Learn how to be a beekeeper at May 5th Field Day

Public invited to Alamo Area Beekeepers Association’s 10th annual Field Day.

Each year, the Alamo Area Beekeepers Association extends a special invitation to nature lovers of all ages who are interested in learning about bees and becoming a beekeeper. Admission is free. Attendees are urged to bring their own lawn chairs and a potluck dish if they are staying for the noontime lunch.

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, 2007 (RAIN OR SHINE!)

WHERE: Alice & Alvin Wiemers’ farm at 933 County Road 341 north of Hondo

Directions to the Wiemers Farm:

From U.S. Highway 90 in Hondo, go north on FM 462 (also called Avenue M). Go 1½ miles and turn right onto County Road 341. After one-half mile, you will come to a “T” in the road. Take a left and continue down CR 341. The Wiemers’ farm is about a mile down the road, the third entrance on the left.

Registration starts at 9 a.m. and this year’s field day will feature a program from 9:30 a.m. to noon on the basics of beekeeping. The afternoon sessions will feature demonstrations on working with bees in a hive and a program on making lotions and cosmetic creams from beeswax.

On Sunday, April 22, the world will observe the 27th celebration of Earth Day and, at the same time, contemplate recent scientific reports confirming the presence of elevated levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere, and warning of dire consequences from global warming attributed to industrial development.

There is additional anecdotal evidence that naturally occurring bee colonies and cultivated bee colonies are experiencing unusual problems, and are on the decline in North America and Europe, victimized by a new and mysterious occurrence known as "Colony Collapse Disorder."

Honeybees are the chief pollinators for more than 90 different North American crops and it is not hard to imagine the huge impact that honeybees have on the grocery bills of today's consumers. Therefore, now more than ever, there is a crucial need for more widespread cultivation of honeybee colonies by commercial honey producers, orchard growers, gardeners and backyard hobbyist beekeepers.

Members of the Alamo Area Beekeepers Association have put together a morning program to teach the basics of beekeeping. The program will include presentations on the equipment needed to maintain a successful bee colony; how and where to get bees; how to put them in a beehive; problems to watch out for and ways of preventing them; and how to harvest honey and other bee products.

The goal of the association is to support people interested in beekeeping, whether they are looking to increase their garden yields or just because they like honey.

Attached to this news release is a copy of the latest edition of the association’s bimonthly News Bulletin, which includes articles on start-up costs for beginning beekeepers and Internet resources for beekeeping supplies and bees.

Membership in the Alamo Area Beekeepers Association

The Alamo Area Beekeepers Association meets six times a year at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of odd-numbered months at the Ruble Center, 419 E. Magnolia Ave.

Annual dues are $15 for individuals and families.

Each meeting features a program on any of a variety of beekeeping topics and includes a potluck dinner, question-and-answer session and door prizes.

Come join us at the May 5th Field Day and learn about the interesting world of honeybees!

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