[All of our 2018 Classes have been completed. Please check later for our 2019 offerings]
Keeping healthy and productive colonies of bees requires an understanding of honeybee biology and behavior. The best beekeepers use this knowledge to develop management that fits the seasonal changes in the environment. The natural dynamics or cycles in population require familiarity with nectar and pollen plants, as queens lay more eggs during nectar flows. In western Massachusetts, this happens mid-May through June and again in August and early September. The beekeeper can use this information to stimulate larger worker bee populations, make new colonies, and raise queens. Management that works with, rather than against, the honeybees’ natural behaviors starts with learning the basics of beekeeping.
At Warm Colors Apiary, we have offered introductory and advanced classes since 2000. Our mission is to teach management proven to work. We participate in research, testing of new products, and continue to revise our beekeeping as we discover new methods for keeping bees healthy. Typical programs include a lecture, handouts, and hands on activities in the WCA bee yard.Hands on and practical management is our focus.
Dates & Times for 2019 workshops will be available November 20th, 2018.
Beginning in Beekeeping (Three sessions)
This is a three-session class for new beekeepers. We focus on the basic tasks used in managing a 1st-year honeybee colony. Session one reviews biology & behavior, Session two covers seasonal management, and the third session demonstrates installation of bees into the hive and introducing the queen. Includes textbook, handouts and 7.5 hrs of instruction. This class has been completed. We are planning to repeat in 2019.
- Session #1 – “Biology & Behavior”.
- Session #2 – “Seasonal Management”.
- Session #3 – “Care & Feeding of your new Colony”. This date may change. We schedule this class with the arrival of the package bees – bee pickup schedule may change.
Spring Management, Completed – Thank you for participating.
A review of spring tasks, including hive evaluation, feeding and prevention of disease. Honey production, swarm prevention and early activities commonly performed during spring and summer. Bring protective clothing for bee yard demonstrations. Handouts included. This workshop has been completed. We plan to repeat the class in 2019.
Fall Management – completed
The final exam for beekeepers is preparing hives for winter. This begins in early fall when there is still time to correct problems. Queen evaluation, feeding and winter food reserves, lack of mites and disease will be explained. Wrapping & insulating hives, location, and equipment will be discussed. Bring protective clothing for bee yard. Handout included. Program has been completed.