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Panhandle Beekeeping Field Day and Trade Show a Success

Bee inspector Tending Hive Splitting Demonstrations - Image Credit Matthew Orwat UF IFAS Extension

Bee Inspector Tending Hive Splitting Demonstrations – Image Credit Matthew Orwat UF IFAS Extension

On November 1-2, 2013, the NW District Agriculture and Family and Consumer Science (FCS) Agents Program Implementation Teams collaborated to offer classes during the annual Beekeeping Tradeshow held in Chipley, Florida.

This third annual event was part of the Florida State Beekeepers Association yearly conference and had a total of 196 attendees for the entire three day event. State representative Marti Coley and state senator Greg Evers were keynote speakers at the Bee Conference.

Bee inspector explains to participants how to split bee hives - Image Credit Matthew Orwat UF IFAS

Bee Inspector explains the art and science of splitting bee hives to field day participants – Image Credit Matthew Orwat UF IFAS

Approximately 163 individuals attended the entire Saturday Beekeeping Field Day & Tradeshow with 70 attending the FCS program. Participants rotated among three 35 minute classes – What’s the Buzz about Honey, Splitting Beehives, and Products of the Hives.

Field Day Class Participants  - Image Credit Matthew Orwat

Field Day Class Participants – Image Credit Matthew Orwat

Noted scientist Dr. Jamie Ellis, of the University of Florida IFAS Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab, presented a class on the state of the beekeeping industry and how extension works with beekeepers to enhance the success of their honey production and pollination operations.

FCS Agents shows off honey table display! - Image Credit Matthew Orwat UF IFAS Extension

FCS Agents shows off honey table display! – Image Credit Matthew Orwat UF IFAS Extension

Dr. Marjorie Moore Explains the benefits of honey - Image Credit Matthew Orwat UF IFAS

Dr. Marjorie Moore Explains the benefits of honey – Image Credit Matthew Orwat UF IFAS

The FCS Agents presented information on sugar vs. honey, is honey more nutritious, diabetes and honey, foodborne illnesses and types of honey.  A honey facts handout and recipe cards were developed and shared with participants. They sampled honey pumpkin bread, honey lemonade, and a honey-glazed snack mix.  One batch of the honey pumpkin bread was made with honey and one batch with sugar to demonstrate the different properties of these two sweeteners.

FDACS Beekeeping Inspectors were crucial to the success of the Field Day & Trade Show.

FDACS Beekeeping Inspectors were crucial to the success of the Field Day & Trade Show.

There was a panel of experts discussing scouting bee hives for insect and disease problems. Also, attendees participated in hands on hive splitting and hive smoker lighting demonstrations taught by bee inspectors from FDACS.

Important impacts as a result of this program shows 23 individuals joined a Beekeeping club as a direct result of UF/IFAS Extension efforts. Additionally, 86% (71)  of attendees surveyed indicated that they would increase the number of hives in their operation as a result of attending the field day. Program participants spent an estimated total of $ 4,036 with the 12 beekeeping vendors present at the trade show and intend to spend more with these vendors in the future. Seventy percent, (43) participants, understand the types and amount of sugar in honey as compared to table sugar, 43% (26) plan to reduce the total sugar in their diet, 59% (36) learned how to substitute honey for sugar when baking, and 64% (39) understand the role of sugar (including honey) in a diabetic’s diet.

Members of the Beekeeping Trade Show and Field Day Planning Committee. Agricultural Agents Roy Carter, Jed Dillard, Judy Ludlow and Horticulture Agent Matthew Orwat.

Members of the Beekeeping Trade Show and Field Day Planning Committee. Agricultural Agents Roy Carter, Jed Dillard, Judy Ludlow and Horticulture Agent Matthew Orwat.

Dr. Pete Vergot and Agriculture Agent Judy Ludlow, Registration Chair.

Dr. Pete Vergot, UF IFAS Extension Northwest District Director and Calhoun County Agriculture Agent Judy Ludlow, Registration Chair.

This article was co-authored by Dr. Marjorie Moore, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent Bay County and Mr. Matthew Orwat, Horticulture Agent Washington County.

 

 

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/12/07/panhandle-beekeeping-field-day-and-trade-show-a-success/