The Buzz about Bees!
Are you interested in keeping bees? Are you interested in gardening to conserve bees? Are you interested in getting greater amounts of produce from your vegetable garden and orchards? If so, then you should attend the
Beekeeping 101 Workshop on October 29 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This workshop will be held at the University of Illinois Extension in Livingston County, 1412 S. Locust, Pontiac. Please register at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/lmw/register. A fee of $5 will be collected to offset the cost of the program. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact us at (815) 842-1776.
Beekeeping 101 workshop on November 3 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. This workshop will be held at the University of Illinois Extension in Woodford County, 109 E. Eureka Ave., Eureka. Please register at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/lmw/register. A fee of $5 will be collected to offset the cost of the program. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact us at (309) 467-3789.
It is a well-known fact that we need honey bees for a multitude of food crops. According to the American Beekeeping Federation, honey bees contribute over 14 billion dollars' worth of value to U.S. crops. A great example of the importance of honey bees can be seen when growing strawberries. As many as 20 visits from bees to each receptacle are required to fully pollinate all of the flowers. An increase in final berry weight can be seen with as many as 60 visits.
Learn about how to cultivate these important pollinators from an expert beekeeper from Bloomington, IL. Joe Sibley will teach basic beekeeping to both the novice and experienced beekeeper and will answer any questions that you may have. He will touch on life cycle, lifespan, hardware/equipment, keeping a beekeeper's calendar, diseases and pests. A honey tasting will provide nourishment for our working brains.
Joe Sibley is the owner and operator of Sibley Apiaries located in Normal, IL. He started his beekeeping adventures in Jr. High as an FFA project and has been keeping bees for about 36 years! Joe has between 18 and 25 hives at a time; he started the ISU Beekeeping Club together with an ISU Professor. Joe speaks to schools, community organizations and other clubs on the importance of beekeeping.
Tom Pankonen is the owner and operator of Honey Pimp Apiaries, a small business located in Bloomington, IL. He wrangles about 30-50 hives, depending on the season. Tom's business is focused on producing strong healthy bees that can overcome local challenges like climate, pests, chemicals, and disease. Tom speaks periodically at events in the community, schools, clubs, and to anyone who will listen to information about the blood, sweat, and tears that go into being a beekeeper.
Patti Koranda is highly involved in the Illinois State University Beekeeping Club, helps keep bees at the Sugar Grove Nature Center, and is a hobbyist beekeeper as well. She is a huge advocate of promoting beekeeping and educating the public of their importance. She says more people should keep bees because it can be easily adopted whether you live in the country or in town. She says her bees are happy this year with the warm weather and all the food provided by the rains. She feeds her bees with a flower planting of native perennial and bee friendly annuals and expects them to pollinate vegetables from the garden and a small orchard.