Cassville class provides introductory to beekeeping

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Residents could start beekeeping with startup costs of $300 to $400

If area residents are interested in becoming beekeepers, they can attend a free introductory adult education class at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Cassville High School agriculture department.

"If you get involved in beekeeping, the possibilities of learning something new everyday is there," said Leon Riggs, 77, an area beekeeper who will be the main speaker at the class.

Riggs, who lives 2.5 miles south of Monett, has been a beekeeper for about 12 years. He also is a member of the Southwest Missouri Beekeepers Association.

While he underwent bee sting therapy to treat severe arthritis in his hands, Riggs said he became interested in beekeeping.

"The arthritis in my hands is gone," he said.

He recommends buying a nuc, which is a nucleus of bees that has a queen and three to five frames of bees with brood in them. They are usually $100 to $150, depending on who get them from.

"Raw honey has a lot of health benefits,

too," he said.

The other materials a beekeeper will need includes a veil, which is a screen mesh to cover a beekeeper's face, and a bee smoker and gloves, such as gardening or rubber chemical resistance gloves. A bee suit is optional. Beekeepers may wear something with long sleeves where the bees cannot get through.

Someone could start becoming a beekeeper with $300 or $400, he said.

Riggs has worked in the automotive industry most of his life. For the last 20 years, he taught auto body at the Scott Regional Technology Center, which used to be called the Monett Area Vocational School.

Kelin Kruse, high school instructor in the agriculture department, said the class will include a light meal.

Cassville High School is located on Highway Y, just off Business Highway 37. The agriculture department is located at the rear of the school building, and class participants can enter through the shop door.

The class does not require any registration. If people want to reserve a spot in the class, they can contact Kruse or Instructor Jimmy Hinson at kkruse@cassville.k12.mo.us, jhinson@cassville.k12.mo.us or 417-847-3137.

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