Beekeeper working with hiveFond du Lac Tribal and Community College, in partnership with the Northeast Minnesota Beekeepers Association, is hosting a virtual symposium called “Beekeeping and More!” on Saturday, February 13, 2021, for anyone interested in learning about beekeeping as a hobby or as a commercial enterprise. This year’s Virtual Symposium will open at 8:45 a.m. and classes run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. via Zoom. Pre-registration is required as the Zoom links to the day’s presentations will be emailed to registered participants.
The first Beekeeping and More workshop held in 2016 drew more than 150 beekeepers and the event has kept growing, making it one of the largest beekeeping workshops in Northern Minnesota. Session topics include equipment, general troubleshooting, beginning beekeeping, hive health, and bee behavior.
“This year we are very grateful to continue our Bee Symposium virtually,” said Courtney Kowalczak, Director of the Environmental Institute at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College “With the support of world-renowned researchers such as Dr. Marla Spivak and Dr. Thomas Seeley, we will be able to offer a wonderful symposium that will share cutting edge research with our community.”
Dr. Marla Spivak is a MacArthur Fellow and McKnight Distinguished Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota. She bred a line of honeybees, the Minnesota Hygienic line, and is now initiating a new breeding program to select bees that can defend themselves against diseases and parasitic mites. Dr. Spivak’s current research includes studies of the benefits of plant resins (propolis) to honeybees, and the effects of agricultural landscapes and pesticides on bee health.
Dr. Thomas Seeley received his Ph.D. in 1978 from Harvard University, where he studied with Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson. He joined the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University in 1986. In recognition of his scientific work, he has received the Alexander von Humboldt Distinguished U.S. Scientist Prize, been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, received a Gold Medal Book Award from Apimondia for The Wisdom of the Hive, and been elected a fellow of both the Animal Behavior Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His most enduring honor, though, is to have had a species of bee named after him: Neocorynurella seeleyi.
Joseph Coffey, member of the Northeastern Minnesota Beekeepers Association and owner of C & C Apiaries, will introduce people interested in beekeeping to the science and craft of beekeeping, how to get started, the history and language of beekeeping, and pest and pathogens.
Jessica Helgen from the University of Minnesota Bee Squad will talk about lessons learned from their hundreds of hives that they manage in the metro area. Jessica will share information on colony health trends and give examples from their apiaries on the habits of healthy hives and varroa mite transmission.
The sixth annual “Beekeeping and More!” Symposium is presented by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College through support from a USDA-NIFA grant and in partnership with the Northeastern Minnesota Beekeepers Association. The workshop is part of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College’s Environmental Institute and Extension programs.
Registration is $10.00 for this year’s Symposium. Pre-registration is required, available online here.
For more information, contact Courtney Kowalczak at (218) 879-0862 or via email at courtneyk*AT*
Additional updates will be posted to the official Environmental Institute at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Facebook page.


I chose FDLTCC because of its size and the curriculum. When I first came here in 2019, I was just looking for what I needed to volunteer, perhaps in a crisis shelter. I met with Don Jarvinen, and the rest is history.

My favorite thing about FDLTCC is the people. I’ve met fantastic students, faculty and staff who go above and beyond what I expected.

It is awesome here at the FDLTCC Education Program because it is like a family here, if you need help or are struggling with anything, you have quite a few people who will help you out.