Yesterday we kicked off the 2018 beekeeping season with the Hampden County Beekeepers' Association's first session of Bee School. We welcomed 130 new students to our new classroom location in the Kittredge Center at Holyoke Community College. It was overwhelming to see all these potential new beekeepers in one room! So exciting!
I've been a proud member of the HCBA for several years and seeing the club grow in numbers each year has been awesome. Yesterday, I volunteered to help with registration and was happy to greet all of our new students as they checked in. Meeting 130 people who are interested in something you are super passionate about is not a thing that happens every day... this is very exciting stuff for a bee-nerd! Plus, all my favorite HCBA members were in the house helping out too and we always have a great time!
We had honey bee expert, Ken Warchol, kick off the day by going over "Dynamics of the Hive" from 9am until 11:30am when we stopped for lunch. After lunch, HCBA Vice President Andrew Preissner went over "Sources of Bees" so the new potential beekeepers know where the heck they can get some honey bees to fill their new hives. We finished the day with club member, Lee Duquette, going over protective clothing and hive components and we'll get even more on that in next month's class.
I'm looking forward to next month's class already and I'm loving the new format of 3 full Saturdays as opposed to how we used to do it with 2 Thursday evenings per month for 3 months. Those honey bees will BEE here BEE-fore these new beekeepers know it, so now it's time to learn all they can so they are prepared for their April 1st hive installations!