2016-12-19 / Community

Cooperative Extension offers beekeeping classes

YORK COUNTY—How many miles do honeybees fly to produce one pound of honey? 

Registration is now open for Beginner Bee School starting Feb. 9, 2017, at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 21 Bradeen St., Springvale. Students will learn the basics of bees, honey and keeping hives in this five-week introductory course.

If you’ve been thinking about producing your own honey, while helping to provide pollinators in your neighborhood, here is your opportunity to learn from a Master Beekeeper.

Beginner Bee School runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday evenings from Feb. 9 through March 9, 2017. The instructor is Master Beekeeper Larry Peiffer, President of the York County Beekeepers Association.

Course topics include the Honey Bee Colony, Constructing Hives, Pests and Diseases, and Honey Production. Participants may also observe local hives and gain hands-on experience during a field lab later in the spring.

The course fee is $95 per person, or $140 for two people sharing texts and materials, and includes a one-year membership in the York County Beekeepers Association. Registration deadline is Feb. 3.

For those with at least one year of beekeeping experience, Intermediate Bee School starts Wednesday evening March 1 and will be held from 6 to 8:30 pm. The course runs for five weeks through March 29.

It will cover advanced topics including Honey Bee Anatomy and Communication, Foraging and Botany, Problems of the Hive, Mating and Rearing Queens, and Hive Manipulations.

The course fee is $95 per person, or $145 for two people sharing the text and materials. Registration deadline is Feb. 22.

For more information and to register online, see https://extension.umaine.edu/york/programs/bee-courses/.

To contact the York County office of UMaine Extension, call 800-287-1535 (in state) or 207-324-2814, or email rebecca.gowdy@maine.edu. Both Bee Schools are cosponsored by UMaine Extension and the York County Beekeepers Association.

Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for the program should contact Frank Wertheim at 800-287-1535 to discuss their needs at least 7 days in advance.

And the answer to the question is a hive of bees must fly 55,000 miles to produce a pound of honey.

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