options have changed. The familiar high-wattage, incandescent bulbs don’t meet current energy-efficiency standards. Also, the bulb life for traditional incandescents is short compared to newer technology, so the cost of using older bulbs is high. Today, your primary choices for bulbs—in order of increasing ­efficiency​​ —are halogen, CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) and LEDs (light-emitting diodes). As you shop, remember the wattage of a lightbulb refers to how much electricity it consumes, not how much light it produces. The amount of light is measured in units called ­lumens. A 60-watt incandescent lightbulb produces about 800 lumens of light and a 100-watt bulb about 1,600 lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light.


Halogen bulbs are basically incandescent bulbs with halogen gas around the filament to improve efficiency enough to meet newer standards. Halogen incandescent hybrids use about 25 percent less energy and last three times longer than regular incandescents.

Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs)

CFLs are much more efficient, using only about 25 percent as much electricity as incandescents to produce the same amount of light—and they last 10 times longer. Today’s CFLs have improved 12

over original versions. Some people objected to the cool white light of early CFLs—they wanted something that mimicked the warmer color of incandescent lamps. Modern CFLs can produce true, full-spectrum (simulating natural sunlight) light quality and can be purchased in warm white, cool white and daylight color options. Consumers also disliked the CFL’s delay in lighting up, so instant-start models are now available, as are dimmable options. Turn off CFLs if you will be out of the room for 15 minutes or more—switching them on and off more often will shorten their life.

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs)

LEDs, the newest and most efficient light source available, provide an excellent payback. A 12-watt LED produces as much light as a 60-watt incandescent. Over time, LEDs gradually get dimmer, but a bulb should last a minimum of 20,000 hours. Because LEDs are dimmable, work well at cold temperatures and reach full brightness immediately, they are a good choice for home use, although they cost more initially.

Choosing your bulbs

Refer to the bulb’s packaging for its “lighting facts”—including lumens (the brightness of light it produces) and its light appearance (or color temperature), ranging from warm to cool. If you have been using incandescent bulbs, you are probably accustomed to a warm, yellowish light. LEDs and CFLs often offer a cooler, whiter “daylight” color. You may also see the CRI (color rendering index) on packaging. A higher CRI makes objects in a room look more like they would look under natural sunlight. A CRI above 80 is

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |

GE Lighting


We are remodeling our home and need new lighting options. I’ve always used 60- and 100-watt bulbs, but they are difficult to find now. What new types of lights are best to use?

This incandescent halogen bulb from GE can dim and turn on instantly like its incandescent-bulb cousins.

adequate for homes, but 90 or above makes everything look better and doesn’t cost much more. The goal for lighting efficiency is to use as little lighting as needed. Ambient lighting provides general illumination with comfortable brightness. Use accent lighting to create a mood or highlight objects. Decorative lighting is when the light itself is the object, such as a chandelier. Task lighting is for reading or a specific activity. In your new rooms, install several grouped circuits with dimmers to control and vary the lighting schemes. For example, high-CRI bulbs over a dining table will enhance the appearance of food. An overhead, cool-color bulb would be good above a reading chair. For existing rooms, where it may be hard to rewire or add circuits, switch to LEDs in most fixtures, and install dimmer wall switches. New types of LEDs are available to replace almost any incandescent bulb. To increase efficiency where there’s no wall switch, such as with a table lamp, install a three-way socket with a three-way LED. Add a four-bulb lighting kit to a ceiling fan with a switch that allows you to use fewer than all four lights. Send questions to Energy Q&A, South Carolina Living, 808 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce, SC 29033, email or fax (803) 739-3041.

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By Becky Billingsley

Seasonal scrubbing OUTER LIMITS

MASTER BLASTER Clean mud off your truck, mildew from house siding and stains from driveways and patios with a Karcher X-Series Water-Cooled Electric Pressure Washer. At 2,000 PSI, you can blast the big chores off your list. $300. (800) 221-0516;

CLEAN STREAK It’s like having a mini power washer in your hand: The Sienna Visio Window Steam Cleaner combines steam with brushes and squeegees to scrub window glass, corners and casings, inside and out. $70. (888) 574-3662; EASY REACH Hard-to-reach spots—above ceiling fans, inside light fixtures, in and under heavy furniture—are more accessible with a Dirt Devil 360 Reach. This bagless vacuum, with washable filter, goes high and low to suck dirt out of furniture, pick up debris and swipe up grime with dust-catching microfiber pads. $120. (800) 321-1134;

Freshen up for spring with tools to clean your home

SHINE ON TIGHT SPOTS For anyone still using an old toothbrush to clean between ceramic tiles, the Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber has a grout brush attachment with a cone-shaped head that revolves 60 times per second to whisk away grunge in tight places. $15 for battery-operated Power Scrubber; $6 for grout brush. (888) 895-2110;

CAR BUFF Vintage car owners who lovingly shine their treasures will appreciate the Griot’s Garage 6-inch Random Orbital polisher. Company owner Richard Griot has redesigned this polishing and waxing tool with a more comfortable grip and easier access to controls. $140. (800) 345-5789;

TOTALLY FLOORED DOUBLE DOWN Winter can leave carpets and upholstery looking grubby. The hot water in Hoover’s Power Path Pro Advanced Carpet Cleaner freshens them with two scrubbing systems to lift stains, a 13-inch nozzle for covering big areas quickly, an upholstery tool for furniture and stairs, and a hard-surface squeegee. $179. (800) 944-9200;


POLISHED PERFECTION Preserve your hands and knees, and let the Koblenz P-620A Cleaning Machine Hard Floor Polisher from Thorne Electric do the hard work. It scrubs, polishes, waxes and buffs finished hard floors, including tile and wood, to a lustrous shine. $125. (800) 466-3337;

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |

TWIN TANKS Toss the mop and bucket if there’s a Hoover FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner in the house. It has dual water tanks—one for clean, one for dirty—and brushes that scrub wood, vinyl, tile and grout. Controls let you hit the tough spots with extra cleaning solution. $139. (800) 944-9200;

WHAT PET? Pet stains and odors are powered away by the Bissell DeepClean Deluxe Pet Deep Cleaner, using hot water and a staintrapping tool. Designed with pets in mind, the 36Z9 model has 12 rows of rotating brushes, suction for drying up wet spots and a haircollection basket. $300. (800) 237-7691;

S pri n g L aw n & G a rd e n I ss u e

 How I learned to stop worrying and love the bees


I l u mb e r lik e a spa c e w a lk e r

in my bulky white suit, lagging behind my teacher. Noticeably behind. She’s striding with casual confidence over to the white boxes beneath the oaks in her T-shirt and jeans, the veil over her head not even tied shut. I, on the other hand, am sealed in, top to toe, yet anxiously fingering the zipper on the veil for the ninth time to be sure it’s shut. I edge nearer the hive, where about 40,000 stinging insects raise a dim hum. Jennifer Tsuruda, my instructor, puffs smoke over the hive entrance. The air around us is peppered with bees, sisters returning from fields of goldenrod to deliver their goods. Tsuruda, 35, is Clemson University Cooperative Extension’s apiculture specialist for South Carolina, and we’re here at the hillside of hives where she does her bee research. Just now, she is explaining that the smoke interferes with the bees’ ability to communicate chemically, to warn one another of our approach. This is all fascinatingly scientific, but I’m finding it hard to focus because it’s taking all my l l

Jennifer Tsuruda, Clemson University Cooperative Extension’s apiculture specialist, is all smiles behind her bee veil when she works with hives of honeybees.   | March 2015   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


