Basic beekeeping with the Somerset Beekeepers

Basic beekeeping with the Somerset Beekeepers

It’s getting to be that time of year again–the Somerset Beekeepers are planning their annual bee-school for the communities of Somerset County, here in Maine.  And I’m thrilled to be teaching the course again.

As president of the Somerset Beekeepers it is my duty and privilege to teach new beekeepers the basics.  To be able to connect with people, to get them started along the path of beekeeping–means a lot to me.  Last year was my first year as a course instructor–and I was pretty rough around the edges.  But I’ve spent the last year working with beekeepers and speaking with the public and I’m feeling much more confident and capable this year.

tony jadczak
Tony Jadczak athe 2012 MSBA annual meeting in Portland.

The course starts on Tuesday, February 19th and runs for five weeks.  Topics include: “Establishing Hives”, “Integrated Pest Management” with state apiarist Tony Jadczak, “Natural Beekeeping Techniques”, and “Honey Production” to name a few.  Included in the course are the textbook “Beekeeping Basics”, a 1-year membership with the Somerset Beekeepers, and access to local beekeeping mentors.  You can download the course overview here in it’s entirety.

Last year the bee-school raised enough funds for the Somerset Beekeepers to support the group for the entire year.  We’ve been able to line up some really great speakers, participate in two local fairs, and maintain a presence in Somerset County by talking with community groups and hosting booths at events around the area.  In 2013 we hope to be able to continue our mission of beekeeper education and public awareness of the benefits of pollinators.  What’s more is that our group will be establishing a club-hive for the first time, hopefully at the UMaine Extension Office in Somerset County.

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

For me–teaching bee-school for the Somerset Beekeepers is an outreach of Runamuk too.  Once Runamuk has been well-established at it’s new home, I see lots of workshops in our future.  Workshops about beekeeping, about pollinator conservation and more.  Community education is an important part of what I want to do.

So if you live in Somerset County and you’re thinking about getting bees next year, or if you know someone who is, feel free to contact me to sign up for our course in Basic Beekeeping.  You won’t be sorry you did!


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Runamuk Acres Conservation Farm
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