Online beekeeping course offered

UNIVERSITY PARK — Beginner and experienced beekeepers and those thinking about taking up backyard beekeeping can get the information they need to be successful from Beekeeping 101, an online beekeeping course offered by Penn State Extension.

An interactive approach to online learning that can be taken anywhere and anytime, the course was created by a team of experts led by Tom Butzler, Penn State Extension horticulture educator, and Maryann Frazier, now-retired senior extension associate in entomology.

“The experience of keeping honey bees, caring for bees throughout the year and enjoying a honey harvest is a centuries-old tradition that continues to capture people’s interest and imagination,” Butzler said.

“In addition, pollinators are necessary for the production of many of our favorite fruits and vegetables. But in today’s world, they increasingly are threatened. By keeping bees, you can help to preserve this valuable resource for your benefit and for the benefit of our ecosystems.”

The 10-module course combines video, multimedia and interactive activities that participants can complete at their own pace. The modules provide basic knowledge needed to keep and manage a healthy beehive and to produce honey and beeswax. Modules cover bee biology, bee behavior, hive management, equipment, diseases and pests, swarming, and other topics.

Butzler noted that beekeeping requires maintenance and care throughout the year. As a result, Beekeeping 101 examines, in-depth, how to work with hives throughout the seasonal calendar, helping participants understand what’s happening in their hives at all times of the year.

“Whether someone is new to beekeeping or wants to add to their beekeeping knowledge, Beekeeping 101 is a fun and interactive way to learn,” Butzler said.

More information about Penn State’s online Beekeeping 101 course is available at http://beekeeping101.psu.edu.

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