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Master Beekeepers offer training for beginners Oct. 7 at Botanical Center

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A veteran beekeeper harvests honey from a colony.

A veteran beekeeper harvests honey from a colony.





Bees are one of the most complex and resources insects, not to mention absolutely essential to gardeners, farmers and ultimately all of us. But helping them survive and even thrive in the Ozarks is hardly new for members of the Beekeepers Association of the Ozarks organized in 1974.

MU Extension’s has newly developed the Certified Master Beekeeper program, which will offer another beginners class from 8 a.m. to Noon on Friday, Oct. 7 at the Springfield Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave. in Springfield.

A honeybee on lavender provides pollination for the plant and nectar for making honey.

A honeybee on lavender provides pollination for the plant and nectar for making honey.

“Basic Beekeeping for Beginners” will focus on the principles of beekeeping, including the history of beekeeping, honeybee biology, plant and pollinator relationship, and essential equipment and requirements.

“We are excited to bring the Master Beekeeper program to Southwest Missouri,” says David Burton, county program director for Greene County Extension. “This high-quality program will offer both classroom instruction and mentoring opportunities for participants.”

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.

The “Basic Beekeeping for Beginners” class is for any individual interested in learning beekeeping. There is no minimum age for the program, although children age 12 and younger may find examination questions difficult.

The course costs $61, which includes a beekeeping book. Classes are taught by experienced local beekeepers. Payment must be made by Sept. 30 and can be made by check or cash 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.

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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