Posted: 12:00 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013

Greene County Parks and Trails offering beekeeping classes



By Erica Harrah

BEAVERCREEK —

Greene County Parks and Trails will be offering one of the sweetest learning experiences in Greene County.

The beginning and second-year beekeeping series will feature hands-on experience at the on-site apiary with instruction by Bill Starrett, one of 18 Ohio State Beekeeper Association’s Certified Master Instructors.

Starrett has been a beekeeper for more than 40 years, is a member of the Greene County and Ohio State Beekeepers Associations and has worked in cooperation with Greene County Parks and Trails in teaching this class for more than 10 years.

Each class can accommodate 25 people. Topics covered in the beginning class will include:

• Bee Biology

• How to Set Up Your Apiary

• Equipment Options; What to Order

• Races of Bees

• Seasonal Management Techniques

• Pests and Diseases

• Hive Products

• Harvesting

• Hands-On Installation of Bee Packages

The second year series will focus on those beekeepers that have hives or have already taken the beginning beekeeping workshop.

The beginner series will be held Feb.7, 14, 21 and March 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The second year series will be held Jan. 7, 24, and 31 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Both series will take place at the Narrows Reserve Nature Center, 2575 Indian Ripple Road, Beavercreek and each will cost of the class is $40 for Greene County resident; and $50 for non-resident.

“The fee covers the instructor. They will go over what supplies they need and the best place to get them in the class. Sometimes the beekeeping club has used equipment for sale and as a group they can buy bees a lot cheaper,” said Cris Barnett a naturalist with Greene County Parks and Trails.

Barnett also said that those serious about backyard beekeeping should check with their local zoning board to find out what local legislation is in place regarding beekeeping in their municipality. Local municipalities that currently allow beekeeping include Beavercreek, Beavercreek Township, Cedarville, Cedarville Township, Jamestown, Silvercreek Township, Sugarcreek Township, Yellow Springs, Xenia Township, and Bath Township.

The deadline to sign up for the class is Jan 31. Participants must be 14 years of age or older. For more information, call Greene County Parks and Trails at 562.6440 or email rgregory@co.greene.oh.us.