OK, this is a commercial. I admit that. But it’s not about the books we sell or the magazine we publish. Rather, it’s about a project my local Medina County Beekeepers Association is having. If you read this blog on only an occasional basis you have already met Peggy Garnes. She’s the President of the group, and she works here with us at the magazine too. And she’s a pretty good beekeeper. She makes honey, and she raises queens for the nucs she sells. She’s a fussy beekeeper, which makes her a good beekeeper. That, and she’s always going to classes, attending meetings, or giving talks – always learning. She’s been doing some queen rearing classes on her own at her home yard for those in our group that want to learn the skills and she does a pretty good job. But her resources are limited and not designed for more than a couple people at a time. She wanted something bigger.

Jennifer Berry in one of her beeyards

Now, I’m the VP of the group. And like many groups, it’s the VP that ends up being the Program Director. That means finding speakers or planning events and making sure the educational responsibilities of our group keep getting met. We’ve had a pretty good year so far – Jim Tew, Dan O’Hanlon, Jeff Harris, Larry Connor, and later this year Vaughn Bryant and Ed Cobey. But in June, it’s Jennifer Berry, University Of Georgia Honey Bee Lab Research Coordinator, and columnist for Bee Culture magazine. I’d invited her a long time ago because her schedule fills early and fast every year, but just for a regular third Monday of the month meeting. We usually get over 100 folks at a meeting so she was pleased with a group that size.

But Peggy wanted more, so I asked Jennifer if she was available for the weekend and would she like to do a queen rearing short course for anybody who might want to come and watch and do. That would be June 13 – 15, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. She’s been running full speed all spring getting queens and nucs ready for a huge research project her lab is involved in, plus her own business of making and selling nucs and raising the queens she puts in them. She sells a good number every spring, and her business is growing because she produces a quality product, on time. Plus, she’s a good teacher.

For her, this is a vacation. So she said yes, she’d come in on Thursday night, teach a class on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, then give a talk to the group at our regular Monday night meeting and head back on Tuesday morning. You can find the class schedule here on our web page.

I realize traveling to Medina isn’t possible for many because of distance, but if you’re close enough you might want to think about this. Our beeyard has a boatload of colonies, and we’ll have starter/finishers, nucs and lots of bees to work with. You’ll get to see how these working colonies are manipulated to raise good queens, you’ll get to graft and you’ll even get to take home those that took. Plus a copy of Larry Connor’s Queen Rearing Essentials and your own grafting tool go  home with you too. Lunch is provided 2 of the 3 days, and there will be plenty of experienced teachers for good 1:1, hands on for all of this so you won’t get ignored.

Attend the class and learn to graft queen cells so you can raise your own queens

And, we’ll be able to do this rain or shine. We have ample room inside if we have to, and we’ll have a big tent outside too, so no matter where you’ll end up it’ll be dry and shady. If the weather just doesn’t want to work, we’ll do everything inside that we can, and do the rest in the tent, showing the colonies, and active demonstrations.

Plus, in preparation for our THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING event in October, we have 10 Pure Russian colonies to look at and peek inside, plus one of our members demonstrating with them. Add to that the several different kinds of hives that we have, and you’ll get a lot of beekeeping all in 3 days.

Unfortunately it’s not free, but it’s not a mortgage breaker either. It’s $125/person for the three days and two lunches. And Jennifer Berry, Kim Flottum, Peggy Garnes, John Grafton and Tracy Alarcon as able instructors.

So, like I said, this is a commercial for our 3 day Queen Rearing class with Jennifer Berry. To register, send a check for $125 made payable to MCBA to – Paul Kosmos, 6386 State Road, Sharon Center, OH 44281. The workshop is limited to the first 75 people. But don’t delay because it’s getting close.

 

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