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  Self-Paced Schedule and Participant Guide

2023-2024 Update

Live instruction of this course will not be offered during the 2023-2024 season. We welcome you to complete this course on a self-paced schedule that works for you. All webinars are recorded and posted here in our online classroom for you to watch anytime. You will retain access to all materials indefinitely and can return to view them anytime.

Weekly Topics

Week 1: Getting to Know Bees

Topics covered: Introductions. Overview of our online “campus” (Teachable), course outline, and basic bee biology, roles and jobs. We’ll discuss how to find a queen bee in your hive, what a bee is and isn’t, and finally the importance of having a local experienced beekeeper as your mentor and joining a local bee club.

Week 2: Setting Up Your Apiary

Topics covered: Create a calendar ordering, installing and getting your bees through the summer. Considering in setting up your apiary. “A year in the apiary” – life cycle. Time commitment. Goals and Hive Management Practices. When to order & from whom? Buying versus raising versus swarming a new queen. Timing and starter feeding.

Week 3: Basic Equipment for Your First Year

Topics covered: What do you really need? Styles of equipment. Expenses. Create a budget.

Week 4: Basic Hive Inspection, Part 1

Topics covered: Hive Inspection Protocol. Brood (why is it important and evaluating brood health). Learn to ID honey & pollen storage. Are my bees developing correctly? How much honey do they need to make it through the winter? Do I need a queen excluder?

Week 5: Basic Hive Inspection, Part 2 (What to do when things go wrong)

Topics covered: Hive Robbers. Swarm. Re-queening. Bad temperament & disease.

Week 6: Introduction to Pests & Diseases

Topics covered: Varroa Mites. Protocol options for common pests & diseases.

Week 7: I have honey, now what?

Topics covered: Basics of honey harvesting. Packaging, labeling & storage. What you need to do if you want to sell honey & value-added products.

Week 8: Preparing Your Colony for the winter

Topics covered: Feeding options, evaluation & timing. Bee biology review. Insulation options. Pest protection.

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