Classes


2017 classes and workshops:

The Hows of Honey (Sat., Sept 16, 9am – 12pm, $50)

How much you can harvest, how to collect from hive, how to extract, how to clean up, and how to process cappings.

Location: The Fairfax Backyard Farmer, 135 Bolinas Rd, Fairfax.

Register through The Fairfax Backyard Farmer

 

Fall & Winter Hive Management class series: 3 sessions, 7 hours, $85 or $30 classroom drop in fee / $50 field workshop drop in fee, course code 27546

The majority of annual hive losses occur between October and December. We review the reasons for this – primarily varroa mites. Other management issues that occur when temperatures start to cool include feeding, managing space, moisture management, how to inspect hives with minimal time / intrusion, and off-season queen issues / solutions.

Class room sessions:  Wed. September 27 and October 4, 6:30pm – 8:30pm,  San Rafael Community Center, 618 B St., San Rafael

Field Day:  Sat. October 7, 9:30am – 12:30pm, location TBD

Register through San Rafael Community Center

 

Overwintering Your Bees (Sat., October 21, 9am – 12:00pm, $50)

Preparing for winter, how to handle common winter problems, how to clean up / store equipment.

Location: The Fairfax Backyard Farmer, 135 Bolinas Rd, Fairfax.

Register through The Fairfax Backyard Farmer

 

Backyard Beekeeping (Sat., November 11, 9:00am – 12:00pm, $50)

Considering becoming a beekeeper?   Take the first step by learning about this fascinating and important pollinator. This is a great time of year for new beekeepers to start planning so equipment is ready and bees are ordered in time for the 2016 season.

In this class, you’ll learn about the roles of the queen, workers and drones within a colony and how they interact with seasonal cycles.  Learn about basic considerations you’ll need to take into account before jumping into this exciting new hobby including where to place your hive, equipment options and sources, bee sources, and time required.

At the end of class, you’ll have the opportunity to sample some local honeys from around Marin County.

Location: The Fairfax Backyard Farmer, 135 Bolinas Rd, Fairfax

Register through The Fairfax Backyard Farmer.  Limited to 12 people.

 

 

In addition to our regularly scheduled classes, we can customize a workshop for your group, whether it’s a small group of friends interested in learning more about caring for their hives or a large company gathering where people just want to know more about bees in general.

Need some immediate assistance?  Contact us about coming out to help inspect your hive or refer to the Additional Resources section for links to online help.

 

Below classes have already been completed in 2017.  Check back later to see when they will be offered in 2018:

Beginner Beekeeping class series  (9 hours, $99)

Classroom sessions will include basic bee information, seasonal cycles of a colony, equipment options, where to place your hive, how to get bees and tips on working with your equipment. When the weather warms up, there will be a field session so you can observe and practice working with your tools and bees.

Class room sessions:  Wednesdays, January 25, February 1, February 8,  6:30pm – 8:30pm (3 classes, drop in fee = $30/class)

San Rafael Community Center,  618 B St., San Rafael.  Registration through the San Rafael Community Center opens November 1.  Course code: 26357

Field Day: Sat., March 11, 9:30am – 12:30pm, location TBD, tent. San Geronimo

 

Intermediate Beekeeping class series (9 hours, $99)

You’ve got your colony through winter (or not) – now what? Class sessions will include how to clean up your equipment, expanding hive size for spring, swarm prevention- and if that fails, swarm capture, setting up bait hives for swarms, identification of common pest and diseases and management options for them. Topics will also include dealing with special situations: aggressive hives, queen failures, and laying workers. Field day will include information on how to split a colony, pest and disease ID, and swarm prevention.

Classroom sessions:  Wednesdays, February 15, 22 & March 1, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, 3 classes, drop in fee = $30/class

San Rafael Community Center, 618 B St., San Rafael.  Registration through the San Rafael Community Center opens November 1.  Course code: 26356

Field Day: Sat., March 11, 1:30pm – 4:30pm, location TBD, tent. San Geronimo (Alternate rain date 3/18)

 

Backyard Beekeeping (Saturday, January 28 or Saturday, March 18, Fairfax Backyard Farmer, 9:00am – 12:00pm, $50)

Considering becoming a beekeeper?   Take the first step by learning about this fascinating and important pollinator. This is a great time of year for new beekeepers to start planning so equipment is ready and bees are ordered in time for the 2016 season.

In this class, you’ll learn about the roles of the queen, workers and drones within a colony and how they interact with seasonal cycles.  Learn about basic considerations you’ll need to take into account before jumping into this exciting new hobby including where to place your hive, equipment options and sources, bee sources, and time required.

At the end of class, you’ll have the opportunity to sample some local honeys from around Marin County.

Location: The Fairfax Backyard Farmer, 135 Bolinas Rd, Fairfax

Register through The Fairfax Backyard Farmer.  Limited to 12 people.

