People interested in learning about beekeeping are invited to attend upcoming classes sponsored by the Clarks Hill Beekeepers Association.
“Bees are beneficial to the growth of fruits and vegetables,” said Berman Kent, president of the association. “Farmers depend on bees to pollinate crops and a good byproduct is honey. Hobby beekeepers keep bees for the honey. Commercial beekeepers generally keep bees to pollinate crops.”
Bees are often leased to farmers for the purpose of pollination, Kent said.
“However, as with many things in our society, we have created an environment that has become detrimental to bee survival,” he added. “There are factors not yet fully understood that seem to have a cumulative effect on the bees’ wellbeing.
“Keeping bees is challenging, but also rewarding.”
The Jan. 19 and 26 classes will introduce people to beekeeping.
“The goal of the course is to introduce participants to the world of beekeeping,” said Kent. “Bee physiology, behavior, health and homestead will be covered. Wooden ware – the beehive – will be discussed and we will familiarize the participants with personal protective gear to protect the individual from bee stings.”
The bee and health factors, such as parasites and diseases that bees may contract, will also be discussed.
Cost of the class is $40 per person or $45 per couple. The class is limited to 50 participants and will be conducted from 8 a.m. until noon each Saturday. The cost covers a book, membership into the Clarks Hill Beekeepers Association for a year and snacks. Registration forms can be downloaded at www.clarkshillbeekeepers.org.
The Clarks Hill Beekeepers Association was founded in 2008 in Lincoln County, where meetings were held until late 2010 when they were relocated to Columbia County.
“The majority of our members are from Columbia and Richmond counties,” said Kent. “Our goal is to educate the public through events and at schools.”