Beekeeper Alert

The country's largest educational beekeeping event of its kind will be held in Wooster, March 1-2.

Published on: Feb 19, 2013

The 35th annual Spring Beekeeping Workshop will feature Ohio and national experts on queen bee rearing, pests and diseases of hives, and other issues impacting beekeeping and agricultural production.

The workshop is organized by the Tri-County Beekeepers Association Inc. of northern Ohio and will be at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center's Fisher Auditorium and Shisler Conference Center, 1680 Madison Ave.

Last year, the event drew more than 1,000 attendees, making it the largest one-day beekeeping symposium or workshop in the U.S., says Joe Heider, president of the Tri-County Beekeepers Association.

The workshop begins March 1 at 6 p.m. with a tour of OARDC's Pollinatarium, followed by two concurrent presentations, "Beyond the Hive" and "Beginning Beekeeping."

The countrys largest educational beekeeping event of its kind will be held in Wooster, March 1-2.
The country's largest educational beekeeping event of its kind will be held in Wooster, March 1-2.

The bulk of the program is scheduled for March 2, beginning at 9:20 a.m. with the keynote address, "Practical Natural Beekeeping," by Jennifer Berry, coordinator of apicultural research at the University of Georgia.

During the day, there will be several concurrent presentations covering hive pests, urban beekeeping, queen bee rearing, colony collapse disorder and more. The event also includes mini-workshops for kids as well as classes on cooking with honey, apitherapy, making soaps and lotions, and mead making.

The workshop will close with a question-and-answer session at 3:45 p.m. featuring Berry; Ohio State University entomologist Barbara Bloetscher, coordinator of the Department of Entomology's School IPM Program and state apiarist with the Ohio Department of Agriculture; Ohio and West Virginia master beekeeper Joe Kovaleski; and Doug Sponsler, graduate research assistant, Department of Entomology, Ohio State.

Bloetscher, who will also give presentations on the proper management of varroa mites and small hive beetles, said maintaining strong colony health and monitoring for pests on a regular basis are key to fighting dangerous insects.

"The key is to maintain a low level of mites using multiple control tactics instead of having to resort to using stronger products once the mite level is high," she says. "Small hive beetles are a relatively new pest in Ohio, but they have become a severe pest in certain areas of the state. I will share the latest information on the biology and management options for this pest."

For a complete list of workshop presentations and activities and to register, go online and click on "Spring Workshop." No walk-in registration will be available.