As also described in the “Teaching and Consulting” Tab, this year we are offering an “Introduction to Sustainable Beekeeping” workshop in the Flagstaff area. Now that backyard beekeeping has been made officially legal with the city limits of Flagstaff, it’s a perfect time to learn how to get started successfully as an urban beekeeper. For more detailed information, see the whole workshop and individual class descriptions below.
Please note that the Flagstaff workshop consists of four consecutive classes over the course of twelve weeks (June to August), The workshop will focus upon the distinct environmental conditions of the higher, cooler, and wetter Flagstaff area north of the Mogollon Rim.
2016 “Introduction to Sustainable Beekeeping” Workshop
(Flagstaff Area: June, July, and August 2016)
Course Description: In this hands-on extended workshop limited to 12 participants, you will be learning about the fundamentals of successful backyard and small-scale beekeeping, using organic practices and both horizontal top bar and vertical Langstroth hives. Here are some of the topics that we will be covering: essential beekeeping tools and how to use them; finding the best location for your hive; establishing a hive with a swarm, package, nucleus, or divide; honeybee ecology (queen/workers/drones); flowering plant/honeybee relationships; working with combs; honeycomb harvesting and processing; and much more. We will also be working with both gentle temperate (European) honeybees and more defensive tropical (South African) honeybees.
Dates: (all Saturdays) June 4, June 25, July 16, August 6.
Times: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Place: All four classes in the workshop will be held at a private residence in east Flagstaff. We will also be working with other Flagstaff area beehives.
Specific Class Descriptions
Class #1: June 4
- Fundamental Principles of Organic and Top Bar Beekeeping
- Tools and technologies (smoker, veil, gloves, etc.)
- Geographic considerations (where’s the best place to put my hive?)
- Getting started (swarms, packages, “nucs”)
Class #2: June 25
- Fundamentals of Honeybee Ecology (queens, workers, and drones; eggs, larvae, pupae, adults)
- Safe practices (reducing your chances of being stung)
- Handling combs, Part I (using hive tool and gloves)
- Understanding colony structure: broodnest and storage areas
Class #3: July 16
- Fundamentals of Honeybee/Flowering Plant Ecology (nectar and pollen)
- Favorite plants of the honeybees
- How honeybees create wax, bee bread, honey, royal jelly, and propolis from plants
- Handling combs, Part II (removing, inspecting, and re-inserting top bar and Langstroth combs)
Class #4: August 6
- Harvesting and Processing Honeycombs
- Diseases and other afflictions of honeybees (how to prevent and handle them)
- Handling combs, Part III (creating space for strong nectar flows)
- Artisanal local/regional/international honey tasting
The critical task for beginning beekeepers and newly established colonies is to help the colony (and their keeper) to survive and thrive through their first winter successfully. The four classes in this workshop will focus upon obtaining the knowledge and skills needed to accomplish that goal.
Registration for the Flagstaff area workshop will be limited to twelve participants. Having small classes makes it possible for everyone to have more direct, hands-on experiences with the bees.
To register for the 2016 “Introduction to Sustainable Beekeeping” Workshop (Flagstaff area), please contact me at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know of your interest in taking part in the workshop, and I will send a registration/payment form to you via e-mail, which you can then print and mail back to me, the “old fashioned” way.
Thanks! Hope to see you in 2016.
Patrick Pynes, Honeybeeteacher LLC