Practical Beekeeping

GeT THe Gear


concentration not to wildly swat at the bees landing all

he S.C. Beekeepers Association recommends beginners over my suit. Slowly, Tsuruda lifts the hive cover and sends budget $400 to $500 for the first year, most of which smoke inside, and the bees’ hum crescendoes. will buy supplies that will last for years to come. That money Don’t wave your arms, I tell myself. Don’t run. will pay for a beekeeping class, woodenware (that’s the hive), We are here on this warm afternoon to see if I have tools and clothing. what it takes to become a backyard beekeeper. So far, it is Most beekeeping supply houses sell beginner’s kits for not looking too good. around $200, not including the bees. Most of those kits include a veil and gloves rather than a full suit. And that The new chickens works for many beekeepers, says Jennifer Tsuruda, Clemson When it comes to urban farming, bees are the new chickUniversity Cooperative Extension’s apiculture specialist for South Carolina, because bee suits get hot, making hive work ens. Once relegated to farm fields, hives are popping up tough in the summer. A long-sleeved shirt with a veil and a in city lots and suburban yards. Fueled by the DIY and hive smoker “are probably the key things, because you don’t locavore movements and a rising concern about the disapreally want to get stung in the face,” she says. pearance of honeybees due to pesticide use and invasive Still, there’s something deeply reassuring about a full suit pests, beekeeping is growing rapidly in popularity. with a tie-on or zip-on veil plus gloves. That full outfit can I got curious about beekeeping after hearing so much range from about $80 to $180, depending on the supplier about crashing honeybee populations. Apparently, so did and the size needed. The bees themselves, which are a lot of other people, because beekeeping classes offered ordered in advance and supplied in the spring, typically cost through state and local beekeeping associations are seeing $90–$200, depending on the record attendance (see “Join the club,” page 20). variety and amount. The S.C. Beekeepers Association’s own membership has The most basic tools for working with bees include doubled in the last five years, now reaching 1,300, says a smoker, a brush for gently Larry Haigh, association president. moving bees off frames and “Most of it is backyard beekeepers and urban beekeepa hive tool, which is a curved ers,” he says. South Carolina has few commercial beekeepmetal bar used for prying ers, Haigh says, making the role of the hobbyist that much open a stuck-on hive lid. more important for pollinating both farmers’ fields and As for the hives A smoker and backyard gardens. a hive tool are themselves, think of their “Everybody knows we need pollination for fertilization two essential structure like a multi-level beekeeping tools. of our crops,” says Abbeville resident Larry Lawson, presifactory. At the bottom is dent of Lakelands Beekeeping Association and himself the the hive stand, which keeps owner of 20 hives. the hive off the ground. Next is the bottom board, “About 30 percent of our crops need pollination and the hive’s floor. Then there’s about 18 percent of that is done by honeybees,” he says. the box where the bees live “Honeybees have the distinct advantage [among pollinaand raise young in waxtors] in that we can manage them, take care of them, keep foundation-filled frames. them from getting killed.” That’s the brood box, or I’ve taken a beginners class, but until this outing with hive body. On top of that Tsuruda, I’d never moved past that point to handle bees. goes a board called a queen excluder, which allows worker bees to venture up into the next frame-filled box, Beekeeping supplies can be purchased from these vendors: the super, to make honey, but keeps the queen from entering to fill it with eggs. In The Carolina Honey Bee Company , based in Travelers Rest, sells equipment and a big honey year, a beekeeper may stack honey and offers personal beekeeping lessons.​(864) 610-2337; additional supers on top to accommodate Bee Well Honey , based in Pickens, offers equipment and packages of bees. the bounty. Capping the entire hive are (864) 898-5122; inner and outer covers. A key decision a new beekeeper must Dixie Bee Supply , based in Lancaster, sells bee-related gifts along with equipment and make is whether to get an eight- or honey. (803) 285-2337; 10-frame hive. Whatever size you start Brushy Mountain Bee Farm , based in Moravian Falls, N.C., offers instructional videos with will determine the components you on its website. (800) 233-7929; get later. Typically, beekeepers make their Rossman Apiaries , based in Moultrie, Ga. (800) 333-7677; choice based on how much weight they Dadant , based in Hamilton, Ill. (888) 922-1293; want to lift. Ten-frame hives are the most common style used in the U.S. Mann Lake , based in Hackensack, Minn. (800) 880-7694;


SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |

‘Honeybees have the distinct advantage [among pollinators] in that we can manage them, take care of them, keep them from getting killed.’ —Larry Lawson, president of Lakelands Beekeeping Association

Pine shavings provide the smoke that keeps the insects calm when beekeepers like Jennifer Tsuruda need to work inside the brood box (top left). While many experts are confident enough to forgo the full protective gear, beginners—including the author (above)—prefer the security of a full bee suit. Enjoying honey straight from the comb is one of the sweet rewards for amateur apiarists (left).

But even before such practice, would-be beekeepers should find out if their community allows backyard hives, typically by calling the animal-control office. Some municipalities, such as Columbia, are fine with beekeeping, so long as neighbors don’t deem the hives a nuisance. Many homeowners associations, however, are more restrictive. You should also make sure you’ve got a bee-friendly yard. Bees like early-morning sunshine—it gets them out foraging early. Surrounding soil that is generally dry will help control populations of insect invaders. Hives should be sheltered from the wind and located away from areas heavily trafficked by people and pets. Some beekeepers plant shrubs around the hive to force the bees upward in their flight, away from people’s heads. I’ve learned from bee classes that, although my yard is small, shaded and too busy with ball-throwing children to accommodate bees, beekeepers often arrange for their hives to be hosted in a more welcoming yard. If you find a willing   | March 2015   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


Practical Beekeeping

THe LanD oF Honey


hen Jerry Dickinson moved to Conway about five years ago, he set about recreating the little garden he had enjoyed in his New Jersey backyard and noticed something strange. “There were no bees around,” says Dickinson, 70, a member of Horry Electric Cooperative. “And I started asking questions.” Dickinson’s questions took him to the S.C. Cooperative Extension, where he learned his area didn’t have an active beekeeping association. Today, Dickinson is the outgoing president of Blackwater Beekeepers Association, which he ran for more than three years. Dickinson keeps eight hives and sells honey at festivals, though he and his wife, Marie, make sure to stash a few jars away for themselves. This time of year, Dickinson knows to watch for the tiny blooms of the red maple, the bees’ first wild food of spring. “That [makes] a fairly light honey. Then the flowers start to bloom,” he says. “I can sit by my hives and watch bees going in and out. You can see them bringing back pollen. If they’re moving fast, you know there is nectar flowing.” The honey is great, but it’s having a front-row seat to the life of a colony that keeps Dickinson hooked on his hobby. “It’s just fascinating,” he says. “If you’re gentle enough when you’re going to a hive, the bees will just keep on doing what they normally do. You can watch them on the frames, feeding the young larvae. The queen is laying eggs. There’s always something to learn.”

Amateur apiarist

‘No jerks in the bee yard’

Horry Electric Cooperative member Jerry Dickinson enjoys beekeeping at his home in Conway.

