Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, in partnership with the Northeast Minnesota Beekeepers Association, is hosting a day-long symposium called “Beekeeping and More!” on Saturday, February 15, 2020, for anyone interested in learning about beekeeping as a hobby or as a commercial enterprise. The Symposium will open at 8:30 a.m. and classes run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. starting in the college commons. Pre-registration is encouraged. 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, queen rearing and management, wintering bees and bee survival in cold climates, keeping bees healthy, and bee language.
“We are very excited to have some really great speakers,” said Courtney Kowalczak, Director of the Environmental Institute at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College “Dr. Connor and Dr. Brown bring a wealth of experience with queen bee rearing and beekeeping in cold climates like ours. Between them, they have published over 30 books and successfully managed over one thousand hives in Northern climates.”
Dr. Barry Brown is an established beekeeper in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. His experience in keeping and overwintering bees at northern latitudes translates well to the cold, long winters and harsh lows in Minnesota. Brown has served as the President of the Saskatchewan Beekeepers Development Commission and presents regularly on beekeeping in northern climates.
Dr. Larry Connor is an entomologist and author living in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Connor founded Wicwas Press, and regularly serves as a monthly columnist for both Bee Culture Magazine and the American Bee Journal. Dr. Connor has also worked to breed new bee varieties and has developed an expertise in queen rearing in his career.
“The University of Minnesota Bee Squad will share the latest research on bee nutrition and ecology, said Kowalczak. “This will be a great day of learning and information sharing for both novice and experienced beekeepers. There will be plenty of time to meet other beekeepers, ask for advice, get questions answered, and share ideas.”
Opening speaker Claire Lande of the Northeastern Minnesota Beekeepers Association will introduce the basics of beekeeping and cover everything a new beekeeper needs to understand. Lande’s talk will cover equipment requirements, troubleshooting, developing a timeline for a new beekeeper’s first year of beekeeping, getting stung, and more. Claire is an entomologist living in Duluth, Minnesota, experienced in keeping both honeybees and mason bees.
Bridget Mendel and Jessica Helgen from the University of Minnesota Bee Squad will present on both how to keep bees healthy through the landscape and disease management and understanding hive languages like pheromone and dance communication.
The fifth 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 $20.00 for Northeastern Beekeepers Association members, and $25.00 for non-members. Pre-registration is encouraged, available online at Same-day registration will be available as space allows, payment by cash or check only.
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.


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.

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.