Buzz into Stillwater Public Library for beekeeping basics

Backyard Beekeeping   smallRegistration is now full! To be notified if we have an additional beekeeping class, please call the Help Desk at 405-372-3633 x8106.

(STILLWATER, OKLA. / June 22, 2015) –– The Stillwater Public Library will be abuzz Thursday, July 9, when bee-enthusiasts swarm in for “Backyard Beekeeping.” The program, presented by local beekeepers Cindy Sheets and Mike Clark, will introduce beginning apiarists to the process of starting a hive at their own home.

“I had been interested in beekeeping for a while, then when my friend Mike Clark started beekeeping and my interest was really piqued,” said Sheets. “He allowed me to look over his shoulder and provided advice, then gave me my first bees when he did a rescue.”

Sheets will share this same advice with participants, discussing the benefits of keeping bees, the basic procedure for setting up a hive including required equipment, acquiring bees, as well as the general costs. Sheets will also explain how to maintain hives, work safely around the bees and harvest from the hive.

Finally, Sheets will address what type of problems beekeepers encounter, how to solve the problems and how to keep the hives and bees healthy.

Sheets understands firsthand the difficulties of starting this hobby.

“For me, the hardest part of beekeeping is always second-guessing myself,” said Sheets. “I read a stack of books, looked up info online and watched lots of YouTube videos before getting started. But I didn't start the real learning until I got my first hive. Since then, it's been trial-and-error, questions for seasoned beekeepers and a few failures, but I'm going in a positive direction.”

During the program, Sheets will demonstrate pieces of equipment she uses. Following the program, participants may examine the equipment and get information about their own particular beekeeping questions.

cindy sheets“Backyard Beekeeping” begins at 6:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public, but participants are asked to register. Registration is available online at, by contacting the library at 405.372.3633 x8106 or or by stopping by the Help Desk.

Books on beekeeping are available at the library’s front display. Those who cannot attend the program are encouraged to checkout one or more library books on the subject, some of which include:

“Build Your Own Beekeeping Equipment” by Tony Pisano, which gives instruction for constructing hive stands, landing boards, the different components of the hive and more.

“The Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook” by Kim Flottum, which details the plants that help create honey, techniques for harvesting and delicious recipes that make use of the harvested honey.

“The Complete Guide to Beekeeping for Fun & Profit” by Cindy Belknap discusses all of the information a beekeeper needs from the basics to bee products and the concerns business-minded beekeepers might have. 

E-readers can download “Keeping Bees in Towns and Cities” by Luke Dixon or “Homegrown Honey Bees: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Beekeeping Your First Year, from Hiving to Honey Harvest” by Alethea Morrison from the eLibrary.

The library will hold another “Backyard” class on Tuesday, June 21, when OSU Extension State Assistant Lynn Malley shows community members how to easily and neatly compost at their homes.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. (the corner of Duck and 12th Ave.).