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2017 Beekeeping Series

Bee part of the solution!

 Experience the culture of the honeybee while you learn how to keep your own bees in our series of hands-on classes and labs.

Register for our Beekeeping Classes

 

"This class was INVALUABLE. Tracy is an excellent instructor--very kind and helpful. She provided awesome resources along with helpful contacts and guidance outside of class. I am deeply appreciative and would recommend this class to anyone wishing to learn more about keeping bees." 

These workshops were designed to support new beekeepers through their first season of beekeeping. Participants have the opportunity to learn this fascinating skill with the support of an experienced instructor and a community of other new beekeepers. The series will take participants through an entire season of beekeeping.

Class materials and methods will focus on the Top Bar Hive, a natural means of raising bees. Top Bar Hives are an appropriate technology hive; they have proven to be a great system for backyard and small scale hobbyist. Langstroth hive methods will also be taught.

Location: Classes are held at the Growing Gardens Greenhouse,1630 Hawthorn Ave, Boulder, CO 80304 (unless otherwise indicated)

Time: 9am to 12pm or 9 am to 1 pm as noted for field classes 

Cost: $400 per person, which includes a $20 materials fee and supplies.

Beekeepers with some experience are welcome to register and drop-in to any class for $60.00.

Class Structure:

  • 8 classes, one weekend day per month March - October.

  • 3 hour sessions (with the exception of 3 classes that run for 4 hours) include discussions of current activity in the hive followed by practice and observation in the bee yard.

  • Each class covers new topics and includes dedicated Q&A time for students to ask questions about their individual hives

  • The June 24th and July 29th sessions are practical labs. These labs are off-site and are four hours in length. (The classes will meet at 9am at the greenhouse, and then travel to the off site lab location)

  • Informational material will be provided at each session.

 To register, call Megan at 303-443-9952 or email megan@growinggardens.org. Online registration opens 1/15/17.

The Buzz on our Beekeeping Instructor:
Tracy Bellehumeur has been raising bees for eight years using natural methods in Top Bar and Langstroth hives. She also teaches for the Boulder County Beekeepers Association, specializing in honeybee pests and diseases, and for the Denver Botanical Gardens. She is passionate, enthusiastic and will patiently walk you through all your questions as a first-year beekeeper.  She's an avid gardener and crafter when she has time from mothering and working as a hydrogeologist. Tracy also helps to organize an annual September Pollinator Appreciation Month with the City of Boulder as one of four women beekeepers (called the BeeChicas).


 

We have 7 Top Bar bee hives available for sale! Click here to purchase yours today.

They are handmade by a local craftsman, all proceeds support our programs.

 

For registration questions, contact Megan at megan@growinggardens.org

For programming questions, contact Tracy at tracy@growinggardens.org


Growing Gardens Beekeeping Series

Class Schedule and Content Brief

Class 1: Introduction to Top Bar Beekeeping

Date: Saturday, March 11th  Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

This class will cover expectations and an introduction to keeping bees in your back yard.  We will have an opportunity to meet our fellow beekeepers. There will be a demonstration hive available for inspection and plans for building your own top bar hive.

 

Class 2: Understanding the Bees

Date: Saturday, April 8th  Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

In this class we will focus on basic honeybee biology, the caste and rolls of bees that live in a colony and cover the ecology of honeybees. In the lab we will learn about hive preparation, location, how to install packaged bees or swarms, and what to look for in your new expanding colony.

 

Class 3: Honeybee Colony Care I

Date: Saturday, April 29th  Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

In this class, we will share how our colonies are settling in.  You will learn how to handle combs, trouble-shoot problems, manage build-up, and maintain the overall health. The lab will apply the knowledge gained from the class through hands-on beekeeping. 

 

Class 4: Honeybee Colony Care II

Date: Saturday, May 20th  Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

Location: St. John's Episcopal Church, 1419 Pine Street, Boulder 

We will review how to maintain healthy colonies and what this looks like, and discuss how to recognize pests and diseases, and what you can do to support your bees. In the lab we will review proper handling of combs, assessing queen vitality and brood development and we will learn how to observe honey flow and colony strength through the seasons.  We will spend the last hour doing a hive inspection at a nearby hive, weather permitting.

 

Class 5: Practical Lab I *off-site* (The class will meet at 9am at the greenhouse, and then travel to the off site lab location.)

Date: Saturday, June 24th  Time: 9:00am-1:00pm

In this lab, you will have the opportunity to gain confidence and familiarity with honeybees and learn how to work a top-bar hive successfully. You will gain knowledge in how to manage hives for optimum honey production and colony health. We may begin to harvest honeycomb.

 

Class 6: Practical Lab II *off-site* (The class will meet at 9am at the greenhouse, and then travel to the off site lab location.)

Date: Saturday, July 29th  Time: 9:00am-1:00pm

This lab will give you a chance to improve your skills and gain more experience handling combs and bees. We may be able to harvest honey. We will discuss and practice sustainable techniques for monitoring and preventing diseases and parasites.

 

Class 7: Fall and Winter Care

Date: Saturday, August 26th  Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

In this class we will review methods and preparations for maintaining a healthy hive. We will also learn alternative honey processing techniques. We will also learn the steps needed to prepare the hives for winter and demonstrate a variety of winterization techniques unique to top bar hive management.

 

Class 8: Honeybees Give Us More than Honey

Date: Sunday, October 7th  Time: 9:00am-1:00pm

Here we will learn how to process wax and how to make mold candles, salves, medicinal honey syrup, honey ointment and lip balms. This practical lab will be devoted to making samples of these various products and enjoying the fruits of your labor. 

 

Advanced Beekeeping Class for Returning Students

Date: Saturday, March 18th  Time: 9:00am-12:00pm
Cost: $60

This class is for beekeepers who have overwintered their hives and are wondering what to do next. You will learn how to help prevent crowding and swarming in a Top Bar or Langstroth, and how to make a split to expand your apiary or just to help propagate a good colony. We will also go over spring management practices and how to monitor for potential problems. Bring all your questions.

 

See what our past students had to say about our beekeeping class series:

"I've gained a great deal of confidence which allows me to work in my hive. I understand the life cycle of bees, how to identify a healthy queen, how to identify worker brood, drone brood, workers, drones, queens, how to keep my bees healthy and strong."

 

"Tracy has been an amazing teacher! She is so eager to share resources with students and is very passionate about bees! She inspires confidence in students!"

 

"I was already aware of honeybees as pollinators and had already taken a basic beekeeping class through NCBA, but this HANDS ON class was FABULOUS in terms of really developing my practical beekeeping skills and comfort around the bees."

 

"Tracy has been such a wonderful teacher! Her passion and enthusiasm for bees is infectious and I very much appreciate how available she has been to support students outside of class and her sharing of resources with the students."


 

Thank you to our Honeybees program sponsors!

 

 

 

 

 

 
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
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