The SWLA Beekeepers Association and the LSU AgCenter will present its annual Basic Beekeepers Class on Monday, July 10th, 6-9pm, at the Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Training Center in DeRidder. The “Basic Beekeeping” program has been provided through several different beekeeping clubs through out Louisiana since 2014, with over 160 participants completing the class.

The class was developed in 2013 by the extension staff at the LSU AgCenter. The group recommended First Lessons in Beekeeping by Dr. Keith Delaplane, Apiary Specialist at the University of Georgia and 1986 LSU entomology Master’s graduate. The group then developed the course from the book, creating PowerPoint slideshows covering the information provided.

Those who attend the class will learn about bee breeds, bee biology, bee hive and its accessories, getting started, management for honey production and pollination, products of the hive, off-season management, honey bee disorders, parasites and nest invaders. The class will also cover the rules and regulations future beekeepers will need to comply with during their apiary practices.

Another important part of the class is a hands-on visit to a beeyard. Students will be prepped prior to the visit on proper protective gear and how to light a smoker and maintain adequate smoke for calming the bees.

Instructors will demonstrate in the beeyard the use of a hive tool for opening and pulling frames from the hive for examination. Students will learn from this examination what a good brood pattern and capped honey looks like. Most likely, the small hive beetle will be present, giving students a glance at a common hive pest. Instructors would like to show the class what a live queen looks like, but this isn’t guaranteed to happen as she tends to be uncooperative.

If you are interested in attending the class in July, the cost is $25 and includes the First Lessons in Beekeeping, handouts, and instruction. The class will continue to meet each Monday for four to five week. A weekend beeyard is planned.

The Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Training Center is located at 412 Bolivar Bishop Drive in DeRidder.

For more information, please contact Keith Hawkins, County Agent, at 337-463-700