Bee School BUZZ (3 local options)

Tending the Hives

Photo by Vivian Mulligan

Do you want to keep bees in your back yard? Then it’s Back-to-School time for you. Bee School that is. We’ve collected information on 3 local options to get you ready for a spring delivery of buzzing bees.

For an insider look at Bee School read Michelle Conway’s article in edible South Shore & South Coast here. And Alethea Morrison’s post on beekeeping on the eSS&SC Blog here.
And here is a valuable Resource List compiled by the Kingston Public Library for the South Shore Locavores and the special feature PACTV presented on the Locavores. .

Plymouth County Beekeeper Association, PCBA

Photo by Cliff Youse

Photo by Cliff Youse

The PCBA’s annual bee school is hosted and instructed by PCBA members and guest speakers. This 8-week course is designed to provide new beekeepers with the basic knowledge to get started in beekeeping.

Topics covered include:

  • History of beekeeping
  • Equipment and wooden-ware
  • Hive placement
  • Anatomy of honey bees
  • Bee colony organization
  • Feeding methods and feeders
  • Hive inspection
  • IPM: Integrated Pest Management
  • Diseases and pests of the honey bee
  • Local pollen and nectar sources
  • Bee package installation
  • Honey and beeswax products

The $50 enrollment fee includes the textbook, course materials, and a year’s membership with the club. Classes are held in the Pembroke Community Center at 128 Center St. in Pembroke center, which is located between the library and the town hall.
Classes meet every other Thursday, from 7:00-9:00 PM, starting January 15.
Although we can usually accommodate all who sign up, there are limits so please sign up as soon as possible.
www.plymouthcountybeekeepers.org

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Bristol County Beekeepers Association

Bees on Sunflowers

Photo by Michael Hart

This is the course you if you are thinking about keeping bees, if you have tried beekeeping and want to learn more, or if you are just curious about bees!

The cost is $50, which includes a textbook, handouts, and a 1-year membership to Bristol County Beekeepers Association. (Please note that the membership is for an individual, a couple or a family, depending on how you want to sign up. Each “entity” is entitled to one vote.)

Subjects will include the biology of honeybees, how to acquire your first bees, buying or building a beehive, plants for the bees, diseases, queens, extracting and bottling honey, colony management, and a review of care for the first four seasons. There will be lots of time for questions and answers, and a chance to talk to people who have just started as well as veterans with 100 hives who can talk about tons of honey.

There will be a general membership monthly meeting held during the course that students (as new members) are encouraged to attend.

Students will be given the option of being paired up with a “Bee Buddy”. Which is a veteran beekeeper from the club, that can help them continue to learn and experience beekeeping after the course ends.

Tuesday evenings 7:00 – 9:00
February 3 – March 17, 2015 (Make-up days are scheduled for March 31 and April 7, 2015 if needed.)
Syllabus:  www.bristolbee.com/brcba

All classes are will be held in the Library of the main building at the Bristol County Agricultural High School (aka Bristol Aggie)
135 Center Street
Dighton, MA
www.bristolbee.com/brcba

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**Organic Bee School:

Photo by the Benevolent Bee

Photo by the Benevolent Bee

Boston Beekeepers Club: A 6-week, hands-on course for anyone interested in bees and beginning beekeeping! You will learn:

  • The basic techniques of organic beekeeping, including materials and equipment, beehive structure, the life cycle of bees, hive development and dynamics, seasonal apiary work, honey and hive products, common pests and diseases, and organic hive management.
  • We will taste local and varietal honeys, and learn about harvesting and using bee products.
  • You will learn everything you need to know to set up your own backyard Apiary!

Six Consecutive Thursday Evenings, January 22rd – February 26th, 7:30pm – 9:00pm. There Will Also Be A Hands-On Field Date In April, Date Tbd.

Loring Greenough House, 12 South St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Space is limited! Register today! Pre-registration required:
Organic Bee School: www.meetup.com/Boston-Beekeepers-Club/events
Cost: $165 Course Fee Includes A Hands-On Workshop On A Date tbd In April.
Course books will be provided on the day of the class, for an additional $12

Course instructors: Stephanie Elson and Sadie Richards are on the Steering Committee of the Boston Area Beekeepers Association, and organizers of the Tour de Hives (an annual bike tour of Boston’s urban apiaries). Together with other area beekeepers, they operate a ‘Teaching Apiary’ at the Boston Nature Center. Stephanie has been keeping bees for 6 years. She runs The Benevolent Bee, a local business selling honey, candles, and other handcrafted bee products. Sadie is a 5th year beekeeper. She keeps her bees at the Leland Street Community Garden, at the Boston Nature Center, and at her home in Melrose, MA. She is on the Board of Classroom Hives, an organization that has been placing observation hives in classrooms in the Boston area since 2001. Guest lecturers will also visit the class on occasion. Both Stephanie and Sadie trained in beekeeping under local organic beekeeper, Jean-Claude Bourrut. This course is sponsored by the Boston Area Beekeepers Association.

BeeShool Teacher

Children, Bee-have!       (Michael Hart illustration)

**eSS&SC note:
We could not find a closer location for an organic bee-keeping class, if you know of one please tell us. And, if you know of any other options for Bee Schools please let everyone know by noting them in the comments below.

About eSS&SC

The South Shore and South Coast has been home to hunting, gathering, fishing, farming––and great eating––for over 10,000 years. We are committed to identifying, devouring, and sharing all that Southeastern Massachusetts has to offer today and preserving local options for future generations.
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2 Responses to Bee School BUZZ (3 local options)

  1. Denise says:

    I think it may have to do with how they manage for disease and mites, etc.

  2. Marilyn Buckner says:

    Aside from the asterisk, Please define “Organic Bee School”. As far as I know the bees collect pollen and nectar from wherever it suits them, whether organically managed or not. I think most bee schools presents many alternative methods of managing hives.

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