Photos by Matthew Silfer


SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |

neighbor, an offer of honey can sweeten the deal. (Just be sure to ask if they spray their yard for mosquitoes and other insects, because those chemicals can kill bees.) Once my family and I found a good spot for locating hives, it was time to connect with a pro. Joining a beekeeping association “can be a great way to find mentors and to pick up tips,” Tsuruda says. “Finding a mentor can be a great way to try out beekeeping before financially investing in it.” It’s not the cheapest hobby. Several backyard beekeepers who sell a little excess honey told me they are happy to cover their annual expenses. To get going the first year, you should expect to spend $400 to $500, according to Tsuruda and the S.C. Beekeepers Association. This budget will provide for classes, a hive, starter bees and basic gear (see “Get the gear,” page 16). That gear includes, in my case, a $130 bee suit with hat and veil, which is tempering my anxiety just enough to edge closer to Tsuruda on our day at the Clemson hives. She is confident enough to forgo the suit, but she keeps her smoker at the ready, loaded with store-bought pine shavings for fuel. “Always have a smoker if you’re opening a hive,” she says. A smoker and, apparently, plenty of affection for the insect population within: Tsuruda croons to her bees and puts out a bare finger, watching a worker land on it. “She’s just a baby,” Tsuruda says. “She’s just looking for food. See? Her tongue is out. When you look at them up close, they’re like little teddy bears.” But even fuzzy creatures can turn fierce. Despite the silvery smoke trail curling over the colony, one angry girl lands on Tsuruda’s thumb and stings. Tsuruda casually scrapes the black stinger out of her skin. The attacking bee is worse off: When she deposited her stinger in Tsuruda’s skin, she left behind part of her digestive tract, dying in defense of her hive. For some people, stings are a serious matter. It’s possible to develop a life-threatening allergy to bee venom at any time in life, even if you’ve been stung without incident before, says Dr. Richard Herring, an allergist with Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center. Some beekeepers carry injectable epinephrine, which can halt anaphylaxis, the closing of the body’s airways in reaction to an allergen. The medicine can give someone enough time to get to an emergency room. These are the kinds of facts moving through my mind as I take the next step in my introduction to beekeeping: handling the bees myself. I remember Tsuruda’s caution to move slowly and deliberately. “No jerks in the bee yard!” she says brightly as she hands me the smoker. I puff smoke over the open hive. The buzz crescendoes to a roil. Instinctively, I flinch. As I reach into the box to lift a frame heavy with insects, sealed bee babies (called “brood”) and honey,

The queen is easily spotted among the female worker bees, having been dabbed with a dot of green paint. Males make up just 2 percent of the hive population, and their sole purpose is to mate with the queen.

Tsuruda leans in to say, “One of the early things you learn is if you are holding a frame of bees and you get stung, don’t drop that frame of bees.” Yes, that calms me down. But I hold my breath and lift the rectangular frame, which is surprisingly heavy. Without thinking, I nearly rest it on the hive edge, a move Tsuruda quickly stops, pointing out that I would have squished the mound of bees ­clinging to the frame’s underside. Instead I raise it to the late-­afternoon sun. The light illuminates the golden, hexagonal cells like a stained-glass window. When we have a couple of frames out of the hive, Tsuruda points out the male drones, which make up just 2 percent of a hive’s population and whose sole purpose in life is to mate with the queen. We spot her, too: a long, cinnamon-colored bee Tsuruda has marked with a dot of green paint. The bees aren’t the only residents. As we watch, a small hive beetle skitters out of a frame, looking like a tiny black Volkswagen. Hive beetles eat honey and destroy wax comb, and they are one of the main things new beekeepers have to watch for. Prevention makes a difference: Beekeepers should buy their first bees from a supplier that certifies them as beetle-free and shouldn’t allow hives to stand with the excess honey and unguarded comb the beetles find attractive. An even bigger challenge for beekeepers is the varroa

‘One of the early things you learn is if you are holding a frame of bees and you get stung, don’t drop that frame of bees.’ —Sage advice from Jennifer Tsuruda

mite, an invader species that entered South Carolina in 1990 and has spread rapidly since. Tsuruda points out the mites, which look like shiny, red-brown beads attached to the backs of bees. On several, the mites have already done their damage, a virus they transmit deforming the bees’ wings, leaving them too crippled to fly. As Mark Sweatman, president of the Spartanburg Beekeepers Association, says, the mite isn’t called Varroa destructor for nothing.

A taste of honey

Hearing about all of the pests that seem intent on destroying bees has started to make me wonder if this hobby is really worth it. That’s when Tsuruda says, “Want to taste some honey?” She cuts a piece of comb from a frame and hands it to me. Now, I like honey on a smoking-hot biscuit as much as the next person, but I’ve never eaten a chunk of honey-filled   | March 2015   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


Practical Beekeeping

Join THe CLuB


he best way to get started with beekeeping is to take classes offered by bee associations or “bee clubs.” These clubs typically start their beginner beekeeping classes each January, although some start in fall. For a list of the more than 20 local beekeeping associations in South Carolina, go to After the beginner class, you can rise through the educational ranks to journeyman, master beekeeper and master beekeeper craftsman. If you don’t want to wait until classes begin to get a hive, you can join a bee club, acquire bees in spring (bees purchased later won’t have enough time to build up the colony before winter) and see if the club will pair you with a mentor. You can also get going with the help of some good books, says Allen Johnson, president of the Aiken Beekeepers Association. He recommends four: l The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum (the 2014 edition includes information on urban beekeeping) l Storey’s Guide to Keeping Honey Bees by Malcolm T. Sanford and Richard E. Bonney l Honey Bee Hobbyist by Norman Gary l First Lessons in Beekeeping by Keith S. Delaplane. This one is required reading at many of the beekeeping classes.

GeT more

Study up on bees. Clemson University Cooperative

Extension’s beekeeping program offers a wealth of resources. Visit Gardening for pollinators. S.C. Gardener columnist S. Cory Tanner shares tips and advice for a bee-friendly landscape. See page 27. One honey of a hobby. Some of the state’s top apiarists share their love of backyard beekeeping. Read this bonus article from the June 2011 issue online at Take the Bee Smart Quiz. How much do you know about bees and other pollinators? Find out with our interactive quiz at Share your story. Share your beekeeping adventures and photos at


SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |

comb before. Tentatively, I bite. The delicate wax gives way to something clearer, purer—OK, more golden—than anything I’ve ever tasted from a grocery-store jar. Oh, wow. Just—wow. I turn to Tsuruda, and even through the veil I know she can probably see my wide eyes. What these lovely, striped insects have been making in the dark of their hive tastes like pure goodness. And there’s really only one thing to say after that. “Could I have a little bit more?” I ask. These bites of liquid summer we are tasting started as nectar from wildflowers. The bees brought the nectar home, stored it in the honeycomb, added enzymes to it, and then fanned the droplets with their wings to evaporate most of the water. Once the ripened nectar was concentrated enough to be called honey, Tsuruda says, the bees capped it with wax to store it away for the time of year when the nectar stopped flowing. Most of the beekeepers I’ve talked to think of the honey their hives produce as a beautiful bonus to their hobby’s main attraction, the bees themselves. Typically, they don’t take honey—the old-fashioned term is “rob the bees”—in a hive’s first year, because the bees will need that food to see them through winter. But later, a strong hive can produce 60 to 100 pounds of surplus honey, Tsuruda says, and when conditions are very good, as much as 200 pounds. At the hive we are visiting, the circling girls have scented the honey dripping down my hands. One lands there to investigate. I’m not as brave as Tsuruda yet, so I’m not about to take off my gloves. But now, instead of instinctively flicking the bee off in fear, I hold my hands up near my veil to get a closer look. She is fur-bodied and shiny-winged, and I can see all the tiny, bristling hairs on her legs as she explores my gloved hand. Her eyes are a metallic brown. I let her crawl between my fingers as her sisters swirl in the air around my head, and then carefully lower my hand like an elevator to let her enter the hive. I realize that I’m not nervous anymore. I could do this after all.


