On November 1-2, 2013, the NW District Agriculture and Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Agents Program Implementation Teams collaborated to offer classes during the annual Beekeeping Tradeshow held in Chipley, FL.
This third annual event was part of the Florida State Beekeepers Association yearly conference and had a total of 196 attendees for the entire three day event. State representative Marti Coley and state senator Greg Evers were keynote speakers at the Bee Conference.
Approximately 163 individuals attended the entire Saturday Beekeeping Field Day & Tradeshow with 70 attending the FCS program. Participants rotated among three 35 minute classes – What’s the Buzz about Honey, Splitting Beehives, and Products of the Hives.
Noted scientist Dr. Jamie Ellis, of the University of Florida IFAS Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab, presented a class on the state of the beekeeping industry and how extension works with beekeepers to enhance the success of their honey production and pollination operations.
The FCS Agents presented information on sugar vs. honey, is honey more nutritious, diabetes and honey, foodborne illnesses and types of honey. A honey facts handout and recipe cards were developed and shared with participants. They sampled honey pumpkin bread, honey lemonade, and a honey-glazed snack mix. One batch of the honey pumpkin bread was made with honey and one batch with sugar to demonstrate the different properties of these two sweeteners.
There was a panel of experts discussing scouting bee hives for insect and disease problems. Also, attendees participated in hands on hive splitting and hive smoker lighting demonstrations taught by bee inspectors from FDACS.
Important impacts as a result of this program shows 23 individuals joined a Beekeeping club as a direct result of UF/IFAS Extension efforts. Additionally, 86%(71) of attendees surveyed indicated that they would increase the number of hives in their operation as a result of attending the field day. Program participants spent an estimated total of $4036 with the 12 beekeeping vendors present at the trade show and intend to spend more with these vendors in the future. Seventy percent (43) participants understand the types and amount of sugar in honey as compared to table sugar, 43% (26) plan to reduce the total sugar in their diet, 59% (36) learned how to substitute honey for sugar when baking, and 64% (39) understand the role of sugar (including honey) in a diabetic’s diet.