On Monday's (April 16) Extension Minute, Toole Co Agent Alice Burchak shared the following information about a beekeeping workshop the MSU Extension Service will be hosting in Cut Bank on Saturday, April 28:

Honey bees pollinate a third of the food that we eat. However, in the past six years the annual die-off of honeybees has become increasingly alarming. The phenomenon is known as colony collapse disorder (CCD). Research has not pinned down the reason for CCD. Many scientists think it is an accumulation of multiple reasons such as disease, pesticides, and harmful mites that have emigrated from Asia. To counteract the effects of CCD more people are encouraged to keep their own bees.

So what can you do about the problem? Why not start your own bee hive? Hives can be kept in both rural and urban settings. Almost anybody can become a beekeeper. It’s actually a great way to supplement your income as well.

 If you are interested learning how to be a bee keeper plan on attending the upcoming MSU Extension Introductory Beekeeping Workshop in Cut Bank on April 28. Presenters from Montana State University and the Montana Department of Agriculture will discuss general honeybee biology, necessary equipment to get started, how to maintain hive health and what permits are required to keep bees in Montana. There will be a demonstration on how to extract honey from the hive.     

Instructors for the workshop:

Cam Lay from the Department of Agriculture, who will be presenting information on the beekeeping industry in Montana and  information about regulations.

Kevin Wanner, MSU Extension Entomologist will be providing information about the basics of bee biology and some of the ways to encourage better growth and development for a beginning beekeeper.

Ruth O’Neal from the MSU Analytical Lab will be discussing some basic honeybee health and proper ways to detect and treat bees for disease.

This workshop is a unique opportunity for the Hi-Line. The workshop is limited to 30 participants and is expected to fill up quickly. Preregistration is required.

The workshop is being held on April 28, 9 AM to 1:30 AM at the Cut Bank Voting Center. A $20 fee will be charged and includes mid-morning refreshment. Registration is due by Apr 23rd. To register for the workshop or for more information contact the Glacier County Extension Office at 873-2239 or email us at glacier@montana.edu.  Payment is due prior to the workshop