5 Weeks
12 Hours

Beekeeping Basics

Start With Confidence

The only program you’ll ever need to build your beekeeping foundation. Designed for beekeepers who have not gotten bees yet, or those who are feeling lost or overwhelmed with their colony commitments. Reach your potential with a proven step-by-step process that GUARANTEES you’ll feel confident by leveraging simplified strategies that withstand the test of time

What You Will Learn

Course Format

Learning Timeline

Beekeeping Basics Program

Course 1. Orientation to Hobby Beekeeping

The essential beekeeping and personal safety equipment, where to place the hive and getting bees!

Knowing where to start has a lot to do with knowing what the projected costs of starting will be. In this activity, we are going to cover the essential equipment list and you will do some research.

You will also learn key questions to ask when purchasing bees, how to install the colony in to your equipment, and markers for success. 

Finally, you will learn 4-key considerations for hive placement, map out your property (required for many permit applications), and key considerations to ensure a happy colony and happy neighbours.

Course 2. Installing a Nucleus Colony

So you think you are  ready for your bees?

In this course you will learn how to properly inspect, transfer, tend, and take care of your new colony. With our simplified field video featuring Bill Stagg of Sweetacre Apiaires, whom has sold thousands of nucleus colonies, you will feel confident that you and the bees will remain calm. 

Course 3. All About Pollen and Nectar Flow

What is flow and why is it important?

Knowing when you have entered a flow is the same as knowing when nature is providing food for your colonies of bees.

In this dynamic field video and tool kit, learn plant and insect pollination strategies, bee communication and honey production in 4-seasons menegement

Observing nature, what plants are available to your colonies and when, as well as becoming more aware of historical climate averages in your location will help with creating a seasonal beekeeping schedule that reflects both your time, and the bees relationship to nature.

Course 4. Standard Spring Inspections

In this course you will learn through field video

  • How to inspect a colony decreasing the number of bees flying
  • Where and how to place boxes during inspections
  • ABC Bees Essential 5 Inspection Questions
  • FREE Hive Inspection Sheets

This course has been created to help you not only strategize your seasonal management but to also give you tips and tricks to ensure that you are entering your colonies as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Course 5. All About Queens

In this course you will learn through field video

  • Describe the differences in pupal cells of your honey bee castes
  • Identify the differences between queen cups and queen cells
  • Discern what makes a queen and why she is larger than other castes
  • Resource flow chart for Problem Solving Raising Queens 

When it comes to learning about queens, we want to make sure that you understand the basics. This ABC Bees Free Mini Course will help you identify what a queen cell looks like, why queens are different from other castes in the hive, as well as signs to showcase that a virgin queen is roaming your colony as its’ new matriarch.

Course 6. Supering for Wax Production

When it comes to beekeeping, you should always be prepared to have enough space for colony expansion. In this course, you will learn through field video:

  • Supering Horizontal and Vertical Beehives
  • Tips and Tricks to Encourage Wax Production
  • 4 Rules for Successful Supering
  • Resource for Simplified Supering PDF 

Course 7. Making Splits in Place

Making consistent splits can be hard if the bees leave their new hive.

Splitting your beehive can be tricky if the right steps are not taken. Using the Topping Method, this easy to apply beekeeping technique will ensure that you’re always building strong splits. 

Take this field video based course and make your first step toward self-sufficient beekeeping and never buy bees again.

Course 8. Harvesting Honey

Whether you are choosing to keep your bees with frames with foundation or in a foundationless design, harvesting honey takes pre-planning and preparation. Knowing what tools are required, and what will be needed in the field, for extraction, and in the bottling of honey is key to ensuring that your season of hard work comes to a smooth close.

In this field video course, you will learn:

  • When to extract your honey
  • How much honey needs to be left for winter
  • What tools are needed for harvesting honey
  • How to organize your beehive while pulling honey

Course 9. Simplified Winterization

The design of the hive has a lot to do with how much heat is lost, whether the colony is insulated or not, and how the air is circulated. The more compact, insulated, and controlled ventilation, the higher the energy efficiency of the colony.

In this lesson, you will learn what it takes to ensure the hive is efficient through the winter, create a list of insulation options for your beehive, and learn how to apply 4 different types of winter wraps on your colonies.

Course 10. Preparing for the Level One Beekeeping Certificate Course

The only post-secondary accredited online beekeeping course in Canada. If you aren’t feeling confident beekeeping yet, or you aren’t sure you are ready to take the leap, then the Level One Beekeeping Certificate is for you.

Take a guided tour of the course and see what you are missing.

Course 11. Gardening for Bees with Stacey Cedergren

Habitat loss is the leading cause of bee mortality. Growing and creating a pollinator friendly space is easier than you think, from a small planter box to an entire yard, this Gardening Course will aid you in building a beautiful habitat for all bees.

In this course you will learn:

  • Gain a clear understanding of pollination, plant and insect adaptations and strategies
  • 5 Key Garden Components when considering plants for your pollinator garden
  • Identify and map the growing conditions in your space
  • Tips for choosing plants
  • Managing weeds

Course Instructor

Eliese Watson

Master Beekeeper & Post-Secondary Beekeeping Instructor

Eliese has been teaching in-person and online beekeeping course programs since 2010, developing courses in apiary management for post-secondary institutions and the beekeeping industry. An avid beekeeper, queen-breeder, and honey producer, Eliese is skilled at simplifying beekeeping systems into simple tools and practices that even the most beginner-beekeeper can feel confident understanding and applying.

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