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Beekeeping classes offered

If the prospect of homegrown honey sounds good, check out the Beginning Beekeeping Short Course being held in Conway on April 7, 14 and 21.

The short course runs on three consecutive Mondays and each session runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Tommy Lewis Conference room located in the Natural Resources Building, 110 S. Amity Road in Conway.

“This is a comprehensive, three-part short course to learn how to start beekeeping,” said Hank Chaney, Faulkner County extension staff chair for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “You don’t have to have any prior experience with honey bees, and the course is designed to prepare new beekeepers with the knowledge to safely and successfully begin keeping honey bees with confidence.”

The first class will introduce and explain the hive and its components as well as other tools and equipment used. This class also will cover basic bee biology and behaviors that beekeepers should understand.

The second session will explain how and where to get honey bees and establish brand new colonies. Then, the course will take the new beekeeper through seasonal hive management tasks for the first two years, including how to harvest their golden delicious honey. The final session will cover keeping honey bees healthy and includes an overview of bee hive pests and honey bee diseases.

“If you’ve always wanted to have your own hive, this is a great opportunity to not only learn the basics, but also see the kind of equipment you’ll need to tend your bees,” Chaney said. “Jon Zawislak, our honey bee specialist, will teach this short course. He is a master beekeeper certified by the Eastern Apicultural Society certified as well as a master’s degree in entomology and more than 15 years’ experience working with honey bees.”

To register, contact the Faulkner County Extension Office at 501-329-8344. For more information about the beginning beekeeping short course, visit extension’s newly renovated web site, www.uaex.edu, or contact your county extension agent.

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