The Crawford County Extension Office will be hosting a three-day workshop on beekeeping starting on March 23 presented by local beekeeper Michael Mahar.
The workshop will extend to March 24 and 25.
The cost is $20 per person with an advance registration and $30 on the day of the event. Those 15 years old and younger are free. Register at beardedbee.org.
Seating is limited and Mahar recommends registering in advance to secure a spot. There is no guarantee seats will be available at the time of same-day registration.
“I have done some classes in the past, but not a workshop for those who have never gotten into bees,” said Mahar. “This will be more in-depth than just a beginner class and something more than you would find in a two-hour meeting.”
Mahar is a natural-cell size beekeeper, in which the bee tends to be smaller on the average.
“There are 10 ways to do everything,” Mahar said. “I didn’t know what to do when I started and I had to learn everything myself. For me, it’s really a hobby, but I’m able to help pay for it.”
As a zoology major in college Mahar was able to put his educational background to use.
“Beekeeping isn’t for everyone,” said Mahar. “If you can come to the workshop and not be deterred by the cost to keep bees and dealing with all the pests and diseases which can wipe out your bees, you might be able to do this.”
The workshop is free for those 15 and under. Mahar said he is going to teach his 5-year-old how to keep bees. He also is working on a YouTube playlist geared towards instructing children in beekeeping.
“Beekeepers tend to be pretty well set, but I’ll try to teach everyone,” Mahar said. “Some are open to ideas and may adopt new methods. I’ll be the crabby beekeeper when I’m older. It’s a different mindset to keep bees and you’ll have to be a bit of an oddball in wearing protective gear when it’s 110 degrees outside with bees all over you.”
Those planning to participate as a vendor at the bee swap sale should contact Mahar in advance to reserve a spot. There is no cost to set up and sell any beekeeping related products (new, used, homemade, etc.) as long as it is bee related.
Orders can also be taken for those planning to sell nucs, hives, or packages of bees this spring.
Mahar is in his fifth year of keeping bees.
“The more you learn, the better,” said Mahar. “Jumping in is a good way to waste time. If you know what’s coming, like thefts, diseases, and the costs, you’ll make the right decisions.”
Schedule Of Events
Friday, March 23
5:30-6:15 p.m. Check-in
6:15-9 p.m. Beginner Beekeeping Essentials
Saturday, March 24
8-9 a.m. Check-in
9 a.m.-noon Hive Pests, Identifying Diseases, Self-Sustaining Apiary (Making Own Bees)
noon-1:30 p.m. Lunch break
1:30-5 p.m. Swarm Capturing, Honey Extracting, Comb Honey Production, Foundationless/Small Cell Beekeeping
Sunday, March 25
(no fee to attend this day’s events)
Noon-1 p.m. Check-in
1-2:30 p.m. Beekeeping Woodshop (building own woodenware), DIY Bee Products
2:30-6 p.m. Bee Swap Sale (subject to weather conditions)