University of Florida Bee College
Bee College the most extensive educational honey bee event in the state of Florida. Everyone is welcome to attend Bee College: beekeepers, naturalists, farmers, gardeners, county agents, and anyone interested in honey bees! This two-day event offers lectures in the morning and hands-on workshops in the afternoon. There are llive honey bee colonies on site for open hive demonstrations and protective gear for everyone. This event won’t leave you hungry either, we serve morning and afternoon snacks, lunch both days, a full banquet dinner on Friday evening and an ice cream social following the Awards Ceremony. At the Awards Ceremony we announce students who have entered or advanced in the Master Beekeeper Program, Welsh Honey Judges, and the place winners and Best of Show in the UF Bee College Honey Show, as well as give out door prizes. Bee College is simply the best time you could have learning about honey bees! We hope that you and your family decide to join us for this fun-filled weekend.
Date and Location
2015 Caribbean Bee College
Thursday - Sunday May 21th & 24th, 2015
Registration for the 2015 Bee College is now open.
ALL ATTENDEES MUST REGISTER ONLINE for admission to the event. Payment will be accepted through credit card online and mail-in by check. Bee College will host registration through Eventbrite. Walk-up registrations are discouraged and will incur an additional $20 fee.
Admission and Scholarships
Discounts are available for youth (<18), college students (with ID), county agents, Master Beekeeper Program Students, Florida Master Gardeners and Florida Master Naturalists. Discounts are also available for families (parents and dependent children), and kids under 5 are free. Please see registration page on eventbrite.com for prices. NEW! Discount price now applicable for Caribbean citizens and DPI employees. Meals are included in the price.
Bee Club Discount
We welcome local bee associations to purchase ONE 2-day ticket at a discounted price of $150, then raffle it off at your discretion. For example, if you purchase the dicount ticket and raffle it off for $10 a ticket, you could fundraise for your club with just 15 people! Please email email@example.com for more details. What a great way to encourage enrollment in your club, with a chance to win a ticket to Florida's largest educational beekeeping event! Start your raffle early!!!
2015 Keynote Speakers:
Dr. Thomas D. Seeley is a professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University, where he teaches courses on animal behavior and does research on the functional organization of honey bee colonies. He grew up in Ithaca, New York, and began keeping bees while a high school student, when he brought home a swarm of bees in a wooden box. He went off to college at Dartmouth in 1970, but returned to Ithaca each summer to work at the Dyce Laboratory for Honey Bee Studies at Cornell, where he learned the craft of beekeeping and began probing the inner workings of the honey bee colony. Thoroughly intrigued by the bees, he went on to graduate school at Harvard, where he studied under two “ant men” (Drs. Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson), began his research on bees in earnest, and earned his Ph.D. in 1978. After teaching at Yale for six years, he worked his way home to Ithaca/Cornell in 1986, where he has been ever since. In recognition of his scientific work, he has received the Alexander von Humboldt Distinguished U.S. Scientist Award, been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research focuses on the behavior and social life of honey bees and has been summarized in three books: Honeybee Ecology (1985), The Wisdom of the Hive (1995), and Honeybee Democracy (2010).
Dr. Deborah Delaney is an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where she mentors four graduate students working on various aspects of pollinator health and productivity. She teaches Insects and Society, Apiculture, and has just designed a new course to be offered during the spring of 2015 called Pollination Ecology. She has over 20 years of experience working with pollinators, specifically honey bees, and maintains 50 colonies in the teaching apiary at UD’s Newark farm. Her research program has four main focal areas: 1) genetic identity and diversity of US honey bees, 2) temporal stability of pollinator populations, 3) best management solutions for creating sustainable managed pollinator populations, and 4) pollinator nutrition and forage mapping. She is ultimately interested in understanding the health, stability and movement of pollinating bees in a dynamic and ever-changing landscape.
Some of our past Keynote Lecturers: Dr. Wyatt Mangum — author, top-bar hive expert, bee scientist. Randy Oliver — author, commerical beekeeper, host: scientificbeekeeping.com. Michael Young, MBE — chef, artist, Welsh Honey Judge, Chairman — Northern Ireland Institute of Beekeepers. Dr. Larry Conner — beekeeper, queen rearing expert, author, owner of Wicwas Press. Drs. Niko and Gudrun Koeniger — veteran honey bee researchers, authors, discovered a new bee species, Apis cerana nuluensis. Dr. Tammy Horn — author, beekeeper, activist. Dr. Vaughn Bryant — pollen identification expert. Dr. Keith Delaplane — crop pollination expect, extension specialist at the University of Georgia. Dr. David Dejong — African bee and stingless bee specialist at the University of San Paolo, Brazil. Dr. Dewey Caron — Emeritus Professor of Entomology & Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, Affiliate Professor, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, and VP of the Oregon State Beekeepers. Dr. Jim Frazier — Professor of Entomology at The Pennsylvania State University, and Maryann Tomasko Frazier — Senior Extension Associate in the Department of Entomology at Penn State.
