Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, in partnership with the Northeast Minnesota Beekeepers Association, is hosting a day-long workshop called “Beekeeping and More!” on Saturday, February 17, 2018, 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 in 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, queen biology, risks to native pollinators, varroa mites, gentle beekeeping, and the challenges of overwintering honeybees in northern climates. Hands-on activities are also a part of the program, during which attendees can learn practical applications for products from the hive.
Experts from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab, the Northeastern Minnesota Beekeepers Association, and the Xerces Society will present the sessions and answer questions throughout the workshop. Informational displays, vendors, and door prize drawings will also be a part of the third annual event.
“This will be a great day of learning and information sharing for both novice and experienced beekeepers,” said Courtney Kowalczak, Director of the Environmental Institute at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. “There will be plenty of time to meet other beekeepers, ask for advice, get questions answered, and share ideas.”
Opening speaker Roy Ober of the Northeastern Minnesota Beekeepers Association will introduce the basics of beekeeping and cover everything a new beekeeper needs to understand. His talk will cover coexisting peacefully with neighbors, equipment requirements, developing a timeline for a new beekeeper’s first year of beekeeping, getting stung, and more.
Jessica Helgen and Jenny Warner of the University of Minnesota Bee Squad will present information about gentle beekeeping, queen biology, overwintering, and understanding the impact of cultured hives on native bees.
Pam Herou of the Xerces Society will present on native bees’ biology, habitat, biggest threats, and how to help them thrive. Informational tables from local authorities on pollinator habitat installation, avoiding invasive plant species, and apiary supplies will be set up in the student commons. Beekeepers will have the opportunity to pre-order native pollinator plant seed mixtures, and will be able to order apiary tools, hives, and more.
The third annual “Beekeeping and More!” workshop 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.
Lunch will be available for purchase from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College’s Environmental Science Club.
Registration is $10.00 for Northeastern Beekeepers Association members, and $15.00 for non-members. Pre-registration is encouraged and 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.


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