The Bee’s Knees of Sustainability: New Workshop from PACE

Mark your calendars and register now: the Office of Professional and Continuing Education is hosting beekeeping workshops starting with a two-day beginner workshop being held on Saturdays, October 3rd and October 10th! Participants will learn about the lives of honey bees, their importance to a sustainable environment and the basic requirements and responsibilities of keeping bees. Instruction will cover the history of bees, bee anatomy and biology, hive congruency and natural hive design, apiary site selection, patterns of nectar and pollen flow, seasonal concerns and methods for recognizing the needs of your bees.

Bees are an important part of agriculture: they pollinate up to 40% of our food. You can do your part in supporting sustainable agriculture by educating yourself on these valuable creatures or better yet, become a beekeeper! At the end of the workshop, participants will understand the mechanics of the hive and the tools involved in keeping that hive healthy.

The class instructor, Christine O’Dell, is a Cobleskill alumna and now a Plant Science faculty member. She has been a beekeeper for 12 years, first in California and now here in New York where she is currently the Vice President of the local Catskill Mountain Beekeeper’s Club. At SUNY Cobleskill, O’Dell led a small bee club on campus in 2010 as a student, and in 2013 she started teaching the “Bee Culture” Course in the Plant Science Department.

“Growing up in Illinois on a small farm gave me the knowledge base and appreciation for living simply and sustainably. I have always had a respect and love for all creatures great and small, especially the bees” said O’Dell when asked how she became interested in beekeeping.

“We need to work toward safer, more sustainable systems in agriculture, systems that more mimic nature and not fight it. By keeping bees, we can all do a small part in working towards that more sustainable world.”

The two-day beginner workshop will run on two consecutive Saturdays from 9am to 4pm with an hour break for lunch: October 3 and 10. The cost of registration is $38. To register online for the workshop, visit the PACE section of the college website, or for more information contact Linda Serdy at