In preparation for our Co-Operative equipment order, we will review choices that the beekeeper has in hiving his bees, and cover the advantages and drawbacks of each of the major woodenware equipment types, comparing each to the natural home for bees, a rotted-out tree trunk.
We will review Langstroth in the various box depths, Kenyan Top Bar and other "horizontal hives", the Warre hive type and other "foundationless frame" approaches, with an eye to how they respect "bee space", and encourage the bees to build moveable comb that can be inspected without doing damage to the comb or the bees.
We'll also go over the extensive array of complex gadgetry offered to beekeepers buy the supply house, and compare them with the very small set of simple tools we suggest beekeepers use.
Those who attended the Demo Session on November 13th may find this repeats some of what was covered in that session.
However if you did not attend that session and you are preparing to keep honeybees, this is a very useful session. This is also a good entry point for anyone who joined us recently.
As always, RSVP with the group on their website.
I have also been informed of two other classes that will be offered this Winter/Spring.
The New York City Beekeeping Association will be offering it's annual beginner's course in February and March. Here's their blurb:
TAKE A BASIC URBAN BEEKEEPING COURSE AND BE READY FOR 2011!
The NYCBA is offering a course in 2011 for the absolute beginner and novice beekeeper. This course is 12 hours long, spread out over four Sundays, PLUS an apiary visit in April.
The fee is $150.00 for the entire course. Our volunteer instructors are professional beekeepers with a collective half century of experience.
Sundays 12:00 - 3:00 pm
February 13th, 20th, 27th
March 6th (make up date March 13th, in case of bad weather)
The visit of the York Prep rooftop apiary will take place in April, exact date tba
40 W 68th St
New York, NY 10023
I haven't attended or participated in their beginner course, so I can't offer any advice regarding the quality of the class itself, but I will say that the organization is fantastic and hosts wonderful, monthly guest lectures by some great beekeepers from all over the country. At the very least, you should attend their regular meetings! You'll definitely see me there.
On top of THAT, I have been informed (thanks, Adam) that HoneybeeLives.org will be offering their own weekend-long Intro to Organic Beekeeping course February 5&6 at the Commons in Brooklyn:
Learn about the basic requirements and responsibilities for organic beekeeping. Understand the community of a hive, the tools involved, elements of site selection, where you can obtain honeybees and equipment, and an understanding of a naturalist approach to their needs. This class introduces students to a nurturing way of beekeeping, and a philosophy of respect and love for these amazing creatures. There is a hands-on demonstration of assembling a wooden hive, and extensive class handouts to help new beekeepers.
Topics will include: hive congruency and design to benefit the colony; Honeybee health and disease management the organic way; seasonal concerns and methods; as well as imparting the value of respecting the lives and needs of your bees. Top Bar Hive beekeeping will be discussed.
I have not worked with anyone in or affiliated with this organization, so I cannot attest to it's quality. The course costs $200 dollars, and you can register by going to their website.