SC Life The kudzu killer

Newt Hardie AGE:


Spartanburg Retired in 2001 as vice president of financial planning from Milliken & Co.; now president of the Trees Coalition LITTLE-KNOWN FACT: Hardie has nibbled on the Vine That Ate the South. The cooked leaves, he recalls, were “like a potato chip.” But the taste didn’t soften his attitude toward the plant. “The flowers are gorgeous,” he says. “And that’s the only nice thing I’ll say about it.” LEARN MORE: For more information on the fight against kudzu, visit or HOMETOWN:

Carroll foster


Drive around Spartanburg with Newt Hardie, and you will be given new eyes. Where once you saw a pleasant-enough Southern scene—a shady ravine here, a front-porch neighborhood there—you now see an insidious threat. The menace is kudzu. It’s everywhere, and Hardie’s mission is to eliminate it, one patch of ground at a time. It all began about 15 years ago as he picked up trash on Spartanburg’s South Pine Street. The corridor into town is lined with flowering cherry trees, and Hardie noticed that two were being eaten by kudzu. The S.C. native and former Navy officer decided to take action. Saving those two cherry trees led Hardie to begin a group now called the Trees Coalition, whose volunteers aim to rid trees of kudzu and other invaders. Hardie and his team kill kudzu with a chemical-free method they discovered by trial and error. He demonstrates the technique one sunny morning, donning his orange safety vest and meeting up with a couple of volunteers almost as enthusiastic as he. Kneeling, Hardie sweeps aside some vines to reveal one of the plant’s crowns, then severs it with a saw. The roots won’t regrow, and that means the world now has one less kudzu plant. Still, an acre of kudzu can have 100,000 or more crowns. And vines can shoot 60 feet in a growing season. Hardie knows all this. But don’t expect it to get him down. “Discouraged? Absolutely not!” he says. “Because we have 117 sites around town where we’ve made progress. You can do something about kudzu. It’s not unstoppable. It’s not something you have to give in to.” —Amber Veverka   | March 2015   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



By Mark Quinn

Power and light weren’t sure what to think when they heard about a new neighbor moving into the area. In the fall of 2013, residents learned Walterboro was going to be the home of South Carolina’s largest solar farm. “All I knew was the best dove field for miles around was going to disappear,” recalls Jim Floyd, who lives across the street from the farm. “This was a favorite hunting spot.” In a 15-acre field adjacent to Interstate 95, hunters gave way to construction crews as an army of solar panels rose. Completed ahead of schedule on Dec. 20, 2013, the project by then had a name—the Colleton Solar Farm. Rows of gleaming glass panels, 10,010 of them, began converting the sun’s energy into utility-scale power. And the reaction today of the residents who live close to the farm? Floyd shrugs. “I hardly give it a notice anymore, to tell you the truth.”

Performance better than expected

The Colleton Solar Farm is a collaborative project among solar contractors TIG Sun Energy of North Charleston, Santee Cooper, and the state’s not-forprofit electric cooperatives. TIG Sun Energy owns the farm. Santee Cooper and the co-ops purchase the energy the farm produces and distribute it to homes and businesses. Designed as a “commercial laboratory” to explore the viability of solar power in South Carolina, the farm is beginning to supply useful data as well as clean energy, says Grant Reeves, senior vice president of TIG Sun Energy. In the first full year of operation, the Colleton Solar Farm generated 5 percent more electricity than predicted—enough extra energy to power 200 homes for a full month, he says. 22

Photos by Mic Smith

Those who live close by

South Carolina’s largest solar farm has an eventful first year Of the 10,010 solar panels on the farm, 60 percent are fixed, positioned facing south, to capture as much of the sun’s energy as possible. The remaining solar panels have tracking capability, meaning they move slowly throughout the day to follow the sun. Analysis to date indicates tracking panels generate power for about 3½ hours longer per day during the peak summer months. As a result, electricity produced by the tracking panels costs 9 percent less per kilowatt-hour

than the panels that are stationary. “The tracking panels are more expensive on the front end,” says Reeves. “But it looks like they pay for themselves because of their productivity.” Learning how to squeeze every bit of energy from the solar farm is an important part of the project. With today’s solar technology, electricity produced from the sun is more expensive than electricity produced from conventional sources of power, such as coal and natural gas. For utility providers charged with providing affordable electricity to the consumers they serve, the cost of solar is an obstacle. Reeves predicts that as the price of photovoltaic panels falls—and as manufacturers increase the efficiency of their products—solar power will become a more cost-effective source of electricity. “I think the farm has shown that solar has a place in the market,” he says.

Generating interest Mark Walling, vice president of engineering for Coastal Electric Cooperative in Walterboro, routinely gives tours of the farm to interested groups. “It certainly has generated a good bit of interest,” he says.

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |

When he arrives to unlock the front gate at the solar farm, Mark Walling nods toward the compound and

Completed ahead of schedule on Dec. 20, 2013, the farm generated 4,687 megawatt-hours of electricity in its first full year of operation.

says, “It’s impressive looking, isn’t it?” As the vice president of engineering for Coastal Electric Cooperative in Walterboro, Walling has given dozens of tours of the solar farm. “It certainly has generated a good bit of interest,” he says. “I think most people are surprised to see how many panels it takes to generate the amount of electricity it does.” The panels dominate the landscape at the solar farm. Each panel is grouped with three others to form a rectangular “solar array,” and each array covers an area the size of a small room. When the sun is at its peak on a cloudless day, the farm’s panels can generate up to three megawatts of electricity, which is enough energy to power 300 average-size homes. “You are talking about a goodsized neighborhood,” Walling says. “However, look how much space it requires to make that happen. The technology works. But you have to wonder how many open spaces we have like this in the state.” Coastal Electric crews monitor and maintain the interconnection lines and equipment, and so far, the facility has experienced few technical or maintenance issues. It survived Winter Storm

Pax in February 2014 without damage, but multiple days of rainy weather last fall highlighted a concern utilities have about the intermittent nature of solar energy. When the sun isn’t shining, the farm does not produce energy. That’s “not a huge problem if you’re talking about an afternoon thunderstorm,” Walling says. Encounter long stretches of rainy weather, however, and the solar farm sits idle, and the power consumers rely on must be generated by other means. “If we had to rely solely on the farm to deliver power, you can see how that would be an issue,” he says. Reeves and other solar advocates point to emerging technologies in battery storage as the key to making solar a reliable source of electricity. If a new generation of batteries can store large amounts of energy for use when the sun isn’t shining, “a solar farm looks a lot more practical for the utilities,” he says. The solar farm continues to provide valuable data about the costs and reliability of utility-scale solar power. Collecting that information was one of the driving forces behind the project, says Mark Svrcek, chief operating officer and senior vice president of corporate strategy at Central Electric Cooperative. Central Electric, the organization that supplies wholesale power to all 20 of the state’s electric cooperatives, will continue to monitor and study the farm as a practical source of electricity. Sverck says interest in renewable sources of power will grow as utilities grapple with federal regulations calling for a reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions from traditional power plants. While solar—as it works today— may not be ready for prime time, Svrcek says, “I think it’s safe to say we are moving into a period when this carbon-free resource becomes a more significant part of utilities’ portfolios.”

