Beekeepers in the Bluegrass
Association Meeting Information

The Bluegrass Beekeepers meet monthly throughout the year excluding January and August. The meetings are the second Monday of each month and include an always fabulous potluck starting at 7:00 p.m. The meetings are held at the Fayette County Extension Office in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Bee School

Bee school announcements, schedules, calls for volunteers, etc.

Below you should see a link to all the lecture notes, etc. from Bee School 2018. You will have to have a password for opening most of these files and if you don’t have the password then you need to talk to one of the organizers of the event who can verify you were at Bee School 2018.

The webmaster does not have the ability to verify your presence and as such will NOT give you the password. All inquiries of the sort will be deleted.



Systematic treatment for Varroa
Jack Kuhn, Kuhndog Ridge Farm – 8-year sideline beekeeper.
The Varroa mite is currently considered the number one threat to the health of your hives. Appropriate and timely treatment is paramount to the survival of your bees. After we cover the brief life cycle of this parasite, we will discuss the importance of treatment timing, practical application of various treatment options available to the bee keeper, including “chemical” and “natural” treatments, and why multiple sampling and treatment is often warranted. If you have a 30-50 percent annual hive loss, this information will dramatically reduce your losses. The speaker has averaged 10 percent hive loss the last three years since employing systematic varroa treatment.

First year hive management
Jack Kuhn, Kuhndog Ridge Farm – 8-year sideline beekeeper
You’ve just invested $600 in a new hive, package of bees, vail and smoker – now what do you do?! Sit them out back and let them fend for themselves? NOOO! This class will walk you through the seasons and outline actions you will want to take to properly manage your bee hive(s) over the next 12 months. We will cover the importance of increasing the bee population in the hive, ensure honey and pollen stores are available; treat for varroa mite, combat the hive beetle, watch for the insidious wax moth, prepare the hive for winter, overwinter the hive, and prepare for the following spring honey flow. Focus is on building a strong hive, survive the winter, and be ready to produce excess honey the following spring. Lots to do, lots to do, if you want to bee successful.

Trapping feral honeybees with Swarm traps
Dwight Wells, President of West Central Ohio Beekeepers Assoc, Founder of Heartland Honeybee Breeders Cooperative
Learn how to build a swarm trap, set it out and use the proper ingredients for attracting swarms. Feral swarms are showing mite resistance and mite tolerance. Come hear about the latest data collected.

Dwight Wells, President of West Central Ohio Beekeepers Assoc, Founder of Heartland Honeybee Breeders Cooperative
An overview of the importance of honeybee nutrition from spring to fall.   

Kentucky Queen Bee Breeders’ Association working with Purdue to Bring Sustainable Queens to Kentucky.   
Dorothey Morgan, President of Kentucky Queen Bee Breeders’ Association
This class is about mite chewing bees, diseases that mites carry, and how bees are compared to ourselves.

Introduction to Instrumental Insemination of Honey Bee Queens
Dorothey Morgan, President of Kentucky Queen Bee Breeders’ Association
This talk is about the beginning cost of insemination equipment and shows insemination being done, as well as drone semen being harvested.

Hive Diagnostics
Katherine White
Looking, listening…and sniffing from the outside of the hive to know what’s happening on the inside of the hive.

Nucs- The Spare Tire of the Beeyard
Wes Henry, President Capital City Beekeepers Association, owner/ Beekeeper of “Summer’s Bird Honey”
Need a queen, a frame or two of brood, a honey/ pollen frame, a pulled frame for a damaged one; need to boost a weak hive in the fall, or whatever? Like a spare tire for your truck or car, every apiary should have at least one managed nuc to keep ya going with little interruption for such things- Save money, time, know what ya got, and do some learning too. This class will help you recognize and use the benefits of keeping a nuc. 

Marketing Honey
Rick Sutton
Class includes labeling, marketing and preparing honey for sale. We will look at some of the current issues with 90% of the honey being sold in stores that is labeled “local” that is not Kentucky honey, including Ky Proud.

Rescuing Bees from Trees and Other Hard to Reach Places
Randy Rosbrook, President of Madison County Beekeepers Association
Sometimes bees get into places that are inconvenient for cohabitation with humans. We’ll learn how to safely remove bees from diverse and extreme locations.

