Mentoring Apiary Program

The best way to learn successful beekeeping skills is through hands-on mentoring from experienced beekeepers.

The best way to learn successful beekeeping skills is through hands-on mentoring from experienced beekeepers. Without beekeeping mentorship, new beekeepers often experience avoidable challenges resulting in colony death. The University of Minnesota Bee Squad’s Mentoring Apiary Program provides invaluable learning opportunities for beekeepers of all experience levels.

Gloveless beekeeping: One of the core tenets of the Bee Squad’s beekeeping philosophy is to enter colonies without wearing gloves. This allows the beekeeper to have the dexterity and sensory feedback to handle frames and bee boxes in a way that minimizes harm and disruption to the bees. For the safety of all students and instructors, we require that all participants do not wear gloves in our teaching apiaries. We believe that the ability to manage a hive of honey bees calmly and confidently under a wide range of conditions is one of the most important skills gained from our program. Please feel free to contact us with questions prior to registration or attending class!

Due to COVID-19, all Mentoring Apiary classes are currently being held online. We are following University of Minnesota guidelines and will resume in-person classes in our teaching apiaries when possible.

For class updates, please sign up for the Mentoring Apiary bulletin by emailing [email protected], or follow the UMN Bee Squad Mentoring Apiary on Facebook.

Mentoring Apiary Online classes 2021

Whether you are a new beekeeper starting out with your first package, or an experienced beekeeper planning to expand your apiary, each year of beekeeping holds new challenges. Stay up to date with recommendations on seasonal management with expert beekeepers from the University of MN Bee Squad. We use videos, photos, and data taken from hundreds of Bee Squad hives to provide timely recommendations for beekeeping techniques and management.

Each class will be a live Zoom meeting, with time for questions and in-depth discussion. Participants are welcome to share details from their own hives.

Class options:

  • Buzz Pass A La Carte: Purchase individual classes for $20 per hour long class
  • The "New Beekeeper" Special: A package of classes for the new beekeeper, to get you from new packages in the spring to prepping hives for winter. $120 (8 classes for the price of 6!)
    • April 1 (Hiving New Packages), April 29 (Checking a New Package), May 20 (Hive Inspection), June 3 (Managing Growing Colonies), July 1 (Summer Management), August 5 (Fall Mite Management), September 2 (Fall Feeding), October 7 (Prepping for Winter).

  • The "Year Two and Beyond" Special: A package of classes for beekeepers with overwintered colonies, covering spring divides through wintering. $120 (8 classes for the price of 6!)
    • March 18 (Colony Autopsy), April 15 (Reversals), May 6 (Divides), June 3 (Managing Growing Colonies), July 1 (Summer Management), August 5 (Fall Mite Management), September 2 (Fall Feeding), October 7 (Prepping for Winter).

Please visit our registration page to sign up for classes: z.umn.edu/MA2021