Story by Matthew Follmer, current FDLTCC Student
The annual Beekeeping Symposium held on February 16 and hosted by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College was another resounding success. For any and all bee enthusiasts, from a simple interest and hobbyist to a commercial enterprise, any and all things related to bees could be found during the educational event. The campus was surely buzzing with activity.
“Bees are important to the ecosystem,” said Courtney Kowalczak, Director of the Environmental Institute at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, “and the Bee Symposium can help educate the general public about the importance of bees.”
Guest speakers and vendors came from around the state to attend the symposium including groups such as the Northeast Minnesota Beekeepers Association, and Minnesota Bee Atlas. About 150 people attended the fourth annual beekeeping symposium.
Participants could learn about the basics of beekeeping, to equipment needed or recommended, and about products to make from bee-related materials. Session topics included equipment, general troubleshooting, beginning beekeeping, bee hotels, colony communication, varroa mites, gentle beekeeping, and creating bee related products.
During the noon hour lunch was served, treating everyone to a delicious baked potato buffet. During this time a raffle was held to give away prizes to lucky participants.
The fourth annual “Beekeeping and More!” workshop was 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.


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.

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

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.