During Bee College there are seven or eight different classes that run over six periods during the day. This totals over 50 courses that you could take at the college.
Beginner Topics: There is a beginner track, listed in orange on the schedule. It is repeated both days, so that if you come only Friday or only Saturday you can attend these crucial courses. If you attend the whole event, then it gives you the opportunity to fulfill the beginner track over two days and still attend other interesting classes that may coincide with the track.
Advanced Topics: These topics will satisfy repeat Bee College attendees and those with more beekeeping experience. We have courses that cover bee breeding, crop pollination, advanced bee pathogens, varroa control, pesticide/pollinator interactions, and more.
Hands-on: We host a number of courses in a workshop-like setting where you gain experience building equipment, extracting honey, making splits, and marking queens. We have 10 colonies on site for open hive demonstrations all day long. Suits, smokers, and tools, are available to use.
Hobbyists and Craft Lovers: We have fun DIY classes like wax rendering, candle making, honey exhibitions, and lip balm and salve making.
Something for Everyone: We try to create the classes so that they are directed toward either beginners or advanced beekeepers but can accommodate anyone interested in the subject. We also have timely keynote addresses given by some of the world's leaders in honey bee research, advocacy and literature.
Jr. Bee College: Jr. Bee College is nested within the UF Bee College and is held all day Saturday of Bee College. It is open to children ages six - sixteen, as well as educators, teachers, and parents. To enroll, each particpant will need to regsiter for Bee College, (for children, select the discount ticket or the family pass) and then check the "Jr. Bee College" sign-up on the registration page. Bee College is a full day of entomology and beekeeping curriculum taught by UF Entomology Youth and Outreach Coordinator, Dr. Rebecca Baldwin, with the help of other trained educators. The kids will learn everything from basic entomology and bee biology to practical beekeeping through hands-on, fun, interactive, games and lesson plans. They will even get to suit up and see a real bee hive up-close at the end of the day. What a wonderful way to foster a lifetime of love for science and beekeeping. Please consider signing up your children or neighbors today! For parents who want to attend Bee College, this is a great way to bring your kids and teens, so that you both get to take the courses you like. There will be at least two adult supervisors at all times. Jr. Bee College chaperones the children 8 am to 4 pm, and even takes them to break time and and lunch.
Please visit our Honey Show and Welsh Honey Judge page for more information about the UF Bee College Honey Show.
Accommodations are the individual responsibility of each guest. Accommodations in St. Augustine, St. Augustine Beach, Crescent Beach, or Palm Coast are acceptable locations. There are no hotels in Marineland. Our guests typically find there is a 20-30 minute drive to/from the college daily. Please plan accordingly. There are several camping sites in the area and they tend to book quickly, so reserve ahead of time.
Holiday Isle Oceanfront Hotel
860 A1A Beach Blvd.
St. Augustine Beach, FL 32080
Quality Inn Historic District
1111 N Ponce De Leon Blvd
St. Augustine, FL 32084
430 A1A Beach Blvd.
St. Augustine, FL 32080
Hilton Garden Inn
401 A1A Beach Blvd.
St Augustine Beach, FL 32080
St. Augustine Island Inn
894 A1A Beach Blvd.
St. Augustine Beach, FL 32080
Microtel Palm Coast
16 Kingswood Drive
Palm Coast, FL 32137
Despite our relatively small vending space, we have several top of the line vendors who sell beekeeping equipment, supplies, accessories, books and more.
2014 vendors included:
Deb's Bee Supply — beekeeping supplies
Mann Lake — beekeeping supplies
Dadant — beekeeping supplies, bees, and queens
D & J Apiary — beekeeping supplies, bees, and queens
Wicwas Press — bee related books and publishing
Tribee Bee — related art and accessories
Bo Sterk — selling B-College Tshirts
Vendor spots for 2015 Bee College will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please print, fill out and mail the vendor application to reserve a spot. Applications are coming soon.
Specialized Training Courses
Bee College offers a rotating variation of specialty training courses for clientele such as: Emergency First Responders, beekeepers, teachers, agricultural professionals, Pest Control Operators and other similar professions. Courses include
- Africanized Bee Training for Pest Control Operators
- Live Bee Removal for Beekeepers
- Welsh Honey Judge Training (click for more info)