Beekeeping for Beginners

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This is a three part webinar series with sessions taking place on: January 27, January 28 and  February 4  from 3-4:30 p.m. Snow date: February 10. All sessions will be recorded & the recordings shared with registrants.

This series has been priced on a sliding scale of $40-$100 for all three events to make the course as accessible as possible; please pay what you can afford. Registration is free of charge for BIPOC community members and veterans.

There are so many reasons to keep honeybees – to support pollinators, for the joy of observing them at work, and for the honey, propolis and beeswax that beekeepers can collect.

Join Master Beekeeper Karen Thurlow for three sessions to help you get ready for your first season keeping bees. She will begin by preparing you for the earliest decisions you’ll have to make when starting out: what equipment to get (and where), how to put together a new hive and where to situate it, and what bees to order and in what “form” (package or nuc). Then she will introduce you to the bees themselves – what their roles and basic needs are – as well as what you need to look for when inspecting your hive(s) and what each of the four seasons as a beekeeper will require of you. See below for a list of what will be covered in each session.

Karen Thurlow is a Master Beekeeper and Master Gardener. Karen started beekeeping on her farm in 1978 after a class with the Essex County Cooperative Extension Service in Massachusetts. In 1995 Karen moved to Maine and her apiary grew to over 100 production colonies. Her experience includes raising queens, nucleus colony production, package bee sales, and wholesale and retail honey sales. She teaches beekeeping management classes, disease and microscopy classes, and serves as a consultant to organizations and beekeepers throughout North America. She is dedicated to raising healthy bees and sharing her know-how with other beekeepers. Currently, Karen works as the Chief Apiary Inspector for the province of New Brunswick. She has a small apiary of her own along the beautiful Chaleur Bay in Northwestern New Brunswick.


Questions? Please email [email protected]

Topics to be covered in each session:

Part 1
What to expect your first year with bees.
Beekeeping vocabulary.
Expected start-up cost and yearly expenses.
Types of hives.
Hive components.
Personal equipment.
Resources and recommended suppliers.
Ordering packages or nucs – where to find them & when to order.
Races of honey bees.

Part 2
Location – Choosing your apiary site.
Installing your nuc or package of bees.
Basic bee biology.
The cast of bees: worker bees and their jobs, drones and what they do, and the Queen.

Part 3
Hive Inspections.
Bee space.
Controlling the urge to swarm.
Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter management overview.
Basics of care: feeding, foraging and water.
Diseases and how to control them.
Products from the hive.
Harvesting honey crop.
Creamed or comb honey

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