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Danelle Cutting column: Beekeeping class may be right for you

Have you ever wanted to raise your own bees but been too afraid to try or not sure where to start? Or, would you like to have your own honey to help remedy your allergies?

If so, the Rowan County Beekeepers Association Beginner Beekeeping Class may be for you, and it is starting in January.

The classes are on Thursdays from 7 until 9 p.m. at the Rowan County Cooperative Extension office, 2727 Old Concord Rd., Salisbury. They are being taught by the 2010 N.C. State Beekeeper of the Year, Bob Blackwelder, and the classes are based on the N.C. State Master Beekeeper program.

This is a great opportunity to learn how to help build our current bee population and help ensure the continuation of the species. As most of you know, we are concerned with Colony Collapse Disorder, and one of the ways to help combat this issue is by increasing our populations and genetic diversity. Adding more beekeepers can help.

Who doesn’t enjoy honey? How awesome would be it to have your own honey from your own bees? There are also some great projects in the works that consist of creating bee friendly habitats and food source areas.

The pesticide industry is even creating bee labels to help protect the species. Our pollinators are very important, and bees make up a large portion of our pollinators. Currently, bees help pollinate our fruit, nut and vegetable crops.

While taking the beekeeping course, you will learn how to care for your bees, what is needed, where to get them, and how to get your own honey. There will also be some extra benefits if you decide to join the Rowan County Beekeepers Association.

They have a honey extractor and a hot knife so you can harvest your own honey without investing too much into your own equipment. The class will also touch on swarms and raising your own queens.

This is a great opportunity to learn more or to start your own hives. I am even taking the course to learn more about raising bees and collecting my own honey.

If you would like to sign up for the course, please mail a check for $35 to RCBA, P.O. Box 41, Rockwell, NC 28138, and be sure to include your name, address, phone number and email address.

If you would like more information on creating a bee habitat, contact your local Cooperative Extension Agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

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