The Tara Beekeepers
Experiential Beekeeping Course
The beginning of a lifetime of learning!
Tara Beekeepers Association is creating a beekeeping course targeting first-year or inexperienced beekeepers who have a desire for continual and in-depth knowledge of honey bees—and have either set up or will be setting up their first hives. It is also open to anyone who is interested in, but does not have bees.
This course will follow the year and changing seasons—emphasizing experiential, hands-on learning in our teaching apiary.
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 customized to the identified needs of the attendees as well as their current knowledge and experience level.
There are two parts to the monthly class:
Zoom class: (30 minutes) This meeting will brief attendees on what to expect in the apiary and provide an overview of the fundamentals of beekeeping i.e., bee biology, pests, nutrition, swarm control and hive management. Think of it as class prep for the apiary class.
Hands-on apiary class: (2+ hours) As the experiential component of our program, this is where attendees will apply the fundamentals from the Zoom class and get into the hives. With the guidance of experienced beekeepers, they will develop practical and observational skills in the apiary, learn to think critically about colony management and gain awareness of how the natural world impacts bees.
If you have a time conflict or cannot attend all the classes, please let us know. We will do our best to work around this.
The Apiary classes will be held the third Sunday of each month from April through October. Class time is from 10am-noon and will take place primarily at our teaching apiary in Decatur (and may incorporate other locations). In the event we cannot meet in person, we have the option of meeting via Zoom, but our preference will always be to hold class in the apiary, weather permitting. Apiary classes may run longer than the two-hour time frame, and on those days, attendees are welcome to stay as long as we are there.
The Zoom class prep sessions always happens the Thursday evening before.
Zoom Class Apiary Class
April 8 (Meet and greet) April 18
May 6 May 16
June 10 June 20
July 8 July 18
Aug 5 Aug 15
Sept 9 Sept 19
Oct 7 Oct 17
Our curriculum and schedule will be fluid and responsive to the time of year, addressing what is happening in real time with the hives in the apiary. Time commitment for course attendees will be 2-4 hours per month. The tone of the class is informal and relaxed.
Safety is of utmost importance and everyone in the apiary will wear appropriate safety gear, as well as masks.
Students will receive:
mentorship of an experienced beekeeper
answers to all of 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
The cost of the program is $150 and includes a 2021 membership to Tara Beekeepers Association. Enrollment will be limited to 10 students.
We will award one scholarship based on need to an individual (student or adult) who either is or plans on becoming a beekeeper. The scholarship recipient will assist the instructors with set up and cleanup of the teaching apiary.
If you are interested in applying to the program or the scholarship, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org