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Registration is now closed for

the Tara Beekeeping Long Course 

Beekeeping clubs generally have what is called a “short course” — a one-day class offered at the beginning of the year for new beekeepers. This class teaches the fundamentals of beekeeping. What happens after new beekeepers get their bees? They find that they have LOTS of questions. This is where we come in.

Tara Beekeepers Association has created a 6-month beekeeping course targeting first- and second-year beekeepers who have a desire for continual in-depth knowledge of bees—and have either set up or will be getting their first hives.

We call it the LONG COURSE, as it spans six months and helps guide new beekeepers through their first year of beekeeping. This course will follow the beekeeping year, beginning with package installation and goes through end of summer—emphasizing experiential, hands-on learning in the bee yard with experienced beekeepers at your side.

The goal of our program is to provide a deeper understanding of bees, while building skill and confidence—and making it fun, though fellowship with like-minded student beekeepers. The emphasis for the curriculum and activities will be custom to the identified needs of the student participants as well as their current knowledge and experience level.

Coursework consists of learning fundamentals of beekeeping, i.e., bee biology, pests and viruses, nutrition, swarm control, hive management, etc, with hands-on practical knowledge learned by observing and handling bees.


When does the class meet?

Classes will be held March through August. With the exception of the initial class, class time is 9:30am-12:30pm and takes place in our teaching apiary in Decatur with the guidance of experienced beekeepers. Safety is of utmost importance and everyone in the bee yard will wear appropriate safety gear, as well as masks.

The Tara Beekeeping Long Course includes a 2022 membership to Tara Beekeepers Association. Students are invited to attend our monthly meetings on the third Monday evening of each month, where they have an additional opportunity for mentorship in the half hour before meetings begin. We have an excellent line up of speakers this year.


What will students get out of this class?

Students will receive:

  • mentorship of an experienced beekeeper

  • answers to all your beekeeping related questions

  • opportunity to visit different apiaries to see how other beekeepers keep their bees

  • opportunity to see a honey harvest

  • a 1-hour visit by one of our experienced beekeepers to your home apiary

  • confidence that comes with knowing more about how to care for bees


What is the cost?

Cost for the 6-month class is $150.

Additional cost for a 3-lb package of bees is $135*

For students who plan to have bees this spring, we have reserved ten  3-lb packages of bees for registrants who would like to purchase bees with their class registration. The packages we offer are first come, first serve, so register early if you would like to ensure that you will have your bees when class starts. Please note, bees are not a requited component of taking the class.

The class will be limited to 15 people.


The schedule for classes:

  • March 19: Demonstration of package installation. *If you have purchased the package of bees as part of your registration, you will take your package of bees home after this class to install in your own hive. Please make sure your equipment (hive) is set up and ready for your bees before this class!

  • April 3

  • May 1

  • June 5

  • July 3 (or possibly 10th)

  • August 7

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