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Honey Bees and Beekeepers Resources

2017 Beginning Beekeeping Course

Feb. 21st and 28th
Mar. 7th, 14th and 24th

The course is free, and designed to supply a novice beekeeper with all the information needed to take colonies from their startup through their first year. We only ask that you be interested in beekeeping. The class is free, and open to all who are interested in beekeeping.

The classroom sessions will be held at the Houston County Cooperative Extension Service 1699 Ross Clark Circle, Dothan, AL 36301 (corner of Ross Clark Circle and Rt. 53 (Cottonwood Rd)), and start at 7 pm and run for about 2 hours. The field session will start at noon (location to be announced). Because we will be working with active colonies, people coming to the field session will need their beekeeping protective gear.

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First Lessons in Beekeeping by Keith Delaplane Questions? Call Bill Miller at (334)794-8362 or e-mail him at

Tuesday Feb. 21, 7 pm: Welcome to Beekeeping and Equipment Overview

Introduction to beekeeping, equipment needs and sources, and equipment assembly This is a hand-on session. Bring a hammer!

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 7 pm: Biology 1 - The Three Types of Bees

The bees in a colony come in three basic types – worker, drone, and queen. We’ll discuss each type’s unique biology, life cycle, and functions.

Tuesday, Mar. 7, 7 pm: Biology 2 - The Colony as a Unit

We’ll discuss how the three types of bees form a working colony, and how the colony varies with the year depending on what is needed and what is available.

Tuesday, Mar. 14, 7 pm: The Beekeeper's Year and Bee Diseases

We’ll cover how a colony varies with the season and how the beekeeper deals with each season. We’ll also cover Alabama registration requirements and common bee diseases

Saturday, Mar. 24, 12 noon: Field Session, Location to be announced - Beekeeping protective (at least a veil) gear required!

We’ll suit up, light smokers, and inspect hives, emphasizing proper hive working procedure. We’ll find the three types of bees, check colony conditions, and probably find a few unwelcome pests too. We may get lucky and catch a swarm.

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