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 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 learning opportunities for beekeepers of all experience levels.

In-Person Mentoring Apiary Workshops

Join instructors from the Bee Squad in our teaching apiary on the University of MN St. Paul campus for in-person workshops that will take you from spring to fall. Each class will focus on a specific seasonal management skill, with time for participants to try inspection techniques and ask questions about their own colonies. We encourage beekeepers to sign up for multiple workshops over the season. Depending on class size and topic, participants may be broken into groups based on experience. Beekeepers should come into the apiary with a basic understanding of honey bee biology and hive structure. We welcome first year beekeepers and those who have taken the Beekeeping in Northern Climates course and want to try hive management before purchasing their own bees!

    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. However, we cannot guarantee that participants will not be stung during our classes.  If you experience adverse reactions to bee stings, please consult with your doctor before attending a workshop. Feel free to contact us with questions prior to registration or attending class!

    In-Person Workshop Descriptions


    In-Person Workshop Registration


    Online Mentoring Apiary Classes 2022

    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. These classes will NOT be recorded or available to view at a later time.

    Online Mentoring Apiary classes will be held Thursday evenings on Zoom from 7:00-8:00pm (CST)


    Online Class Descriptions


    Online Class Registration