Technology’s Positive Impact on the Hive
Randy Rosbrook, President of Madison County Beekeepers Association
Beekeepers have been on the leading edge of technology for the last 100 years. Being innovators themselves, beeks have sometimes erred to the reckless side but their trials have paved the way for solid advances in the apiary.

Hives for People with Disabilities
Carl Jackson
We will look at hive configurations of the past, current hive designs and hives for the physically challenged.

Youth Education
MacKenzie Jones, Murray State University
We will look at how to teach in a school or informal setting to youth about bees, I will provide lesson plans and ideas I have created and used in the past.

What I wish I had known…
John Antenucci, Beekeeper and Mentor, Lazy Dog Honey, Frankfort, Ky
We all learn as we progress through our beekeeping experience.  This session offers insights and practical suggestions that will provide shortcuts to your learning experience.  Topics will range broadly from equipment selection and modification to colony management practices that have proven effective.

Beeyard Management by the Holiday Calendar
John Antenucci, Beekeeper and Mentor, Lazy Dog Honey, Frankfort, Ky
Discipline comes in many forms; a simple one is the holiday calendar.  In this session both new and experienced Beekeepers are introduced to an annual calendar of holidays and the beekeeping practices and activities that can be associated with them. For example; Most people celebrate Thanksgiving with a meal, why shouldn’t your bees?

Negative Effects of Chemicals on the Hive 
Kent Williams, Eastern Apiculture Society Master Beekeeper, Wingo, Ky
It’s not your grandpa’s environment anymore.  The introduction of a wide range of organic and inorganic chemicals into our daily lives, household products and agricultural and horticultural pursuits are impacting all pollinators.  Which are causing the most impact on honeybees and are there strategies for controlling their impact?

Small Hive Beetle Biology
Kent Williams, Eastern Apiculture Society Master Beekeeper, Wingo, Ky
Small Hive Beetles are both a threat to and the consequence of stressed hives and weakened colonies.  This session will describe the source and nature of the threat, its consequences and strategies for controlling these persistent pests.

Research Results: Potential for Positive Impacts on the Hive
Tom Webster, Associate Professor, Kentucky State University Apiculture-Beekeeping Program
A review of achievements and promising research and its potential for improving your success as a beekeeper, today and in the near future.  This session will report on a cross section of research e.g. Varroa, environmental factors influencing queen performance, nutrition et al that is or expected to have a positive influence in beekeeping.

Honeybee friendly plants and trees
Janet Osborn, Lazy Dog Honey and 20+ years of landscaping in the Blue Grass, Frankfort, Ky
The curse of habitat loss and monoculture:  you can do your part to offset it.  This session introduces a wide range of vegetative types that can provide honeybees and other pollinators a wide variety of nectar and pollen sources.  Whether your intent is to provide an island in an otherwise nectar desert or miles of fence line or acres of flowers, here is a structured look at what can work in the Bluegrass region.

Kentucky Pollinator Protection App
Dr. Tammy Horn Potter, Kentucky State Apiarist
The KY Department of Agriculture has created an electronic app that applicators can use to communicate with beekeepers during spraying season.  The app is free, protects anonymity, and only takes 5 minutes to use.  Dr. Horn Potter will discuss the process that beekeepers can register their apiaries and also the results from pollen samples from the 2016 USDA Honey Bee Health Survey showing agricultural chemicals.

Reactions To Bee Stings and Desensitization Protocols
Vincent Austin, Ph.D, microbiologist and beekeeper, Garrard County, KY
Stung by a bee, now what? Local, systemic, and anaphylactic reactions.  How to become desensitized to bee (and other insect) venom. Keeping safe while raising bees. 

Spring Buildup to Honey Production
Kevin Hale, Hale’s Honey, Menifee County, Ky
Colony management, feeding protocols and record keeping are the prerequisites to high volume (in excess of 100 #/colony) in Hale’s operation. This session will provide insight on how to manage for honey production and to utilize the less productive hives to support the high producers.

