Honeybees: Foods’ answer to ‘Who’s your daddy?’

Become a Master Beekeeper; help pollinators thrive
By Kate Halstead | Oct 24, 2012
Courtesy of: Kate Halstead A busy bee gathering pollen from a late summer zinnia at Mountain View Gardens in Marysville.



A majority of the foods we eat depend on honeybees for pollination. Without healthy bee populations, our fruit and vegetables would be much more costly and it would take much more land to produce the same volume.

Instead of leaving things to wind and chance, bees visit every flower, sometimes more than once, very efficiently spreading pollen far and wide. Without them Washington’s apple industry would not exist nor would our backyard gardeners be able to harvest an abundance each year.

To help rebuild, maintain and expand our resource of local pollinators and honey producers, Washington State University Snohomish County Extension and Beez Neez Apiary Supply team up each year to sponsor three sessions of the popular apprentice level course in the Master Beekeeper Program.

The five-week course provides a thorough introduction to beekeeping for novice beekeepers as well as a comprehensive refresher course for experienced apiculturists.

The first session runs from Monday, Nov. 5 through Dec. 10, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. in McCollum Park at WSU Snohomish County Extension’s Cougar Auditorium, 600 128th ST SE, Everett. The course repeats starting Monday, Jan. 7 and again on Feb. 25.

Designed to build basic beekeeping skills, course topics include bee biology, equipment, seasonal management, identification and management of pests and diseases, as well as honey harvest. The overall focus will hone in on the unique challenges and benefits to beekeeping in Western Washington.

A workshop manual complements the lectures. Participants who complete the five-week course and pass the optional Washington State Apprentice Beekeeper level exam (open book test) will receive a certificate toward the Journey and Master Beekeeper levels of training.

Each session will be taught by local beekeeping professionals, WSU Snohomish County Extension entomologist Dave Pehling, and Jim Tunnell, owner of Beez Neez Apiary Supply in Snohomish.

Class size is limited and fills quickly. There are just a few seats left for the November series. The cost for the five-week course is $75 per person. Register online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/250308 for the fall event, or www.brownpapertickets.com/event/250312 and www.brownpapertickets.com/event/250316 respectively for the January and February 2013 sessions.

You can also download the form at snohomish.wsu.edu/ag/workshops/Beekeeping12.pdf and mail with your check.

For registration information, contact Karie Christensen at 425-357-6039 or email christensen4@wsu.edu.

For more information, contact Dave Pehling at pehling@wsu.edu or 425-357-6019.

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