NC State Extension

2013 Chatham County Beekeeping School

An 8 week course sponsored by the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association
and the Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension

Photos by Debbie Roos, Agricultural Extension Agent.

Beekeepers opening up a hive for students

Date: Wednesdays, 7:00-9:30 p.m. from January 2-March 6, 2013; optional Ask a Beekeeper sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. before each class.

Location: Agricultural Building Auditorium, Pittsboro, NC

Cost for 8-week course (includes book + resource notebook):

  • $60.00 for members of the Chatham County Beekeepers Association (CCBA)
  • $65.00 for general public (registration includes membership in the CCBA)

The school will include hands-on workshops and hive inspections as weather permits.

Deadline for registration: November 20, 2012*. To register, you must send in a registration form along with your check.

Download a registration form

* Register early! Space is limited and we always fill up before the deadline and have to turn people away! Due to the high demand for our school, first preference will be given to Chatham residents and/or current members of the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association. If there are still slots available after the November 20 deadline, we will admit students from outside the county on a first come, first served basis. We will send an email confirmation of registration on or before November 27. Checks will be returned for those who did not make it into the school.

For more information: Call 919-542-8202 or email Debbie Roos and put “Bee School” in the subject line

Photos from our 2011 Beekeeping School:

2011 Chatham County Beekeeping School Field Day

2011 Chatham County Beekeeping School Equipment Class

Course Outline for 2013 Beekeeping School

honey bee on ironweed

[Week 1]: January 2, 2013

Introduction to Beekeeping

Speakers: Debbie Roos, Chatham County Cooperative Extension; Larry Daw, Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association (CCBA)

  • Course overview/the “big picture”
  • Resource list (websites, publications, organizations, equipment suppliers, listserv)
  • Basic equipment (smoker, fuel, hive tools, protective equipment, etc.)
  • Basic hive parts (bottom boards, hive body, supers, frames, inner cover, outer cover)
  • Introduction to Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association, North Carolina State Beekeepers’ Association, and the NC Master Beekeepers Program

No class on January 9  

[Week 2]: January 16, 2013

Starting a New Hive

Speaker: Jennifer Keller, North Carolina State University

  • Site considerations: location, neighbors, ordinances
  • Getting your own: package bees, nucs, swarms, buying an existing colony or split (advantages, disadvantages, and cautions of various sources)
  • Installing bees
  • Making or buying a nuc
  • Caring for the bees (more to be covered in Hive Management)
  • The importance of feeding after installation
  • Sources – state certified

[Week 3]: January 23, 2013

Biology and Life Cycle of the Honey Bee

Speaker: Dr. John Ambrose, North Carolina State University

  • Ecological context; Hymenoptera
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Individual caste life cycles, duties
  • Hive life cycle (brief intro to what bees do in each season)
  • Communication: pheromones, dancing
  • Brief intro to races

[Week 4]: January 30, 2013

Equipment and Frame Assembly

Speakers: Ray Wise, CCBA, and other members of the Chatham County Beekeepers’ Association will lead small groups

  • Review of basic equipment and hive parts (bottom boards, hive body, supers, frames, inner cover, outer cover) and what and how they work together; buying vs. building
  • Other equipment (queen excluders, feeders, hive straps, moving frame, staples)
  • Plans for making own hive bodies and supers
  • Sources for equipment
  • Frame assembly demo

[Week 5]: February 6, 2013

Hive Management

Speaker: Nancy Ruppert, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

  • Late winter/early spring
  • Honey flow prep; post honey flow
  • Summer management
  • Fall and winter management

No class on February 13

[Week 6]: February 20, 2013

Bee Gardens; Certified Naturally Grown; Bee Stings

Speakers: Debbie Roos, Chatham County Cooperative Extension; Pat Weisbrodt, CCBA; Dr. Erick Butler, MD

  • Honey plants and the principles of planting a bee garden
  • The Certified Naturally Grown Standard for beekeeping
  • Bee stings: what to expect, how to minimize them, medical responses, and how to treat

[Week 7]: February 27, 2013

Honey Bee Pests, Diseases, and Integrated Pest Management

Speaker: Nancy Ruppert, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

  • Diseases: AFB, EFB, chalkbrood, sacbrood and nosema
  • Pests: varroa mites, tracheal mites, SHB
  • IPM strategies: resistant breeds, screened bottom boards, proper maintenance, checking population, proper use of pesticides, mechanical controls
  • Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)
  • NCDA Hive Inspections

[Week 8]: March 6, 2013

Getting the Honey and Products from the Hive

Speakers: Lori Hawkins, CCBA, and Chatham County Beekeeper Panel

  • Getting ready for harvest: when to harvest? What do I need and how do I use it?
  • Extraction and processing, marketing products from the hive, and open discussion

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