All classes will be held Saturdays, from 9am - noon. We may consider opening a second afternoon class, if interest well-exceeds the 15 participant class limit.
March 28- Introduction to Bees and Beekeeping
In this first class, we will discuss the biology of the honey bee and itÃs relationship to the ecosystem. You will learn about the structure of the hive, the roles of the queen, the drones and the workers, and all the various tasks the bees engage in to assure the ongoing health of the community. During this session you will also get an overview of the class as a whole so you will know what to expect and what will be expected of you. We will pass out plans for building a simple top-bar hive so that students who want to build their own hives will be able to do so before the second class session.
April 18- Setting up a Hive and Spring Hive Maintenance
April is a good time to get bees and set up a new hive in northern New Mexico. It is also a good time to check existing hives, see how theyÃve come through the winter and take any steps necessary to help hives that seem sick or weak. In this class we will get into some of the hives at Ecoversity to check them and see how they are doing. We will go over basic safety precautions and learn how to use veils, smokers and hive tools. We will discuss how to overcome the fear of being stung, and how to deal with stings when they do occur. We will set up a new hive and move bees into it.
May 16- Dividing Hives and Arranging Hives to Increase Production
In this class we will discuss the various products that can be harvested from bee hives, including honey, wax and pollen. You will learn how each is produced and how you can manage their production and harvest. You will learn how to identify ripened honey, how to collect pollen and honey and how wax is made. You will also see how rearranging top bars in the hive can push the bees to step up production, encourage them to swarm or not to swarm, etc. We will also discuss and demonstrate how to split an existing hive as a way to grow and manage healthy bees.
June 20- Hive Maintenance and Raising Queens
By late June, the bees of northern New Mexico are increasing in population and beginning to make honey. The focus of this class will be hands on work with the hives at Ecoversity, checking each hive to see how it is progressing. We will look for the queens, see how they are laying and identify brood in various stages of development. You will see how to encourage the bees to build straight comb, and we will also discuss when it is necessary to replace a queen and how to do so.
July 11- Hive Maintenance and Dealing with Disease
By July, the honey flow should be in full swing . We will again open the hives at Ecoversity and check on the status of the bees. If any of the hives seems weak, we will take steps to help it regain strength. We will also look for signs of disease and discuss the most common bee diseases, how to recognize them and what to do if you find them.
August 8- Harvesting Honey and Wax
By August, the hives are normally being filled with honey and serious harvest can begin. In this class, you will learn how to select combs to harvest and how to crush the combs to release the honey. We will also demonstrate how to heat the wax to remove debris and produce a pure product, ready for use in candles, salves, etc. In addition, there will be a presentation on plants that are beneficial for honey production.
September 12- End of Season Maintenance and Preparation for Winter
As the honey-making season comes to an end, it is important to assure that bee colonies are strong and healthy and that they have the resources they need to get through the winter. The focus of this class will be the evaluation of the hives at Ecoversity, the combination of weak hives, if necessary, and leaving the bees with sufficient honey stores to feed them until spring.
Important Information for Prospective Students: Registration, Ordering Bees, Hives, and Tools
See the new films "Bee Meditation", and "Bee Harvest", on our beekeeping page
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