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Young Harris College Hosts Annual Beekeeping Institute
YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Young Harris College and the University of Georgia recently co-hosted the 23rd annual Beekeeping Institute, May 16-17. Held on the YHC campus, the Institute is a three-day event featuring lectures and workshops by leading authorities on honeybees.
Since 1992, the Beekeeping Institute has represented the single most comprehensive opportunity in the Southeast for concentrated training in all aspects of practical beekeeping. This Institute provides separate curricula for beginners and more experienced beekeepers, as well as fun optional activities such as a competitive honey show, gadgets display and practical examinations.
Through a partnership with the Welsh National Bee Keepers Association, the Institute provides North America’s only licensing program for honey judges. It’s also the flagship of the Georgia Master Beekeeping Program (GMBP), with training and certification in ranks that correspond to increasing levels of expertise—certified, journeyman, master and master craftsman.
Eight current YHC students and recent graduates attended this year’s Institute, and three of them became Certified Beekeepers including Roman Martin, a senior biology major from Tallinn, Estonia, Ambrose “Tre” Sleister, a recent outdoor leadership graduate from Warrenton, Ga., and Zachary Champion, a junior outdoor leadership major from Lakeland, Fla. The students earned the certification through the GMBP and in conjunction with YHC’s “Introduction to Beekeeping” course.
Martin said he “fell in love” with beekeeping thanks to Paul Arnold, Ph.D., YHC professor of biology and chair of the Department of Biology, who co-founded the event with Robert Brewer, Towns County extension director, and Keith Delaplane, Ph.D., professor of entomology at UGA.
“The way Dr. Arnold teaches with such passion and enthusiasm, you can’t leave without being inspired. It’s not just a class to him—it’s something very special to his heart that he’s willing to share,” said Martin. “These kinds of experiences inspire and ignite students’ passions. Focusing on special topics like beekeeping is what makes our campus special and also what makes YHC a true liberal arts institution.”
The Institute proper, held on Friday and Saturday, featured a two-track system, one for experienced beekeepers and another for beginners, as well as an open demonstration room that displayed various aspects of bee biology.
One of the most rewarding opportunities of the Institute was the annual Honey Show held on Friday afternoon. In addition to categories in honey, the Honey Show also included show classes in bee-related photography, art, candles, beeswax cake, mead and beekeeping gadgets.
The Institute has grown to be one of the largest of its kind. It’s so popular that it often meets full capacity months beforehand and filled registration in record time this year. The real measure of success for Dr. Arnold, however, is the fruition of his goals as an educator.
“I have always been an advocate of getting students involved with science outside of the realm of the classroom, and I also believe in collaborative efforts between institutions of higher learning,” Dr. Arnold said. “This project exemplifies both of those aims.”
For more information about the Beekeeping Institute, contact (706) 379-5131 or visit yhc.edu/beekeeping.
About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,100 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 226-bed residence hall that is expected to earn LEED certification, a 248-bed, apartment-style residential village and a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center. In 2011, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics, and in 2012, was invited to become the 14th member of the Peach Belt Conference. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2013-2014 list of Colleges of Distinction. For more information, visit yhc.edu.
Bee enthusiasts from around the country attended the 23rd annual Beekeeping Institute co-hosted by Young Harris College and the University of Georgia held on the YHC campus this month.
Ambrose “Tre” Sleister, a recent Young Harris College outdoor leadership graduate from Warrenton, Ga., became a Certified Beekeeper during the Beekeeping Institute.
The Beekeeping Institute is the flagship of the Georgia Master Beekeeping Program, with training and certification in ranks that correspond to increasing levels of expertise—certified, journeyman, master and master craftsman.