Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 01-09-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER LIVING EDITION | JANUARY 8-14, 2020 ENTERTAINMENT 5 Mencucci, who began teaching in the early 1990s, said she's seen interest in the courses gradually increase and shift from being more of an "old man's hobby" to an activity shared by a diverse demographic of people. The recent discourse about the plight of honeybees has especially helped to raise awareness about bees and their value to agriculture and society in general, she said. As the number of deaths of bee colonies continues to grow, increased use of pesti- cides and viruses carried by mites are two major reasons for the crisis over the past decade. In the course, "we do quite a bit on diseases," Mencucci said. "It's harder to keep bees now than it ever has been" thanks to the introduction of mites and associated viruses. "There's a lot to learn there. That's where people have the most failures." "A lot of people are more interested in nature and heard about the plight of the bee and want to help," she added as one of the reasons people take the course. Other people sign up because they're interested in learning something new, making their own honey, or hope to get better pollination for their orchards and gar- dens if they have their own bees, she said. Starting at the end of January and beginning of February, the four courses will be offered at RIC and URI. Each course is five weeks long. Course dates and times are as follows: • Thursdays, Jan. 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20, and 27, with a snow day on March 5, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at URI in Kingston. • Fridays, Jan. 31, Feb. 7, 14, 21, and 28, with a snow day of March 6, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at RIC in Providence. • Saturdays, Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, with a snow day of March 7, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at RIC. • Saturdays, Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, with a snow day of March 7, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at URI. Those enrolled in the course also receive member- ship to RIBA, which is an additional source of help and advice. RIBA hosts special meetings an hour before its regular monthly meetings that offer an informal oppor- tunity for beginners to ask questions. Becoming a beekeeper is not without a cost, Mencucci said, noting that someone can easily spend $500 between purchasing the bees and equipment. When first obtaining bees, people can purchase one or two 3-pound packages that can build up to 50,000 bees in the course of a summer, she said. As for the responsibilities, people need to go out once a week and inspect the hive. Checking every day will upset the bees but "you can't just get a hive and think you won't look at it," she said. The busiest seasons, with more tasks to complete, are the spring and fall. In the winter the bees stay inside as long as the temperature is under 50 degrees and come back out when it's warm in the spring, according to Mencucci. Her favorite part about beekeeping is observing the activity in the hive, she said. "There's always something a little bit new (that you) didn't see before." Advance registration is required. The cost of the course is $75 per person, which includes all course materials, a textbook and membership dues in the Rhode Island Beekeepers Association through Dec. 31. Register by Friday, Jan. 24, to avoid a $10 late fee. The URI courses are smaller and fill up more quickly. Mencucci said she encour- ages families to take the class as a fun activity to do together. As space becomes available, additional family members at the same address may attend and share course materials for $10 each. To register, visit http:// . Print the registration form, fill it out and send with check or money order to: Bee School, RI Beekeepers Association, PO Box 685, Glendale, RI 02826. Contact Mencucci at bmen- or 401- 568-8449. BETTY MENCUCCI, director of the Rhode Island Beekeepers Association's Bee School, pictured here inspecting a hive, will be teaching courses for beginner beekeepers, starting later this month. BEEKEEPING From Page One Audition for 'Mary Poppins the Musical' at the Stadium WOONSOCKET – The Stadium Theatre, 28 Monument Square, will hold auditions for "Mary Poppins the Musical" on Tuesday, Jan. 21, and Thursday, Jan. 23. Auditions begin at 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Attendance is required at one night of auditions only. Callbacks will be held the fol- lowing weekend, should they be necessary. Those auditioning should prepare 32 bars of a musi- cal theatre song (in the style of the show is preferred). Songs from the show are also acceptable. No a cappella auditions are accepted. Select a song that also shows acting ability, provide sheet music, marked for the accompanist, and a headshot and resume if possible. Following vocal audi- tions, there will be a stan- dard dance audition and an optional tap combination. Bring tap shoes if participat- ing in tap call. Auditions are open to those of all ages. Learn more at www. auditions#MaryPoppins . For more information, email Corey Cadigan at MaryPoppinsST2020@gmail. com . Learn about R.I. outhouses at North Gate LINCOLN – Author Ray Wolf will present the pro- gram Outhouses in Rhode Island on Sunday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m., in the upstairs hall at North Gate Toll House, 1873 Louisquisset Pike. Wolf is the author of books about the history of Rhode Island, from the creation of the Scituate Reservoir and its significance on his family, to diners across the state and more. He will have books with him to purchase.

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