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Appalachian Bee Club to offer beekeeping school for beginners

Holly Viers • Feb 23, 2019 at 3:00 PM

GRAY — If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about becoming a beekeeper, now is the time.

The Appalachian Bee Club is gearing up for its annual beginning beekeeper school, and anyone with an interest in the topic is invited to attend.

“Our goal is to get interested beekeepers in the area involved,” said club member Jessica Mottern. “Honeybees in general have sustained massive losses in the last few years, so we’re hoping that if we can get more beekeepers involved, we can help recoup or at least maintain the current population of bees.”

About the club

The Appalachian Bee Club typically meets at the Farm Bureau in Boones Creek on the last Tuesday of each month. The beekeeper school is the club’s biggest event of the year, though the group also provides individual assistance to beginning beekeepers throughout the year.

“The club always pairs each beginning beekeeper up with a mentor, if possible, and provides support, different tips and tricks and things that you need to be aware of,” Mottern said. “That way, you’re getting input from 60 club members versus one person.”

About the event

The one-day beekeeper school will be held Saturday, March 2, at the Appalachian Fairgrounds Farm and Home building. Open registration will be held from 8-9 a.m., and the event itself will last until 5 p.m.

The cost to participate is $25 per person and $5 for each additional family member. The school includes 10 classes, and Darrell Moore, a professor at East Tennessee State University, will serve as keynote speaker. Participants will also receive an educational packet and a year-long membership to the club.

“(The classes are) going to be anything from learning how to set up your apiary to knowing what diseases and what pests to watch out for and what plants would be great to have in your apiary,” Mottern said.

Why should you attend?

Mottern said the process of becoming a beekeeper is more involved than many people realize, meaning education is often the key to success.

“We encourage the public to attend, even if you don’t want to start beekeeping this year but you’re just wanting to get more information,” Mottern said. “This is a great opportunity to learn.”

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