Nanaimo Beekeepers Club




The Nanaimo Beekeepers Club meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month (excluding July, August, and December) at 7PM
Beginners Corner starts at 6:30 and is open for everyone that has questions about bees and bee keeping. 

Please join us at Vancouver Island University 
Shq’apthut – A Gathering Place,
Building 170, 900 Fifth St, Nanaimo 
(link to Google Maps)



Beginners Corner Tuesdays every other week - Virtual Meeting

As we had to cancel our in-person club meetings for a while, we would like to offer an online meeting that will still allow us to connect, learn and talk about our bees.

We will have the Beginners Corner every 2 weeks on a Tuesday at 6:30pm starting on April 7th (Apr 21 / May 5 / May 19 / June 2 / June 16 / June 30) 

Please see your email for the details on how to log on.

Meeting Thursday, May 28, 2020 Virtual Meeting

As we had to cancel our in-person club meetings for a while, we would like to offer an online meeting that will still allow us to connect, learn and talk about our bees.

Virtual Bee Club Meeting will be on Thursday May 28th at 7pm and after that on June 24

Please see your email for the details on how to log on.

Upcoming Events

Foundations of Successful Beekeeping Course

2 days of in class instructions on Feb 29 and March 7
Plus one Field day  (TBD)
Cost: $225 per person / $375 per couple (Discounts for active club members) 

Online Registration is now open

This extensive course will give you all the information you need to understand the fundamentals of successfully keeping honey bees. You will learn the biology, anatomy and lifecycle of the bee, castes and development, hive components, seasonal colony management including disease and Integrated Pest Management, installing a new colony, and everything else required to get you up and running with the fascinating and rewarding hobby of beekeeping. This is an excellent course for complete ‘newbees’ to the world of beekeeping, and also serves as a very comprehensive program for novice beekeepers with 1-2 years of experience, who want to strengthen their understanding of bees and maximize their successes.

We will first establish a solid understanding of the life of a bee, upon which the bulk of the course will serve to give you the knowledge and confidence of what your bees require from their beekeeper to maximize the health of the colony year-round. There are many excellent reasons why you might be interested in learning about bees and wanting to keep bees of your own. Regardless of our individual reasons, our best chance to get there is to maintain strong, healthy colonies of bees. This will be our focus and creates the underlying foundation of the course.

Your instructor for this fun, thought-provoking and insightful course will be Mark Schilling, a Certified Bee Master and full-time beekeeper. Mark is the proprietor of Bee Furniture, a local Nanaimo company that offers hand-crafted honey bee hives and related equipment, with a focus on build and finishing quality, and design features that address some of the challenges faced in our temperate, moist West Coast climate. Mark started his journey into beekeeping some 7 years ago, and soon after decided to pursue beekeeping and hive-building as his full-time occupation. In the years since, he has conducted countless beekeeping courses and clinics, and enjoys advancing his own education of bees by employing science and staying abreast of the latest discoveries in the world of apiculture. Above all, Mark remains passionate and excited about helping new and experienced beekeepers alike.

We welcome any questions you may have about the course and what will be presented. This will be a thorough and detailed course but will include lots of time for questions.

Field Days

Field Days for 2019 are now completed we will announce in the new year if these will start up again for next season

The field days will likely start March 3rd, or April 7th if the weather in March isn’t conducive to opening hives. These will be held the first Sunday of each month (weather permitting). Members will be asked to volunteer to host the field day, where other members will visit their apiary on the date in question, with Wendi Gilson (our Provincial Apiculture Inspector for Vancouver Island) assisting with advice and an experienced set of eyes.

Swarm Control

Please do your part to save Honey Bee Population
We are Happy to come and remove a swarm of bees safely and for FREE
Call us at
or send us a message on Facebook
We do not deal with any insects other than honey bees. ie – paper wasps or bumble bees

From one make two

Swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees.

When to expect them

Swarming is mainly a spring phenomenon, but occasional swarms can happen throughout the season.

Is it dangerous?

They are focused on finding a new nest, not on attacking. That said, it is important to keep your distance from swarming bees, because if the bees feel threatened, then it is possible they will sting.

What to do?

Do not attempt to move or destroy the swarm. Such attempts could seriously back fire.
Contact us and we will remove the swarm safely and ensure they find an appropriate new home.

Here is some more information about swarming bees:

Please send us the address/location of the swarm and a phone number you can be contacted at by the person who will be coming to collect the bee  swarm.  Some of the information we might ask is:

1)   Where is the swarm?
2)   How high of the ground is it?
3)   How big is the cluster of bees (the size of a baseball, a football, a soccer ball, a basketball or bigger)?
4)   Do you know approximately how long the swarm has been there?

Want to become a Beekeeper?

What you always wanted to know about Bees

Am I allowed to have bees?

Nanaimo’s bylaw allows for up to 3 colonies on any parcel of land under 1 acre, more on larger properties.
Check out the bylaws on

Will I get stung?

Honeybees are vegetarian, so unlike wasps or hornets, they have no interest in you or your picnic. They will only sting in defense. But all that said, yes, as a beekeeper you probably will get stung.

How much work is it?

More than a cat, but less than a dog. Once an apiary is set up, most beekeepers spend 5 to 30 minutes checking their colonies twice a month between March and October. Most of the work is done by the bees, they even clean up if you take some honey.

How much does it cost?

Like many hobbies, beekeeping has initial startup expenses for equipment and bees, but beyond that, cost is minimal. Most people spend between $250 – $750 for equipment, bees and training. Feeling handy? build your own hive! Plans are available online.

How much honey will i get?

Unfortunately, this is an impossible question to answer. It depends entirely on the weather, your hive, and its location. As much as 75lb per hive, or as little as nothing.

Any Questions? 

Please get in touch

Contact Us

For issues with swarms, and beekeeping or bee club information email or contact us via Facebook