The Central Mississippi Beekeepers Association hosted a beginner’s workshop on Saturday, March 15 at the Ag & Forestry Museum. Walter McKay started the event with a hands-on presentation of beekeeping equipment and jargon. He was followed by me with several power point presentations related to bee diseases, nutrition and methods for starting colonies of bees from either nucs or packages. The formal presentations were followed by an on-site lunch, which was provided by a local Boy Scout troop.

After lunch, we assembled in groups to learn how to work colonies of bees. This is almost always the best part of these workshops. For some folks, it was the first time that they had ever seen the inside of a hive. The outside activities were very relaxed and informal, and we covered all of the basics including lighting a smoker, the proper way of working a colony of bees and recognizing abnormal colony conditions.

Many of the > 115 participants told me that they greatly appreciated the day with the bees. All of the CMBA members that helped with the event deserve a round of applause for ensuring an uneventful (in terms of things going wrong) and educational experience for new beekeepers. This is almost always the workshop having the largest attendance each year.