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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!

REGISTRATION WILL OPEN IN EARLY MARCH. The quick link (to the right) for the registration form will become active (clickable) when registration opens. Also, we will send out an email notification to our GA Bee Letter mailing list.

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:

YHBI T-shirt

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's 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 designations are awarded in an informal, enjoyable ceremony. It kicks off around 6:30 pm and wraps up around 9:30 pm; although, the music and dance enthusiasts of the bunch may linger until as late as 11 pm. In 2014, the banquet will take place in the Paris Pavillion of the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds (7 miles east of Young Harris College - MAP); stay tuned to this web page for details on 2015 as they become available (posted).

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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