County beekeepers association looking for new members

 

The Laurens County Beekeepers Association, established in March 2011, continues to be active in the community.

The association’s prime mission is to continue educating people about the importance of pollinators. A Beginning Certified Level Beekeeping Class will be offered, starting on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019.

The average person doesn’t realize the importance of bees. Without honey bees, we would lose approximately 40 percent of the world’s food sources. In fact, bees are responsible for food sources, including peppers, beans, pumpkins, squash, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, apples and many more.

Unfortunately, statistics have shown that there has been a 38 percent decrease in the number of bee pollinators in the last 28 years.

By educating people about beekeeping and pollinator-friendly gardening techniques, the Laurens County Beekeeping Association has increased the number of bee hives in Laurens County. The 2019 Certified Beekeeping Class will by the eighth Class taught by the Association.

The association is made up of about 40 members. The beekeepers have anywhere from three to hundreds of hives that they care for each day.

The best way to keep bees is to be a part of an association. You get the support of other keepers whether they are new or veterans. The Association meets on the first Thursday of every month on the second floor of the Clemson Extension Office, located at 219 West Laurens St.

Meetings start at 6 p.m. with a full dinner. The association furnishes the meat and drinks. Members bring side dishes and dessert.

By participating in local events such as “Squealing on the Square,” the association’s members have been able to allow others to observe their bees at work and talk to people about what beekeeping entails.

The Beginning Certified Level Beekeeping Class will begin on Jan. 10 and continue each Thursday through March 31. Sessions will be from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Classes will be held at the Clemson Cooperative Extension Office, located at 219 West Laurens St. in Laurens.

Cost is $55 per person or $75 for couples. Scholarships are available for youth ages 10 to 18. The fee includes text, handout materials and a 1-year membership in the Association.

Topics will range from the basics of equipment and setup to bee biology and honey packaging and labeling. At the end of the course, there will be a field day to a local apiary with hands-on instruction.

To register, mail the appropriate fee with the following information to: James Alverson 1609 Dunkin Bridge Rd., Honea Path S.C. 29654. Make checks payable to Laurens County Beekeepers Association.