SAVANNAH - Did you know that honey bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of the food we consume? Think of a world without such things as apples, almonds and strawberries.
The public can learn more about these important creatures and how to start one's own bee hive. The Coastal Empire Beekeepers Association will present a FUNdamentals of Beekeeping from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 25 at Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Participants will learn about the honey bee and the art of hobbyist beekeeping.
Morning classroom training covers basic bee biology, installing package bees and equipment basics. After lunch, students will have hands-on opportunities in Oatland's bee yard (apiary) to learn about smoker use, hive inspections and honeybee genetics. Georgia's only Master Craftsman Beekeeper, Bill Owens, and Reggie Wilbanks, owner/operator of Wilbanks Apiaries, will be our special guest speakers.
The program will be open to anyone ages 12 and older. Cost for the day-long program is $35 for first person, which includes the book "First Lessons in Beekeeping." Cost for a second participant is an additional $20. Registration fee includes admission fee to Oatland Island. Participants can bring their own lunch or purchase a $10 per person ticket for a lowcountry boil served by CEBA. For more information, call 912-965-4313 or 912-395-1509.
Oatland Island Wildlife Center is a unit of the Savannah-Chatham County School System and serves as a field study site for students throughout the region. It features the two-mile Native Animal Nature Trail that winds through maritime forest, freshwater wetlands and salt marsh habitats and links many native animal exhibits such as wolves, alligator and Florida panther. Oatland is also open to the public for self-guided tours daily and is located five miles east of Savannah off Islands Expressway. For more information, visit www.oatlandisland.org or call 912-395-1500.