Record attendance in beekeeping class mirrors rising interest in pollinators

January 30, 2016

Enrollment in Indian Creek Nature Center’s annual beekeeping class tripled its typical enrollment – there are nearly 75 participants registered for 2016, versus 25 in previous years.

“The increased interest in the class is largely due to the public’s increasing interest in protecting and encouraging pollinators,” said Jean Wiedenheft, Land Stewardship Director at Indian Creek Nature Center and head of the beekeeping program.

In recent years, honey bees populations have decreased drastically as a result of threats from pesticides, specifically a class called neonicotinoids; monoculture crops like corn creating a lack of diverse food sources; and mite infestations. Keeping bees means increased levels of pollination in nearby gardens and orchards, which leads to increased yields. It also provides a way for an individual to support the bee population.

Participants of the Beginning Bee Series class at the Nature Center learn how to get started keeping bees, develop an understanding of what bees need to thrive, and learn how to manage common problems in the hive. Each participant is encouraged to start with two colonies of their own bees.

“Our beekeeping class participants have the advantage of gaining hands-on experience in our on-site apiary, and getting to know what a healthy hive should look like,” said Wiedenheft.

The Beginning Bee Series class at Indian Creek Nature Center began on January 30, and consists of eight sessions held on Saturdays throughout the calendar year. The Nature Center has been offering beekeeping classes for over 25 years.

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