Three-day beekeeping seminar starts Friday


Morgan Timms

Hundreds of bees are displayed on one of the frames of a beehive Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016 during the Southern Illinois Treatment-Free Beekeeping Seminar Series at Touch of Nature Environmental Center in Makanda. (Morgan Timms | @Morgan_Timms)

By Gabby Pettyjohn

Community members will have an opportunity to learn all about natural beekeeping at a three-day event starting at 6 p.m. Friday at the Dayemi Community Center.

The natural beekeeping seminar will feature discussion and a hands-on beehive demonstrations with beekeeper and author Michael Bush.

The event is open to any experience level, according to the event press release.

Anyone wants to learn more about bees in general is encouraged to go to Friday’s event, according to event registration page, as it will provide an introduction to honeybees and their importance to the environment.

Saturday’s event will feature talks over topics like queen bee rearing and steps to raise healthier bees. On Sunday, the seminar will be held at Dayempur Farm: Center for Sustainable Living, with workshops for participants to interact with the hives there.

Event organizer Mark Fletter, a local beekeeper, said humans have domesticated honey bees like cows.

“Natural beekeeping is the idea of trying to get bees back into the wild, like before we domesticated them,” Fletter said.

While modern beekeeping uses pesticides to rid hives of pests, Fletter said the chemicals are also unintentionally harming the bees. Natural beekeeping is centered on the idea that honeybees can take care of themselves.

The event will also address how modern beekeeping methods have actually weakened the bee population, Fletter said. 

“Honey bees have been on the planet for roughly 50 million years,” Fletter said. “They know how to survive.”

The cost of the seminar is $120 for three days, with the option to register for a single day for a lower cost. Those interested can register online at

Staff writer Gabby Pettyjohn can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @gpettyjohn98.

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