I’ll cut to the chase on this one – there is an exciting educational session for hobbyist beekeepers coming up this Friday, December. 4, 1:30 – 4:30pm, at the Red Lion Downtowner. Ellen Topitzhofer, the Oregon State University Crop Protection Agent, will be speaking about bee nutrition, along with tips and techniques that she has acquired while working with bee colonies across the Pacific Northwest. She has a lot of admirable experience that will be valuable to hobbyist beekeepers in our area. This session will immediately follow the Idaho Honey Industry Association’s (IHIA) 2015 conference. The IHIA conference focuses mostly on commercial beekeeping practices, but this session is unique because it is designed for backyard and hobbyist beekeepers like myself and those in the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club. There is a suggested donation of $5 to help the TVBC defray venue costs.


This photo was taken at last year’s hobbyist education session when Randy Oliver visited and shared his research and experience with beekeeping.

I emphasize educational opportunities a lot with new beekeepers (and old ones too!), and this is an opportunity to learn from a local expert. It allows you to learn from other people’s mistakes, rather than your own. Further, events like this allow you to meet other beekeepers whom I bet have some of the same questions you do. I love networking with other local beekeepers because they often have some creative solutions to common problems.

Winter is one of the best times of year for beekeepers to set aside time for learning something new, since we aren’t busy inspecting our hives. So don’t wait for spring time to dive in and learn something new. Are you new to beekeeping and interested in starting a hive this spring? Definitely attend this event! Meet those around you that are also new to the hobby and those that have had some great success! You might just find yourself a mentor to guide you in your first year!

Keep your bees buzzin’ y’all!


  1. BoiseBeeMan says:

    Dang! There’s a lot of familiar faces in that picture from last Christmas. I can’t believe I missed it. Well, I won’t miss it this year. Thanks for the reminder, Melinda. Looking forward to seeing you and Ellen on Friday! Five bucks at the door – What a deal!

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