West Central Ohio Beekeepers Association holding annual beekeeping class

PIQUA — West Central Ohio Beekeepers Association (WCOBA) will be holding its annual Beginning Beekeeping Class on Saturday, March 17 at the Upper Valley Career Center, 8811 Career Dive, Piqua, Ohio 45356.

The meeting room that the Bee Class will be is in the Adult Training Center, next to the main building. The class will begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Doughnuts and drinks will be available and a one-hour lunch break at about noon.

Presentations will include, but not limited to; What Beekeeping is about, Honey Bee Biology, Honey Bee Nutrition, Honey Bee Pests and Diseases (Including Varroa Integrated Pest Management), Basic Management Of Honey Bees, and required equipment for Beekeeping. There will be demonstrations on assembling hive equipment.

The club will provide information on ordering bees from local Ohio stock. The cost of the class is $50 which includes “Bee-Essentials” by Dr Larry Connor. Beekeeping supply catalogs, literature and handouts will be given to all participants, along with chances to win Beekeeping door prizes.

Dwight Wells from Troy, Ohio will be the main instructor. He is a recognized speaker in many states and collaborates with Purdue University on improving local bee genetics with “Indiana Leg Chewers,” a genetic strain that attack the Varroa Mite. Wells is a founding member of the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Cooperative, director of Sustainable Genetics Technologies Network, a collaborative effort on Honey Bee Queen Artificial Insemination with Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio Beekeeper Queen Breeders.

Dwight has also been involved in USDA SARE Grant Honey Bee Projects in 2015, 2016 and 2017 evaluating Varroa Mite Grooming and Chewing Behaviors in Local Stock, Feral Stock and Purdue University Stock. Northwest Ohio Beekeepers that Practice Sustainable Beekeeping using Varroa Resistant and Tolerant Bees, Varroa Integrated Pest Management and Practice Nutrition Management have less than 15 percent winter loss, while the rest of Ohio Winter Honey Bee losses have been over 50 percent for many years.

“We are also looking for Beekeepers who have kept bees in the past and quit, please consider attending the class to be a successful Beekeeper and have fun with your bees,” said a representative.

Registration is limited to 40 people. Enroll by contacting dwells85@woh.rr.com West Central Ohio Beekeepers Association will start holding meetings at the Upper Valley Career Center on the Third Thursday of each month starting on March 15.