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Northey: Record number of beekeeping schools set for 2016

By Staff | Dec 30, 2015

DES MOINES (IDALS) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on Dec. 10 encouraged Iowans interested in beekeeping to consider enrolling in one of the beekeeping schools that will be held around the state in 2016.

There are a record number of 27 courses that will be held for both the beginner and advanced beekeeper, including 12 within the Farm News coverage area.

“We continue to see interest grow in beekeeping,” Northey said, “both among hobbyists who might just have a hive or two and commercial producers who can have thousands of hives.

“These courses provide an excellent opportunity for new beekeepers or those who are interested in getting started to learn from experienced Iowa beekeepers who understand our seasons and environment how to successfully raise bees.”

Early enrollment for many of these courses is important so they can meet minimum enrollment numbers. Fees will vary by location.

For more information, refer to the Iowa Honey Producers Association website and online monthly newsletter at www.abuzzaboutbees.com or contact Andrew Joseph, state apiarist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, at (515) 725-1481.

There are currently about 4,500 beekeepers in Iowa that manage more than 45,000 colonies of honey bees. These honey bees produce about 4 million pounds of honey annually, valued at over $8 million.

Honey bees are also responsible for the pollination of many Iowa crops. Field and horticultural crops, home gardens and plants eaten by wildlife are dependent on bee pollination for the production of their fruits, nuts and seeds.

The economic value of honey bees as crop pollinators in Iowa has been estimated at $92 million annually.

The 122 workshops in the FN coverage area are:

1). Ankeny-beginners: From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays for six weeks starting Jan. 21, 2016 in the DCI conference room on the DMACC campus in Ankeny. Preregister with Andrew Joseph, (515) 326-5765. Fee is $35.

2.) Des Moines-beginners: From From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Mondays for six weeks starting Jan. 25, 2016 at the Merrill Middle School, 5301 Grand Ave., Des Moines. Preregister by calling (515) 242-8521. Fee is $50 plus a workbook.

3). Des Moines: From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesdays for six weeks starting Jan. 30, 2016 at the Des moines Social Club. Preregister online at desmoinessocialclub.org/events/categories/education. Fee is $50 plus a workbook.

4). Fort Dodge-beginners: 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays for four weeks starting Jan. 9, 2016 at the Webster County Extension office, 217 S. 25th Street, Suite C12, Fort Dodge. Preregister by calling Yvonne McCormick at (515) 835-9326. Fee is $35 for one attendees or $45 per family.

5). Fort Dodge-advanced: From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 30, 2016 at the Webster County Extension office, 217 S. 25th Street, Suite C12, Fort Dodge. Preregister by calling Yvonne McCormick at (515) 835-9326. Fee is tom determined.

6). Marshalltown-beginners: From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursdays for six weeks starting Jan. 28, 2016 at Iowa Valley Area Community College. Preregister by calling April Forbes, (641) 752-4645. Fee is 35.

7). Mason City-beginners: From 9 a.m. to noon, Saturdays for four weeks at North Iowa Area Community College, 500 College Drive, Mason City. Preregister by calling (641) 422-4358. Fee is $39.

8). Sioux Center-field day: Time to be announced June 4, 2016, at Dordt College, 498 Fourth Ave., Sioux Center. Preregister by calling (712) 722-6275. Fee to be determined.

9). Sioux Center-fall classes: Four to five session on Thursdays in October at Dordt College, 498 Fourth Ave., Sioux Center. Preregister by calling (712) 722-6275. Fee is $70.

10). Sioux Center-beginners field day: July 30, 2016 with times to be determined at Dordt College, 498 Fourth Ave., Sioux Center. Preregister by calling (712) 722-6275. Fee to be determined.

11). Spencer-beginner: Feb. 20, 2016 with time and location to be determined. Preregister by calling (712) 320-1907. Fee is $40 for each attendee or $45 per family. A beekeeping field day is set for May 2016.

12). Spencer-advanced: March 19, 2016 with time and location to be determined. Preregister by calling (712) 320-1907. Fee is $35 for each attendee or $35 per family. A beekeeping field day is set for May 2016.

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