Chatham County Beekeepers Offer an Intro to Beekeeping Online Course

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Honey bee frame with adults, larvae, and capped brood

Honey bee frame with adults, larvae, and capped brood. Photo by Debbie Roos.

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center and the Chatham County Beekeepers Association (CCBA) had planned to team up to conduct an 8-week Beekeeping School from January-March this year. But due to COVID-19, we are unable to conduct any in-person programs.

Recognizing that the demand for beekeeping programs remains high, the CCBA is offering an Introduction to Beekeeping Online Course for beginning and aspiring beekeepers.

The Introduction to Beekeeping Course is self-paced and entirely online.

This ten-module course introduces new or prospective beekeepers to the concepts and practical information needed to manage or start their first colony, foster hive health, and know what to expect in every season.

This course, taught by highly experienced beekeepers including Certified and Master Beekeepers, covers honey bee biology, hive tools, and practical methods for the foundation of a successful first beekeeping experience.

Each module contains resources and references for further study and exploration plus a downloadable transcript of the module voiceover.

In addition to the course materials, a discussion board supports communication with other students and the instructors. Participants are free to post at any time, ask questions, upload images or respond to others. This is a dynamic and important part of the learning environment!

After successful completion of the course, participants will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

The self-paced course opens February 1, 2021, and closes January 1, 2022. The cost is $25.

Participants also receive a 2021 CCBA membership, which includes participation in the CCBA private listserv and monthly newsletter, as well as open access to meetings (currently held via Zoom).

Course Module Topics:

  • BASIC GEAR: Tools for basic beekeeping
  • HIVE COMPONENTS: History of hive designs and modern beehives
  • BEE BIOLOGY: Castes, anatomy, bee communication through dancing and pheromones, and review of individual bees and the superorganism (the colony)
  • REPRODUCTION & SWARMS: How and why bees reproduce by swarming, and how to prevent and catch swarms
  • BEEKEEPING MANAGEMENT: Be prepared for what hives need in each season
  • PESTS & DISEASES: Learn the common and rare threats honey bees face
  • VARROA MONITORING & TREATMENT: Get familiar with how to keep your hives healthy against the #1 threat to honey bees today
  • CERTIFIED NATURALLY GROWN: Learn about this national accreditation for chemical-free beekeeping
  • INSTALLING PACKAGES & NUCS: Learn how to install a package or nuc of bees
  • BEE SMOKER: Understand how to choose and use a bee smoker

Enroll now in the Intro to Beekeeping Online Course.