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Beekeeper Mentoring Program

Please note: Our mentoring program is only available to students who have completed our initial one-day beekeeping training workshop. If you have not yet taken our one-day workshop, please register for it first.

The mentoring program is a month-by-month followup to our one-day beekeeping course. It consists of a series of monthly half-day training sessions. In these sessions, we share what we are doing in our beehives that month and provide hands-on demonstrations of the procedures in our apiary. Then the student being mentored can apply what he has learned to his home apiary. Students enrolled in the program can contact me (Randy Oakley) by text, phone or email with questions concerning their bee colonies.

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Description

The goal of our beekeeper mentoring program is to help you become a successful beekeeper. Modern-day beekeeping presents us with a plethora of challenges to keeping our bees alive and productive. As beekeepers, over the years, we have pursued a course of letting the bees teach us what they need to be healthy and productive. We have a long way to go in our learning but with over 40 years of beekeeping behind us, we feel that we are on the road to developing sustainable management principles that can help you become a successful beekeeper.

Our beekeeper mentoring programs share with you the management principles we use in our beehives to build resilient, sustainable apiaries.

Below is a schedule of the mentoring workshops we have planned for 2019. Upon completion of our one-day beekeeping management course, you will be eligible to sign up for any or all of our mentoring workshops.

2019 Mentoring Workshop Schedule

MonthDate and TimeDiscussion Topics

January

January 2019


9am to 12 noon

Transition from winter to spring buildup


Activities: start stimulative feeding of sugar syrup and pollen substitute

Looking ahead to February: Spring Varroa mite monitoring and treatment

February

February 2, 2019


9am to 12 noon

Understanding Spring Buildup


Activities:
- Stimulative feeding of sugar syrup and pollen substitute
- Varroa mite sampling and treatment with FormicPro

Looking Ahead to March: Piggyback stack manipulation

March

March 2, 2019,


9am to 12 noon

Building Production Beehive Population


Activities:
- Reverse piggyback entrance and add box to production hive
- Stimulative feeding of sugar syrup and pollen substitute
- Begin swarm indicators monitoring

Looking Ahead to April: Population maximizing and swarm prevention

April

April 6, 2019,


9am to 12 noon

Population Buildup Month


Activities:
- Artificial swarming procedure / nucleus hive creation
- Maximize forager population of production hive
- Requeen production hive
- Stimulative feeding for building comb
- Monitor swarm preparations

Looking Ahead to May: Monitor honey production and storage

May

April 27, 2019


9am to 12 noon

Honey Storage Month


Activities:
- Note development of distinct honey storage area
- Order frames in hive to maximize honey production
- Buildup nuc with stimulative feeding
- Monitor swarming triggers

Looking Ahead to June: Harvest and extract honey

June

June 1, 2019


9am to 12 noon

Honey Harvest Month


Activities:
- Honey harvest and extracting workshop
- Varroa mite sampling

Looking ahead to July: Summer mite control

July

June 29, 2019


9am to 12 noon

Summer Dearth


Activities:
- Summer Varroa mite treatment options
- Brood stimulation during summer dearth

Looking ahead to August: Fall piggyback split

August

August 3, 2019


9am to 12 noon

Preparation for Fall Piggyback Split


Activities:
- Stimulative feeding
- Varroa mite sampling
- Order queen(s) for split(s)

Looking ahead to September: Managing piggyback split

September

August 31, 2019


9am to 12 noon

Piggyback Split


Activities:
- Make piggyback split
- Check for queen
- Use sugar syrup and pollen substitute to buildup colonies

Looking Ahead to October: Managing fall honey and pollen stores

October

October 5, 2019


9am to 12 noon

Fall Honey Flow


Activities:
- Evaluating honey and pollen stores for winter
- Varroa mite sampling
- Syrup and Pollen Substitute feeding

Looking Ahead to November: FormicPro mite treatment

November

November 2, 2019


9am to 12 noon

Winter Preparation


Activities:
- FormicPro mite treatment
- Feeding for winter storage

Looking Ahead to December: Value-Added Products from the Beehive