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)
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.
The Nanaimo Beekeepers’ Club
is a volunteer, non-profit organization that promotes education for beekeepers and the public of the mid-Vancouver Island region.
Our long established club enjoys an active membership of educators, commercial business operators and hobbyists.
Our goal is to share information and provide a friendly environment for learning to ensure the continued success and good health of honey bees on Vancouver Island.
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 www.nanaimo.ca
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.