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Entomology: UGA Honey Bee Program

Young Harris College - University of Georgia Beekeeping Institute

2013 YHBI Group Picture

SET YOUR CALENDARS: The 24th Annual Beekeeping Institute has been scheduled for May 14-16th, 2015


Welcome to the YHC-UGA Beekeeping Institute webpage!

The 2015 registration period is open.

Download the 2015 Registration Form, fill it out, and mail it with your check (made out to "UGA") to the address in the instructions.

Also, download the 2015 Institute Program (rev. 21-Mar) and enjoy reading all the details about this year's offerings.

Did you miss our email announcement? Get on the UGA Bee Lab ListServ at GA Bee Letter distribution list.

For any other registration-related questions/concerns, contact Tabitha at

Registration Capacity

Registration 75% Capacity

Registration is still open! To register now, download our 2015 Registration Form.

2015 Beekeeping Institute Update

from Jennifer (16-Mar-2015):

Well, our program is exactly two months away, and registration is underway.

I'm very excited to announce an EXPANDED VENUE at the Young Harris College campus this year, which promises to greatly ENRICH THE EXPERIENCE of our attendees as well as offer a modest INCREASE IN CAPACITY to the program. These developments, along with our outstanding line up of speakers and instructors, portend that 2015 will be the best Beekeeping Institute ever!

I know that many of you are excited about attending and anxious about getting in your registration as soon as possible. Relax. We will be handling the registration manually again; so, be patient as we open all the envelopes and process the information.

On this page


Synopsis of the Institute

The UGA Honey Bee Program offers an annual Georgia beekeeping event in cooperation with Young Harris College. It is an amalgam of information dissemination (lectures, workshops & demonstrations) from esteemed local, regional, national and international beekeeping practitioners, authors, & researchers, hands-on training classes, beekeeping and honey judging certification programs, exam preparation classes, practical and written certification exam administrations, a distinguished regional honey show, multiple awards programs, and a renowned dinner party.

Since 1992, the Young Harris Beekeeping Institute (YHBI) has been the single most comprehensive opportunity in the Southeast for concentrated training in all aspects of practical beekeeping. Held on the beautiful campus of Young Harris College (Young Harris, GA) in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the YHBI is a three-day event (see Schedule of Events, below) with separate curricula for beginners and more experienced beekeepers, as well as a plethora fun, optional activities.

The scheduled 2015 guest lecturers are Dr. Marla Spivak, Dr. Tom Webster, and Elizabeth Hill. Other recent guest lecturers have included:

2014 program:

  • Dr. Mark Winston
  • Dr. Dennis Van Englesdorp
  • Dr. Giles Budge

2013 program:

  • Dr. Thomas D. Seeley
  • Dr. Dave Tarpy
  • Michael Young MBE


In addition, the program is enhanced by respected, regional purveyors of queen honey bees, honey bee nucleus hives & packages, beekeeping equipment & supplies, arts, crafts and books. While YHC & UGA are neither affiliated with nor endorse any vendors, their attendance offers a convenience to YHBI participants of browsing among a wide variety of beekeeping-related resources and gifts without concern over shipping charges. Feel free to contact the expected 2015 vendors now to put in your orders for pick-up (free of shipping!) at the program on May 15-16:


Schedule of Events

Thursday is dedicated to training and certification examinations for enrolled Journeyman, Master, and Master Craftsman candidates, as well as the Welsh Honey Judge qualifications; these lectures are not open to the public.

The Institute proper, Friday and Saturday, features a 2-track system: one set of programs is highlighted as pertaining specifically to less-experienced beekeepers, and another for more-experienced beekeepers. However, the format is open and all Institute participants can pick and choose among all of the lectures, workshops and demonstrations offered.

An awards dinner typically takes place on Friday night. It has been a fish fry (catfish fillets) and shrimp boil along with sausage, corn-on-the-cob, potatoes, specialty beers & soft drinks. There is live music and the certificates for the Welch Honey Judges and senior beekeeper certifications are awarded in an informal, enjoyable ceremony. It kicks off around 6:30 pm and wraps up around 9:30 pm. However, the music and dance enthusiasts of the bunch may linger until as late as 11 pm. In 2015, the event is planned to take place at The Retreat at Hiawassee River club house & pavilion (MAP from YHC to the dinner).

Certification Programs

Besides offering classes for beekeepers at all levels of experience, the Institute sponsors the Georgia Master Beekeeper Program (GA-MBP) and partners with the Welsh (U.K.) National Bee Keepers Association to provide one of North America’s only two licensing programs for Welsh Honey Judges.

Honey Show

One of the most rewarding opportunities of the Institute is the annual Honey Show. Besides categories in honey, the Honey Show includes classes in photography, art, candles, section comb honey, mead, and beekeeping gadgets. We urge students to participate in the Institute Honey Show, even if you’ve never competed before.

Young Harris - UGA Beekeeping Institute


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