—–Press Release—–








Hope Pettibon, the 2017 American Honey Princess, will visit Kentucky March 6-11.  She will participate in the Capitol City Beekeepers Association’s Bee Friendly Frankfort event and will be a guest speaker at the Bluegrass Beekeepers Bee School on March 11.  During her visit, she will speak about the importance of honey bees to Kentucky agriculture and how honey bee is key to our next meal.  She will also share information about the many uses for honey in the home.  

Hope is the 20-year-old daughter of Patrick and Christie Pettibon of McKinney, TX.  She is currently attending a bible college in south Texas and has future aspirations to be a wilderness emergency medical technician.  Hope has been keeping bees with her family since 2004 and has earned awards for her honey.  Prior to being selected as the American Honey Princess, Hope served as the 2016 Texas Honey Queen.  In this role, she promoted the honey industry at fairs, festivals, and farmers’ markets, via media interviews, and in schools.

As the 2017 American Honey Princess, Hope serves as a national spokesperson on behalf of the American Beekeeping Federation, a trade organization representing beekeepers and honey producers throughout the United States.  

The beekeeping industry touches the lives of every individual in our country.  In fact, honeybees are responsible for nearly one-third of our entire diet, in regards to the pollination services that they provide for a large majority of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. This amounts to nearly $19 billion per year of direct value from honeybee pollination to United States agriculture.  

For more information on Princess Hope’s visit and to schedule an interview, contact Capitol City Beekeeper Association Marsha Bezold at the following number: 859.753.4450 and email at


Displaying 2017 American Honey Princess Hope Pettibon.JPG

Phil Craft’s “NEW Beekeeping Newsletter” January 2012

An electronic newsletter from Phil Craft, Kentucky State Apiarist, retired

My retirement and upcoming Kentucky beekeeping schools
As many of you may have learned, as of January 3rd I became the Kentucky State Apiarist, retired. While I had contemplated retirement at some point, this early transition was the decision of the new Kentucky commissioner of agriculture. I’ll talk more about the transition and my retirement plans later in this newsletter, and provide my new contact information. However, the main content of this newsletter regards information on the six upcoming beekeeping schools, which will take place as in years past. The only difference is my inability to update the Kentucky Department of Agriculture webpage with information about the schools. I have no idea whether that page will stay up, however information will be available through the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association webpage at:


2012 Kentucky Regional Beekeeping Schools
Between January 21 and March 10, six regional, one-day beekeeping schools will once again be held in Kentucky. These schools all have multi-session classes with topics of interest for all levels of beekeeping experience, including beginner classes for the new beekeepers. Vendors displaying and selling beekeeping equipment will set up at all the schools.

For more information on these schools, including programs, pre-registration forms, directions, lists of vendors present, etc., go to the webpage of the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association. Please note that more information for each school will be posted as it is passed on to me. I’m including some details on some of the schools in this newsletter, especially the Hazard Beekeeping school which will take place in less than two weeks.

  • Eastern Kentucky Beekeeping School, Hazard – January 21, 2012
  • Allen County Beekeeping School, Scottsville – February 4, 2012
  • Southeast Kentucky Beekeeping School, Corbin – February 11, 2012
  • Northeast Kentucky Beekeeping School, Morehead – February 25, 2012
  • Audubon Beekeeping School, Henderson – March 2, 2012
  • Bluegrass Beekeeping School, Frankfort – March 10, 2012

Eastern Kentucky Beekeeping School, Hazard – January 21, 2012
The Eastern Kentucky Beekeeping School will again be held at the Hazard Community and Technical College. The college is located just east of Hazard off Kentucky route15 on One Community College Drive. This year the school will include both a beginner track of classes and a QUEEN REARING TRACK FOR ADVANCED BEEKEEPERS. In addition there will be many other classes of interest for beekeepers, including numerous hive management topics and sessions on producing value added products such as making beeswax candles and pollen trapping.

You can download the complete program and pre-registration form at the KSBA webpage. Pre-registration is not required, but it will save you $5 and help us with meal planning (pre-registration fee $20 or $25 at the door – includes lunch).

