AgriLife Extension offers introductory beekeeping courses in March and April

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In person, online Beekeeping 101 Series
offers optional visits to the apiary

The Beekeeping 101 course will be held March 25 in person in San Antonio. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service course will also be held online in four two-hour programs on March 28-29 and April 6-7.

Participants must pre-register on tx.ag/Bees. The March 25 in-person class is $65. The online series costs $45.

The March 25 class will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension office in the Bexar County Classroom, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208. Lunch is included and the in-person class is limited to 29 participants .

The online course runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on each date, with sessions also being recorded for participants who cannot attend live.

“This program is for those with little or no beekeeping experience,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension entomologist and Beekeeping 101 Instructor, Bexar County. “We will help you get started, teaching you the basics of beekeeping to prepare you to have your own hives. You will know what to expect during those first years as a beekeeper.

A beginners beekeeping course will teach you all the basics for starting and maintaining a hive. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Laura McKenzie)


Beekeeping 101

The Beekeeping 101 course will cover bee biology, beekeeping equipment, costume options, managing a hive, pests, and managing bee diseases. Both in-person and online courses will cover the same material.

Keck said those registered for March 25 can also take the course online at no additional cost.

“A hands-on field day in a beekeeper’s backyard will be held on various dates in April in Leon Springs for all interested in-person and virtual attendees,” Keck said. “This is where you will learn the most about beekeeping.”

Participants must sign a medical waiver to participate in the field day. A bee costume will be provided.

Online session topics, overviews

Session 1: Biology of bees: Learn the life cycle of bees, hive life cycle, caste system and subspecies of bees. By understanding the biology of the insect you are trying to manage, you will be able to better understand what is going on inside the hive.

Session 2: Basics of beekeeping: The basics of beekeeping, including what to buy, which options are best, how to build a hive, where to place your hive, and food and nectar considerations.

Session 3: Purchase and installation of bees — What to expect in the first year: Options for buying bees and how to install them. What you should do with your bees throughout the seasons, when to know if they are hungry or stressed and how to fix it, how to feed the bees and how and when to remove the honey.

Session 4: Risks to bees, honey extraction and resources: Bees can be plagued by many stresses and pests. This lesson will cover how to manage and identify these pests, including options for managing and monitoring varroa mites, controlling fire ants, hive beetles, wax moths and more.

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