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Entomology: UGA Honey Bee Program

Young Harris College - University of Georgia Beekeeping Institute

2013 YHBI Group Picture

The 2015 Beekeeping Institute will take place May 15-17, 2015!


The 2015 registration period has closed.

Thanks for joining us at the Beekeeping Institute!

If you are registered for the institute, make sure to download the web version of the 2015 Institute Program and enjoy reading details about this year's offerings. We will provide you with an official printed copy during registration at the Institute.

For any registration-related questions/concerns, or to join the waiting list for this year's institute, contact Tabitha by email at

Please note the return policy for the 2015 Beekeeping Institute: Full and partial ancellation will be effective when received in writing by Tabitha Weaver at, or at P.O. Box 678, Murrayville, GA 30564. A 90% refund will be issued between registration open and March 31, 2015. A 50% refund will be remitted if cancellation notice is received by May 9th, 2015. After May 9th, we will not issue a refund for cancellation.

2015 Beekeeping Institute Update

This year, we feature an expanded venue at the Young Harris College campus, which promises to greatly enrich the experience of our attendees. Check your 2015 institute program for maps of the new space, and plan to arrive a little early this year if you want to get familiar with the new building. Thanks to the added space, we were also able to increase this year's registration capacity to 200 participants! These developments, along with our outstanding line up of speakers and instructors, ensure that 2015 will be the best Beekeeping Institute ever - we are looking forward to seeing you all in May!

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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. 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. 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.

Upon entry, honey show participants will be asked to certify by signed affidavit that their entry was produced directly by the show entrant. Please make sure to allow for a few extra moments when submitting your honey show entries.

Young Harris - UGA Beekeeping Institute


University of Georgia (UGA) College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)