Beekeeping certification skills begin with January session

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A veteran beekeeper harvests honey from a colony.

A veteran beekeeper harvests honey from a colony.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension’s Master Beekeeper program will offer another beginners class from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, at the Springfield Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, Mo. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.

“Introduction to Bees and Beekeeping” will focus on the principles of beekeeping. Those principles include the history of beekeeping, honeybee biology, plant and pollinator relationship, and essential equipment and requirements.

Dan Cropper, a beekeeper from West Plains, will teach the course using curriculum developed by the University of Missouri.

“This high-quality program will offer both classroom instruction and mentoring opportunities for participants,” says David Burton, county program director for Greene County Extension. “At some point this spring we will also start offering the level two class.”

The Missouri Master Beekeeper certification program consists of six levels: Beginner Beekeeper, Apprentice Beekeeper, Journeyman Beekeeper, Junior Master Beekeeper, Master Trainer, and Master Beekeeper. By the end of this first course, individuals will be able to help experienced beekeepers in the management of hives.

Individuals must have one year of experience rearing bees and join a local beekeeping club before taking an exam to move up to the next level. Experienced beekeepers can test up through the first two levels of the program if they have three or more years of experience.

This introduction class is for any individual interested in learning beekeeping.

The course costs $61 and includes a beekeeping book. Registration and payment must be made by Jan. 6 to Greene County Extension, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, Mo. 65807.

Registration can also be done online at http://extension.missouri.edu/greene or by calling Greene County Extension at (417) 881-8909.

More information about the Master Beekeepers program in Missouri can be found at http://extension.missouri.edu/masterbeekeeper.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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