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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

UF bee research lab kicking off Bee College conference Friday

<p><span id="docs-internal-guid-599e0977-7fff-8d7c-e860-e4081b8b0163"><span>Onlookers watch bees work in awe Saturday in the Observation Room at the Honey Bee Lab’s grand opening. At the event, artifacts are on put on display from age-old beekeeping methods. The Honey Bee Lab is located at 1881 Natural Area Drive.</span></span></p>

Onlookers watch bees work in awe Saturday in the Observation Room at the Honey Bee Lab’s grand opening. At the event, artifacts are on put on display from age-old beekeeping methods. The Honey Bee Lab is located at 1881 Natural Area Drive.

Hundreds of beekeepers will buzz on campus to network and make food with honey starting today.

UF’s Honeybee Research and Extension Lab, which opened in August, will host its first Bee College Conference today, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday, said Mary Bammer, the event organizer.

Bee College is an annual beekeeping conference hosted by UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Past conferences were hosted in St. Augustine at UF’s Whitney Marine Lab, Bammer said.

The event was extended after the waitlist became too long. Now, 375 beekeepers are expected to attend, Bammer said.

“We felt like extending it would be a good opportunity for us to reach even more beekeepers from around the state,” she said. 

Registration for the first event opened in late July but filled up by September, Bammer said. The event costs $100 for one day or $150 for both days. 

Bammer’s team is still deciding if UF’s campus will be the permanent home for Bee College, she said.

Bee College will offer a tour of the honeybee lab, beekeeping courses, the Honey Show’s art exhibit and Junior Bee College, a honeybee education course for children between 6 and 12 years old, Bammer said. 

The extended session will not have the Honey Show and Junior Bee College.

Zack Blizzard, 49, owns Zack’s Honey Farm in Jacksonville and has been a beekeeper for about six years. Although he cannot come to Bee College this year, he said the conference helped develop a sense of community.

 “It proved that I’m actually part of something bigger,” he said.

 

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Onlookers watch bees work in awe Saturday in the Observation Room at the Honey Bee Lab’s grand opening. At the event, artifacts are on put on display from age-old beekeeping methods. The Honey Bee Lab is located at 1881 Natural Area Drive.

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