Beginners Start Here
Before you dive into to purchasing your first hive, there are some helpful pointers to help you get off to the right start. Each of the beginners classes is designed to give you the background you need to decide if beekeeping is really for you and how to go about getting started.
The Beginners Beekeeping Class is a 3.5 hour class and includes: Are Honey Bees For Me?, Getting Started With Bees, Honey Bees 101, Florida Laws for Honey bees and an Open Hive Demonstration (weather permitting). Go to REGISTRATION for schedules and to register.
Beginners Beekeeping Class
(3.5 hours total)
Are Honey Bees for Me?
Getting Started with Bees
So you want to be a beekeeper? Come and hear what’s involved in time, equipment and expense to raise these little darlings. Like everything else worthwhile in life, being a beekeeper requires a commitment but what a payoff – pollination, fresh honey and helping to sustain a critical link to our agricultural system. Learn what you need to get started and embark on a wonderful journey that will connect you back with nature.
Prepare to be overwhelmed if you decide to go through a beekeeping catalog and find what equipment is needed to raise bees. In this discussion, we will go through the different styles of hives, hive components, and the basic tools needed to be a beekeeper. Protective gear will also be demonstrated to keep as many of those little stingers out of you as possible. Trust me, you do not want to show up for your first hive inspection with your veil on wrong – don’t ask me how I know!
Suppliers of bees will be reviewed, types of bees and what to look for if purchasing bees from non-commercial sources.
Florida Laws for Honeybees
Learn the history of these amazing creatures and how to distinguish honeybees from other members of the Apidae family of bees and wasps. Find out about their anatomy and compositions that make up a typical hive.
Discover their stages of development, roles within the hive and behaviors that contribute to bees being one of the few organisms that can live successfully in social groups. Prepare yourself to be amazed by the contributions of these tiny, super organisms.
What? There are State of Florida laws and rules to raise bees? You bet – and a registration process with the Florida Department of Agriculture too! This discussion will review what you need to know for the legal way to keep bees in the State of Florida.
Bees are considered livestock and are subject to many of the same rules as animals with one huge exception – they are one of the few livestock creatures that can be kept in your backyard, even in non-agricultural zoned areas so long as you follow the rules.
Time to put the information you have learned to use! This outdoor session will cover the steps taken to prepare to inspect the hive, lighting your smoker and what to look for when you are observing your frames. A live hive of bees will be used.
Important: Participants must sign waivers and wear veils to attend. Attendees should bring their own veils if they have them. There will also be veils on hand to borrow if needed. Those without a veil will not be permitted to be in the bee yard during the open hive demonstration.
Closed toe shoes, long pants and long sleeves or a jacket are required. Gloves and beekeeper jackets are recommended if you have them. Demonstrations are weather dependent – hives will not be inspected in temperatures below 60° F, above 90°F, or in the rain. If in doubt - call the studio.