The Faulkner County Extension Service will be conducting a Beginning Beekeeping Short Course on April 7, 14 and 21 in the Tommy Lewis Conference room located in the Natural Resources Building in Conway. Each session will be held from 6-9 p.m.

This will be a comprehensive 3-part short course for learning how to get started with honey bees. Each of the evening session will cover different material, and will build on the knowledge from the previous week. No prior experience with honey bees is required. The course is designed to prepare new beekeepers with the knowledge to safely and successfully begin keeping honey bees with confidence.

The first class session will introduce and explain the bee hive and its components, as well as other tools and equipment used. This class will also cover basic honey bee biology and behaviors that beekeepers should understand.

The second session will explain how and where to get honey bees and establish brand new colonies, and then take the new beekeeper through seasonal hive management tasks for the first two years, including how to harvest their golden delicious honey.

The final class will cover keeping honey bees healthy — an important and challenging component of modern beekeeping — and includes an overview of bee hive pests and honey bee diseases that a beekeeper should be aware of.

The class is taught by Jon Zawislak, who is the honey bee specialist for the UA Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension. Jon is a Master Beekeeper (Eastern Apicultural Society certified), with a masters degree in entomology, and more than 15 years experience working with honey bees.

Local vendors of bee hives and other equipment will also be on hand to show off some of their products and answer questions from class participants.

This is a free short course that is open to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, martial status or veteran status or any other legally protected status. Persons with disabilities that require alternative means of communication of program information (large print, audiotapes etc) should notify the Faulkner County Extension Office at 501-329-8344 as soon as possible prior to this activity.