 

Intermediate Beekeeping (Saturday, February 18, Fairfax Backyard Farmer, 9:00am – 12:00pm, $50)

An overwintered colony has explosive growth potential.   This class will focus on space management: expanding hive size for spring, swarm prevention- and if that fails, swarm capture, and setting up bait hives for swarms.

Location: The Fairfax Backyard Farmer, 135 Bolinas Rd, Fairfax

Register through The Fairfax Backyard Farmer.  Limited to 12 people.

 

Field Workshop: Beekeeping Basics (Sat., April 22, 9:30am – 12:30pm, $65)

You have your bees, now what??  Learn tips and techniques for using smoker, bee brush and hive tool.   Will look into how to work your frames and what to be looking for to determine health of your queen and the colony as a whole.  As urban beekeepers, it is important to prevent swarming (to the best of our ability), so you’ll learn what causes swarming , how to prevent, and how to recognize early warnings that a colony is making preparations to swarm.

Location: Filoli, 86 Cañada Road, Woodside, CA

Register through Filoli.  Limited size.

Field Workshop: Intermediate Beekeeping (Sat., April 22, 1:30pm – 4:30pm, $65)

An overwintered colony requires different spring management than a new colony.  Some of the topics covered will include space management in the hive, queen issues (when you might need to replace and how you do that), and splitting a hive (for colony increase, swarm prevention, or as a method of varroa control).

Location:  Filoli, 86 Cañada Road, Woodside, CA

Register through Filoli.  Limited size.

Field Workshop: Beekeeping Basics (Sat., May 13, 9:30am – 12:30pm, $50)

You have your bees, now what??  Learn tips and techniques for using smoker, bee brush and hive tool.   Will look into how to work your frames and what to be looking for to determine health of your queen and the colony as a whole.  As urban beekeepers, it is important to prevent swarming (to the best of our ability), so you’ll learn what causes swarming , how to prevent, and how to recognize early warnings that a colony is making preparations to swarm.    You’ll also get to see what a laying worker colony looks like (we inevitably have a few from queens who didn’t successfully return from mating during our nuc production) and techniques for making it queenright.

Location: TBD (Marin)

Register through Eventbrite.   Limited to 20 people.

Field Workshop: Intermediate Beekeeping (Sat., May 13, 1:30pm – 4:30pm, $50)

An overwintered colony requires different spring management than a new colony.  Some of the topics covered will include space management in the hive, queen issues (when you might need to replace and how you do that), and splitting a hive (for colony increase, swarm prevention, or as a method of varroa control).

Location: TBD (Marin)

Register through Eventbrite.  Limited to 20 people.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)  (Sat., July, 9am – 12pm, $50)

The challenges of managing pests and diseases in your colony can be overwhelming.  We will look at the potential risks and benefits of various tools and techniques available to manage common pests and diseases in your colony.

Applying the concept of “Darwinian Beekeeping as suggested by Tom Seeley will be considered in practical terms.

Register through The Fairfax Backyard Farmer.  Limited to 12 people.

 

Summer and Fall Hive Management class series (July & August, 9 hours, $99, course code 26729)

Late summer can bring a variety of problems including increasing mite counts, yellow jacket attacks and lack of forage. Learn to identify the signs and symptoms and how you can assist the colony during difficult times. Your bees have already started getting ready for winter and so should you: how and when to reduce colony size, determining how much honey to remove, how to extract the honey and more.

Field day will include sugar rolls for mite testing, identifying food stores & colony needs, and how to “read” your monitoring board.

Register through San Rafael Community Center

Class room sessions:  Wed. July 12, 19, & 26, 6:30pm – 8:30pm,  San Rafael Community Center, 618 B St., San Rafael

Field Day:  Sat. August 12, 2:00pm – 5:00pm, location TBD

Drop in for classroom sessions only = $30/each, drop in for field day = $50

Class 1: Common summer and fall problems including varroa mites, food issues, yellow jackets, and other pests & diseases

Class 2: The hows of honey:  how much you can harvest, how to collect from hive, how to extract, how to clean up, how to process cappings

Class 3:  Preparing for winter, how to handle common winter problems, how to clean up / store equipment

 

Summer and Fall Hive Management Field Workshop (Sat., August 12, 9:30am – 12:30pm, $65)

Late summer can bring a variety of problems including increasing mite counts, yellow jacket attacks and lack of forage. Learn to identify the signs and symptoms and how you can assist the colony during difficult times. Your bees have already started getting ready for winter and so should you: how and when to reduce colony size, determining how much honey you can remove, and how to remove excess honey frames from hive. We’ll be doing sugar rolls to determine levels of mite infestation and discuss mite management options.

Location:  Filoli, 86 Cañada Road, Woodside, CA

Register through Filoli.  Limited size.

 

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