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What the Buzz About Bees? An Update from the Beekeeping Trade Show

On November 1-2, 2013, the Northwest District Agriculture and Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Agents Program Implementation Teams collaborated to offer classes during the annual Beekeeping Field Day and Tradeshow held in Chipley, FL.

Attendees learn about bee hive maintenance.

Attendees learn about bee hive maintenance.

This third-annual event was part of the Florida State Beekeepers Association yearly conference and had a total of 196 attendees for the entire three-day event. State Representative Marti Coley and State Senator Greg Evers were keynote speakers at the Bee Conference.

Approximately 163 individuals attended the entire Saturday Beekeeping Field Day and Trade Show, with 114 attending the FCS honey program. Participants rotated among three 35-minute classes – What’s the Buzz about Honey?, Splitting Beehives, and Products of the Hives.

Noted scientist Dr. Jamie Ellis of the University of Florida IFAS Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab presented a class on the state of the beekeeping industry and how Extension works with beekeepers to enhance the success of their honey production and pollination operations.

The FCS Agents presented information on sugar vs. honey, nutrition facts, diabetes and honey, foodborne illnesses, and types of honey.  A honey factsheet and recipe cards were developed and distributed.  Participants sampled recipes made with honey, including pumpkin bread, honey lemonade, and a honey-glazed snack mix.  One batch of the pumpkin bread was made with honey and one batch with sugar to demonstrate the different properties of these two sweeteners.

There was a panel of experts discussing scouting bee hives for insect and disease problems. Also, attendees participated in hands-on hive splitting and hive smoker lighting demonstrations taught by bee inspectors from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

For more information on honey or beekeeping, please contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office.

Source:  Dr. Marjorie Moore, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent, Bay County, and Matthew Orwat, Horticulture Agent, Washington County.