Beekeeping Symposium returns to Clanton

Published 8:51 am Tuesday, January 10, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The 22nd Annual Alabama Cooperative Extension System Beekeeper Symposium will feature tips and information from experts in the field beneficial for the experienced beekeeper and those just starting out.

Gay West, Chilton County extension coordinator, said the symposium is a good opportunity for anyone interested in beekeeping to get information before they make the investment in necessary equipment.

“I think if they have any interest at all, this is a good place to start. They can hear from people who are already doing it,” West said.

The symposium will be held Feb. 4 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center on the Jefferson State Community College Clanton Campus.

The deadline to pre-register is Jan. 20. The cost is $35. Pre-registration includes a box lunch.

West said admission at the door would be $50 and would not include lunch.

Typically, 500 to 600 people from across the state attend the event. West said Clanton was a good location for the event because it was centrally located in the state.

She said the symposium is a way for the extension to “help the beekeepers to have healthy hives, help new people to be successful with beekeeping.”

“Bees are very important pollinators for crops,” West said.

Topics for beginners will include the basic equipment needed, the lifecycle of a honey bee, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and how to avoid common mistakes.  Numerous sessions will be available for experienced beekeepers to choose from ranging from bee reproduction and nutrition to sustainability of beekeeping and making products from honey.

Vendors selling equipment for beekeeping will also be onsite.

Pre-registration for the event can be complete online at

The symposium has been held in Chilton County for the past three years, after the event outgrew the facility it was using in Auburn.

The Chilton County Extension Office will also offer a free Beekeeping 101 class on March 21.

Local beekeeper associations across the state serve as ongoing support for beekeepers statewide. West said the Chilton County Beekeepers Association usually has 50 members at its meeting.  The group meets the first Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Clanton Recreation Center.