Monday, April 15, 2013

Learn about bees and beekeeping

Seasoned beekeeper Richard McGinnis will be presenting two sessions on bees and beekeeping at our 2013 conference. He describes himself as a "Homesteader, Master Beekeeper, Heirloom Seed Enthusiast, Food Preservationist, Hen Whisperer. Talented organizer of other people's random thoughts and processes. Skilled time manager, patient tutor." Richard has kept bees on his rural Illinois homestead, as well as atop a Chicago skyscraper.

He'll be offering these sessions:

Bee Basics: Are you thinking of getting a garden beehive for fun or starting an apiary (a place where beehives are located) to make a little cash? Are you bee-curious? Do you have questions about CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder)? Do you want to help make your garden or orchard more productive? Or, do you simply want to participate in a conversation about different ways we can be kind to our pollinators? North-central Illinois beekeeper, Richard McGinnis, will lead a presentation on the basics of beekeeping, beekeeping etiquette, best bee practices for our region and introduce you to the stickiest business on the planet.

Beekeeping 101: Richard McGinnis leads an overview of materials, costs, pros and cons of different hive types (i.e. the Langstroth hive and the top-bar hive) and what to expect when starting your apiary. We will also review the anatomy of honey bees, the care and feeding of honey bees and managing the colony throughout the different seasons. We will discuss in disgusting detail the various pests, parasites and predators of our beloved bees as well as keeping an eye out for swarms and capturing feral colonies. Time and interest permitting, we will chat about the products from the hive, marketing these products, and managing a seasonal business. Even if you are a seasoned beekeeper, you will want to attend this session to contribute your knowledge – the best ideas come from community conversations and shared concepts.

Beyond bees, Richard is a statistical analysis and problem solving professional, talented teacher and manager of information technology. He exceeds at development of marketing strategies and targeted demographic delivery. He is passionate about bringing divergent cultures and communities together through sustainability initiatives using multi-platform, integrated media combined with hands-on experiential workshops as a cohesive and compelling reality.
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment;
that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
-- Thoreau, Walden - The Conclusion