New beekeepers wanted. Winona State University (WSU) professor Bruno Borsari is on a campaign. In the pollinator-themed puppet show "Insectopia" last week, the associate professor of biology extolled the benefits for insects and humans alike of keeping a backyard hive. He keeps one near campus. After Frozen River Film Festival's screening of the bee documentary "More Than Honey," some Winonans may have visions of honeycombs dancing in their heads. This Saturday Borsari will lead a one-day class for novice beekeepers.
After sedating the bees with puffs of smoke, Dr. Bruno Borsari cracked open the top of his downtown beehive last summer. Borsari will lead a "Beekeeping Basics" class on Saturday.
Keeping bees requires an investment in hive boxes, netting or a bee suit, and the animals themselves. They come in the mail, by the pound. It requires some technical knowledge, too, but surprisingly little time. Much of beekeeping, it turns out, is simply giving the communal insects a place to do what they do. It is easier than you might think, first-time beekeeper Elena Herreid said in a previous interview. "If you're willing to invest a little bit of money and not that much time, then I think it's incredibly worthwhile," she said.
Borsari's day-long class covers the basics of establishing a hive, honey production, and preventing disease. WSU will host "Beekeeping Basics" on Saturday, February 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Pasteur Hall. The course costs $85. For more information or to register, call 507-457-5080.
The University of Minnesota Extension also hosts beekeeping classes and offers educational materials. Visit www.extension.umn.edu/garden/honey-bees for more information or call the Winona County Extension Office at 507-457-6440.