18th Annual Field Day at the USDA Honey Bee Lab in Baton Rouge

The USDA Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory and the Louisiana State Beekeepers Association will hold the 18th Annual Field Day on Saturday, October 11, 2014. The event will be held at the laboratory, located at 1157 Ben Hur Rd. This is near the intersection of Nicholson Drive (Hwy 30) and Brightside Dr., which is about two miles south of the LSU football stadium.

Gates will open at 9:30 a.m.; activities are scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  A nonrefundable pre-registration fee of $30.00 is required for attendees 12 years of age and above.  Children eleven and under, must stay with their parents at all times. You must pre-register by October 1, 2014.  You may register on-line at labeekeepers.org and pay through PayPal or credit card or you may mail your registration form that is located on the labeekeepers.org web site and your check payable to the Louisiana Beekeepers Association to:  David Ferguson, P.O. Box 716, Brusly, LA 70719. If you do not pre-register by October 1, 2014, the cost will be $35.00 per person.

The registration fee covers expenses including coffee, pastries and a great-catered lunch that includes Bar B Q Chicken Leg Quarters, Smoked Sausage, Dirty Rice, Bar B Q Beans, and Garden Salad with choice of 4 Dressings, Fresh Baked Honey Wheat Rolls, Honey Bee Cake and Coke Products.

The Field Day will include courses for beginners and more experienced beekeepers as well as workshops for those interested in a variety of topics. The beginning beekeeper course will begin with how to get started for those who do not yet own bees, then will progress to how to manage a few colonies. Topics will include equipment needs for the beginner, nectar producing plants, maintenance of colonies, pests, safety and etiquette in beekeeping, and hands on training in an active colony.  The intermediate beekeeping course was a hit last year and it will be offered again with a variety of topics focused on the beekeeper with a moderate amount of experience that is now ready to take it to the next level. Topics will include anticipating equipment needs throughout a season, pest management, honey processing, and swarm catching.  There will be a variety of focused workshops for those not attending the courses (typically the more advanced beekeepers), i.e., queen rearing, instrumental insemination, small hive beetle control, good honey plants and artificial nutrition sources. These workshops will represent both the USDA-ARS Bee Lab’s research and beekeeper experiences. At the end of the day, the intermediate and advanced groups will come together over active colonies. Here they will have the opportunity to discuss a variety of topics and ask laboratory personnel and experienced beekeepers questions while gaining some hands-on experience in an open hive.

For additional information please contact Dr. Lanie Bourgeois (225-767-9299), Sandra Hineman (225-767-9280) or Joe Sanroma (318-346-2805).