Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) will be bringing back a popular course. It will be taught by a farm-owner who produces more than 20 different flavors of honey.

NICC announced that their "Beginning Beekeeping" course would be returning to the campus curriculum in February 2023. Bill Johnson of Johnson Honey Farm in Guttenberg, IA will teach the class, as his him and his wife Louise have run their own operation since 1993.

The six-session course will meet every Tuesday starting February 21st at the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety at NICC's Peosta campus. The course will also be offered every Thursday starting the same week, Feb. 23, at the Wilder Business Center, NICC Calmar campus.

Honey bees pollinate approximately 30% of the United States' crops, on which we rely for food. In a release published by NICC, Mary Rose Williams, Ph.D., avid beekeeper and environmental advocate, explained why creating and inspiring the next generation of beekeepers is so significant:

The plants and flowers in our yards bloom better because of honey bees. If the flowers are blooming well, that brings insects that birds can eat. Healthy birds scatter seeds that contribute to more plants, and this influences the health of our environment.

Bees and pollinators serve a very important purpose in our world. Pollinators are necessary for the survival of prairies and forests, and bees are integral to the ecological system. NICC's course will explain the importance of all these factors, and teach students how to properly raise bees and attend to their needs.

Sessions will run from 6pm to 9 p.m every Tuesday beginning February 21st, 2023. The course costs $109, which includes the textbook. For more information and to register, contact Shara Sparrgrove, NICC program developer, at

Read more about "Beginning Beekeeping" on NICC's website.

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