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Learn beekeeping this fall; Harvest more next summer

Bee visiting flower- close upFrom the skyscrapers of New York City to backyards in western Washington, there’s a movement afoot to raise honeybees, not only for the sweet delights they create but also for their positive effect on our food crops.

A majority of the foods we grow and eat depend on honeybees for pollination. Without them, Washington’s fruit and vegetable industries would not exist, nor would backyard gardeners be able to harvest an abundance each year.

To help rebuild, maintain, and expand our resource of local pollinators and honey producers, WSU Snohomish County Extension is sponsoring a session of the Beginning Hobbyist Beekeeper course in the Washington State Beekeepers Association’s Master Beekeeper Program starting Monday, November 18, at WSU Snohomish County Extension’s Cougar Auditorium in Everett.

The five-week course is perfect for anyone with no previous experience with beekeeping, or anyone wanting more information about beekeeping before making the decision to acquire a hive.

Designed to build basic beekeeping skills, topics covered include bee biology, equipment, seasonal management requirements, identification and management of pests, as well as honey removal and processing. The focus is on the unique challenges and benefits to beekeeping in the Pacific Northwest.

A workshop manual complements the lectures. Participants completing the course and passing the Washington State Beginning Beekeeper level exam (open book test) will receive a certificate as the first step toward apprentice, journey, and master beekeeper levels. Each session is taught by local journeyman beekeeper and WSU Snohomish County Extension entomologist Dave Pehling.

Class size is limited and usually sells out in advance o

f the course. Cost for the five-week series is $120 per person. To register, visit BeeBeginner.eventbrite.com. For more information on the course, visit snohomish.wsu.edu/beebeginner/ or contact Kate Ryan, Agriculture Program Coordinator, at kate.ryan@wsu.edu or by phone at (425) 357-6024.