Saturday, February 18, 2012

Master Gardeners attend a beekeeping workshop.

Intermediate Beekeeping Session A Big Success
By Kim Labno

Fifteen Master Gardeners from Philadelphia attended the Intermediate Beekeeping session featuring well-known beekeeper Don Shump at the Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park. This advanced training opportunity was educational for MGs with different levels of apiculture experience. Don answered a broad range of questions. A few take-away points are presented here:

* A hive houses upwards of 60,000 bees.There are three kinds of bees: queens, workers and drones. The species and subspecies of bees are ubiquitous     for Americas, Europe and Scandanavia.

* The history of colony collapse disorder, identified by a Pennsylvanian beekeeper, began in around 2005 and 2006. To date, the source(s) causing the mysterious disappearance of bees has not been identified. There is an average 30% decline in bee population annually; the population is able to stabilize itself because bees breed quickly. 

* Honey is extremely hydrophobic. This characteristic enables honey to destroy microbes and therefore will not ferment, even after long periods of time. Honey extraction can be performed manually using a crank or electrically with a centrifuge extractor.  

Everyone appreciated the causal and lovely setting of the greenhouse where the session took place and many folks lingered afterwards. The veteran and newcomer Master Gardeners enjoyed getting acquainted with one another in conversations that will continue in the coming year.

If you or your organization are interested in a presentation 
please contact Don at

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