The cornerstone of HarBee Beekeeping is education. We are constantly talking to beekeepers and none beekeepers simultaneously teaching and learning for all both groups of people. To have an organized beginner course just seems natural. The goal of the course is to get a person ready with information to be a successful and responsible bee-keeper.
So, how do we ensure that people are on a path of becoming a successful and responsible beekeeper and reach as many of them to get them onto that path? Use the power of the internet that is! There is a lot of jargon that is used by bee-keepers and it is necessary for you to know that jargon for two mean reasons. First to understand what a person is trying to teach you, second to best articulate a question when you want more insight. This course isn’t going to be able to teach you everything you need to know about keeping bees, no course will, so my goal is to meet you halfway between knowing nothing and knowing enough. This way you can read the advice, wisdom, and opinions of other beekeepers.
You are getting into the hobby of bee-keeping. That hobby does not start when you open a colony of honeybees and end with you closing it up. It starts when you start learning and it never ends. My dictionary (Webster’s NewWorld Compact School and office Dictionary) defines hobby as “something that a person likes to do in his [or her] spare time”. You’re not going to have to take off work or miss a family vacation to keep your bees alive, but you do have limited “spare time”. The learning never ends and if you want to be successful consider what you are missing when you choose the second hobby of tv or TikTok watching, or Facebook scrolling. I bring this up because I am often asked “how much time will I need to take care of my bees once I have them?” and I always want to respond by saying, “why are you on a time crunch?”. But to actually answer that question it is about 30 hours’ worth of learning.
The course is built in three parts online, in person, and a test I will lay out them here.
All the online material is totally free and open for anyone to reference when they have questions. The online is also my way to best explain concepts that commonly ask for me to explain. It is here you will build the jargon and learn the must-do’s and the must-don’t’s of bee-keeping. Learn at your own pace and get your whole family involve. When my brothers and I were all in grammar and high school my family would watch American idol together and then frantically call a hundred times using the land line and my mom’s cell phone, which was the only other phone we had at the time. The hobby was American idol, we would discuss the show and debate who was best amongst ourselves.
In the coming weeks I will be posting a schedule as to when those online videos will be available and the nature of each video. Reference the 2022 syllabus if you want to get an idea as to want is coming.
During the growing season May – September there will be three in-person classes that are required to complete the course. One in each Spring, Summer, and autumn/late summer so that I will be “walking you through” the season and we deal with the tasks at hand. For example, we wouldn’t be talking about preparing for winter during the Spring class.
There will be more than one session of each class and will be posted a minimum of three months prior to the event. Spring classed will happen in April, summer in June, and autumn/late summer classes are in August. If you fill out the form below you will be the first to be notified once classes are posted. A week after the classes are posted and those that filled out the below form have been notified, I will start to advertise the classes. This gives the more committed people a chance to get their seat first. Show me that you are committed by filling out the form below. There will be more than one option for each class and classes will be capped at 10 people.
The test is simply proof to yourself, and to me, that you understand the aspects of keeping bees that an above average bee-keeper will know after their first year in the hobby. You are welcome to take the test any time and willing to take it more than once.
There are many experienced beekeepers willing to answer the questions of curious new bee-keepers, but they are often frustrated when asked questions that could easily be found in any bee-keeping book or on the internet. This open book test will consist of a few practical questions that require participants to search their texts or the Internet for answers to basic questions. It is designed to have you demonstrate that you can answer the easy questions independently, so you bring the more difficult questions to me or your other mentors.
Fill out the form below and I will send you the test.
Join any time. I don’t and no one will have bees for sale after the month of May so you might not be able to start your colony at the time of reading this, but you are welcome to join and get started in the hobby. In June join use for your first class making your track summer-late summer- spring. There is no reason you can’t do that.