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.
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.