Young Harris College and University of Georgia Beekeeping Institute

2020 Young Harris Beekeeping Institute
Wednesday - Saturday, May 13 - 16 has been cancelled.

In view of the public health crisis posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, my fellow organizers and I have cancelled the 2020 Beekeeping Institute originally scheduled for May 13-16 at Young Harris College. The patterns of pandemics, and this one in particular, virtually guarantee that the risk window will still be open by mid-May. This is the first cancellation in our 29-year history, but we take this precaution with input from the best scientific opinions available to us. Please know that you remain on our email announcement list and, on that note, I am pleased to announce our dates for next year - May 12-15, 2021. Please plan to attend!

Our conference office will be refunding your credit card for the cost of registration in the days ahead. If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to the UGA Bee Lab at or 706-769-1736.

See you next year!

Below were our special guest instructors that were scheduled for 2020:

Professor Robin Crewe, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Dr. Kristen Traynor, Arizona State University
Jerry Hayes, Editor of Bee Culture Magazine

Advanced beekeeper and honey judge program lectures and testing (open to registered participants only). 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.

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.


Hope to see you at the 2020 Young Harris/UGA Beekeeping Institute, the best meeting around!