The hands-on demonstrations will take place at the Walter T. Kelley Company, located in Clarkson. Classes will start at 8 a.m. central time on June 6 and will last until 3 p.m. The sessions are free of charge to members of the KSBA and $10 for non-members.
Apiary classes will be held in the Kelley Company's apiary. Some of the topics that will be covered are hive inspections, making splits and divides, how to mark queens and re-queening hives, grafting queen cells, varroa mite treatments, mite monitoring, small hive beetle trapping, ross rounds and comb honey production, pulling honey techniques, honey extraction, swarm catching and solar wax melters.
Anyone who is already a beekeeper is asked to bring a veil and protective clothing before handling the bees.
Lunch will be provided to all participants.
Instructors for the apiary sessions will be Kentucky State University Apiculture Extension Specialist Dr. Tom Webster, Master Beekeeper and Honey Producer Carol Marks, past KSBA President and EAS Master Beekeeper Kent Williams, past KSBA President and Kentucky Queen Producer Gordon Vernon, current KSBA President Martin Hickey, Kentucky Beekeeper and Pollen Producer Harris Overholt and State Apiarist Phil Craft.
KSBA President-Elect Joe Taylor urged anyone who is interested in attending the event to notify him by phone at 270-879-8654 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Taylor talked about how important a class like this was to a beekeeper who was just starting out.
"We have so many new beekeepers now begging for hands-on experiences," he explained. "That is why we decided to have this event. We needed experienced beekeepers to show them what to look for and how to do things. This field day will be perfect for somebody who wants to get their feet wet with learning about bees."
He offered two pieces of critical advice for beekeepers. Do not poison the bees with Seven-dust spray and always remember to wipe out a beehive very quickly. Wait until late at night to spray Seven-dust on plants, because the spray could kill the bees instantly.
Taylor said people do not realize how beneficial bees are to people.
"The bee is responsible for pollination," he mentioned. "The honey bee is the biggest pollinator around. They pollinate things like strawberries, cantaloupe, pickles and pumpkins. A bumble bee pollinates tomatoes for us. The bee pollination process has been going on for 35 million years."
Taylor himself has 26 hives. He has been a beekeeper in Caneyville since 1985.
"I got the equipment at the Kelly factory," Taylor remembered. "They got me interested in it. You can be as big as you want in a business like this."
"Bees for the most part are very docile creatures," he explained. "A bee will only sting you for two reasons, if you startle it or you mess with its nest. They get a little cranky in July and August, because the blossoms are gone, but that is about it. Many people do not realize it, but a honey bee only lives four to six weeks in the summer and will fly five to 600 miles in that time. The wings will get shorter and wear out, and the bee cannot get back to hive. We call it aging out. In a bee's lifetime they do so many different jobs."
The Kelley Company has been serving the bee-keeping industry since 1952.