The buzz on beekeeping: Keepers gather at FLCC

An estimated 300 to 400 beekeepers are poised to descend on the Finger Lakes Community College campus this Saturday.

They’ll be attending the largest one-day beekeeping conference in upstate New York, according to Master Beekeeper Ben Carpenter of Hungry Bear Farms in Middlesex.

“As a child we all learned how to care for a dog or a cat, but how many of us learned to keep 60,000 insects alive and well? Very few,” said Carpenter. “Beekeeping is not natural to us, we need to be educated.”

Hosted by the Canandaigua-based Ontario Finger Lakes Beekeepers Association, the Geneva Bee Conference is slated for March 24, from 8:15 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Throughout the day, 12 speakers will present 15 different workshops on the subjects of sustainable backyard beekeeping, queen quality, bee nutrition, the impact of pesticides, gardening with native plants, candlemaking, hive management and how to win honey shows.

The event will also feature a honey swap, raffles and silent auction, and closes with an evening social at The Inn on the Lake.

“Beekeeping is a behind the scene industry,” said Carpenter. “Upstate New York is deep in beekeeping history and a great area to keep bees and make honey.”

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