Arkansas Extension Beekeeping Class

Extension offers course in beekeeping basics

Jeff Smithpeters

BEE GUY — Jon Zawislak, extension apiary specialist, talks to visitors about pollinators at the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, Feb. 28-March 1, 2020, at the Arkansas State Fair Grounds. (U of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture photo by Mary Hightower)

By Tracy Courage
U of A System Division of Agriculture


  • Extension course teaches beekeeping basics
  • Course offered in-person, 6-9 p.m. April 11, 18, and 25 at state extension office

LITTLE ROCK – Beekeeping basics, one of the Cooperative Extension Service’s most requested courses, is being offered in-person this spring. The three-part course teaches beginning beekeepers everything they need to know to get started with honey bees.

Classes will be held in-person on April 11, 18 and 25 from 6-9 p.m. at the Cooperative Extension Service state office, 2301 S. University Ave., Little Rock.

“There’s no experience necessary,” Jon Zawislak, assistant professor of apiculture and urban entomology with University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said. “This is a perfect course if you have zero experience or if you’re a first-year beekeeper.”

Honey harvested from the hives can be a source of income for beekeepers, and the bees help increase crop yields through pollination. More than 100 crops are pollinated by honey bees, including fruits and vegetables, and forage for dairy and beef cattle.


Zawislak has been teaching the beekeeping short course since 2009 and regularly gets requests from beginning hobbyists. In the course, participants will learn about the structure and function of the beehive, essential tools for beekeeping and learn basic honeybee biology and behaviors. Zawislak also covers colony inspection and pest management.

“We will also cover all the seasonal tasks – harvesting honey, preparing hives for winter, and keeping colonies healthy,” he added.

The cost is $30, and seating is limited. To register, contact the Pulaski County Extension Office at 501-340-6650. For more information about honey bees, visit

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

Extension offers course in beekeeping basics – SWARK Today