By Melanie Patterson

The North Jefferson News

It’s not too late to get in on a sweet new hobby — raising honeybees.

The annual Beginners Beekeeping School started Tuesday at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

The class continues every Tuesday, 7-9 p.m., for seven weeks. The cost is $35, including books and handouts.

“We don’t do this to make money, we do this to get more people involved in beekeeping,” said Frank Rodriguez, past president of the Jefferson County Beekeepers Association.

The beekeeping course is popular.

“We’ve had a tremendous turnout. We had 31 last year,” he said.

Rodriguez said that he and other professional beekeepers are worried because fewer people than ever are raising bees.

“Bees pollinate a little over 40 percent of the world’s food supply,” said Rodriguez. “If bees get gone, somebody’s going to get hungry.”

That is a reason the Jefferson County Beekeepers Association wants to properly educate beekeepers.

Rodriguez, of Hueytown; David Ellis of Corner; and Eve Mitchell are teaching the classes.

To learn more about the Beginners Beekeeping School, or to get help with swarms of bees, call Rodriguez at (205) 491-4541 or Ellis at 647-0729.

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