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Learn beekeeping basics at one-day workshop

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, in partnership with the Northeast Minnesota Beekeepers Association, is hosting a day-long workshop called "Beekeeping and More!" on Saturday, Feb. 17, for anyone interested in learning about beekeeping as a hobby or as a commercial enterprise. The symposium will open at 8:30 a.m. and sessions run from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., starting in the college commons.

Session topics include equipment, general troubleshooting, queen biology, risks to native pollinators, varroa mites, gentle beekeeping and the challenges of overwintering honeybees in northern climates. Hands-on activities are also a part of the program, during which attendees can learn practical applications for products from the hive.

Experts from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab, the Northeastern Minnesota Beekeepers Association and the Xerces Society will present the sessions and answer questions throughout the workshop. Informational displays, vendors and door prize drawings will also be a part of the third annual event.

"This will be a great day of learning and information sharing for both novice and experienced beekeepers," said Courtney Kowalczak, director of the Environmental Institute at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. "There will be plenty of time to meet other beekeepers, ask for advice, get questions answered and share ideas."

Opening speaker Roy Ober of the Northeastern Minnesota Beekeepers Association will introduce the basics of beekeeping and cover everything a new beekeeper needs to understand.

Jessica Helgen and Jenny Warner of the University of Minnesota Bee Squad will present information about gentle beekeeping, queen biology, overwintering and understanding the impact of cultured hives on native bees.

Pam Herou of the Xerces Society will present on native bees' biology, habitat, biggest threats and how to help them thrive.

Informational tables from local authorities on pollinator habitat installation, avoiding invasive plant species and apiary supplies will be set up in the student commons.

The third-annual "Beekeeping and More!" workshop is presented by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College through support from a USDA-NIFA grant and in partnership with the Northeastern Minnesota Beekeepers Association. The workshop is part of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College's Environmental Institute and Extension programs.

Lunch will be available for purchase from Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College's Environmental Science Club.

Registration is $10 for Northeastern Beekeepers Association members and $15 for non-members. Pre-registration is encouraged. The first Beekeeping and More workshop, held in 2016, drew in more than 150 beekeepers and the event has continued to grow, making it one of the largest beekeeping workshops in northern Minnesota.

Register at fdltccbeekeeping.zapevent.com. Same-day registration will be available as space allows, with payment by cash or check only.

For more information, contact Courtney Kowalczak at (218) 879-0862 or at courtneyk@fdltcc.edu.

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