By: Rebecca Konopka
Carter County Extension Agent
Bees are an important part of agriculture because they provide the pollination required to produce many crops. Beekeeping not only helps ensure that your crops get pollinated, but it can be a very rewarding experience, not to mention producing some very tasty honey. The Kentucky State Beekeepers Association has many upcoming educational programs to help you learn more about beekeeping and improve the health of your hives.
With funding from Kentucky State University, Phil Craft is offering an online series called Intermediate Beekeeping. Craft is a retired Kentucky state apiarist and former beekeeping specialist for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
This series is designed to help beekeepers better manage their honeybee colonies. The program consists of eight live virtual classes and a Q&A session. Sessions occur on various Tuesday nights throughout 2021 at 7 p.m. ET.
Upcoming sessions include:
- May 4: Varroa overview, integrated pest management and monitoring for varroa mites
- June 1: Controlling varroa
- June 22: Mid-summer hive management, honey dearth issues, robbing precautions, waxing moths and varroa summer treatment
- July 6: Removing honey from the hive, processing the honey and selling it in Kentucky
- July 27: Developing and following a varroa management plan
- Aug. 24: Fall hive management, helping your bees prepare for winter
- Sept. 21: Other IPM techniques to control varroa mites
- Oct. 12: Phil Craft and other guest panelists TBA
To participate in the series, you must be a member of the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association. The cost to join is $15 per year, and you do not have to reside in Kentucky to be a member of the organization.
On May 8, the association will hold their virtual spring beekeeping conference, and the guest speaker will be Mike Hood, entomology professor emeritus at Clemson University. Hood was a Clemson researcher when the small hive beetle was first found in South Carolina bee colonies in 1996. He will discuss the history and life-cycle of the pest and ways to control it.
More information about these educational programs of the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association is available online at https://bit.ly/2QoJ4qE. More information on ways bees can improve your agricultural operation is available at the Carter County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.