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“Bee” Part of the Solution – Become a Master Beekeeper

Recent research indicates that the colony collapse disorder that decimated honeybee populations was the result of a recently-evolved partnership between a virus that attacks bee DNA and a common hive fungus. Now, scientists can start developing a treatment regimen that enables bees to resist this virulent attack.

To help rebuild our resource of local pollinators, Washington State University Snohomish County Extension and Beez Neez Apiary Supply are teaming up 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 round of classes will be held on Monday evenings, Nov. 1 through Nov. 29, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at the WSU Snohomish County Extension office in McCollum Park, 600 128th Street S.E. in Everett. The five-week course will be repeated in 2011 starting Monday, Jan. 24 and again starting Monday, March 7.

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

A workshop manual complements the lectures. Participants completing the five-week course and passing the Washington State Apprentice Beekeeper level exam (an open book test) will receive a certificate towards 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 in Snohomish.

Class size is limited and always fills quickly.There are just a few seats left for the November series. The cost for the five-week course is $65 per person. Visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/134559 to register online. You can also download the form at snohomish.wsu.edu/ag/workshops/Beekeeping10.pdf and mail with your check. For registration information, contact Karie Christensen at 425-357-6039 or e-mail klchristen@cahnrs.wsu.edu.

For more information on the course, contact Dave Pehling, pehling@wsu.edu, 425-357-6019.

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Media Contacts

Dave Pehling, WSU Extension entomologisty, 425-357-6019 pehling@wsu.edu