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Missoula beekeeper conference encourages safe practices to reduce disease, disorder

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MISSOULA - The art and science of keeping bees becoming more and more important due to the declining bee population.

Over 100 beekeeping enthusiasts gathered over the last two days at the University of Montana Apiary at Fort Missoula to discuss our small striped friends.

The conference, hosted by the Big Sky Beekeepers, was mainly geared towards educational demonstrations. The club welcomed professionals to showcase and teach recreational beekeepers or even those who were simply interested in starting. 

The guest of the hour was Randy Oliver, a researcher who prioritized safe and sterile practices to ensure that hives don't fall victim do disease or disorder that could spread to other colonies. Oliver said that beekeeping is like ranching, and all of us are in it together. 

 "When you're be keeping, it gives you that tangible connection of… it brings you into you think about the weather, you think about the bloom," Oliver said. "You think about what's flowering. It makes you aware of what's happening in nature."

"Beekeeping gives you a cross-section of society that's amazing. You know we have people from every walk of life period from agriculture to engineering to doctors and researchers and teachers and accountants and the curious about this fascinating insect," Oliver added.

The Big Sky Beekeepers meet once a month and encourage anyone interested in beekeeping to reach out to them to learn how to get involved.

RELATED: More Montanans are keeping bees

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