Co ll e to n S o l a r Fa rm by t h e n u mb e rs


the number of solar panels that produce electricity


megawatts of electricity produced when the sun is at its peak in the sky


number of homes powered by 3 megawatts of electricity


number of megawatt-hours generated in year one of operation Which equates to:


60-watt lightbulbs powered for 8 hours a day


tons of carbon dioxide saved from power generated at the farm

Get More Read this story online at for a link to the live dashboard showing how much electricity the farm is producing right now.   | March 2015   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING




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Gardening for pollinators Our pollinators—the creatures

that move pollen from flower to flower—are in trouble. If you like to eat, pollinator protection should be important to you. About a third of the food on your plate exists because of a pollinator. Apples, watermelons, squash and strawberries are among the S.C. food crops that depend on bee pollination, but about 85 percent of all flowering plants need pollinators to produce seeds and fruit. Many insects, and some birds and bats, serve as pollinators. Bees carry the biggest burden by far. Honeybees get the majority of the press, and their plight has been well publicized. But many of the more than 4,000 species of bees native to North America— including the blueberry bee and the squash bee, both specifically adapted to pollinate their namesake crops—are A dandy dozen

Grow flowers. Bees and other pol-

linators need the sugars and proteins from nectar and pollen in flowers. They rely on these nutrients to grow and reproduce. Keep blooms in your landscape during all but the coldest months with a variety of flowering plants—annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs. Native plants are particularly well suited to native pollinators. Some star performers in our state are ironweed, goldenrod and coneflowers. Most herbs, including rosemary, oregano and catnip, work

well. Tulip trees, redbuds and magnolias are great trees for pollinators. Group pollinator plants together for greatest effect. Intersperse flowers and herbs throughout the vegetable garden, and allow your vegetables to flower after harvest. Leafy greens, such as mustard, lettuce and arugula, and cool-season crops like broccoli and radishes produce flowers in early Try to learn to love ’em

Top weedy plants for pollinators: clover • dandelion • wild radish • henbit • morning glory • thistle spring, when other flowers may not be available. Strips of flowering annuals— buckwheat, crimson clover, cilantro— make a super buffet for pollinators. And rethink having a weed-free lawn. Turfgrasses provide limited benefit to pollinators, but many

Popular pollinator plants for S.C. gardens

Eastern redbud

Rabbiteye blueberry

Small tree Blooms early spring

Shrub Blooms spring

Clovers (white and crimson)

Purple coneflower




Joe Pye weed


Perennial Blooms summer

Annual or Perennial Blooms summer/fall

Perennial Blooms summer/fall

Perennial Blooms fall

Perennial Blooms fall

Perennial Blooms fall

Groundcover/cover crop Blooms spring

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |

Tulip tree

Large tree Blooms late spring

Dill/Parsley/ Cilantro (pictured)

Herbs Bloom spring/summer

Black-eyed Susan

Perennial Blooms summer



also in peril due to loss of habitat and improper pesticide use. All is not lost, and the solutions lie in your garden. Three simple ways you can help pollinators are: 1) grow lots of flowering plants; 2) provide and protect pollinator nesting sites; and 3) minimize or eliminate pesticide use.

Sweat, Leafcutter and Mason bees by Dr. Merle Shepard; others by Dr. Jennifer Tsuruda

Honeybees get most of the press, but North America has more than 4,000 species of bees, and many of them can be found in South Carolina, including: (this page, clockwise from right) the sweat bee, long-horned bee, leafcutter bee, bumblebee, squash bee and (opposite) mason bee.

common lawn weeds, such as clover and dandelions, are great for bees.

Avoid pesticides. There’s a common gardening saying: “If you kill a beneficial insect, you inherit its job.” That’s certainly true for pollinators. Most are very sensitive to insecticides. Without insect pollinators, we could pollinate by hand, but I prefer my garden to be a safe haven for insects that do this tedious work. At home, I maintain no-spray zones, where pesticides are never used, such as the flower plantings and nesting sites described above. I only use insecticides on garden

is an area horticulture agent and Master Gardener coordinator for Clemson Extension based in Greenville County. Contact him at S. CORY TANNER

Without insect pollination, many backyard fruits and vegetables—apples, strawberries, squash, cucumbers, melons and others—will not produce quality fruit. Be concerned if you don’t see bees working your plants’ flowers on calm, sunny days. No pollination happens without pollinators. Your quickest fixes will be to hand pollinate or find a beekeeper to move a hive or two to your garden. With just a few bees, you may get inadequate pollination, since most flowers need more than one bee visit. Unless a cucumber flower gets at least nine visits, its fruit will either fall off or become misshapen. Cucumber size increases with the number of bee visits—up to about 50 visits per flower. Want bigger cucumbers? You need a lot of bees working. Weather impacts pollination, too. Extremely hot weather can kill plant pollen, creating vegetablepollination problems during the dog days of summer. When temperatures drop Incomplete pollination of this below 55 F or when it’s cucumber resulted raining, honeybees don’t in seeds near the forage, so unusually cool blossom end not developing properly. or wet weather during a plant’s flowering period can result in poor pollination. Fortunately, some native pollinators keep working even in poor weather.   | March 2015   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


Gerald Holmes, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo,

Provide shelter. Different bees need different habitats for their nests. Digger bees need exposed soil to dig their nests into; bumblebees tend to nest in abandoned rodent dens; mason bees like hollow plant stems and other small tubes. An out-of-theway location that is somewhat untidy, with old tree stumps and brush piles to provide protection, makes a good nesting site for native bees.

plants when no other option is available—which is almost never. If insecticides are needed to control pests in your landscape, use them thoughtfully. Around plants that attract pollinators, avoid using systemic insecticides that can find their way into nectar and pollen and persist inside plants for many months. Never spray plants (including weeds) with contact insecticides when blooms or pollinators are present. Instead, select friendlier practices and products, like handpicking and using horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps. Spray when plants aren’t in bloom and when pollinators aren’t active. Some organic insecticides are as lethal to bees as conventional products. Carefully follow instructions on all pesticide labels, including fungicides and herbicides, to protect pollinators.

Common pollination problems


BY Diane Veto Parham

Big on bugs Poor, misunderstood bugs.

GetThere The South Carolina State Museum is located at 301 Gervais St. in Columbia. Bugs! Giant Robotic Creatures runs through Sept. 7. HOURS: The museum opens at 10 a.m. Monday– Saturday and noon Sunday. Closing times are 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday; 8 p.m. Tuesday; and 6 p.m. Saturday. ADMISSION: Tickets for general museum entry plus blockbuster exhibit admission are $13.95 for adults (ages 13–61), $12.95 for seniors and $11.95 for children (ages 3–12). DETAILS: (803) 898-4921;


The animatronic locust (above) leaves its perch to rise over the heads of visitors, spreading its wings as if to take flight. The praying mantis extends its limbs to reach for its next meal, often another insect. Photos courtesy of S.C. State Museum

We may not love them, but they are our allies. They pollinate our flowers and crops, help keep the environment clean, and act as essential cogs in the balance of nature. If we could truly appreciate them, maybe they wouldn’t creep us out so much. A giant opportunity to maximize your bug IQ is the newest exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum. The animatronic critters in “Bugs! Giant Robotic Creatures,” on display through Sept. 7, make a big impact at 40 to 120 times their actual size. “To see these larger-than-life animals, and to have these things as big as they are, people can read the information panel and really see, ‘Oh, that’s what it means by segmented leg,’ ” says Dave Cicimurri, the museum’s natural history curator. Magnified details of insect heads reveal curiosities that are normally far too small for human eyes to see. Push a button on one display, and you can gape inside a dragonfly’s mouth when it opens its toothy jaws to snag the next meal. Crickets chirrup peacefully as you explore bug after bug. Along the way

Push a button, and you can gape inside a dragonfly’s mouth when it opens its toothy jaws to snag the next meal. are opportunities to snap an unusual selfie—strike a pose, for example, with an enormous black widow spider looming behind you. The showstoppers of the exhibit are the huge robotic bugs in their habitats: XXA swallowtail caterpillar (coincidentally, related to our state butterfly, the Eastern tiger swallowtail) creeps along at the entrance to the exhibit. XXA locust rises up dramatically and spreads its wings overhead. XXThe stick bug comes with not only magnified size but also amplified sound, as if its volume has increased to match its oversized body. XXA praying mantis stretches up toward the ceiling, some 20 feet high.

