Updated: Feb 11, 2018
It's hard to give up a Saturday yet board members Scott Patterson (president) and Holly Trask (secretary) attended with me this year's class held by the Knox County Beekeeper Association (you can also follow them on facebook).
It's a great deal (registration for the class also buys a membership in both the Knox Co. and Ohio State Associations) and a great group.
You can tell right off the bat there is a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge in KCBA. They really want to share with you all they've learned! And I know from other folks' in the association that the KCBA is a very supportive group so I'm looking forward to learning in the midst of people so invested in knowledge transfer. Some of the covered topics included:
Basic Bee Biology
Basic Beekeeping Equipment
Hive Installation - I was riveted on this presentation and thought the way KCBA's Jordan Miller did a step by step demo of what to do from the moment you get your first nuc or package of bees to setting up your hives.
I would also point out that, not only do you get a presentation of the basics, but each topic was full of really nice dialogue , almost panel style of discussion between the KCBA members in the room. They are so committed to letting you know what they do personally, but that there are lots of differences in practice between individuals and across space and time! Those who know me well probably are not surprised to find out that I really enjoyed a group who believes in continual lifelong learning!
It was nice to see such a full class, too, seemed like about 60+ attendees. I'm hoping we can get at least one nucleus hive of bees this summer down at W. Gambier St. I'd love to work towards someday creating an entire ecological corridor in the West end, including Riverside and Arch Parks. I'd like to start with a little more of a learning curve at home, with a package.
I also have a lot of microbial interests I became aware of yesterday. I got curious about which microbe(s) does the fermentation of the honey and found out it is currently attributed to a lactobacillus (think yogurt, sour cream). And American Foulbrood (Paenibacillus larvae) is an endospore-forming species and I just happen to have been working extra hard on my endospore staining techniques this winter...so I'm wondering if I can become skilled at identifying AFB when it's a suspected agent, or just to keep track...maybe there's an even easier way to i.d. it with a cool biochemical test or something...suppose I'm headed for the Kenyon Library reference section to the Bergey's manuals! Some local easy diagnostics could be a nice Knox County contribution to AFB control efforts in Ohio and an interesting horticulture skill to teach our program participants! Anyway, for more of some ideas I have for how lab life can help bee life check out my Theory & Practice science garden blog...
Second Class is in two weeks! http://www.knoxbees.com/beekeeping-classes.html