Beekeeping Classes

We offer several beekeeping classes during the year, some for beginners wanting to learn the basics and others for those wanting to dig deeper.

Beginning Beekeeping Class!

Peninsula Humane Society, 1450 Rollins Rd., Burlingame, Saturday February 25, 2016, 9 am - 4 pm (registration open at 8:30 am)

Are you thinking of starting a beehive? Or are you a new beekeeper in need of a refresher?

Please join the Beekeepers' Guild of San Mateo for our Free Beginning Beekeeping class! The class is geared for people who are just starting out in beekeeping. It provides basic information on techniques and equipment, with an emphasis on beekeeping in urban settings.

Topics include:

  • Inspection technique
    • Inspection basics, what are you looking for?
    • How to use your smoker and hive tool
    • Moving frames
  • Looking for the queen
    • How to find out if your queen is ok WITHOUT spotting her
    • What to do if you suspect you've lost your queen
  • When to expand your hive — when should you add more boxes?
  • Honey — how do you know when to take honey? Do the bees have enough food?
  • Question and answer

This class is free, but registration is required so that we know how many sets of class materials to prepare.

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Spring Management & Natural Beekeeping Techniques with Ross Conrad

Sunday March 5, 2017, 9am - 12 pm
Location TBD
Class fee: $55

Early spring is a crucial time to assess the health of your colony. Ross will discuss issues that need to be addressed to steward colonies through late winter into early spring. The workshop will present a balanced view of natural and organic beekeeping topics and practices including: location and equipment requirements; basic honey bee biology; swarming as an expression of the bees vitality; presence and mindfulness in the beeyard; non-toxic pest and disease control; and an appreciation for the role that pollinators and beekeepers play within the Earth's ecosystem.

What to expect: we will do our best to have an open hive demo with this workshop. Mother nature does not always agree with our class schedule, this is highly weather dependent. In the best scenario, 1.5 hours will be dedicated to an indoor presentation and 1.5 hours will be dedicated to outdoor demonstration. In the case of inclement weather, all 3 hours will be indoor presentation.

About Ross Conrad: Ross Conrad is a former president of the Vermont Beekeeper's Association, a regular contributor to Bee Culture - The Magazine of American Beekeeping, and author of Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches To Modern Apiculture published by Chelsea Green. More info about Ross Conrad

To register and pay for the class, use the guild's online store. (Note: you will need to sign in to your account to have access to the class in the store. It is listed in the 'Classes' section.)

Working with Honeybee Queens & Swarming Behavior with Ross Conrad

Sunday March 5, 2017, 1-4 pm
Location TBD
Class fee: $55

Note: this workshop is NOT about breeding queens and grafting.

The queen bee is the only fertile female bee in the hive and can lay 1,500 eggs or more a day during the peak of summer. Ross Conrad from Dancing Bee Gardens will provide beekeepers with information they need to work productively with queens. Participants will learn how to differentiate between healthy queens and unhealthy ones, receive tips on how to introduce queens into a hive or nuc, and how to address the various queen problems that may arise.

The swarm as an expression of the hive's vitality to the intricate details of how the hive decides on a new location to build their home and the process they use to coordinate the movements of 10,000 bees so that they all arrive at the new location at the same time. Based upon research conducted at Cornell University, Ross will share tips on understanding the swarm and how to work with the swarming impulse.

What to expect: we will do our best to have an open hive demo with this workshop. Mother nature does not always agree with our class schedule, this is highly weather dependent. In the best scenario, 1.5 hours will be dedicated to an indoor presentation and 1.5 hours will be dedicated to outdoor demonstration. In the case of inclement weather, all 3 hours will be indoor presentation.

About Ross Conrad: Ross Conrad is a former president of the Vermont Beekeeper's Association, a regular contributor to Bee Culture - The Magazine of American Beekeeping, and author of Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches To Modern Apiculture published by Chelsea Green. More info about Ross Conrad

To register and pay for the class, use the guild's online store. (Note: you will need to sign in to your account to have access to the class in the store. It is listed in the 'Classes' section.)