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Northey: Beekeeping schools to be offered again

Courses for beginning beekeepers to be held across the state in 2012

December 29, 2011
Estherville Daily News

DES MOINES - Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey Wednesday encouraged Iowans interested in beekeeping to consider enrolling in one of the 12 beekeeping schools that will be held around the state again in 2012. Iowa Honey Producers Association, (IHPA) in partnership with several other groups, hosts the courses to help those interested in beekeeping get started.

"These courses provide an excellent opportunity for new beekeepers or those who are interested in getting started to learn from Iowa beekeepers who understand our seasons and environment," Northey said. "The timing and content of the coursework aims to help you become prepared and confident in time for bees to arrive this spring."

Early enrollment for many of these courses is important so courses can meet minimum enrollment numbers. Fees will vary by location. For more information, please refer to the IHPA website and online monthly newsletter at or contact Andrew Joseph, State Apiarist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, at (515) 725-1481 or

A list of 2012 course locations and details follows here according to city, start date, course time, meeting locaion, contact person and fee:

n Ankeny - Jan. 19, Thursdays for seven weeks, Iowa Lab Facility, DMACC Campus, Andrew Joseph: 515-725-1481 or, $30.

n Cedar Rapids - Jan. 19, eight sessions throughout the year, Indian Creek Nature Center, Bob Wolfe: 319-363-0664 or more information at, Member: $55, Nonmember: $85, Partner: $10.

n Knoxville - Jan. 17, Tuesdays for seven weeks, Marion County Extension Office, Craig Greene: (641) 842-2112, $30.

n Indianola - Jan. 19, Thursdays for eight weeks, Trinity-United Presbyterian Church, Mike Wyatt: (515) 961-0357, TBD.

n Glenwood - Jan. 25, Wednesdays for four to six weeks, Mills County Engineer's office, Clarence Seale: 712-310-7410, TBD.

n Winterset - March, TBD, Winterset Library, Pat Randol: (515) 210-7445 or, TBD.

n Oskaloosa - Jan. 19, Thursdays for seven weeks, Mahaska County Extension office, Craig Green: 641-842-2112, $30.

n Marshalltown - Jan. 18, Beginning Beekeeping class for four weeks, Advanced Beekeeping next three weeks, Iowa Valley Community College, Sandy Supianoski: 800-284-4823, $40 for both sessions, $25 for one session.

n Peosta - Jan. 24, Tuesdays for six weeks, Northeast Iowa Community College, NICC Continuing Education: 563-557-0354 or and click on continuing education, TBD.

n Washington - Feb. 6, Mondays for four weeks, Kirkwood Center, Ron Wehr: 319-698-7542, TBD.

n Spencer - March, TBD, TBD, Larry or Marlene Boernsen: 712-735-4205, TBD.

n Mason City - Feb. 4, Saturdays for four weeks, North Iowa Area Community College, NIACC Continuing Education: 641-422-4358, $39.

There are currently about 1,500 beekeepers in Iowa that manage around 30,000 colonies of honeybees. These honeybees produce about 2 million pounds of honey annually, valued at $3.5 million. Honeybees are also responsible for the pollination of many Iowa crops. Field and horticultural crops, home gardens and plants eaten by wildlife are dependent on bee pollination for the production of their fruits, nuts and seeds. The economic value of honeybees as crop pollinators in Iowa has been estimated at $92 million annually.



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