Jefferson Farm and Garden will host the first course of the newly developed Certified Master Beekeeper program from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 14, at the farm in Columbia, Mo.
The course – “Basic Beekeeping for Beginners” – will focus on the principles of beekeeping. Those principles include the history of beekeeping, honeybee biology, plant and pollinator relationship, and essential equipment and requirements.
“Beekeeping has been on the rise in recent years and is now considered a hot topic in agriculture,” said Amy Dooley, superintendent of Jefferson Farm and Gardne. “Not only is beekeeping beneficial to the environment, but it is also very personally rewarding.”
The Certified Master Beekeeper program consists of three levels – Basic Beekeeping for Beginners, Apprentice Pollinator Beekeeper and Master Beekeeper.
By the end of this first course, individuals will be able to help experienced beekeepers in the management of hives. Individuals have to have one year of experience rearing bees and have to join a local beekeeping club before taking an exam to move up to the next level.
Experienced beekeepers can test up through the program if they have five or more years of experience.
“Taking a class is a great way to get started,” Dolley said. “We have recently increased the number of hives at the farm so this class will provide participants with important information and an opportunity to work alongside our beekeepers. The mentorship opportunity is critical for helping beginning beekeepers build their knowledge, skills and confidence.”
The Basic Beekeeping for Beginners program is for individuals 18 years of age and older.
The course costs $58, which includes a book. Payment must be made prior to the class and can be made by check or cash.
Jefferson Farm and Garden is located at 4800 E. New Haven Road in Columbia. To register, contact Dooley at DooleyAM@missouri.edu. Registration or more information can also be had by calling (573) 239-6134.