Virtual beekeeping school offered by the Perry County Extension Office

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 5:45 PM EST
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - We have seen it all, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the restaurant atmosphere, changed people’s living rooms into workspaces and now, it has changed how one attends beekeeping school.

Beekeeping classes have been offered by the Perry County Extension Office, in partnership with the University of Kentucky, for eleven years now. Charles May, a county extension agent, says this year they went virtual to fit CDC guidelines.

“You know they say it takes 20 years to not be a beginner anymore, so we started doing these schools to try to reduce that number and get people up to speed so they didn’t have bad experiences and lose hives and get flustered and quit,” May said.

When they started the school, May says they were worried it would not get a lot of attention.

“I was floored at how much interest there really was and it grew every year. We had as many as 250-240 that came to those schools. So, lot of interest out there about beekeeping, just people concerned, don’t want to lose these bees because they realize the importance of them,” May said.

May says doing the school virtually through Zoom is a plus because the weather will not affect them.

“We had a couple of schools cancel because of snowstorms and things like that. This is probably not going to be a factor, the weather is,” May said.

May says he is worried that it being virtual will discourage potential students.

“A lot of the clientele in beekeeping don’t have the computers and the technology and maybe even the internet access around here because we have people come from multiple states for this thing,” May said.

He adds that learning how to be a beekeeper could also be profitable.

“Not just pollination and doing our agriculture crops and things, which is very important. Without bees, we’d be in a world of hurt but folks can use this as kind of a small business to make money on it,” May said.

To register for classes you can call the Perry County Extension Office at (606) 436-2044. The classes will go from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on January 16th.

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