Upcoming Class for Beekeepers

~ Other News and Special Announcements ~

Beekeepers often ask me, “What is this flower and will my bees use it?” Sometimes I know the answer and can tell them exactly what the flower is and whether or not honey bees are likely to use it. Other times, my answer is, “I don’t know exactly what it is, but it looks like it is in the _____ family, and honey bees tend to really like members of that family.” And still other times, my answer is, “I have no clue, but based on these characteristics, honey bees probably aren’t very likely to use it.” To make these educated guesses, I’m using a combination of botanical knowledge and beekeeping knowledge.

On August 19, I will be teaching an online class aimed at helping beekeepers learn and be able to apply some of the same knowledge and ability to evaluate the potential likelihood of honey bees using a new flower that you find. The class is titled, Botany for Beekeepers: Answering the question, “Will honey bees use this flower?” and will start at 7:00 CT / 8:00 ET. It will last approximately 45 minutes to an hour with the possibility of bonus time at the end if there are a lot of questions or some people want to stick around and have more in-depth discussions. Registration is required.

A detailed class description and registration information are below. Additional classes on other topics related to pollinators, planting for pollinators, native plants, and gardening with native plants are being planned for later this fall.


Botany for Beekeepers: Answering the question, “Will honey bees use this flower?”


While knowing the plants that honey bees commonly use in your area is always a good idea, it is impossible to know every single plant out there. That’s why being able to make educated guesses about unfamiliar flowers can be helpful. In this class, I will share with you the botanical and beekeeping knowledge that I use to make educated guesses about how likely honey bees are to use flowers that I don’t know.

First, we will learn some of the key traits that tend to make flowers more attractive or less attractive to honey bees. Then we will dive deeper and learn some of the key characteristics for identifying several families of plants whose flowers tend to be highly attractive to honey bees. By applying this information, you will be able to make a reasonable guess as to whether honey bees will use a flower, even when you don’t know exactly what type of flower it is.


  • Aug. 19, 2020
  • 7:00 p.m. CT / 8:00 p.m. ET

Class Logistics:

  • Class will be held virtually through Zoom.
  • Registration is required to attend the classes.
    • See below for registration details.
  • Class will start at 7:00 p.m. CT / 8:00 p.m. ET and will last approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
    • Bonus time may be available after class if participants want to stay and ask additional questions or have more in-depth discussions.
  • The class will be recorded for those who cannot make the scheduled time and for participants who want to re-watch the presentation.
    • The video will be available for online viewing until midnight on Saturday, August 22, 2020.
    • After class is over, you will be sent an email with a link to the video and details for how to view it.


  • Registration is required to attend the classes.
  • After paying your registration fee, you’ll be sent an email with a link to register for the class.
    • Follow the link and fill out the registration form.
    • If you don’t have a Zoom account, you will need to sign up for a free account.
  • After submitting your registration form, you will be sent an email with a unique link for joining the class.




Shannon Trimboli is a beekeeper, farmer, wildlife biologist, and author. She owns Grassy Roads Farm and Busy Bee Nursery & Consulting. Busy Bee Nursery & Consulting specializes in plants and habitat consulting services for honey bees, native pollinators, and wildlife conservation. In 2018, her first book, Plants Honey Bees Use in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, was published. Shannon also writes a weekly blog called Kentucky Pollinators and Backyard Wildlife. The blog features profiles of pollinators and wildlife, tips for attracting pollinators and wildlife, highlights of different plants for pollinators and wildlife, and life on the farm and nursery. You can sign up to have her blog emailed to you.


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