Are you interested in bees or becoming a beekeeper? Bees are no different than livestock or any other new venture, what you don’t know can result in a total failure. To avoid errors and setbacks, the best way to learn is not by experience, but by listening to those who have been there and done that. So if this is where you are in your quest to be a beekeeper, you are in luck.

A class for beginning beekeepers will be held in the executive auditorium of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon on Saturday, Nov. 9. The class will start at 9 a.m. with registration and end by 3:30 p.m.

Topics covered in the class include Honeybee Biology, Equipment Needed, Where and How to Get Bees, Locating the Apiary, Hands-on Equipment Construction, Seasonal Management, Integrated Pest Management, Harvesting Honey, and Nectar Sources.

The cost of the class is $35 (students with current ID, $20) and enrollment is limited to 100 participants. Pre-register at or by sending a check for $35 payable to the Highlands Beekeepers Association to the Washington County Extension Office, 234 W. Valley St., Suite B, Abingdon, VA 24210. Participants will be given a Beekeeping Basics booklet, a certificate of completion, and membership in the Highlands Beekeepers Association.

The class is sponsored by the Washington County Extension Office and the Highlands Beekeepers Association. Call the extension office at 276-676-6309 if you have questions or email or HBA President Phil Ernst at

Upcoming Events

Nov. 6 -- VQA Sale, Tri State Livestock Market, 7 p.m.

Nov. 11 -- VQA Steer Take Up, Tri-State.                              

Nov. 13 -- VQA Heifer Take Up, Tri State.

Nov. 18 -- Smyth County Farm Management/Private Pesticide Recertification Meeting, 6 p.m., Farm Bureau Building in Marion.

Nov. 20 -- Pesticide Recertification, 8:30 a.m., Smyth County Extension Office.

Dec. 4 -- VQA Sale, Tri State Livestock Market, 7 p.m.

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Dr. Andy Overbay is Smyth County’s agriculture and natural resources extension agent.

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