Young Harris College and University of Georgia Beekeeping Institute

2019 Young Harris Beekeeping Institute
Wednesday - Saturday, May 22 - 25

Registration is still open but your form may not reach us in time. Please bring your form with you since walkins are welcome.

Click here for the 2019 Registration Form

Our special guest instructors will include:

Dr. Francis Ratnieks, University of Sussex
Dr. David Tarpy, North Carolina State University
Dr. Wyatt Mangum, University of Mary Washington

For questions, ontact Bear and Marybeth Kelley, the Bee Institute Registrars, at or (229) 322-5025.

Advanced beekeeper and honey judge program lectures and testing (open to registered participants only) to be held on Wednesday, May 22. These advanced courses are included with the cost of Journeyman, Master, Master Craftsman and Welsh Honey Judge exam registration, and are required if you register for one of these exams.

Click here to preview the 2019 program

Summary of the Institute

The UGA Honey Bee Program offers an annual Georgia beekeeping event in cooperation with Young Harris College. This event provides a vast amount of information in the form of lectures, workshops and demonstrations from esteemed local, regional, national and international beekeeping practitioners, authors, and researchers. The event also features hands-on training classes, beekeeping and honey judging certification programs, a distinguished regional honey show, and many other educational opportunities. Since 1992, the University of Georgia and 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 Beekeeping Institute is a four-day event with separate curricula for beginners and more experienced beekeepers.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday 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, Thursday, 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.

Friday will feature the presentation of certified, journeyman and master beekeeper certificates, the winners of the honey show and the new Welsh Honey Judges.

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.

Improved 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.


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.


Conference Managers

Bear and MaryBeth Kelley are the onsite conference managers. You will meet them at the Welcome/Check-in table when you arrive. They will be able to answer any questions you might have throughout the weekend. They will also post information on any last-minute room changes or resolved event issues for your convenience. Please be sure to turn in your conference evaluations to them before you leave.

For any questions specific to the YH/UGA Beekeeping Institute please contact Bear and MaryBeth at:

Phone: (229) 322-5025