Beekeeping for beginners

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beekeeper sketchBee-school is new to this region of Maine.  Before the Somerset Beekeepers were established 2 years ago folks had to travel to Rumford or Albion for any sort of beekeeper education.  But now we have our annual bee-school, offered by the Somerset Beekeepers and hosted by the Somerset Cooperative Extension in Skowhegan.

It’s a program I’ve put together based on the free beekeeper’s manual provided free online by MAAREC ( the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium ), and this will be my second year teaching the course.

Last year–if I remember correctly–we had 24 register at the first class.  The funds we earned supported our group all year, paying for speakers to travel to Skowhegan for meetings, paying for our outreach activities at the local fairs, and on occasion my gas to travel to help a fellow beekeeper or to speak to a local organization as President of the Somerset Beekeepers.

This year we hope to do even more to teach our communities more about bees and pollinators.

kennebec-somerset open-hive

Beekeepers of Kennebec and Somerset counties met in July for an Open-Hive session.

February 19th is the first class, beginning a half-hour early for registration at 6pm.  The course will run for 5 weeks, and covers the basics–about the bees themselves, pest management, how to establish hives, seasonal management, and equipment–just to name a few.

Essentially it’s a crash course to get new beekeepers off and running with their new hives this spring.  It gives the new-bees a chance to receive clarity about some aspects of beekeeping that they may be a little foggy about, ask questions, and learn what not to do from someone who has already been there done that!

Download the Somerset Beekeepers’ Bee-School Info-Sheet for further details.

beehive in summerWith the course fee we give our bee-school students 1-year membership to the group for free, beekeeping mentorship from our most experienced beekeepers–some who have 30-years beekeeping experience!  We offer access to our group’s literary resources and shared use of club-member’s extractors.  Everything a new beekeeper needs to get started with this fantastic endeavor!

So if you’re interested in participating, or if you know someone who might be interested in learning about beekeeping, be sure to contact me (Runamuk Acres dot com–all one lowercase word) to sign up.

 

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About Samantha Burns

Maine blogger, beekeeper and farmer. Follow along with my many misadventures in the pursuit of a more sustainable life. Find out how I am advocating for local food in my community and working to promote pollinator conservation here in the state of Maine. Every day is an adventure!

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