Published on 04/19/06

Bee bonanza set for May 19-20

By Sharon Omahen
University of Georgia

This year's Beekeeping Institute will cover everything from honey processing to bee breeding at Young Harris College May 19-20 in Young Harris, Ga.

In its 15th year, the institute is a joint venture between the college and the University of Georgia Department of Entomology. Over the years, it has become the most comprehensive beekeeping educational event in the Southeast.

For pros and newbies

Classes are designed with both veteran beekeepers and the curious in mind. Presentations are set in two tracks, one for experienced beekeepers and another for beginners.

This year's participants will learn the latest research-based information on Africanized honeybees from David DeJong. A researcher at the University of San Paulo, Brazil, DeJong is an expert on AHBs. He's viewed as the world authority on them.

Bob Danka of the U.S. Department of Agriculture bee lab in Baton Rouge, La., will also be a guest lecturer. Danka studies AHBs, Russian bees, tracheal mites, bee breeding and pollination.

Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine, UGA honeybee expert Keith Delaplane and an array of other experts will also lead workshops.

Best honey contest

One of the most popular aspects of the institute is the honey show. Besides a variety of honeys, the show will include beeswax, candles, photography, art and beekeeping gadgets. The show's winners will get cash awards.

The cost per person is $65 for one day or $105 for both days.

Training and exams for certified or entry-level beekeepers are in the beginners track on Friday and Saturday. Training and exams for Certified, Journeyman, Master and Master Craftsman beekeepers and Welsh Honey Judges will be given before the institute on May 18. Fees are charged for these exams.

Due to space constraints, the institute is limited to 150 participants. To register or learn more, call (706) 542-9035. Or go to the institute Web site,

Sharon Omahen is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.