Dates: March 19-20
Location: Laramie County Community College (LCCC); Cheyenne, WY
Registration Fee: $75 and includes all conference meals, coffee, tea and snacks
Printable Schedule (pdf)

The 2016 Wyoming Bee College will have 20 dynamic speakers including an USDA ARS scientist,  PhD candidates, University of Wyoming professors, and long time beekeepers with lots of enthusiasm for helping our pollinators.

The Bee College is open to everyone. This includes beekeeper want-a-bee, experienced beekeeper or people who are concerned about our pollinators and want to learn and help them. Children under 14 accompanied with an adult will have free admission to the Bee College .

Day One:

We will start at LCCC’s Conferences and Institutes Building  with keynote speaker Tony Landretti of Rice’s Honey in Greeley, Colo., on the importance of buying honey from a known source.

  • Track One: An all-day workshop with Carolina Nyarady DVM. The workshop will cover beginning beekeeping for those interested in starting up or just need a refresher.  This track will be held in the Conferences and Institutes Building.
  • Track Two: Journeyman topics of health and welfare of honey bees with Dr. Zachary Haung from Michigan State University. Includes the all-important in-depth honey bee nutrition, swarm psychology, caring for  bees using essential oils, and rearing queens. This track will be held in the Arp Building just east of the cafeteria.
  • Track Three: Native bees to the Rocky Mountain region with a bee identification class and many ways to help them.

Dinner at 5:30  will include speaker Will Robinson from Casper College, Wyoming.  Robinson brings 40 years of international travel and honeybee research.

Day Two:

We will start in the Cafeteria with  keynote speaker Dr. Jamie Strange, USDA Agricultural Research Service entomologist and contributing author to the Federal Pollinator Action Plan,  Dr. Strange will present an update on national updates to help all pollinators, including the monarch butterfly.

Morning sessions include the following:

  • Hank Uden of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture will give an update on the Wyoming’s Pollinator Protection Plan. We are one of only a few states with a strong plan.
  • Chefs Vally and Rusty from Cheyenne’s Crow Creek Catering will present cooking with honey.
  • Jill Vanoverbeke, a graphic designer, and Renee Middleton, a marketing executive from Taco John’s International, will offer perspectives for those considering or starting a new business.
  • Dr. David Lewis will present a two hour, hands-on hive building demonstration using everyday type tools. You can drop-in between programs or just stay and learn more about hive building and types of hives.
  • Mehmet Ali Doke, a research scientist and PhD candidate from The Pennsylvania State University Grozinger Bee Lab ( and Center for Pollinator Research, will present recent findings on behavioral, social and ecological aspects of overwintering honey bees.

During lunch on day two, Anthony Vaudo, a research scientist and PhD candidate from the Penn State Grozinger Bee Lab, will present research on how pollen nutrition influences the foraging choice of bees. He is studying how different landscapes influence the diversity and nutritional value of pollen collected by bees and the effects on individual and colony health.

Rounding out the afternoon are the following three tracks:

  • Track One: Scott Debnam will present a final session on seasonal care of honeybees.
  • Track Two: Greg Bowdish of Hunters Moon Meadery in Severeance, Colo., having just returned from the 2016 International Mazer Cup mead competition, will discuss the fine art of turning honey into mead wine. He and his wife Kim have been making mead for 12 years and have raked up 21 mead competition medals. All their mead is made from their own 60-hive apiary.
  • Track Three: Terry Booth of Cheyenne Honey will offer guidance on choosing bee hive locations and other bits of wisdom from 30+ years of beekeeping.

Additional Conference Details:

Facilities: The College will be held on the Laramie County Community College (LCCC). The college will utilize the Conferences and Institutes Building, Arp Building, and Cafeteria. The LCCC facilities are located so that you really never have to go outside for classroom changes.

Host Hotel: For those traveling to attend Bee College, The Historic Plains Hotel offers a special $85 per night room rate. They can be contacted at (307) 638-3311.

For More Information:  Contact Catherine Wissner at (307) 63­3-4383 or

The University of Wyoming Laramie County Extension has partnered with the Laramie County Conservation District. We are committed to instructing our community in why and how pollinator insects are important and should be protected and promoted. We anticipate welcoming at least 120 people for the 2016 conference.