Beginning beekeeper course

A class for beginning beekeepers will be held in the Executive Auditorium of the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Virginia, on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. The class will start at 9 a.m. with registration and end at 3:30 p.m. Instruction will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Topics covered in the class include Honeybee Biology, Equipment Needed, Where and How to Get Bees, Locating the Apiary, Seasonal Management, Integrated Hive Management, and Hive Construction.

The cost of the class is $35 and is limited to 100 participants. Pre-register by sending a check for $35 payable to the Highlands Beekeepers Association to the Washington County Extension Office, 234 W. Valley St., Suite B, Abingdon, VA 24210. Participants will be given a Beekeeping Basics booklet and copies of the presentation materials, a certificate of completion, and a one-year membership in the Highlands Beekeepers Association. The class is sponsored by the Washington County Extension Office and the Highlands Beekeepers Association. Call the Extension Office at 276-676-6309 if you have questions.

Lice can be a costly pest of beef cattle

The numbers of lice on beef cattle tend to increase in cold weather. Cattle are affected by both biting and sucking lice. Evidence of a lice problem include animals rubbing against fences and barns, animals with patchy looking hair cover, and animals that have greasy appearing patches that result from the crushing of adult lice as they rub. Lice are a costly pest leading to lower performance in terms of milk production and weight gain and property damage due to the rubbing cattle do to relieve the itching. Animals in less than ideal nutrition status tend to have more serious problems, so good animal nutrition coupled with a lice control product can help avoid losses caused by this pest. There are many products that are available to effectively control lice. Some of these products (permethrins for example) require two treatments to get both adults and the nits that hatch about 2 weeks later. Longer acting products (ivermectin or moxidectin for example) only require one treatment. A good date to mark on the calendar to make a winter treatment is Jan. 1 so check your cattle to see if they need treating and make that job a priority.

Call the Washington County Extension Office at 276-676-6309 for more information. Merry Christmas to everyone.

Phil Blevins is an agricultural extension agent in Washington County, Virginia.

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