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Extension Education

Kimberly Post
County Extension Agent
University of Georgia


Georgia is historically in the top five for number of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies. With honey bees facing a myriad of pest and disease challenges, Georgia is a prime location for educational programming related to honey bee physiology, health, and management. The Lanier and Clinch County Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Agent introduced basic beekeeping concepts to a group of primarily adult learners, with almost monthly classes to walk students through the seasonal needs of a honey bee hive. Classes included a hands-on hive building workshop, honey bee biology and anatomy, pollination, overview of pest and diseases, regional nectar sources, and a honey extraction demonstration with honey varietal tasting. Students were also given the option to purchase bees and equipment to start their own hives. Primary objectives of the Beginning Beekeeper Series were to increase awareness of the honey bee’s contributions to agriculture and the food supply through pollination, lay a foundation of knowledge to be competent and responsible beekeepers, and be equipped with ways to contribute positively to honey bee health and well-being. An average of 11 students attended each of the six classes throughout the year, with sessions lasting approximately three hours. Pre- and post-evaluations with Likert scales were administered in January and September to gauge change in self-reported knowledge on beekeeping topics including woodenware, bee biology, installing packages, pests and diseases, floral sources and feeding, honey harvest, and fall and winter activities. Overall self-reported beekeeping knowledge increased by an average of 70.9% across all topics. Additionally, 100% of respondents agreed that the Series gave them a good overview of honey bees and the basics to get started in beekeeping. The Beginner Beekeeping Series enhanced participants’ knowledge of honey bees as a complex biological system and how to care for them during their first season. The ANR Agent intends to continue to offer the Series in the future, as well as incorporate guest speakers for more advanced topics.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: K.K. Post
  1. Post, K. County Extension Agent, University of Georgia, Georgia, 31635