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |


pair of fighting beetles, roughly the size of hippos, combat in headto-head battle. Prefer real bugs over robots? The “Bugs!” exhibit also features a live bug zoo with scorpions and tarantulas, among other creatures. Bugs make beautiful art, too. A portrait gallery provides close-up photos of textures, shapes and colors on insect bodies—spider eyes, a butterfly wing, a caterpillar’s midsection. Kids can take on the challenge of interactive puzzles and trivia games, ­including how to identify insects by the sounds they make, such as a honey­ bee’s buzz or a cockroach’s hiss. An ­activity guide will lead them through the exhibit on a scavenger hunt. With about one million identified and named species of insects around the globe, plus estimates of millions more yet to be identified, the world of bugs is full of details to discover, Cicimurri says. “I’m not sure anybody really appreciates a cockroach or mosquitoes or ticks,” he says. “But, hopefully, people will come away with an appreciation for insect diversity.”

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BY Belinda Smith-Sullivan

Stuffed with flavor

Foods that taste bland by nature get a big flavor boost when you stuff them with bold er ingredients. The inside-outside pairing can also create a beautiful feast for the eyes. l Most meats lend themselves to being stuffed—expe riment with beef steaks, chicken breasts, pork chop s, seafood and even vegetables. The stuffed pork loin featured here is also good with dried figs, dates and apples. And the cheese filling in the stuffed pasta shells can be substituted with the meat stuffing in the bell peppers.



1 2½-pound, boneless, center-cut pork loin, trimmed of fat and butterflied into flat rectangle 1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted ¼ cup thinly sliced shallots 4 ounces fresh baby spinach Kitchen twine

Gina Moore/iStock


SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |


1 ½ tablespoons olive oil 1 ½ tablespoons Italian herb seasoning 1 ½ teaspoons light brown sugar ¾ teaspoon garlic salt ¾ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


1 10-ounce jar apricot preserves 2 tablespoons chicken stock 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lay flattened, butterflied pork loin on a cutting board with smooth side facing down. Cover with plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a cast-iron skillet, pound the loin evenly to half-inch thickness. Remove plastic. Mix the dried apricots, blue cheese, walnuts and shallots; set mixture aside. Combine all the herb rub ingredients; spread 1 tablespoon of the rub over the exposed surface of the pork loin. Cover with enough spinach so none of the meat is exposed, except a half inch around the edge. Firmly pat the dried apricot mixture over the spinach, again leaving a half‑inch border around the edge. Roll up the pork loin, starting at one end and ending with the cut side down. Using kitchen twine, tie the roast at 1- to 1 ½-inch intervals. Place, cut side down, on an oiled baking pan; spread the remaining rub on the outside of the pork loin. Roast 45–60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer (inserted into the meat, not the filling) registers 145 F. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Remove kitchen twine. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the apricot sauce ingredients, stirring, until the mixture starts to boil, about 5–7 minutes. Keep warm until served. Reheat on low heat, adding 1 teaspoon of stock, if needed.

Lauri Patterson/iStock

Christel Lewis/iStock

LeeAnn White/iStock


24 jumbo pasta shells 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese ½ cup Parmesan cheese 1 egg ½ teaspoon kosher salt ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper 12 basil leaves, cut in chiffonade 3 cups marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook pasta shells according to package directions for al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain and toss with the melted butter to prevent shells from sticking together. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, 1½ cups of the mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, salt, pepper and basil. Spread 2 cups of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold all the shells. Fill each shell with a spoonful of the cheese mixture and place in the baking dish. Pour the remaining marinara sauce over shells, and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5–10 minutes.





4 portabella mushrooms 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 3 green onions, finely chopped 3 – 4 tablespoons red bell pepper, finely chopped 1 large garlic clove, minced 8 ounces crabmeat 1 cup bread crumbs 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning ¼–½ cup white wine Grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese, optional

6 red or yellow bell peppers, tops cut away and seeds removed 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion 1 pound ground beef 1 tablespoon minced garlic ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped ¾ teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 2 cups cooked white rice 8 ounces tomato sauce ¼ cup water 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon bread crumbs Olive oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350 F. Wash mushrooms; remove and chop the stems. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and brush over the mushrooms. Spray a shallow baking dish with cooking spray. Place mushroom caps, top down, in dish. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large skillet. Add chopped stems, onion and bell pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, then add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Combine cooked ingredients with crabmeat, bread crumbs, Cajun spice and ¼ cup wine. If mixture is still dry, continue adding wine until it is just moist. Divide crab mixture into four parts, and pile on each mushroom cap. Sprinkle mushrooms with grated cheese, if desired. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown.

W h at Õ s C oo k i n g at

Watch Chef Belinda’s step-by-step demonstration of how to butterfly a pork loin, and you’ll be ready to prepare your own stuffed entree. You’ll find the video and other tips, including how to make a chiffonade of basil leaves, at

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the peppers until just tender, about 2–3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain, inverted, on a paper towel. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add ground beef, garlic, parsley, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook until the meat is browned, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up the meat, about 5–6 minutes. Add cooked rice and tomato sauce, and stir well. Remove from the heat, and adjust the seasoning to taste. Pour the water into the bottom of a baking dish. Stuff the bell peppers with the meatrice mixture, and place in the baking dish. Mix the Parmesan and bread crumbs; sprinkle over stuffed peppers. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake until the peppers are tender and the stuffing is thoroughly heated, 30–35 minutes.   | March 2015   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING



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Please make check payable to South Carolina Living and mail to P.O. Box 100270, Columbia, SC 29202-3270. (Please allow 4 – 8 weeks.) Call 1-803-926-3175 for more information. Sorry, credit card orders not accepted.   | March 2015   |  SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING


Calendar  of Events Go to for more information and for guidelines on submitting your event. Please confirm information before attending events.


