BF 160: Introduction to Beekeeping (Self-Paced)

Getting your Hive Operation Off the Ground

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Getting your hive operation off the ground

Whether you are currently keeping honey bees, or are considering adding them to your farm, a basic knowledge of bee biology, diseases, pests, and setting up your colony are essential for success.

Understanding the difference between a drone, queen and nurse bee, knowing how to site your apiary properly, having a plan for Varroa mites, and knowing effective winterizing techniques will help ensure your hive(s) make it through the winter so you can harvest honey the following season.

This course, taught by experienced beekeepers and NYS Honey Bee Extension educators will give you real-world experiences paired with academic concepts.

Target Audience

Aspiring/Beginner – This course is geared for those who have plans to start keeping bees within the next 1-3 years, or who just got started with bees. Disease and pest issues will focus on the Northeast region of the US, though others will find much of the content useful to their locale.

Course Objectives

At the completion of this course, you will:

  • Know basic bee biology
  • Have management skills to support responsible decision making
  • Know what needs to happen with your hives each month of the season


The bulk of the course happens on your own time, with discussions, readings, and assignments in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To add to the experience, webinars will be woven into the online interface of the course to allow you to meet on a weekly basis to learn from outside presenters and ask questions to address your farm issues in real time. If you miss one, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.

Webinar Schedule

While we will not offer a live version of this course in the 2023-2024 season, you may enroll to take it on a self-paced schedule. All webinars are recorded and posted in our online classroom for students to watch anytime. Once you have enrolled in this course, you will retain access to all materials indefinitely, and can complete the course on your own schedule.

Your Instructor

Cornell Small Farms Program Instructor
Cornell Small Farms Program Instructor

Course Curriculum

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course officially starts and ends on the dates given above, when the instructors get involved and begin hosting live weekly webinars. If you are registering after the webinars have concluded for the year, you will have immediate access to all the course materials, and will be able to participate in the next year's webinars if you choose to.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 7 days and we will give you a full refund.

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