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Young Harris College - University of Georgia Beekeeping Institute



The 2018 Young Harris Beekeeping Institute
Wednesday, May 9th - Friday, May 11th, 2018

REGISTER HERE beginning at 12:00pm, March 5, 2018. Questions or comments please contact Bear and Marybeth Kelley, the Bee Institute Registratars, at or 229-322-5025. 

Advanced beekeeper and honey judge program lectures & testing (open to registered participants only) to be held on Wednesday, May 9. These advanced courses are included with the cost of Journeyman, Master, Master Craftsman and Welsh Honey Judge exam registration, and are required if you register for one of these exams. 

This year's 2018 Beekeeping Institute schedule (initial draft) can be viewed here





    View last year's 2017 Beekeeping Institute Program here 





2018 Guest Speaker Lineup

Dr. Reed Johnson, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Jan Lohman, Oregon Commercial Beekeeper 26 Yrs & Oregon Master Beekeeping Program Committee Member, Mentor & Instructor

Lewis Bartlett, PhD Student, University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Geoffrey Williams, Assistant Professor, Auburn University

Michael Young, MBE, Founder, Institute of Northern Ireland Beekeepers

...and our very own local Georgia staff. Stay tuned for more speaker details and the 2017 program.

Summary of the Institute

The UGA Honey Bee Program offers an annual Georgia beekeeping event in cooperation with Young Harris College. This event provides a vast amount of information in the form of lectures, workshops & demonstrations from esteemed local, regional, national and international beekeeping practitioners, authors, & researchers. The event also features hands-on training classes, beekeeping and honey judging certification programs, a distinguished regional honey show, multiple awards programs, and a renowned dinner party, and many other educational opportunities. Since 1992, the University of Georgia & 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 campus of Young Harris College, situated in the heart of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, the Beekeeping Institute is a four-day event with separate curricula for beginners and more experienced beekeepers.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday 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, Thursday and Friday, features a 2-track system: one set of programs is highlighted as pertaining specifically to less-experienced beekeepers; the other for those beekeepers with more experience. However, the format is open and all Institute participants can pick and choose among all of the lectures, workshops and demonstrations offered.

Thursday will include an ice cream social and Friday will feature our traditional low county boil along with the presentation of certified, journeyman and master beekeeper certificates. 

Schedule of Events

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.

Improved Honey Show featuring Michael Young, MBE, International Welsh Honey Judge

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.


In addition to the curricula, the program is enhanced by respected, regional purveyors of beekeeping supplies, and other related paraphernalia. Their attendance offers the convenience of browsing among a wide variety of beekeeping-related resources and gifts without concern over shipping charges.

Conference Managers

Bear & MaryBeth Kelley are the onsite conference managers. You will meet them at the Welcome/Check-in table when you arrive. They will be able to answer any questions you might have throughout the weekend. They will also post information on any last-minute room changes or resolved event issues for your convenience. Please be sure to turn in your conference evaluations to them before you leave.

For any questions specific to the YH/UGA Beekeeping Institute please contact Bear and MaryBeth at:

Phone: (229) 322-5025