Wyoming Bee College is back, bigger

Hand-drawn illustration of beehive, clover and bee, plus text about event on tan background.
This year’s event is bigger, said Catherine Wissner, UW Extension educator. National and regional experts present five concurrent tracks on Saturday and four concurrent tracks on Sunday geared toward every level of beekeeper, wanna-bee, gardener and pollinator advocate.

For a “degree in bees,” University of Wyoming Extension offers 2017 Wyoming Bee College Saturday and Sunday, March 18-19 at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne.

The $75 conference fee includes a dinner and two lunches. There is no charge for Bee Buddies ages 7 to 15 accompanied by an adult. To learn more about Wyoming Bee College, special hotel rates and registration, go to bit.ly/BeeCollege.

Speakers and workshop leaders bring current research on pollinators, long-time beekeeping experience and expertise on conservation and habitat development. Participants learn best management practices and how to build their business through new products, certification and food safety. New or aspiring beekeepers get hands-on demonstrations of the basics.

Author and “Bee Culture Magazine” contributor James E Tew is the keynote speaker both days. “He is truly a beekeeper with his boots on the ground,” said Catherine Wissner, UW Extension educator. “His knowledge is research-based and practical, plus he brings beekeeping humor, tips, wisdom and stories from the hive,” she said.

Author and beekeeping expert Les Crowder teaches a half-day course on top bar beekeeping, which is a low-cost, high wax yield system that mimics a hollow log.

The Denver Butterfly Pavilion presents classes on butterflies, native bees and habitat development and how to help them and native bees.

For more information, contact Wissner, the “dean” of Wyoming Bee College, at 307-63­3-4383 or cwissner@uwyo.edu.