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Master Beekeeper Course comes to West Plains

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A veteran beekeeper harvests honey from a colony.

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension’s new Certified Master Beekeeper Program is coming to West Plains starting at 8 a.m., Feb. 11 at the Howell County Extension office, 1376 Bill Virdon Blvd., West Plains.

The course costs $61 which includes a beekeeping book. Pre-paid registration is required, with a 10 per class minimum, by Feb. 7.

Classes are taught by experienced local beekeepers. Level One testing is available twice a year in spring and fall. The exam dates will be announced on extension.missouri.edu and visit master beekeeper program.

Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. and the class ends at noon

“Basic Beekeeping for Beginners” will focus on the principles of beekeeping. Those principles include the history of beekeeping, honeybee biology, plant and pollinator relationship, and essential equipment and requirements.

“We are excited to bring the Master Beekeeper program West Plains,” said Sarah Kenyon agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “This high-quality program will offer both classroom instruction and mentoring opportunities for participants.”

The Missouri Master Beekeeper certification program consists of six levels: Beginner Beekeeper, Apprentice Beekeeper, Journeyman Beekeeper, Junior Master Beekeeper, Master Trainer, and Master Beekeeper. By the end of this first course, individuals will be able to help experienced beekeepers in the management of hives.

Individuals must have one year of experience rearing bees and join a local beekeeping club before taking an exam to move up to the next level. Beekeepers can test through the first two levels of the program if they have three or more years of experience.

The “Basic Beekeeping for Beginners” class is for any individual interested in learning beekeeping. There is no minimum age for the program, but children 12 and younger may find examination questions difficult

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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