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 & text, and hands on activities in the WCA bee yard.
Beginning in Beekeeping (Three sessions) – completed
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. Fee $175.00
- Session #1 – Sunday March 12th, 2017 1:00 – 3:30 PM “Biology & Behavior”.
- Session #2 – Sunday March 26th, 1:00 – 3:30 PM “Seasonal Management”.
- Session #3 – Saturday April 29th, 1:00 – 3:30 PM “Care & Feeding of your new Colony”. This is a new date.
Spring Management, Sunday May 21st, 1:00 – 3:30 PM – completed
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. Fee $45.00
Practical Beekeeping with special guest Kim Flottum (Saturday June 3rd, 2:00 – 4:00 PM) – completed
This is a special program presented by Kim Flottum, author of six books, editor of Bee Culture Magazine, and lifelong beekeeper. Kim will offer his top ten tips and solutions to bee situations in the bee yard, followed by hive openings in the WCA bee yard. This is a rare opportunity to meet a nationally recognized bee expert, and share his insights as he inspects some of WCAs Russian honeybee test colonies. Bring your veil. Book signing to follow the workshop. Kim’s book will be available for purchase. Fee $20.00
Keeping Healthy Hives: Mites, Disease, Prevention & Control (Sunday July 9th, 1:00 – 3:30 PM) – completed
We will cover the common threats to honeybee colonies, the importance of nutrition, and the latest thinking on prevention and treatment. This is for beekeepers at all levels of experience. The program is updated each year to reflect the latest research and most recent recommendations for testing and treatment of Varroa mites, Nosema and viruses. Handout and mite test kit included. Bee yard demonstrations – bring protective clothing. Fee $50.00
Fall Management (Sunday August 13th, 1:00 – 3:30 PM)
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. Fee $45.00
Call several days before any workshop and listen to our phone message to confirm weather conditions have not caused a postponement. Call Warm Colors Apiary at 413-665-4513.