This course introduces the biology of the honey bee, beekeeping tools and protective gear, seasonal hive management, identification of and treatment options for honey bee diseases, and honey extraction.
Classes include Zoom meetings, in-person talks, book discussion, and hands-on field experience at the on-site apiary.
- Select Sundays, 2 pm – 4 pm (See section below labeled Class Overview for dates)
- February 28 – September 9, 2023 – (with additional field sessions as noted)
- The Dahlem Conservancy, 7117 S. Jackson Rd., Jackson, MI 49201
- Dahlem Ecology Farm Beeyard, 1429 Wickwire Rd., Jackson, MI 49201
- $175 per person, payable in advance
- $275 for individual and one additional person (spouse/partner/friend) for a group of two people
BEES and HIVES:
- You will need to purchase a 3 lb package of bees with queen from vendors such as Napoleon Bee Supply, Dadant or other package vendors. We do not allow “nucs” at the Dahlem Ecology Farm Bee yard.
- We require new woodenware (hives and frames) to avoid accidental contamination in our community apiary.
- We have space for one hive per student or up to two hives per partner group in the bee yard, no exceptions.
- You are not required to keep a hive in order to take this class. However, if you do plan to begin keeping bees this season, we strongly recommend you keep your hive in the class bee yard. You can keep your summer hive in the apiary at Dahlem where we will work on it together and then take your hive home at the end of the season. You can also opt to keep your hive at home. Also, you don’t need to have a hive this season – we will provide an instructional hive that we will use to demonstrate various practices that you can help instead of having your own hive.
We recommend waiting until after our first class to buy your equipment. We will introduce you to local, independent vendors with multiple options for woodenware, tools, and protective gear.
The first class meeting: Review Syllabus, read Appendix A and B, sign Bee Course waiver.
Class Overview: schedule for year 2023
- 26th: #1 Introduction to Beekeeping
- 11th: MBA Bee Conference — In-person; with Pre-conference virtual keynotes: March 2 – Marla Spivak; March 7 – Frank Rinkevich/USDA; March 9 – Randy Oliver; check for other conferences
- 19th: #2 Equipment and Hive location
- 26th: #3 Bee Season Overview and Record Keeping
- 16th: #4 Bee Anatomy and Lifecycle
- 23th: #5 Installation of Bees, Checking on Queen and Hive Health – reading the comb
- TBD ?? Bees arrive TBA evening installation
- 7th: #6 Varroa Mites – Checks and Treatments
- 21st: #7 Brood boxes, queen excluders, honey supers
- 4th: #8 Swarming and Hive Splits
- 11th: #9 Understanding and Managing Queens
- 9th: #10 Hive Diseases and Pest Management Practices
- 23rd: #11 Hive Treatments and Winterization
- 6th: #12 Prepping your hive to move and Off-Season Management
- 13th: #13 Hive products and honey extraction
- Aug-Sept 9th: Moving hives to the student’s permanent locations
Michigan State Extension provides useful beekeeping information under beekeeping articles and videos at https://pollinators.msu.edu/resources/beekeepers/