Intermediate Bee School 2019

Class fee $160 Limit 35 students Tollgate Farms 10:00am to 1:00pm

Tollgate Farms is located at 28115 Meadowbrook Rd, Novi, MI 48377

Class registration is now closed for 2019

Course Description & Learning objectives

This program is a continuation of SEMBA/s Beginning Beekeeping course and preparation for our Advanced Beekeeping class (scheduled for 2020).

We will continue to offer in-class lectures and hands-on bee yard training. Additionally, we will explore the professional extensions of beekeeping through guest lectures and a series of field trips to commercial apiaries. Finally, we will engage in ongoing research being done through MSU via the Sentinel Program and projects in other bee yards

An important function of this class is to help develop beekeepers’ skills as well as ability to educate the public and advocate for pollinator health (not just for honey bees). Schools, libraries, 4-H, and Garden clubs are often excited to have guests come talk about bees and how the general public can play a role in supporting pollinator health.

Students will also extend their knowledge of bees beyond the practice of beekeeping and into the world of research. Each participant will select a topic you are passionate about and compose a 5-minute presentation for the class. If you have a fear of public speaking, you may create a video or ask one of the instructors for help.

And as always, become an active member in at least one bee club.

Required textbook “Honey Bee Biology” by Dewey Caron with Larry Connor

Recommended books:

“The Buzz About Bees” by Jurgen Tautz

“The Biology of the Honey Bee” by Mark Winston

#1  March 3   

Help they made it, now what?

  • Cleaning up dead outs and Bee Hive CSI

  • Inspect surviving hives at Tollgate, (hopefully)

  • Feeding, requeening

  • Building nucs

  • Wax dipping woodware discussion

  • When to start a split--walk away, the Meghan way

  • Explain Queen Mating Project

  • Discuss class projects both in class presentation and schools, church, 4-H garden clubs etc.

  • Sentinel bee program. Bee Informed Partnership Partners

  • Reading assignments  Set up phone tree, text and email blast  Facebook

March 16 SEMBA  81th  Annual Spring conference

#2     April 7

Bee Biology and Anatomy

Guest presenter

  •  Splits and nucs   

  •  Finalize class presentation

  •  Croswell Field trip, installing package on a commercial apiary

  •  Equipment repair and purchase

  •  Meghan’s Honey bee biology video

  •  Latest from Sam Ramsey on Varroa

  •  Observation Hives

#3      Date TBD     

Field trip to commercial bee yard installing packages Windmill Hill Farm

in Croswell, MI all day w/potluck  mid April depending on package arrival

#4    April 28

All about swarms  

Guest presenter

  •  Making splits

  •  Evaluation of nucs and packages

  •  All pollinators

  • Class presentations

#5    May 19       

The flow is on

  • Queen Rearing

  • More class presentation

  • 2 queen system, snelgrove board

  • Nutrition

  • Drones

#6    June 9

Mating nucs

Queen rearing guest speaker

  • Grafting

  • Finishing class presentations

  • Bee clubs and summer conferences 

  • In the Bee yard  

#7 June 23, 24   

The magic of Druid Fluid

A visit with Ken Schramm, the godfather of mead making

  • Technique and tasting

#8 August 11

Treatments and Diseases

  • Evaluate Queen mating program

  • Apitherapy and other Hive Products             

#9 Date TBD Anthony Bee Farm harvesting honey at a commercial apiary

#10 Sepember 29


Mite Risk

  • Feeding

  • Weighing hives

  • Treatments

  • Program Evaluations

  • Wrap Party