The place to ‘bee’

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Beekeeping school scheduled for March 12 in Frankfort

By The Staff

Bluegrass Beekeeping School is scheduled for March 12 at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, organizers announced.
The program offers two tracks. There will be a basic introductory course for new beekeepers and those interested in beekeeping as a hobby.
There will also be a large number of sessions for experienced beekeepers to deepen their knowledge of bees, their behaviors and their management.
The featured guest speaker will be Diana Sammataro, a honey bee researcher from the US Department of Agriculture Honey Bee Research Lab in Tucson, Ariz.
Sammataro received her Ph.D. in entomology from Ohio State University and has received numerous honors for her research and publications. She is the co-author of “The Beekeepers Handbook,” published in 2006.
Sammataro will present an opening general session titled “What is a Mite” and will lead breakout sessions on ”Monitoring for Varrora Mites” (currently a major problem for Kentucky beekeepers) and on “Current Honey Bee Research at the Tucson USDA Bee Lab.”
 Other speakers will include Tom Webster (Kentucky State University), Ray McDonnell (Somerset Community College London Campus), Kent Williams (former president of the Kentucky Beekeepers Association and the Eastern Apicultural Society), Gordon Vernon (Kentucky beekeeper and queen producer), and many other experienced beekeepers and researchers.
There will be talks on many aspects of hive management and conducting a beekeeping business. Classes will also cover pollen collecting, beeswax candle making, making lotions and hand bars, and cooking with honey. New this year will be talks on urban beekeeping, on making creamed honey and giving honey bee presentations to the public (including children).
Program updates will be posted on the webpage of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s State Apiarist: http://www.kyagr.com/statevet/bees/ .
Scheduled also is a four part series of beginner beekeeping classes for the new or novice beekeeper. If you are a new beekeeper, or a beekeeper-to-bee, this beginning track of classes is where you want to bee. A certificate for a free package of honeybees and a complete hive will be given away to a new beekeeper in the beginners’ course.
Registration will begin at 8 a.m. in the lobby of Bradford Hall at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. However, pre-registration is suggested. A pre-registration form may be downloaded from the state apiarist’s webpage, which also contains the most up to date information on the program.
The website is http://www.kyagr.com/statevet/bees/. There is a pre-registration fee of $20 per person (there are also discounts for family and school age youth). At the door, the registration fee will be $25 per person.
As always, there will be lots of door prizes, including a package of bees (3 pounds of bees and a queen for starting a hive in the spring).
For further information, see the website or contact Phil Craft, state apiarist, at 502-564-3956 or phil.craft@ky.gov.