Panama City will be abuzz with bee enthusiasts when the University of Florida’s Bee College returns to the Florida Panhandle this summer.
The two-day educational experience for beginner to advanced beekeepers will be at the Florida State University Panama City campus Aug. 12-13. Tickets are on sale now, at an early bird rate until June 20, at tinyurl.com/PanhandleBeeCollege.
The program marks a return to normal for the UF/IFAS Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory, which hosts Bee College twice each year: an annual course at its home campus in Gainesville and alternating years in either the Panhandle or South Florida. The traveling program was replaced with virtual Bee College since 2020.
“We are excited to bring this educational opportunity directly to beekeepers in the Panhandle once again,” said Amy Vu, UF/IFAS Extension state specialized program agent for the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab. “Although the virtual program was a great way to share information with beekeepers from all over, the hands-on experience we can offer with Bee College is so valuable, especially for beginners and those who started keeping bees during COVID-19.”
Bee College attendees — whether beginners or experienced beekeepers — can choose the lectures and demonstrations that most interest them. Expert talks will include topics from bee biology to common diseases, while hands-on activities will include building equipment and hive management. Attendees are also invited to enter the Honey Show, in which certified judges will critique and award the best in honey, mead, candles, bee-themed art and more.
WHAT: Panhandle Bee College 2022
WHO: Beginner to advanced beekeepers welcome. Expertise will be provided by faculty and staff from the UF/IFAS Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory, housed in the No. 1-ranked entomology and nematology program in the world, plus UF/IFAS county Extension agents in the Panhandle and partners like the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
WHEN: Aug. 12 and 13; doors open at 8 a.m.
WHERE: Florida State University Panama City campus, 4750 Collegiate Drive.
COST: Early bird rate until June 20: $175 for two-day admission, $165 for one-day. Bee clubs may also purchase one $160, two-day ticket for raffling purposes. A discounted rate is available for active-duty military members; retired veterans; Florida State Beekeepers Association members; active members of the UF/IFAS Master Beekeeper, Master Gardener or Master Naturalist programs; 4-H Members; UF/IFAS county Extension faculty; and anyone under 18 years of age.
REGISTRATION AND MORE INFORMATION: tinyurl.com/PanhandleBeeCollege.