The Delta Rivers Nature Center will hold an introductory class on bee keeping on Saturday, February 9, 2019, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 (more below). Called Basic Beekeeping for Beginners, this class will cover bee biology, hives, equipment, sources for bees, honey, and beeswax, among other things. Safety in beekeeping will be a main objective throughout the class.
Bees and Beekeeping in Arkansas
Arkansas’ state insect is the honeybee (Apis mellifera). Other bees common to the state are the bumblebee, the solitary bee (which does not sting), and a hybrid European-African bee. The honeybee’s special designation is quite appropriate, though, as the state has been a significant producer of honey for decades.
An interesting fact about honey is that the flavor is influenced by the source of pollen. Honey has a few more calories than sugar, for comparable units, but tastes sweeter; thus people tend to use less. Also, honey has the right balance of sugar, mild acidity, and low moisture to prevent microorganizsms from growing. However, it is possible that honey could contain the spores of a type of bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum; infants may not have the immune system capabilities or enough stomach acid to fight off these spores and could develop infant botulism.
Other products from bees include beeswax for candles and other products, cosmetic, and pharmaceuticals, to name just a very few examples. In addition to direct products, beekeepers and their charges are beneficial to farmers and consumers. Bee pollination is crucial to food crops, with much coming from honeybee colonies.
Pollination and direct products that come from beekeeping all make this an important industry to the state. Also, many of Arkansas’ apiaries are locally owned and have local customer base; locally owned businesses are always important to a regional economy.
However, the productivity and potential income has declined over the last fifteen-plus years as the state’s number of colonies has declined; also, a drop in prices complicated matters and drove some out of business. But if the markets have stabilized by now, or if beekeeping colonies are lacking in the area, maybe there is room for locally owned honeybee colonies in Pine Bluff! It does tend to be, after all, a very local industry. Then again, beekeeping could be a rewarding hobby. Just go to the Delta Rivers Nature Center’s class and learn from them!
Details for Basic Beekeeping for Beginners
Partipicants need to register for the Basic Beekeeping for Beginners class and can do so simply by calling the Center at 870-534-0011. Here is full contact information on the Delta Rivers Nature Center. This information includes a link to their Facebook page which is updated regularly; the Center is worth following. Stay in tune with their many educational events, including classes about birds, reptiles, hunting safety, boater education, and more.