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ENTO 293: A Taste of Beekeeping

ENTO 293: SPTP Beekeeping

CRN 18718

Tuesdays 1:00-1:50

A seminar series for Spring Semester, 2021 to introduce the basics of beekeeping. Students will be given interactive remote sessions on the most important aspects of beekeeping in 2021. Keep in mind, the basic question: will honey bees become extinct?

Fully one third of all food production in the US is dependent on adequate crop pollination by bees and other insects, and this aspect will be a major theme. Students will be given cloud access to WVU beekeeping lectures, PowerPoint seminars on how to treat diseases and to improve honey bee health, on pollination, and key management procedures. As time permits, students will present a few short lectures on special topics of concern.

This seminar intends to cover all basic topics of beekeeping: classification of all bee families, identification of the honey bee and the distribution and characteristics of the subspecies of the honey bee, killer bees, where to put a beehive, how to move beehives, the development of honey bees, communication and navigation by honeybees, equipment needed to keep bees, the diseases and pests of honey bees, proper management of honey bees, preparation for winter and spring buildup.

Hands-on field seminars/labs will be held at the Organic Farm on WV Rt 705, to observe colonies in all weather conditions, to handle equipment and prepare for installing package bees, and to extract, process and bottle honey. Hives will be inspected carefully when weather conditions permit: sunny days above 50֯ F. For this reason, the weather will often dictate the schedule for meetings.

Hopefully, students will develop confidence in setting up their own apiary no matter where they live. The course will be administered by Prof. Jim Amrine, who has taught Apiculture at WVU from 1978 to 2009 [then retired], and hopefully again, for the next several years. Prof. Amrine has conducted beekeeping research in WV, MD, FL and Peace River, Alberta, Canada. He has demonstrated best beekeeping methods to hobby and professional beekeepers in the US, Canada, Italy, Tunisia and India. He has recently assisted a professional beekeeper in Springfield, Missouri, setting up nukes in early spring, 2019, and visited a Queen management professional in New Zealand in February 2020.