This past weekend my wife and I attended the seventh annual Audubon Beekeeping School just across the river from us in Henderson, KY. It was my first time at this event, but it surely won’t be my last. It’s too bad that the Southern Indiana beekeepers don’t have similar programs. Many attendees came down from Indiana, including our friend and fellow MG Carla (aka Mimzy), as well as several other Master Gardeners.
The school offered sessions for beginner, intermediate and advanced beekeepers, as well as a track called Beyond The Hive that featured sessions on making creamed honey, candle making, cooking with honey, and making balms and bars using beeswax. Several vendors were setup as well, including displays from Walter T Kelley and Dadant & Sons. And for only $10 per person – including a BBQ lunch, it was really quite a bargain.
I came away with a lot of good information, as well as a jar of creamed honey we made. George Martin and his wife, who keep about 70 hives in Tennessee, came up to KY to teach this class. For those know might not know, creamed honey (also called whipped or spun honey) is a 100% honey product that is made of crystallized or granulated honey. Well made creamed honey has a smooth, creamy texture with extremely fine crystals. I can see us making some of this when our honey starts rolling in!
The keynote speaker was Phil Craft, longtime KY State Apiarist, who was ‘retired’ by the state in 2011. Phil also taught the intermediate session on Disease Control. Phil shares his vast beekeeping knowledge on his blog, Phil Craft Hive Craft.
All in all, it was a day well spent. The event was held at the spacious and modern Henderson County Extension Office and Expo Center, which is a great facility for events like this. It is obvious to me that the state of Kentucky places greater value and emphasis on its extension services than does the state of Indiana! Or perhaps that’s just the way it is in Vanderburgh County, where the extension office is crammed into a tiny strip mall type building, and meetings and classes are held all over the place, wherever room can be found.
It was also a very timely event for me. Our bees have certainly been buzzing here lately, and it won’t be long before trees start blooming and hopefully the honey starts flowing!
I love creamed honey! In fact I remember eating a lot of it as a child (usually straight from the jar) as it was very commonly available in England at the time. I don’t see it as much here, but I’d love to make some from our spring honey harvest this year. Sounds like it was a great event for all things bees!
I wish a neighbor would have a bee hive. I don’t think it is happening here. My townhouse mates freaked out when I told them I was planting flowers to attract the bees and wasps. I tried to tell them that the bees and wasps are our friends and most species are very peaceful. Ah such skepticism.
I want bees so badly. A friend even gave me all the equipment. Alas, time is not my friend right now. Maybe next year. Enjoy the creamed honey. My father gets that every time he goes home to Toronto. I’ve never seen it anywhere else. It’s absolutely perfect for toast.
Interestingly bee keeping has become very popular in Melbourne’s city centre, with hives being put on apartment block roofs. I have been toying with the idea of bees where I am but chickens are my current lifestock priority.
I have never had creamed honey, but it sounds scrumptious! I agree that 10 dollars was a bargain. Best wishes on your own honey production!
Creamed honey sounds delicious, glad you had the opportunity to make some and learn more about bees.
I’ve always wanted to take a beekeeping class. I’m glad you liked yours. Hopefully there’s something similar here in Vermont.
I had a wonderful time at Bee School Saturday. I talked Ed’s ear off for an hour and a half – then I got the idea he’d had enough so I called my son in North Carolina and talked bees with him!