Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners is a series of 7 classes intended to provide the fundamental tools needed to establish a honey bee hive and successfully maintain it. The first 6 are conducted on one day each month beginning in December. The last is taught on a Saturday in late summer. 

Beekeeping for Beginners

Class Syllabus

Dan Harris


The following syllabus is intended to provide general guidelines and is subject to change. Due to the nature of the topics there will be some overlap between the units.

 Unit 1 Beekeeping Basics – Lecture – December  (3 hours)

History of beekeeping

Honey Bee Biology

Who can keep honeybees?

Components of a beehive


Frames and foundation


Protective clothing and equipment



Unit 2 Care and Feeding of Honeybees –Lecture – January   (3 hours)

Spring and winter feeding – natural cycles of plenty and dearth

Parasites, diseases, disorders and dealing with them

Buying Bees – By the pound? Or would you prefer a ‘nuc’?


Unit 3 ABC’s of Assembling a Beehive – Workshop – February  (3 hours)

In this workshop we will demonstrate how to assemble the various parts of a conventional hive.  Nails, glue and hand tools will be provided. Students are encouraged to bring their hive parts for assembly. 

Unit 4  Spring Hive Management – Beeyard -  March   (2 hours)

*Students will need to have a protective veil and gloves*

In this outdoor lab we will open a hive and examine the inner workings of a living honey bee colony.

Inspecting a hive

Brood buildup



Capped brood

Pollen – ‘bee bread’


Capped Honey

Workers, drones and a queen

Swarm queen cells

Why is swarm management so important?

Making beehive ‘splits’

Unit 5  Spring Buildup –Beeyard -  April  (2 hours) 

*Students will need to have a protective veil and gloves*

Follow-up inspection of established hives from previous unit

This is spring buildup!

Unit 6  Harvesting Honey –Workshop -  May/June   (2 hours)

Take capped honey frames from a ‘super’, remove the cappings and extract the honey.

Filter and bottle the product

Reliquifying granulated honey 

Unit 7  End of Season/Winter Prep – Beeyard – August  (2 hours)

*Students will need to have a protective veil and gloves*

We will perform Varroa mite counts and apply a couple of treatments.

Other end of season inspections

Winter feeding



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