Save the date, Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Wyoming Bee College Conference, is open to everyone; beekeeper want-a-bee, experienced beekeeper or people who are concerned about our pollinators and want to learn and help them through conservation and building habitat.

The 2017 conference is bigger with five (5) tracks on day one and four (4) tracks on the second day.  We are pleased to bring in beekeeping authors James E Tew and Les Crowder along with the Denver Butterfly Pavilion.

Author and contributor to “Bee Culture Magazine“, James E Tew will be our main speaker for the 2017 Wyoming Bee College.  James Tew will be our morning keynote speaker for both Saturday March 18 and Sunday March 19 and our evening dinner speaker bringing beekeeping humor and stories from the hive.  James E Tew has written

  • Beekeeping Principles” – A Manual for the Beekeeper
  • Wisdom for Beekeepers”
  • 500 Tips for Successful Beekeeping, Backyard Beekeeping”
  • and the most recent “The Bee Keeper’s Problem Solver”.

Check out his facebook page at Dr. James E. Tew or his “A Web-Based Introductory Beekeeping Training Program” on or his personal website  This is truly a beekeeper with his boots on the ground, research based and practical information.

Author and Top Bar Beekeeping expert, Les Crowder will be teaching a half day course on top bar beekeeping.  From Les’s website, “The topbar hive easily accommodates organic requirements.  It can be built by a beekeeper for around $30 – $40 out of rough-sawn wood.  Its insides mimic a hollow log, and the bees can draw their comb in whatever manner they choose…” “In topbar hive management, attention and care is given to cycling out older darkened comb by moving them to the back of the brood nest so that they may be filled with honey and culled.  The bees are continuously utilizing their wax-making glands, keeping their glandular system active and healthy.  By virtue of this system of management, the hives are kept clean and healthy, although the honey yields are lower and the wax yields are higher.  Many topbar beekeepers utilize these higher wax yields to make candles, salves and balms that can be used to diversify their businesses.”   Les is the author of; “Top Bar Beekeeping, Organic Practices for Honeybee Health”.

Roger Stockton from NRCS in Casper will have one talk on “NRCS financial and technical assistance for establishing pollinator habitat and the importance of biodiversity in balancing the ecology” and another talk on “Soil Health, which seeks to increase plant diversity to foster a diverse soil food web and diverse insect populations. The overall effect is a balanced ecology where harmful species don’t reach economic thresh hold because there are sufficient predator species. This offers the opportunity for pesticide free agriculture over a five to eight year transition.”

In Roger’s words:  “I grew up on a wheat and cattle farm in western Oklahoma. We also raised cotton, alfalfa, grain sorghum and even a few goats. I earned a BS in Agronomy in 1972 at Oklahoma Panhandle State College, and returned to the family farm for the next twenty years.

After 20 years farming, I entered graduate school, earning a MS degree in Agronomy at Oklahoma State University. I then accepted an offer at the University of Nebraska to be an assistant instructor in crop science while completing a Ph.D. in Crop Physiology and Production. While I enjoyed my graduate experience, I must say that it took a lot of work to catch up to the sciences after twenty years of farming.

In 1999 I became the Northwest area Extension Agronomist for Kansas State University at Colby, KS. I worked in the areas of no-till management cropping systems and sunflower production. I started working for NRCS in 2004 as the SW Nebraska RC&D Coordinator, at Cambridge NE. While there we organized a weed management area and wrote grants of nearly $5 million to fund invasive species removal from the western half of the Republican River in Nebraska. That work is nearly 90% complete, with regular scouting and treatment of the area continuing to ensure that the invasive(s) “don’t sneak back in”. After the RC&D program was closed in 2011, I was offered the State Conservation Agronomist position in Casper. I spend my time working on erosion issues, nutrient management, soil health, air and water quality”.

Leah Grunzke  is a botanist and educator based in Lewistown, MT.  She has been studying native plants of the Rocky Mountains for over a decade, working with nonprofit organizations on conservation outreach, developing ecology-based curriculum for schools and informal science education programs, and exploring the patterns and dynamics of plant-insect relationships.  She started building wild bee houses to accompany workshops on backyard habitat conservation, introducing people to the hundreds of species of docile native bees that play a huge role in pollination and conserving our native plant biodiversity.  Her independently run business, Flora montana, now provides hand-crafted insect hotels to gardeners and wild bee-enthusiasts across the country and internationally.

Beekeeping 101. Learn the basics of beekeeping from a local third generation Master Beekeeper, Carolyn Nyarady DVM. This class will cover bee biology, disease identification, seasonal care of your bees, what bees need to be fed when there are no flowers, hive designs, equipment needed and costs.

Beekeeping 102. Years 2 and 3.  “What am I really seeing in the hive”, recognize the difference larval stages, understand and manage the brood nest, installing your bees, how to handle a queen for successful integration into a new colony, monitor for diseases.  Locating your hive, register your hive and why, suppers, splits, merging a weak hive into a strong one, going into winter, inspecting for problems and how to start solving them, plus much more.

Journeyman Level.  Years 4 and on. There are two tracks of choices with many choices to mix and match:  Scott Debnam from Montana State University on “What to expect each Month – seasonal management of you bees“. Top bar beekeeping, with Les Crowder. Raising your own queens, Beehive building basics with David Lewis. Reyah Carlson on the “Hive as the Medicine Chest” from bee sting therapy, bees wax, Propolis, Royal Jelly; how to harvest and use these amazing bee created products.  Using bee’s wax in candles and salves and many more topics.

The Butterfly Pavilion from the Denver Metro area will be doing classes on butterflies, habitat development and how to help them and native bees.

Conservation tracks with The University of Wyoming’s Bio-Diversity Institute will address habitat loss and how to correct this major problem.

General topics for everyone: Honey Bee Nutrition, current research from UW on pollinator friendly crops, native plants, starting a pollinator garden from seed, selling honey as a hobby or business, food safety basics for honey, Bees Vs. Wasps, Certified Naturally Grown Apiary, how to build a bee hive and a panel discussion with the Butterfly Pavilion Team.

Bee Buddies, these are kids between 7 and 15 who are working with an adult beekeeper or 4-H leader learning the craft of beekeeping.  They get free admission with a paying adult.