Aspiring Beekeepers Get Basic Training

Press Release – A group of novice and would-be beekeepers suited up in protective gear to check hive boxes at Richard Hebert’s bee yard here.

The group is part of the first basic beekeeper training class offered by the LSU AgCenter. Keith Hawkins, the Beauregard Parish county agent, organized the class, which met in July and August.

“We started with the different varieties of bees and their biology,” Hawkins said. “We discussed configuration of the hives, the accessories that you need and bee products.”

The participants also learned how to get bees, care for them during the off-season and about hive pests such as hive beetles. 

Hebert is president of the Southwest Louisiana Beekeepers Association and keeps about 70 hives of bees, some on his property and others in orchards. He said he started keeping bees to pollinate his clover, but says he now has lots of bees but little clover.

He knew about master beekeeper training programs in other states and wanted to start something similar in Louisiana. He hosted visits to his bee yard because he thought it was important for potential beekeepers to get hands-on training with bees. 

“You can look at pictures all day long and not really get a grasp of what it is to actually hold a frame of bees, to open a hive and to hear the buzz and listen to the bees talk,” Hebert said.

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