Have you ever wondered how to get started as a beekeeper? Common questions include: Where should I put my hive? What equipment and supplies will I need? How much will it cost? And how long will it take to get my first honey crop?

Now is the time to get ready for spring beekeeping, and a class this coming Saturday will answer these questions and many more. Beekeeping: Fundamentals for Beginners will include an equipment checklist, a survey of the structure and function of the Langstroth hive, and overviews of bee behavior, basic safety, and Colony Collapse Disorder.

“Keeping bees is an ancient pastime that now has huge impacts on modern issues like food security and biodiversity,” according to local beekeeper Daniel Graham who has offered the class for the past several years. “People have heard about the honey bees and other pollinators suffering from population declines, pollution, and habitat loss, and they want to find ways to help change those trends.”

While this class is targeted for newcomers to the hobby, Graham notes the many specialties that experienced beekeepers can choose. “Some beekeepers just harvest honey, some collect pollen or propolis or royal jelly, and others process beeswax or breed queens and sell them. My sideline is removing hives that have moved into locations where they become a nuisance.”

The class will be held outdoors, at the Community Plaza mini-park at Brady Ave. and Avenue A, this coming Saturday, Dec. 14, from 1-2:30 pm. Parking is under the Austin Ave. overpass, and the Plaza is directly across the street from the parking lot. Bring your own lawn chair, and dress for the weather. The class fee is $20 per person.

RSVP is requested by phone, 325-641-9029, or by email to beemonster@verizon.net. Anyone who is unable to attend this Saturday, but would be interested in a future class, is also encouraged to RSVP to be added to the notification list.