Due to the spread of emerging pests and pathogens and changes in agricultural practices, today’s honeybees and their beekeepers face far more challenges. In this exciting hands-on course, students will learn the fundamentals of being responsible stewards of honeybee colonies and the skills to support good decision-making in today’s changing world.

This introductory course offers a combination of classroom lectures and hands-on field experience on topics including basic bee biology, the factors driving global pollinator decline, purchasing equipment and bees, integrated pest management, and successful strategies for overwintering. Attendance is mandatory for every class as each class serves as the foundation for the next. Will you get stung? Protective clothing and proper handling techniques greatly reduce the risk of bee stings. However, some bee stings are inevitable. If you have an allergy to bee venom, you should not take the in-person version of this course.

Textbook: Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping, By Dewey M. Caron, Wicwas Press, ISBN: 978-1-878075-29-1

Protective clothing and equipment: You will need to purchase and wear protective clothing to reduce bee stings. There are many options out there. I suggest purchasing a veil/jacket combo ($65-100) and leather gloves (~$25). You will also need your own hive tool (~$5). For pants, thick work pants like Carhartts or loosely fitted jeans work well. For shoes, hiking boots or rain boots work well. We will provide smokers. To purchase protective clothing, check out the following beekeeping supply companies online: Dadant, Betterbee, or Mann Lake.