Nature center abuzz with bees

Andresen Nature Center's observation hive is waiting for occupants. The Center hopes to transfer bees to the hive Saturday. Residents who want to watch the process should call the center to make sure the weather and the bees are cooperating.Winona Whitaker/Clinton Herald

FULTON, Ill. — Andresen Nature Center will continue its series of beekeeping sessions Sunday, April 28 at 1 p.m.

Topics of discussion for this session will include spring introduction of new packages of bees; inspection logistics: timing, frequency and what to look for; mite control; and diagnosing winter dead-outs.

While beekeepers with some - or even extensive - experience are welcome to attend, this series of meetings is tailored toward newer beekeepers and those interested in starting their own apiaries.

Led by Mike Kramer, a local beekeeper and the consultant for the Nature Center’s observation beehive, the event will be entertaining as well as educational, Andresen's director, Kyle Kopf says. Basic equipment will be available for hands-on demonstrations.

Andresen has set Saturday, April 20 as the tentative date for transferring its resident bee colony from its winter nucleus to its summer observation hive. Protective suits and gear are available for anyone interested in observing, or assisting in, the inspection and transfer of the bees.

This will be a great opportunity to observe the thought process that transpires during an inspection of a colony, Kopf says, and it might also be a great learning experience to witness how the best laid plans of a beekeeper can be quickly and completely overridden by the reality of the situation.

Anyone interested in the bee transfer should check with Andresen Center a day or two prior to the transfer date to verify that the weather and bees are cooperating.

The event is free, but seating is limited, so Andresen Center asks the patrons make reservations by contacting the Center at AndresenNatureCenter@gmail.com or 815-208-7059.

Andresen Nature Center is located at 409 North 4th Street in Fulton, immediately adjacent to Heritage Canyon.