Create Some Buzz at Your Library
Angela Hanshaw | April 21, 2011
Before we were afraid that swarms of killer bees were coming; now we’re afraid that the rise in colony collapse disorder will wipe bees out. Perhaps as a result, backyard beekeeping has become a popular hobby, and, as usual, libraries are on top of the trend:
The McMinnville (Ore.) Public Library offered a basic beekeeping session led by a beekeeper with more than twenty years of experience. Topics included pollination and why we need to care about honey bees; how to get started, including a hands-on equipment demonstration; and medications and bee diseases. The event closed with some honey tasting and a Q&A session.
The Huntsville-Madison County (Ala.) Public Library held a class with a second-generation beekeeper that discussed basic beekeeping fundamentals and reviewed the activities required by a new beekeeper for the first year in the apiary.
The Westminster Branch of the Carroll County (Md.) Public Library hosted “To Beekeep, or Not to Beekeep—That is the Question” with a master beekeeper. The session gave the audience an understanding of basic bee biology, how bee society works, and the importance of bees to humans and agriculture. It also provided an overview of some of the basics of beekeeping, including what type of equipment you need to get started and some points to think about before you go forward.
The Salt Lake City Public Library hosted Dr. Jamie Strange from the U.S. Agricultural Service, who presented “Understanding the Scope of Pollinator Declines in America: Bees and Beyond,” followed by a screening of the documentary Vanishing of the Bees narrated by Ellen Page. A local beekeeper and Boy Scout Troop #202 were also on hand with images of their beekeeping exploits and information on how to get involved. In addition, in a separate program, the library encouraged patrons to “learn the A-Bee-C’s of beekeeping” with local honey experts as well as taste honey.
For those of you would like to to not only read about other libraries’ programs, but see or hear them, check out the following:
- Rapid City (S.D.) Public Libraries offered a lunch-and-learn session on beekeeping; you can watch a video clip or listen to a podcast of the presentation.
- The Liberal (Kans.) Memorial Library has images from its beekeeping event, which was part of its summer reading program, posted on its Flickr site.
If you’d like to find out more about beekeeping, visit the American Beekeeping Federation. If you’re looking for a beekeeping association to partner with, Bee Culture magazine offers and extensive online list of groups organized by state.
Have your own library beekeeping story to share? Don’t “bee” shy! Share in the comments below.
Angela Hanshaw is Program Officer/Web Editor for the ALA Public Programs Office.