In case of inclement weather, check this event page for conference updates.

March 25, 2023
Oasis Conference Center
Loveland, OH

Conference Brochure


Online Registration Website


Registration Form (if registering by mail)


Registration Information

Registration includes a continental breakfast and buffet lunch.

Registration Cost: $40

Registration opens on January 30, 2023, at 8:00 a.m.

  • Registration is limited to the first 350 pre-registered participants. When the school reaches that number, the school will be closed, and no additional registrations will be accepted.
  • No walk-ins or late registrations will be accepted. There is no waiting list available.
  • Unless the conference is canceled, no refunds will be given for this conference. We must pay for your food whether you show up or not.


How to Register

Online (preferred method)

  • Go to the event website and click on the link to the online registration website.
  • Fast & easy.
  • Pay with your credit card.
  • You can register other people on the registration website.


By Mail

  • Go to the event website.
  • Print off a registration form.
  • Make your check payable to OSU Extension.
  • Mail your registration and check to:

Ohio State University Extension

Warren County

320 E. Silver Street

Lebanon, OH 45036


No confirmation will be sent to you if you register by mail. Contact the Warren County Extension office if you have questions about your registration.


An Eco-friendlier Approach to Handouts

The Southwestern Ohio Beekeeper School uses an eco-friendly, more cost-effective approach for handouts. We do not print paper copies of the handouts. Instead, all available handouts for the school will be posted on the Event Website by the Thursday prior to the school. If you would prefer a hard copy of the handouts, please print them off at home and bring them with you to the school.

The Oasis Conference Center has free Wi-Fi available. You are welcome to bring a tablet or smartphone with you to view the handouts online while attending the classes.


Class Descriptions

Break-out Sessions #1    9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

1A   Equipment Basics (New Beekeeper Class)

        Amanda Bennett – Ohio State University Extension, Miami County

Many products are available to beginner beekeepers. But which ones do you really need? This session will cover the basic equipment needed to begin your beekeeping adventure. The benefits and drawbacks of different systems will be discussed, and participants will take away a list of essential items needed.


1B   Year-long Forage to Feed the Bees

        Denise Ellsworth – Ohio State University, Department of Entomology

Because our honeybees are foraging from March through November, they need a sequence of blooming plants to meet the colony’s nectar and pollen requirements. This session will explore some time-honored honeybee favorites as well as new research findings on honeybee foraging patterns.


1C   Pheromones- The Language of the Bees

        Gary Keuffer – Brown County Beekeeper

During this session, Gary will discuss the wide range of pheromones that honeybees possess and how they are used to communicate.


Break-out Sessions #2   10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

2A   Bee Basics (New Beekeeper Class)

        Amanda Bennett – Ohio State University Extension, Miami County   

Opening a hive can be a very daunting task for the new beekeeper. What is “normal”? What should a beekeeper be looking for during inspections? It is important for all beekeepers to understand normal lifecycles, seasonal activities, bee abnormalities, and oddities to be able to accurately assess colony health and look for red flags to guide management decisions.


2B   Plant by Numbers: Native Plants, Garden Designs and Growing Steps to Support Bees and Butterflies

        Denise Ellsworth – Ohio State University, Department of Entomology

This new effort (funded by a pollinator health grant) focuses on the use of native perennials in small garden plots to support three pollinator groups: Specialist Bees, Butterflies & Moths, and Bumble Bees. Happily, honeybees love many of the same plants and will benefit from the plants’ expanded use in gardens! Color handouts will be provided. (Three additional themes will launch in 2024.)


2C   The Demaree Method for Swarm Control: Step by Step

        Tony West – Adams County Beekeeper

Demaree is a viable option for spring swarm prevention, allowing hives to build a strong population and capitalize on spring nectar flows. During this session, Tony will lead you step by step through this swarm control strategy.


Break-out Sessions #3    12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.


3A   How to Successfully Install Packages and Nucs (New Beekeeper Class)

        Kevin Kress – Butler County Beekeeper

During this session, you will be led step-by-step through the process of installing packages and nucs. Kevin will discuss how to assess the quality of your new package and how to care for them until they are installed. He will also share information on what to do after installation. This is an essential class for new beekeepers.


3B     Proactive/Precision Beekeeping – Part I

        Alex Zomchek – Certified Master Beekeeper Instructor, Butler County

In this two-part series Alex, with 50 years of practical beekeeping experience combined with 30 years of honeybee research, looks to both reboot our beekeeping experiences and take them to the next level – precision beekeeping. All of this aims to reduce honeybee mortality and increase hive productivity. Part I will be more theory with Part II being practical implementations. Topics include defining proactive and precision beekeeping, setting realistic expectations, proactive monitoring, and controls; understanding “B-Curves” together with how they affect you and your bees, genetics, and more.


3C   The When, Why, and How to Winter Feed Bees

        Gary Keuffer – Brown County Beekeeper

During this session, Gary will cover the common mistakes that are made when preparing your bees for winter and what methods can be used in winter to successfully feed your bees.


Break-out Sessions #4    1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

4A   Creating Colony Strength & Health for First Winter Survival (New Beekeeper Class)

        Kevin Kress – Butler County Beekeeper

Poor survival during the winter is a major issue for both new and experienced beekeepers. During this session, Kevin will provide tips for new beekeepers on how to prepare your hives to survive their first winter. He will discuss brood production, recognizing health issues, how to use and when to deploy bee equipment, and what materials and conditions are required for winter survival.


4B   Proactive/Precision Beekeeping – Part II

        Alex Zomchek – Certified Master Beekeeper Instructor, Butler County

Alex takes the theory of precision beekeeping from Part I and drills down on practical applications that you can use in your bee operations to further reduce mortality and increase productivity. Topics to include focused nectar locations/flows; why three feeding schedules; increasing and improving brooding; the often-missed timing, monitoring, assessments, and controls of pests & diseases; “other” stressors that you can mitigate; and more.  Please bring questions/concerns for Q & A.


4C   Beekeeping on a Budget

        Randy Smith – Clermont County Beekeeper

Keeping bees can be hard on the pocketbook, but it doesn't have to be.  Learn how to keep bees with minimal investment. We'll show you how to acquire free bee colonies and reduce equipment costs. 



Beekeeping equipment vendors will be on-site selling equipment and merchandise. They will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Many beekeepers order their equipment and have it delivered to the school for pick-up. The current list of vendors includes Dadant, HappBee Acres, Mann Lake, and Ohio Honey Farms.