The OSU Extension, in partnership with the Master Gardener volunteers of Clark County, will offer a two-day beginner’s beekeeping course. Marshall Gorby/Staff

Get the buzz on beekeeping in Springfield with new course

Ever been interested in starting a beekeeping business? The Ohio State University Extension of Clark County may have the course for you.

The extension, in partnership with the Master Gardener volunteers of Clark County, will offer a two-day beginner’s beekeeping course on Friday, March 9, from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, March 10, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The course will take place at the OSU Extension Office, located at the Springview Government Center, 3130 E. Main St. in Springfield.

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Pam Bennett, OSU Extension agent and the state Master Gardener volunteer program director, said the course came about after the city changes its ordinances in October to allows bees to be kept in the Springfield city limits.

“There’s a lot of interest from our consumers and our clientele,” she said. “They really want to know how to keep bees.”

Residents who sign up for the class will learn all the fundamentals on how to start their own hive, Bennett said, from purchasing a queen and their first brood to how to care for the bees through the winter months. They’ll also learn how to harvest their honey at the end of the gathering season and tips to avoid being stung.

“If you’re a beginning beekeeper — or even an experienced beekeeper — you’re going to get stung. That’s just the nature of the beast,” she said. “But our teachers will show you how to work your hive and lower that risk of being stung.”

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There’s a big interest in local food production and beekeeping in general, Bennett said, but people have become more aware of the need of pollinators in nature, another reason the course has been started.

“Pollinators provide us with more than two-thirds of our food to feed the country,” she said. “We really need those pollinators and honeybees are the largest pollinators that we have.”

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The cost of the course is $35, which includes lunch during the Saturday session, handouts and a beekeeping notebook compiled by the instructors. Space is limited, but those interested can find more information and registration forms for the course on the OSU Extension website,