AgriLife Extension online beginner beekeeping series starts June 23

For those interested in beekeeping but not sure how to get started or what to expect, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is offering an online beekeeping series on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from June 23-July 1. All sessions will be from 6-7 p.m.

“This live, four-part online course will cover the basics of beekeeping to get you prepared to have your own hives,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Bexar County, and one of the series presenters. “It will also give participants the opportunity to interact with and ask questions of the instructors. The courses will be recorded, so if you miss a class you can watch it at your leisure within a month of class completion.”

The series will cover honey bee biology, beekeeping equipment, managing a hive, and pest and disease management of honey bees.

“The program will also address the pros and cons of beekeeping, and participants will get a realistic idea of what they can expect during their early years as a beekeeper,” Keck said.

The cost is $35 for the entire series. After registering, a link to Zoom and password will be sent via text and email. Study materials will also be emailed so participants may follow along with the presentation.   

Dates and topics will be:       

• June 23:  Honey Bee Biology – This will address the lifecycle of the honey bee, how the bee colony works and subspecies of bees.

• June 24:  Beekeeping Basics – Participants will learn about protective equipment, hive box components, and tools needed to manage a bee colony.

• June 30:  What to Expect the First Year – This will cover how to manage the bees, and what steps to take to help ensure their survival.

• July 1:  Risks of Honey Bees – This will serve as a primer on honey bee diseases and pests and how to manage them.                                                                                                                                        

“We cover honey bee biology because by understanding their life cycle and habits, you better understand the colony as a whole and how to help them if they aren’t functioning properly,” Keck said. “During the beekeeping equipment portion we will go over all the protective equipment needs and tools and components of a bee box or hive as well as where to purchase those items and approximate cost. We also show participants how to feed the bees, how to recognize when to feed, where and how to purchase bees and how to check the hives.”

Participants will not receive access to the online series until payment is received. To prevent a delay in access, payment by Visa, Mastercard or Discover is recommended.                

For additional information, contact Keck at mekeck@ag.tamu.edu.

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