Ever thought about beekeeping?

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, September 6, 2023

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Special to the Advance

Last spring, the Southwest Alabama Beekeepers Association and the Escambia County Extension Office partnered with Gulf Coast RC & D to purchase honeybee hives. The goal was to use the hives for inspiring and educating southwest Alabamians in the art of beekeeping.

Extension Beekeeping Specialist, Jack Rowe and I sat down with Beekeeper Association President, John Sansom, and Master Beekeeper, Billy Blair, to develop a year-long series of beekeeping classes to get those interested in beekeeping, started in the right direction. On Saturday, September 23, starting at 9:30 am, we will have our first beekeeping workshop held at our office located at 175 Ag Science Drive in Brewton. The workshop title will be “Are Your Bees Ready for Winter?” State Extension Specialist, Jack Rowe, will begin the winter bee talk with the population cycle of bees and mites. State Beekeeping Inspecter, Phillip Carter, and State Veterinarian, Dr. Tony Frazier, will follow with how to test for mites, inspection, and treatment. A mite wash demonstration will conclude the workshop. Greg Strickland, owner of Urban Farmer Supplies, will exhibit and explain the equipment needed for keeping hives safe and healthy during the winter months.

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Beginning Beekeeping Parts I, II, and III will be held in October (10/21), November (11/18), and January (1/20). Topics for these workshops will include (I) an introduction to bees and beekeeping, (II) equipment, set up, and feeding, and (III) inspection and management. Our February topic will be capturing swarms. This workshop is intended to be a hands-on workshop with participants leaving with a swarm trap and attractant to catch spring swarms. In March, we will begin site visits and tours.

If you have any questions or want to register, please contact our office by phone [251)867-7760], email (mem0355@Auburn.edu) or in person. Our office is located at 175 Ag Science Dr. in Brewton, AL. Our programs are open to everyone, and we are always happy to serve you!

Millie Murphree, Escambia County Extension Coordinator