BLEVINS: Beginner beekeeping course and German cockroach control tips | Local News

Phil Blevins – Washington County Extension Agent in Virginia

A course for beginner beekeepers will be held at the Executive Auditorium of the Southwest Virginia Center for Higher Education in Abingdon, Va. on Saturday, January 29.

The course will start at 9 a.m. with registration and end at 3:30 p.m. Topics covered in the course include bee biology, equipment needed, where and how to obtain bees, apiary location, pests and diseases bees, seasonal management, integrated hive management. and nectar course.

Every effort will be made to answer the basic questions people considering beekeeping will have, including assembling equipment, introducing wrapped bees to the hive, capturing swarms, l inspection of the hive, etc.

The cost of the class is $35 and class size is limited. Pre-register by sending a $35 check payable to the Highlands Beekeepers Association to the Washington County Extension Office, 234 W. Valley St., Suite B, Abingdon, VA 24210 or online at

The class is sponsored by the Washington County Extension Office and the Highlands Beekeepers Association. Call the extension office at (276) 676-6309 if you have any questions.

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German cockroaches cause a number of problems. They can contaminate food and feed with their droppings and body parts. They will eat several different foods, including cosmetics, soap, pulp, and paper products.

In addition to these problems, they also pose a health risk. They are known to carry pathogenic organisms on their bodies and in their droppings. Because they are active at night, they have been known to crawl into the ear canals and nostrils of sleeping children.

The most significant health problem associated with German cockroaches is allergies. In fact, German cockroach infestations have been identified as the number one cause of asthma in inner city children.

Here are the steps for a successful control program:

1.) Rule out cockroaches by inspecting boxes, bags, containers, etc. that may contain cockroaches before bringing them into your home.

2.) Practice good hygiene by keeping food and food spills clean, including pet food, correcting moisture problems, washing dishes promptly and avoiding clutter.

3.) If you suspect a cockroach problem, place sticky traps in several places (for 24 hours) to check. Although they may signal a problem, traps do not control the problem.

4.) If you have an infestation, professional treatment will be needed to get it under control.

If you need more information, contact your local extension office.

Phil Blevins is an agricultural extension agent in Washington County, Virginia.

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