Bluegrass Beekeeping School, Frankfort (at KY State University) – March 10, 2012
While this school will not take place until March, I want to talk about it briefly to reassure everyone that it will take place as usual (some people have been concerned about this school due to my heavy involvement in school planning as the Kentucky State Apiarist) and to let everyone know that our special guest speaker this year will be Dr. Dewey Caron, Emeritus Professor of Entomology at the University of Delaware. Some of you know Dewey from his past appearances at the 2007 Heartland Apicultural Society Conference in Frankfort and the 2008 Eastern Apicultural Society Conference at Murray State University. Dr. Caron will give the opening talk at the bluegrass school this year and do two breakout talks. In Dr. Caron we have a presenter who will share with us extremely practical beekeeping information in a manner that is very dynamic. We are in for a treat! So mark your calendar for March 10th and make plans to be in Frankfort that day.

January Beekeeping Activities
This is the time of year Kentucky beekeepers move their beekeeping activities inside (for the most part – I have promised my wife I will clean up my beekeeping equipment junk pile outside this winter). This is, of course, a great time to repair old equipment and assemble and paint new woodenware. But we also need to start placing orders for package bees and queens. Suppliers are taking orders and it is on a first come first serve basis. This is especially true if you want queens or package bees in April; those early April dates will fill up fast. All the companies should have catalogs mailed out, if you have not received 2012 catalogs from vendors you might check their webpages to learn when they will be mailed or to request one if you are not on their mailing list.

My retirement transition and future plans
I was employed as the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s State Apiarist in 1999 by Commissioner Billy Ray Smith. This position was a non-merit or non-classified position, which means it had no protection from immediate dismissal, and continued employment was always at the pleasure of the current commissioner of agriculture. My services were continued by Commissioner Richie Farmer upon his election in 2004. On January 3rd, 2012 I was informed by letter that my services as the Kentucky State Apiarist were no longer required by the newly elected commissioner (who had taken office the day before).

My future plans?
My long term professional plans are not yet formulated and I’m not in any rush to seek future employment. However, I will continue, as much as possible, to provide information and assistance to beekeepers, especially Kentucky beekeepers – hence this newsletter. I always said that I had a great job, spending most of my work days talking with beekeepers on the telephone and via email, writing beekeeping articles, working one on one with beekeepers in their apiaries and attending beekeeping meetings. I had always hoped that upon retirement I could keep on doing many of the parts of the job that I most enjoyed. I still have that desire, so I will continue to produce a beekeeping newsletter, perhaps even on a more regular schedule than I did as state apiarist. After all, I just eliminated a two hour commute to and from the office. At this time I’m not sure what I will call the new newsletter, so watch for a new name on the next edition. (More on my email list below). I also have plans to create a NEW beekeeping information webpage which will contain even more information than my old webpage at KDA (I‘ll let you know when this webpage goes up, hopefully SOON, via email). Until the new webpage goes up I will use the KY State Beekeepers Assoc. webpage to keep beekeepers informed on upcoming beekeeping events, including the schools. Beekeepers can continue to ask me questions and request information at my new email address at I hope you use this email address as you have my KDA email address in the past. I do plan to attend and speak at all of the 2012 beekeeping schools, as I have in the past, and hope to see many of you there. So I’m not gone, I’m just starting my reorientation flights!

To have THIS NEW NEWSLETTER sent directly to you!
If you received this newsletter directly from, then I already have your email address and have tentatively added you to my new newsletter email list. If someone has forwarded you this issue of my new newsletter and you would like to have future issues emailed directly to you, send me an email to the above email address. I organize my email list by name, so PLEASE sign your email list request with first and last name. Also, if you are a Kentucky beekeeper, I very much appreciate knowing where you live so I can pass along regional beekeeping information from time to time (such as local beekeeping meetings and activities), so PLEASE let me know the town where you reside or get your mail. (Any other information is optional, but I do enjoy knowing something about your beekeeping experience and just more about you). If you are not from Kentucky I need only your full name and home state; any other information is optional. (If you are not interested in receiving future emails from me also just let me know via email.)

Note: A version of this newsletter more suitable for printing (Word or Adobe document) is available upon request. And I don’t mind if you make copies and distribute this newsletter.

Keep those smokers lit and your bee veils on!

Phil Craft, Kentucky State Apiarist, retired
PO Box 259
Wilmore, KY 40390


Kentucky State Beekeepers Association webpage: