University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Beekeeping Courses

Beekeeping in Northern Climates Year 1 (Getting Started in Beekeeping)

Interested in becoming a beekeeper? Dr. Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab will help you get started in beekeeping. If you have had no prior experience keeping bees in our cold climate, Beekeeping in Northern Climates, Year 1 will teach you everything you need to know for a successful first year.

When: February 28, 2015 

Where: University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus

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Beekeeping in Northern Climates Year 2 (Keeping Bees Year After Year) 

Need help keeping your bees alive and healthy year after year? If you have taken Beekeeping Part 1, this engaging course is for you. Taught by Dr. Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab, Beekeeping in Northern Climates, Year 2 will help you maintain healthy bee colonies long term. This class can be taken the same year as Beekeeping Year 1, although we recommend you take it after your first year of beekeeping.

When: ´╗┐March 1, 2015     

Where: University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus

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Beekeeping in Northern Climates Beyond the Basics 

This class is exclusively for beekeepers that have had the following three experiences: 1) successfully wintered honey bee colonies in a cold climate; 2) introduced a new queen into an existing colony; 3) kept bees continuously for two years.
In this class we will cover alternative management strategies to successfully winter colonies in northern climates, divide colonies in spring, requeen colonies in spring and/or fall, and maintain colonies on natural comb. We will not cover honey harvesting and extraction, or the basics of wintering colonies as these topics are covered in Beekeeping Part 2. Taught by Dr. Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab.

When: April 25, 2015    

Where: University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus

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Successful Queen Rearing Short Course

Why not rear your own queens? The University of Minnesota Queen Rearing short course teaches one method of rearing queens that works consistently for both hobby and commercial beekeepers. Topics covered include queen and drone biology, timing of queen rearing in northern climates, stock selection and breeding for hygienic behavior, setting up mating yards, and record keeping. Everyone will have a chance to try their hand at grafting larvae and raising their own queens. A unique feature of the course is the section on queen rearing equipment designs that will allow you to build your own!

When: July 10 - 12, 2015
Where: University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus

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Honey Bees: A Course for Keeping Bees Healthy (and on their own six feet)

This web-based course is a guide to keeping bees healthy and on their own six feet. It features the Hives Angels (our Super-Heroines, the honey bee colony) and her Villians (the diseases and mite pests that attack the Hives Angels). The user will first become familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the Hives Angels, and then will follow a 5-step approach to combating the villains.

When: This course is temporarily off line for updates!!  When it comes back it will be free.

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Bee Management: Entomology 4022

This is a 3-week “Intersession” course, taught every other year on even years, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 4:00pm to 6:30pm. It is entirely hands-on. All students will learn to handle and manage honey bees, and will learn about rearing bumblebees and providing nesting sites for leafcutter bees. The course is open to the public but requires registering and paying tuition for one credit through the University of Minnesota.  See Academic Courses.


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Beekeeping Short Course

Beekeeping in Northern Climates

Click on date to go to registration soon

Year 1  February 28, 2015

Year 2  March 1, 2015

Beyond Basics April 25, 2015

Queen Rearing

July 10 - 12, 2015 - Registration open