Beekeeping class for beginners offered

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LISBON FALLS – An eight-week course on the art and science of beekeeping will meet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays, beginning Feb. 15, with instructor and Master Beekeeper Rick Cooper.

Classes will meet for seven consecutive Thursdays at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension facility. The eighth and final class is a field day on April 14. The cost for the course is $45, with registration in advance through the UMCE. Deadline for payment and registration is Feb. 8.

For more information on registration, e-mail andsag@umext.maine.edu and use “beekeeping course” in the subject line or call the UMCE office at 353-5550.

The course provides an overview of the beekeeping process: the life cycle of the honeybee, hive management over the year, equipment, tools and supplies, setting up the hive, installing bees, diseases and pests and harvesting honey.

Honey bees account for 80 percent of all pollination done by insects and make a dramatic contribution to gardens with increased harvest and larger fruits, flowers and vegetables for the home gardener.

In addition to honey, bees produce beeswax, propolis and royal jelly, and also gather and store pollen. Other aspects of honey bees include their complex communication system, division of labor within the hive and the queen’s role in sustaining the colony.

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