14 • Trapping Fish and Small Game, Hagood Mill Historic Site and Folklife Center, Pickens. (864) 898-2936. 21 • Kidsfest, Hagood Mill Historic Site and Folklife Center, Pickens. (864) 898-2936. 21 • Masterworks III: Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique” by Foothills Philharmonic, J. Harley Bonds Career Center, Greer. (864) 268-8743. 21 • Olde South Ball, Marriott Hotel, Greenville. (864) 244-2732. 21 • Reidville Days Spring Festival, Main Street, Reidville. (864) 486-9614. 21 • Patriots Hall Vet Fest Fun Run, Oconee Veterans Museum, Walhalla. (563) 349-4018. 24 • Cameron Carpenter, Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, Clemson. (864) 656-3043. 25 • Jazz Vibes, Barrett Room, Spartanburg County Public Library Headquarters, Spartanburg. (864) 596-3503. 25–27 • Clemson Literary Festival, multiple locations, Clemson. (910) 740-4899. 26 • History on Tap at Growler Haus, 113 N. Church St., Spartanburg. (864) 596-3501. 27 • Lunch & Learn: Spartanburg’s Mid-Century Modern Architecture, Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg. (864) 596-3501. 28 • Sweet Mountain Delights Baking Class, Hagood Mill Historic Site and Folklife Center, Pickens. (864) 898-2936. 28 • Spring Cultivation Workshop, Mushroom Mountain Farm, Liberty. (864) 855-2469.


Third Thursdays • Art Walk, downtown, Spartanburg. (864) 582-7616. Fridays • Bluegrass Jam Session, 5301 Dacusville Highway, Pumpkintown. (864) 898-3815. Second Saturdays • House concerts featuring Heartstrings, Hagood Mill Historic Site and Folklife Center, Pickens. (864) 898-2936. Third Saturdays through May • Super STEM Saturdays, Spartanburg Science Center, Spartanburg. (864) 583-2777. Sundays • Sundays Unplugged, Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg. (864) 542-2787.



4–5 • Historic Pendleton Spring Jubilee, Village Green, Pendleton. (800) 862-1795. 9–11 • SpringSkunk Music Fest, 4063 Jordan Road, Greer. (864) 233-8430. 10–18 • “Steel Magnolias,” Easley Foothills Playhouse, Easley. (864) 855-1817. 10–19 • “Over the River and Through the Woods,” Oconee Community Theatre, Seneca. (864) 882-1910. 10–May 14 • “A Look Back at the Carolina Blues,” Pickens County Museum, Pickens. (864) 898-5963.


11 • S.C. State Chili CookOff, downtown on the Square, Belton. (864) 940-3111. 11 • “Pictures at an Exhibition & Tchaikovsky’s Violin,” Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg. (864) 596-9725. 11 • Early Spring Mountain Hearth Cooking and Andy Cohen Blues Concert, Hagood Mill Historic Site and Folklife Center, Pickens. (864) 898-2936. 11 • Music on the Mountain, Table Rock State Park, Pickens. (864) 878-9813. 12 • Pops Concert, Patrick Square, Clemson. (864) 656-3043. 12 • ShalomFest, Temple of Israel, Greenville. (864) 292-1782, ext. *112. 13–19 • “Twelfth Night,” Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, Clemson. (864) 656-3043. 15–25 • Clemson Blues Festival, multiple locations, Clemson. (864) 650-0585.

7–15 • Juilliard in Aiken, multiple locations, Aiken. (803) 292-3124. 13–15 • Carolina Classic Home & Garden Show, S.C. State Fairgrounds, Columbia. (803) 256-6238. 13–15 • Chesterville~1865, multiple locations, Chesterville. (803) 385-2332. 14 • St. Pat’s in Five Points, Harden Street area, Columbia. (803) 748-7373. 17 • St. Patrick’s Day on Main, Main Street, Rock Hill. (803) 329-8756. 19 • A Taste of Lake Murray, Doubletree by Hilton, Columbia. (803) 781-5940.

20 • Cherokee Crossings: The Ridge Family and Cultural Change, USC-Lancaster Native American Studies Center, Lancaster. (803) 313-7063. 20–April 11 • “Godspell,” Trustus Theatre, Columbia. (803) 254-9732. 21 • Herb Fest, Little Red Barn Gallery, Barnwell. (803) 541-7900. 21 • Aiken Spring Steeplechase, Ford Conger Field, Aiken. (888) 648-9641. 21 • Celebrate Sound: Don’t Walk in Silence, Saluda Shoals Park, Columbia. (816) 333-8300. 26 • S.C. Assistive Technology Expo, Brookland Banquet and Conference Center, West Columbia. (800) 915-4522. 26 • Sweet & Savory Chef’s Competition, EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia. (803) 786-6819. 27 • Richard Allen Awards Gala, Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia. (803) 376-5728. 27–29 • Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, State Fairgrounds, Columbia. (803) 734-4008. 27–29 • Carolina Regional Spring Show Pony Club Jumping Rally, South Carolina Equine Park, Camden. (803) 983-0366. 28 • Carolina Cup, Springdale Race Course, Camden. (800) 780-8117. 28 • “Pavement,” Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, Irmo. (803) 407-5011. 29 • A Day in the Life, Old McCaskill’s Farm, Rembert. (803) 600-3980. APRIL

3 • Sarah Jarosz, McCelvey Center, York. (803) 684-3948. 4 • Downtown Triathlon, University of South Carolina Blatt PE Center, Columbia. (864) 420-5169. 10–19 • “Skippyjon Jones in Cirque de Ole,” Columbia Children’s Theatre, Columbia. (803) 691-4548. 11 • Edwin McCain, Bundy Auditorium at USC-Lancaster, Lancaster. (803) 289-1486. 11 • At the Movies: Featuring the S.C. Philharmonic, Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, Irmo. (803) 407-5011. 11 • Who’s Sleeping in on Family Day? Museum of York County, Rock Hill. (803) 329-2121. 11 • Open Horse Show and Vendor Fair, Gaston Farm Road Equestrian Center, Chester. (803) 374-6255. 11 • River Rocks Music Festival, Riverfront Park, Columbia. (803) 760-3357. 11 • Ultimate Challenge Mud Run, The Leatherneck, Gaston. (803) 477-0541.

SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |

11 • Touch a Truck, State Farmers Market, West Columbia. (803) 252-4552. 11–15 • Columbia Open Studios, multiple locations, Columbia area. (803) 779-4571.

