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Conference Brochure

Online Registration Website - - CLOSED AS OF 3/25/22 12:30PM NO WALK-INS OR LATE REGISTRATIONS

Registration Form (if registering by mail) - 2022 Bee School Registration(Paper Form)

Registration Information

Registration includes a continental breakfast and buffet lunch.

Registration Cost: $40

Registration opens January 25, 2022 at 4:00 p.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 have to 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, Warren County.
  • 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.

A More Eco-Friendly 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 this page 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 wifi 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 the beginner beekeeper. But, which ones do you really need? This session will cover 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   Native Plants for Birds, Bees, Butterflies and Other Beneficials
Denise Ellsworth – Ohio State University, Department of Entomology
We can all play a vital role in the development and conservation of habitat that benefits bees, birds, butterflies, and good garden bugs. This session will focus on the role native plants play in creating habitat for pollinators and others.  Plant suggestions and simple design elements will be shared. By using native plants to create a patchwork of habitat, everyone can positively impact the health and survival of these important creatures.

1C   April Beekeeping Tasks
Gary Keuffer – Brown County Beekeeper
In Southern Ohio, April is perhaps one of the busiest months of our beekeeping year. The hives are expanding quickly; supplemental feeding may be required; swarm prevention measures should be taken and adding supers to the hive are but a few of the tasks required during this month.

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 up 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   Using Advanced Monitoring to Increase Production and Reduce Hive Mortality
Alex Zomchek – Certified Master Beekeeper Instructor, Butler County
This presentation explores bringing old school animal husbandry in line with state-of-the-art hive monitoring.  Understanding dates (seasonal bee curves), brood numbers, pests & diseases thresholds give you tools to work your bees in a high hive mortality world.   Knowing what to look for; when to look; and what to do about varying conditions will make you a better beekeeper.

2C   Beekeeping Rules & Regulations
Gigi Neal – Ohio State University Extension Educator, Clermont County
What are the rules for keeping bees in Ohio? During this session, Gigi will share some basic information about regulations for keeping hives in Ohio, including registration, inspection and where they can be located. She’ll also discuss protecting your bees from pesticide applications from both commercial applicators and from yourself.

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   Phenology for Beekeepers: Using a Biological Calendar to Predict Plant Bloom
Denise Ellsworth – Ohio State University, Department of Entomology
Phenology is the study of recurring biological phenomena and their relationship to weather and climate. Bird migration, hunting and gathering seasons, blooming of wildflowers and trees, and the seasonal appearance of insects are examples of phenological events that have been recorded for centuries. Participants will learn how to track bloom time of local plants using a web-based biological calendar, how native bees emerge in relation to phenology, and how to customize this calendar for plants honeybees love.

3C   Honeybee Nutrition- What-When-Why and How of Feeding Honeybees
Gary Keuffer – Brown County Beekeeper
This program covers the key components of a honeybee’s diet, nectar, and pollen. When and how to feed supplemental resources to bees to ensure their survival is also covered.

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   Queen Monitoring & Rearing
Alex Zomchek – Certified Master Beekeeper Instructor, Butler County
Missing, failing, or failed queens have become the new normal for most beekeepers.  This in turn leads to failed, failing, and/or unproductive hives.  This presentation highlights the hows and whys of timely queen monitoring together with the importance of queen banking.  This lecture will also explore basic queen genetics.  We will then discuss what to look for when purchasing queens.  We will end covering how to collect and/or produce your own queens as needed using simple to more advanced techniques.

4C   Swarm Trapping 101
Randy Smith – Clermont County Beekeeper
Consider it as "fishing" for bees; trapping is an easy, effective method for acquiring free colonies during the spring swarm season. We'll show you everything you need to know for a successful trapping season.


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 list of Vendors and their contact information will be posted on this website as soon as it becomes available.