UGA Extension Office

Southeast Georgia Beekeeping Symposium

Join us February 23rd-25th, 2023 for the inaugural Southeast Georgia Beekeeping Symposium, an educational event for beekeepers of the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire!

On Thursday, qualified participants will have the opportunity to become a Certified Beekeeper through the University of Georgia Master Beekeeper Program.  Join us Friday and Saturday for various beekeeping seminars—valuable for the beginner and advanced beekeeper alike!

Hosted at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, 2 Canebrake Rd. Savannah, GA 31419

Thursday February 23rd Georgia Certified Beekeeper Training & Practical Exam, $45

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Requirements for Certification:

  • Must have had at least one year beekeeping experience prior to sitting for exams.
  • Must pass a written and practical test.
  • The written test includes materials covered during Thursdays trainings, as well as outside readings.
  • The practical test includes being able to:
    • describe the parts of a beehive;
    • light and properly use a smoker;
    • recognize the various stages of brood, different castes of bees, and find or at least describe the queen;
    • differentiate between brood, pollen, capped honey;
    • recognize common diseases and disorders;
    • recognize propolis and describe its functions; and
    • describe the layout of a brood nest, i.e., placement of honey, pollen and brood.

Official text for the program is the 2007 edition of First Lessons in Beekeeping, Dadant & Sons. Candidates are also encouraged to read Thomas D. Seeley's The Wisdom of the Hive and Honeybee Democracy; Jurgen Tautz's The Buzz about Bees: Biology of a Superorganism; and Mark Winston's The Biology of the Honey Bee.

The Practical portion of the Certified Beekeeper Exam has two parts - each takes approximately 15 minutes: [1] an outdoor exam where you will demonstrate your skills lighting (and keeping lit) a smoker and working a beehive, and [2] an indoor exam where you will identify certain beekeeping tools & equipment.

NOTE: the pre-practical training is not designed to prepare candidates for taking the exams, but is tailored to help those who are already prepared for the exams to focus on the most important information and have a better experience.


Friday February 24th & Saturday, February 25th: Beekeeping Seminars, $150

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. both days

Topics Include:

  • Getting Started with Honeybees: Packages, NUCs, and Swarm Installation
  • Small Hive Beetle Management Strategies for Southeast Georgia and the Lowcountry
  • Varroa Mite Control Strategies for Southeast Georgia and the Lowcountry
  • Honey Bee Nutrition
  • Nectar Bearing Trees, Plants and Shrubs for Southeast Georgia and the Lowcountry
  • Creamed Honey
  • Basic Wax Cleaning and Wax Casting/Candlemaking
  • Mead Making
  • Managing Imported Fire Ants in the Bee Yard
  • Honey Bee Removal Regulations in Georgia
  • Honey Bee Removal Techniques


Speakers Include:

  • Keith Fielder, County Extension Coordinator for Putnam and Hancock Counties and Chairman of the Georgia Farm Bureau Honeybee Commodity Group
  • Dr. Tim Davis, Chatham County Extension Coordinator and Director of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens
  • Rosanne Fielder
  • Bobby Colson, B&G Honey Farm and the Coastal Empire Beekeepers Association
  • Bobby Chaisson, Operations Director for Georgia Bee Removal, LLC and Northeast GA Director for the Georgia Beekeepers Association
  • Bill Owens, Owner & Operator of Georgia Bee Removal, LLC
  • Laura Liu, Coastal Empire Beekeepers Association
  • Robert Brewer
  • David Arnal, President of the Beaufort-Jasper Beekeepers Association
  • Greg Stewart, President of the Coastal Empire Beekeepers Association



Mann Lake Bee & Ag Supply


The Symposium will adjourn for lunch each day. Lunch is not included in program registration. The Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens is conveniently located to three main regional arteries: Interstate 95 (exit 94), as well as the Abercorn Expressway/204 and the Atlantic Coastal Highway/Ogeechee Road that provide various dining options nearby.

Registration for the 2023 SEGA Beekeeping Symposium is now closed. If you would like to be notified when registration begins for the 2024 Symposium, please fill out the contact form on this page.

Interested in the next Southeast Georgia Beekeeping Symposium? Complete the form below.