Alabama Cooperative Extension System will host the 23rd Annual Beekeeping Symposium in early February. Set for Saturday, Feb. 3, the workshop will be held at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center.

“A group of outstanding speakers will cover a broad range of topics that will interest keepers from beginners to veterans,” said Dr. James Tew, beekeeping specialist with Alabama Extension.

Pre-registration continues until Jan. 19, and the fee is $35. Pre-registration includes lunch provided by the Alabama Beekeepers Association. Register online at

After Jan. 19, registration will be at the door only for a fee of $50 and does not include lunch. Doors open at 8 a.m. at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center, 1850 Lay Dam Road, Clanton.

Dr. Walter Sheppard, Washington State University’s entomology department head, will present on Honey Bee Genetic Resources for Selective Breeding and Stock Improvement as well as Approaches to Honey Bee Health: Mushrooms, Metabolic Gases and Management.

West Virginia judge and veteran beekeeper Dan O’Hanlan will discuss West Virginia’s bee immunity law, which offers legal protection to keepers. In addition, he will discuss his work raising queen honey bees in another session.

Other sessions include:

Small Hive Beetle: Biology, Management and Potential Solutions—Audrey Sheridan, Mississippi State University

A Closer Look at Honey Bee Foraging Behavior—Audrey Sheridan

Making Nucs:  Sustainability in the Bee Yard—Stephen Repasky, EAS Master Beekeeper, Author and Consultant, Pittsburgh, PA

Oxalic Acid: The New Tool in Varroa Management—Stephen Repasky

Happenings at the Auburn University Bee Lab—Dr. Geoff Williams, Assistant Professor, Entomology & Plant Pathology, Auburn University

New beekeepers will have a series of practical information seminars targeting their special needs.

Getting Started Decisions

Basic Equipment and Woodenware Decisions

Assembling Woodenware

Life Cycle of the Honey Bee

Sick and Infested Bee Decisions

Wrong Decisions that Beekeepers Need Not Repeat

All of the instructors for these classes are experienced beekeepers who have helped many beginners develop the skills they need to keep bees successfully.

There are a number of sessions that look beyond the bees and the hive. Alabama Extension professionals Brittany Goodrich and Kevin Burkett will discuss profitability in Alabama beekeeping, while Alabama Extension agent Dani Carroll will talk about protecting pollinators using flowering plants.

Lynne Kelton of Lookout Mountain Honey Bees will teach participants how to judge show quality honey using the Welsh method. Angie LeMay with T&A Bee Farm will conduct a workshop on essential oils. Additionally, third generation beekeeper Phillip Garrison will demonstrate candle making.

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