Beekeeping Class Examined By Experienced Beekeepers

Part of our love of beekeeping comes from the joy of educating others in the subject.  We didn’t want to be presumptuous in our thinking that we could just hang a sign on the gate saying “Beekeeping Class Today” without some critic regarding our abilities.  We have been to several beekeeping classes, seminars, and presentations over the last 18 months.  We walked away with good and not so good impressions with each.  We believe a beekeeping class, by its nature, should have structure, a meal, and perhaps new and innovative subject matter to go along with core competencies.  With that in mind we invited the Concho Valley Beekeeper Association (we are members) out to the Apiary for a picnic, tours, and demonstrations.

We began the day with Melanie providing a short course on making lip balm.  The process shown was the same we use to make our lip balm for sale to our customers.

Mark gave a comprehensive explanation of the modern honey harvesting equipment used at Spiral Horn Apiary.  The room is designed to State and Federal heath code requirements.

Each beekeeping class or seminar we have attended in the past discussed catching swarms.  Never have they discussed how a beekeeper actually does it safely with a special beekeeping vacuum that is easy to build and run off a car battery.  Our experienced attendees have seen these, our newer beekeepers may have gone home to build one!

We think a beekeeping class should have a hands-on session in the apiary where attendees may actually see and work with bees (provided that everyone has a bee-suit).  The Concho Valley Beekeepers were great in offering thoughts on hive management to all other members during this session.   Great ideas all around!

Beekeepers often hear about potential problem parasites and other pests in their hives.  We have not been to any seminars or beekeeping class where we were actually shown how to take bee samples, or analyze the samples with a microscope.  I think the attendees appreciated this session greatly.  Many thanks go out to Randy Oliver at Scientific Beekeeping for the tools and methodologies!