January 4, 2015 | Central KY News
FRANKFORT — Kentucky beekeepers of all ages and skill levels may learn the basics or sharpen their skills at 10 beekeeping schools across the Commonwealth during January through March.
“Beekeeping is very important to agriculture in Kentucky, throughout the United States, and around the world,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “Honey bees are responsible for pollinating 30 percent of our food supply and 70 percent of all wildflowers. Sales of honey brought in an estimated $811,000 to Kentucky honey producers in 2012. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is dedicated to supporting Kentucky’s beekeepers and encouraging more people to enter this vital and fascinating field.”
The beekeeping education opportunities include the following:
• A winter bee workshop will be Jan. 16-18 at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, 3501 Lexington Road in Harrodsburg. The workshop includes tracks for beginner and advanced beekeepers. An Introduction to Beekeeping course will discuss how to start, equipment needed, and first-year disease and pest management. Topics in the advanced track are honey plants, growing your apiary, and marketing your honey. Cost is $75, which includes refreshments, lunch, door prizes, and a copy of “First Lessons in Beekeeping” by Keith S. Delaplane. For more information, go to www.shakervillageky.org and click on “Special Events Calendar,” then “1/16/2015.”
• The Eastern Kentucky Winter Bee School will be Jan. 24 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. EST at Hazard Community and Technical College. Cost is $25, which includes lunch, registration, and vendors. Welcome and keynote speaker will be Stephanie Tarwater, a Tennessee migratory beekeeper and former Florida bee inspector. Basic microscopy classes will be offered. Space is limited, and sign-ups are necessary. Beekeepers and other eligible producers may sign up to join the Appalachia Proud marketing program during the bee school. For more information, or to register, contact Perry County Extension agent Charles May at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Allen County Beekeepers School will be Feb. 7 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. CST at Allen County-Scottsville High School, 1545 Bowling Green Road in Scottsville. Special speaker is Dr. Clarence Collison, formerly of Mississippi State University. Cost is $10 per person, $15 per couple, and $25 for FFA, Girl Scouts, or church groups. A catered barbecue lunch will be available for purchase. For more information, contact John Benham, president of the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association, at (270) 678-7924 or email@example.com.
• The South Central Kentucky Beekeeping School will be Feb. 7 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. EST at Whitley County High School, 350 Boulevard of Champions in Williamsburg. Special speaker is Dr. Tom Webster of Kentucky State University. Preregistration is $15, and admission at the door is $25. For more information, call the Whitley County Extension Office at (606) 549-1430.
• Bernheim Forest near Clermont will host a Family Backyard Beekeeping Series Feb. 8 through July 12 from 2-4 p.m. Eastern time. Cost is $20 for Bernheim members, $30 for non-members. Participants must be at least 7 years old, with children accompanied by an adult. Call (502) 955-8512 for reservations.
• The Lake Cumberland Beekeepers Association will hold a multi-evening bee school Feb. 10 through April 14 from 6-8:30 p.m. EST at the Pulaski County Extension Office, 28 Parkway Drive in Somerset. Cost is $25 and limited to 45 participants. For more information, email Beth.Wilson@uky.edu or call (606) 679-6361.
• State Apiarist Tammy Horn of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture will speak on “Bees and the Plants They Love” on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, from 1-2:30 p.m. EST at Bernheim Forest’s Education Center near Clermont. Cost is $10 for Bernheim members, $12 for non-members. Reserve a seat by calling (502) 955-8512.
• The Northeastern Kentucky Winter Bee School, sponsored by the Licking River Beekeeping Association, is scheduled for Feb. 28 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. EST at Maysville Community and Technical College, 1755 U.S. Highway 68 in Maysville. State Apiarist Tammy Horn will be the special speaker. Preregistration for adults is $20, and admission at the door is $25. Children will be admitted for $7.50. Price includes lunch and refreshments. Preregister by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 23.
• The Audubon Bee School will be March 7 at 8:45 a.m. CST at the Henderson County Extension Education & Expo Center, 3341 Zion Road in Henderson. Opening speaker will be former State Apiarist Phil Craft. Preregister for $15, which includes lunch, by emailing email@example.com or calling (270) 339-724. Cost is $20 at the door. Children ages 12 and under will be admitted for $5.
• The Bluegrass Beekeepers School will be March 7 at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. Welcome and keynote speaker will be University of Kentucky entomology professor Dr. Subba Reddy Palli. The American Honey Queen will attend and teach classes. Preregistration will begin in January and conclude Feb. 28 at $25 per adult and $10 per child. Registration at the door will be $35 per adult and $15 per child. For more information, contact Phil Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.