From the skyscrapers of New York City to backyards in Western Washington, there’s a movement afoot to raise honeybees not only for the sweet delights they create but their positive effect on our local food crops.
A majority of the foods we eat depend on honeybees for pollination. Without them Washington’s fruit and vegetable industries would not exist nor would backyard gardeners be able to harvest an abundance each year.
To help rebuild, maintain, and expand our resource of local pollinators and honey producers, Washington State University Snohomish County Extension and Beez Neez Apiary Supply team up each year to sponsor two sessions of the popular apprentice level course in the Master Beekeeper Program. The five-week course provides a thorough introduction to beekeeping for novice beekeepers as well as a comprehensive refresher course for experienced apiculturists.
The next session starts Monday evenings, Nov. 10 through Dec. 8, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in McCollum Park at WSU Snohomish County Extension’s Cougar Auditorium, 600 128th ST SE, Everett. The five-week course repeats starting again on Feb. 23, 2015.
Designed to build basic beekeeping skills, topics covered include bee biology, equipment, seasonal management, identification and management of pests and diseases, as well as honey harvest. The overall focus will hone in on the unique challenges and benefits to beekeeping in Western Washington.
Participants completing the five-week course and passing the optional Washington State Apprentice Beekeeper level exam (open book test) will receive a certificate towards the Journey and Master Beekeeper levels of training along with an “Apprentice Master Beekeeper” patch.
Each session will be taught by local beekeeping professionals, WSU Snohomish County Extension entomologist Dave Pehling, and Jim Tunnell, owner of Beez Neez Apiary Supply in Snohomish.
Class size is limited and always fills quickly. There are just a few seats left for the November series. The cost for the five-week course is $90 per person. Register online at MasterBee2.brownpapertickets.com and MasterBee1.brownpapertickets.com respectively for the November 2014 and February 2015 sessions. You can also download the form at snohomish.wsu.edu/master-beekeeper-apprentice and mail with your check.