MISSOURI BEEKEEPING INSTRUCTOR
HAS NEW BEEKEEPING GUIDE
ROLLA, Missouri. A Missouri beekeeping instructor has a new beginning beekeeping guide to help new beekeepers get a solid start keeping honey bees.
Charlotte Ekker Wiggins, Rolla, has developed “A Beekeeper’s Diary Self-Guide to Beekeeping,” 304 pages of information, check lists and photos to help beekeepers with their first beekeeping years.
The diary has been approved by Great Plains Master Beekeeping out of University of Nebraska as covering scientifically based best management practices. Wiggins is also a provisionally certified Great Plains Master Beekeeping instructor as the program gets established in Missouri. The Great Plains Master Beekeeping program started in Nebraska and now includes Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin and Kansas.
Wiggins has been teaching beginning beekeeping classes since 2012, starting first at the request of her local Extension office. During those early annual beekeeping classes, she said she developed, and expanded, a diary that helped students with the decisions they have to make when they start keeping bees.
“It’s very exciting to take a course and decide I can do this,” Wiggins said. “The reality hits once students get home and start asking themselves now what.”
The diary reinforces information new beekeepers receive in beginning beekeeping classes and guides them through the decisions they have to make to get started.
“Just finding the right place for the bee hives involves a sizable list of decisions,” Wiggins said. “The hive location check list makes that process easier to follow, contributes to better decision-making and hopefully ends up with hives full of bees that don’t fall over.”
The diary has places for documentation, an important skill for good beekeeping.
“It’s easy to skip this step in the first year but by your 3rd year you will be thankful that you have those records.”
If a new beekeeper can’t get to a beginning class, the diary will help fill that gap.
“Although I encourage beginning beekeepers to take a class or two and find a nearby club, COVID has made that challenging,” Wiggins said. “The diary will provide the key fundamentals for those beekeepers who don’t have ready access to clubs and classes.”
Wiggins has been a life long gardener and a beekeeper since 2010. A master gardener emeritus, in 2019 she was selected for a TEDx lecture on “why bugs matter” based on her one-acre limestone hillside garden and apiary. She was a contributing writer and master gardener representative on Missouri’s Master Pollinator Steward program, which launched in 2019 teaching the importance of pollinators to our food supply. In 2020, Wiggins was elected to Missourians for Monarchs, a collaborative of 150 federal and state agencies working together to grow more pollinator habitat.
She currently helps to manage a local bee club and in 2019 authored “Bee Club Basics,” a guide on how to start and manage a non-profit educational bee club.
© 2012-2021 Charlotte Ekker Wiggins LLC, all rights reserved.