Published on 07/17/14

UGA Extension sets beginning beekeepers class in Madison

A beginner’s beekeeping class will be presented at the University of Georgia Extension Office in Morgan County on Aug. 7.

The class will meet from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Morgan County Extension Office at 440 Hancock St. in Madison. There is no charge for attendance thanks to a sponsorship by the Sumner Agency of Tifton.

Topics will include how to get started, basic beekeeping equipment and assembly, colony site selection, where to get bees, whether to choose colonies or package bees and how to manage honeybee colony diseases and pests.

Keith Fielder, Extension agent and county coordinator in Putman County, will lead the class. Fielder is a sideline beekeeper with around 40 production colonies. He attributes his passion for beekeeping to his Irish and English ancestors who came to Georgia in the late 1700s.

He has been an invited speaker and guest lecturer on apicultural topics at state, national and international levels. Fielder serves on the staff of the annual Young Harris College-University of Georgia Beekeeping Institute and is the director of the UGA Welsh Honey Judging Program.

He is also a Georgia Master Beekeeper and a Senior Welsh Honey Judge with international experience. In 2009 the Georgia Beekeepers Association named Fielder Beekeeper of the Year in recognition of outstanding service to Georgia apiculture.

In addition to receiving instruction from a Georgia Master Beekeeper, participants in the beginner’s class can receive one hour of private — category 10 and 1 hour of commercial — category 21 Georgia pesticide credit for attendance. Refreshments will be provided.

The class is open to the general public, but attendees are asked to RSVP by Aug. 1 by calling (706) 342-2214.

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