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Entomology: UGA Honey Bee Program

Young Harris College - University of Georgia Beekeeping Institute

Young Harris - UGA Beekeeping Institute

The 2016 Beekeeping Institute - Dates Set with an Expanded Format


We are excited to announce that 2016 will be the 25th anniversary of the Institute!

In honor of this milestone, we plan to:

  1. expand the Institute proper to three days (Thursday 5/19, Friday 5/20, & Saturday 5/21, with the advanced beekeeper and honey judge program lectures & testing - open to registered participants only - to be held on the preceding Wednesday 5/18),
  2. increase the registration capacity for participants, and
  3. triple the tally of guest speakers.

As usual, registration will open by announcement in March, 2016. We recommend that you don’t delay once registration opens since space will be limited. It’s going to be a most memorable Institute, and you won’t want to miss it! To read more about our 2016 guest speaker line up, read the August Georgia Bee Letter publication.

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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 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 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 YHBI is a three-day event with separate curricula for beginners and more experienced beekeepers.

Recent guest lecturers have included:

2015 program:

  • Dr. Marla Spivak
  • Dr. Tom Webster
  • Elizabeth "Izzy" Hill

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 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.

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; 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.

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.

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.

2013 YHBI Group Picture

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