Beekeeping Workshop Brings National Experts to Wooster March 1-2

The Spring Beekeeping Workshop drew a crowd of more than 1,000 last year.

WOOSTER, Ohio -- The largest educational beekeeping event of its kind in the U.S. will be held again in Wooster this year, March 1-2, featuring Ohio and national experts on queen bee rearing, pests and diseases of hives, and other issues impacting beekeeping and agricultural production.

The 35th annual Spring Beekeeping Workshop, organized by the Tri-County Beekeepers Association Inc. of northern Ohio, will take place at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center's Fisher Auditorium and Shisler Conference Center, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster.

Last year, the event drew more than 1,000 attendees, making it the largest one-day beekeeping symposium or workshop in the country, said Joe Heider, president of the Tri-County Beekeepers Association.

Issues related to bees and beekeeping have become increasingly significant as experts debate the causes of mass deaths in bee colonies in recent years worldwide, which is a growing problem as farmers depend on bees to pollinate many of their crops.

The workshop begins March 1 at 6 p.m. with a tour of OARD'’s Pollinatarium, followed by two concurrent presentations, "Beyond the Hive" and "Beginning Beekeeping."

The bulk of the program is scheduled for March 2, beginning at 9:20 a.m. with the keynote address, "Practical Natural Beekeeping," by Jennifer Berry, coordinator of apicultural research at the University of Georgia.

During the day, there will be several concurrent presentations covering issues such as hive pests, urban beekeeping, queen bee rearing and colony collapse disorder. The event also includes mini-workshops for kids as well as classes on cooking with honey, apitherapy, making soaps and lotions, and mead making.

The workshop will close with a question-and-answer session at 3:45 p.m. featuring Berry; Ohio State University entomologist Barbara Bloetscher, coordinator of the Department of Entomology's School IPM Program and state apiarist with the Ohio Department of Agriculture; Ohio and West Virginia master beekeeper Joe Kovaleski; and Doug Sponsler, graduate research assistant, Department of Entomology, Ohio State.

Bloetscher, who will also give presentations on the proper management of varroa mites and small hive beetles, said maintaining strong colony health and monitoring for pests on a regular basis are key to fighting dangerous insects.

"The key is to maintain a low level of mites using multiple control tactics instead of having to resort to using stronger products once the mite level is high," she said. 

"Small hive beetles are a relatively new pest in Ohio, but they have become a severe pest in certain areas of the state. I will share the latest information on the biology and management options for this pest."

For a complete list of workshop presentations and activities and to register, go to and click on "Spring Workshop." No walk-in registration will be available.

OARDC and the Department of Entomology are part of Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.


CFAES News Team