21 • Derrick Law Firm Run for the Children 5K, Marina Park, Conway. (843) 248-7486. 21 • Diggin’ It Spring Garden Festival, Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet. (800) 849-1931. 21 • Charleston Walk for ONGOING Water, Brittlebank Park, Daily through June 7 • “Face Vessels: Archaeological Evidence Charleston. (843) 769-7395. of Face Vessels Manufactured in 21 • Spring Swing Big Band Fest, La Belle Amie Vineyard, Old Edgefield, South Carolina,” Little River. (843) 399-9463. South Carolina State Museum, Columbia. (803) 898-4921. 21 • Beaufort Twilight Run and Oyster Roast, Mondays through Saturdays, Habersham Marketplace, through July 25 • “Traditions, Beaufort. (843) 321-8309. Change and Celebration: Native Artists of the 22 • North Carolina Baroque Southeast,” McKissick Museum, Orchestra Chamber Players, Columbia. (803) 777-7251. Trinity Episcopal Church, 3000 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Tuesdays through Sundays, Beach. (843) 448-8426. through Aug. 30 • “Art & Imagination in Children’s 24 • Grand Strand TechEXPO, Literature,” Museum of York Myrtle Beach Convention Center, County, Rock Hill. (803) 329-2121. Myrtle Beach. (843) 491-6060. First Thursdays • First 25 • Hobcaw Barony Behind Thursdays on Main Street, the Scenes, Hobcaw Barony, 1200–1700 blocks of Main Street, Georgetown. (843) 546-4623. Columbia. (803) 988-1065. 27–28 • Plantation Tours of Third Thursdays • Vista Nights, Prince George Winyah Parish, The Vista, Columbia. (803) 269-5946. multiple locations, Georgetown County. (843) 545-8291. Saturdays • State House Tours, 1100 Gervais St., 27–29 • Flowertown Festival, Columbia. (803) 734-2430. Azalea Park, Summerville. (843) 871-9622, ext. 124. 27–29 • RenoFest Bluegrass LOWCOUNTRY Festival, multiple locations, MARCH Hartsville. (843) 332-5151. 10–15 • Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival, multiple locations, 28 • Daffodil Festival, Moore Hilton Head Island. (843) 686-4944. Farms Botanical Gardens, Lake City. (843) 374-2261. 14–22 • Canadian-American 28 • Cooper River Bridge Days, multiple locations, Myrtle Run, Cooper River Bridge, Beach area. (843) 916-7276. Mount Pleasant and 15 • SCEC Fun Run 5K/Polar Bear Charleston. (843) 856-1949. Plunge, Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, 29 • Lowcountry Cajun Festival, Myrtle Beach. (864) 315-3845. James Island County Park, 16 • Titanic Tea Time with Charleston. (843) 795-7275. portrayal of survivor Sylvia Caldwell, North Myrtle Beach APRIL Area Historical Museum, North 2–4 • Lamar Egg Scramble Myrtle Beach. (843) 427-7668. Jamboree, downtown, Lamar. (843) 639-2380. 17–21 • Charleston Fashion Week, Marion Square, Charleston. 4 • Race for the Inlet, (843) 971-9811, ext. 319. Morse Park Landing, Murrells Inlet. (843) 357-2007. 19–21 • Pee Dee Street Rodders Run to the Sun 4 • Easter Egg Hunt, McLean Park, XXVII, 2501 N. Kings Highway, North Myrtle Beach. (843) 280-5584. Myrtle Beach. (843) 669-3564. 4 • Park Palooza, Myrtle 19–April 19 • Festival of Houses Beach State Park, Myrtle and Gardens, multiple locations, Beach. (843) 238-5325. Charleston. (843) 722-3405. 4 • Safe Kids Day, North 20–21 • WingFest, Shelter Charleston Coliseum & Cove Community Park, Hilton Performing Arts Center, North Head Island. (843) 681-7273. Charleston. (843) 792-5327. 20–22 • Charleston Antiques 4–12 • Family Circle Cup, Show, 4115 Old Post Road, Family Circle Stadium, Charleston. (843) 722-3405. Charleston. (800) 677-2293. 21 • “The History of the Shag 8 • Cane Pole Fishing, Dance,” Horry County Museum, Hobcaw Barony, Georgetown. Conway. (843) 915-5320. (843) 546-4623.

10 • Music in the Age of Charles Towne (1670–1783), Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul, Charleston. (843) 722-7345. 10–11 • 50+ Senior Life Expo, Florence Civic Center, Florence. (843) 229-8856. 11 • Spring Planting Day, L.W. Paul Living History Farm, Conway. (843) 365-3596. 11 • 5K RunDead Zombie Run, Legare Farms, Charleston. (843) 559-0788. 11 • Back Home Again: A Tribute to John Denver by the Long Bay Symphony, Myrtle Beach High School, Myrtle Beach. (843) 448-8379. 11–12 • Art in the Park, Chapin Park, Myrtle Beach. (843) 446-3830. 11–12 • Pet Fest, Palmetto Islands County Park, Mount Pleasant. (843) 795-4386. 11–13 • Monday After the Masters, House of Blues and Dye Club at Barefoot Resort, North Myrtle Beach. (843) 343-7451. 12 • DIVA Half Marathon & 5K, Main Street, North Myrtle Beach. (800) 733-7089. 13–19 • RBC Heritage, Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island. (843) 671-2448. 14 • F.L.A.V.O.R., Myrtle Beach Convention Center, Myrtle Beach. (843) 855-0527. ONGOING

Daily through March 22 • “Sandy Islanders: A People of the Land,” Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet. (800) 849-1931. Daily through March 29 • “Through the Lens,” Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island. (843) 689-6767. Daily through May 10 • “1920s–1960s: Five Decades of Style That Changed America,” The Charleston Museum, Charleston. (843) 722-2996. Tuesdays and Thursdays– Saturdays • Bulls Island Ferry Service & Eco Tour, Garris Landing, Awendaw. (843) 881-4582. Tuesdays–Sundays, through April 23 • “Voices of the Island: The Cuban Art Collection of Reynier Llanes,” Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, Myrtle Beach. (843) 238-2510. Fridays through April 3 • Senior Dances, Base Recreation Center Ballroom, Myrtle Beach. (843) 918-1000. Third Saturdays starting March 21 • Craft Show, BI-LO Palmetto Pavilion, Mount Pleasant. (843) 884-0163.


By Jan A. Igoe

Caution: Zumba-phyte crossing The room was full of kindred spirits. Females of every shape and size—sisters and mothers, wives and daughters, alumni of childbirth, victims of Spandex, all united in a race against time. The clock is quickly ticking down to summer, when winter camouflage—like those one-size-too-large sweatsuits and tolerant turtlenecks—gives way to shorts and spaghetti straps. Ready or not, Lycra, here we come. Assessing one’s body after another cozy hibernation in fuzzy flannel PJs is scary stuff. When I finally peeked into a full-length mirror, the Pillsbury Doughboy’s missing sister was staring back at me. My neighbor tells me that Zumba is the quickest route to a new and improved summer body. Apparently, fat is forced to flee when you gyrate to thumping bass rhythms and lyrics that never occurred to The Beatles. Let’s see. I like music. I like to dance. I need exercise. Why not? My first class was clogged with fellow newbies, so floor space was at a premium. Zumba-phytes need a lot of it. We’re a little unclear on that right/left thing. The idea is to keep moving without injuring anyone, but it would be easier if we had back-up cameras and turn signals glued to our butts. Patty, our vivacious, superhuman instructor, began shouting directions to the thundering herd, barely audible above the pulsing Latin beat: Boom da la ka boom. “Get those hips rolling. To the left!” Boom da la ka boom. “Shoulders back, heads up! Twist those torsos!” Boom da la ka boom. “To the right! Now back! Let’s go, girls!”


SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING  |   March 2015  |

For the first few seconds, I could discern my left from my right. But that was before the turning started. My body has strict limits on how many extremities will cooperate at any given time. Currently, it’s two. That means that both feet might follow directions, or both arms could simultaneously flail to the rhythm. It could mean one leg and the opposite arm. No telling. Patty can’t slow the pros down for the directionally challenged, so the Zumba-phytes were free to crash into one another like bumper cars. That’s how I met Sharon. She went left. I went right. We ended up on the floor. We’re not the first Zumba victims. Something this popular with masses of middle-aged women is bound to benefit chiro­practors and orthopedists. I found a whole list of respectable Zumba injuries affecting knees, ankles, shoulders and lower backs, which got me thinking Red Bull might want to sponsor us. They already back cliff diving and motocross, where participants are only 97 percent likely to be killed or maimed. Clearly, they’re missing a golden opportunity with Zumba. Our NASCAR-style pileups would make great TV. And their logo would be ­dazzling on flannel PJs. If Red Bull won’t bite, we could try that new orthopedic group where Sharon is undergoing treatment. They owe me.  jan a. igoe is a big believer in exercise, at least three months of the year. She envies dancers who pick up steps on the first try and appreciates everyone who uses turn signals. Write her at



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South Carolina Living - March 2015  
South Carolina Living - March 2015