UF/IFAS Expands Bee College to South Florida

7/11/2013

The University of Florida will host the first Bee College for South Florida this summer in Fort Lauderdale.
The event is coming to South Florida to meet demand there and will also feature courses taught in Spanish. Event registration is here: http://southfloridabeecollege.eventbrite.com.

The two-day college will be held August 16-17 at the UF Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center in Davie, part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The cost is $125 per person to attend for one day or $185 for two days. Family and other discount rates are offered. Meals and a printed program of all lecture material are included in the price.

Courses include beekeeping for beginners, candle making, honey extraction, live bee removal training, a honey tasting showcase and more.

Bee College is Florida's biggest educational event for honeybee hobbyists, professionals and anyone interested in honeybees. It is open to people of all ages and experience levels, with the only prerequisite being interest in honeybees.

Courses for more experienced attendees are available, as well as a beginner track for novices.

"You can walk away knowing how to get your own honeybee colony started," said Jeanette Klopchin, one of the event's organizers and a technician and lab manager with the UF/IFAS Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab.

Klopchin said since the Bee College started more than five years ago, it's helped increase the number of registered beekeepers in Florida from around 980 to nearly 3,000.

Honeybees are important pollinators of many food crops and some estimates suggest that as much as one-third of the world's food production is directly tied to the pollination habits of honeybees.

More information on the UF/IFAS Honey Bee Lab is here: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honeybee. For more information on the South Florida Bee College, visit http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honeybee/extension/SFbee_college.shtml.