In recent years, local honey and the practice of beekeeping has become increasingly popular. Oldham County is no stranger to beekeeping, and you can find local honey sold at a variety of stores across Oldham and Jefferson Counties.
One of the incentives to beekeeping is that it doesn’t require a lot of acreage or time, like most other farming activities do. It is not uncommon to find hives in the city or on a small neighborhood lot. Oldham County has its own Beekeeping Association, and quite a few new hives have sprung up in the past couple of years in the area. You, too, can get started on your own beekeeping adventure, and the Bluegrass Beekeeping School is just around the corner.
On March 9, 2013, the Bluegrass Beekeeping School will be held at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. The program has been attended by novice and advanced beekeepers from across more than 50 counties in Kentucky and surrounding states.
Dr. Jeff Harris will be the keynote and special guest speaker for the 2013 program. Jeff is the Mississippi State University extension/research apiculturist. Prior to joining MSU in July 2012, Jeff worked for 12 years at the USDA Honey Bee Lab in Baton Rouge, LA. He is well known for his research involving selective breeding for bees. Jeff’s keynote talk is titled “The Importance of Honey Bee Pollination and Varroa Mites.” He will also
present two breakout talks, So You Want to Breed Bees and Integrated Pest Management & Honey Bees.
Beekeeping topics to be covered include:
- hive management;
- pollen collection and processing;
- conducting beekeeping businesses;
- and how to produce additional products from the hive such as candle making, making lotions, and hand bars.
Beginners should not hesitate to attend, as part of the program will include a four-part series of beginner beekeeping classes. A certificate for a free package of honeybees and a complete hive will be given away to one of the new beekeepers in attendance.
Experienced beekeepers will have the opportunity to browse and shop a vendor tradeshow, featuring the Walter B. Kelley Company, Dadant & Sons
Company, and others selling supplies, taking orders (including orders for package bees for spring delivery or pickup), as well as displaying beekeeping equipment.
Registration will begin at 8:00 AM in the lobby of Bradford Hall at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. Pre-registration is suggested. A pre-registration form may be downloaded from the Kentucky State Beekeepers Assoc. webpage. There is a pre-registration fee of $20 per person (there are also preregistration discounts for family & school age youth). At the door, the registration fee will be $30 per person. Lunch is included for all participants. Visit http://www.ksbabeekeeping.org/ for more information.