Local beekeeping group holds class

Courtesy Photo Honey bees from Bays de Noc Beekeeper member, Jessica LaMarch’s beekeeping operation are shown. “Beekeeping 101,” a workshop put on by the club, will be held today from noon until 2:30 p.m. at Bay College in Escanaba in Room 525.

ESCANABA — A local beekeeping club will be holding its first “Beekeeping 101” class today from noon to 2:30 p.m. at Bay College in Escanaba. The class will take place in Room 525.

According to Jessica LaMarch, director of admissions at Bay College and hobby beekeeper, the class is perfect for those who are looking to start their own beekeeping operation or who just want to learn more about honey bees in the area.

After watching a documentary about bees, LaMarch said she was concerned about the declining number of honey bees, not only in Michigan but around the United States, and decided to look into beekeeping.

LaMarch reached out to another regional beekeeping group, Superior Beekeeping, of Marquette, to learn more. Traveling back and forth from Escanaba to Marquette became a lot for LaMarch, so she looked to starting a group in Delta County. LaMarch said she put a post on Facebook about starting the Bays de Noc Beekeeping Club to see if there was any local curiosity. Over 100 people showed interest in the Facebook post.

The club now meets the last Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. at Bay College in Escanaba. LaMarch said 35 people attended the first meeting, held last year. Attendance has remained consistent since that time.

“There’s been a lot of interest in it,” said LaMarch.

During the Bee Keeping 101 class, LaMarch said veteran beekeeper Joel Lantz will present. Lantz has been beekeeping in the Marquette area for close to 30 years. He will discuss bee hives, hive components, hive maintenance, the various types of bees that can be kept, and how to care for them. He will also touch on bee hive behavior and why bees are an important asset to the ecosystem.

The course is free and open to anyone interested in learning more about the honey bee population in Delta County.

“Bee keeping changes the views of nature,” said LaMarch. “I’m just really excited to expand the honey bee culture in the area.”