If you've ever wanted to test your hand at beekeeping, Saturday is your chance. Tri-County Beekeepers is hosting a fundamentals workshop to help aspiring beekeepers see what all the buzz is about.
“There are so many people who are interested in beekeeping,” said Bobby Chaisson, president of Tri-County Beekeepers. “Our club has always been a club for people who are new into beekeeping or don’t have a whole lot of experience. We’ve always kind of geared everything to help them get going and help them get a good, firm foundation of beekeeping so that they can be successful.”
The fundamentals workshop, a conference-style event, is scheduled 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Lula. Chaisson said several experienced beekeepers will talk about everything from equipment you need to get started to the biology of bees, how to take care of bees and how to harvest honey.
“It’s going to give them pretty much everything they need to know that when they walk out the door, if they were to get bees that afternoon, they would be able to successfully make it through their first year of beekeeping,” Chaisson said.
The club was started about 6 years ago after beekeepers in the Hall, Jackson and Banks County areas got tired of long trips to meet with other beekeepers. The Tri-County Beekeepers started with about 50 people and has doubled since then.
“I think everybody is so aware of all the environmental stuff that’s going on, and bees play such an integral part in everything with the environment and agriculture,” Chaisson said. “It’s just an easy way for people to get involved and make an impact in the environment.”
Beekeeping is a way to do some good, have some fun and, at the end of the process, end up with a sweet treat. It’s something he’s grown to love over the years and is happy to teach to others.
“I have done all kinds of jobs in my life, and beekeeping — I fortunately am a full-time beekeeper now — it’s all I do,” Chaisson said. “It is by far the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life.”
He said the class is targeted at beginners, but those with a year or two under their belt could benefit from it, too.
With the growing popularity of beekeeping in the area, Chaisson expects the workshop to be a hit. He’s hoping all different levels of beekeepers come out and are able to learn tips and tricks from each other as well as learn from the class as a whole.
“I think our area, especially in the foothills of the Appalachia, we’ve just got a great area that’s very conducive to raising bees,” he said. “I think people are a little more in tune with beekeeping, so it’s just a great area for it.”