• 2018 New Beekeeper Class – Our 2018 new beekeeper class is forming now. Please click the Paypal button below to register. The class will fill quickly, so register today to reserve your seat!

Who:  The class is for beginning beekeepers.  It is open to adults and children age 10 and over.

What: This is a seven-week course that helps lay a solid foundation for your beekeeping endeavors. We will focus on core knowledge and principles that will help you set up and manage healthy, productive bee hives.  The first six classes are held in a classroom. The seventh class is a field exercise.

Week 1 Orientation: a short history of beekeeping, introduction to the hive, and being a good neighbor
Week 2 Beekeeping Equipment
Week 3 Honey Bee Society: social structure and division of labor within the hive
Week 4 Diseases, Parasites, & Pests
Week 5 Colony Health
Week 6 The Beekeeper’s Year
Week 7 Field Day: hive inspection and how to install nucs and packages


The course is similar to those offered by the beekeeping associations, with two major differences: first, our class size is very small, which allows for more student-instructor interaction; second, our presentation emphasizes practical application – it is designed to help students to not only understand how a bee hive works but why it works that way – and how to make management decisions based on observations of hive conditions.

Pete, who designed and presents the class, has been certified by the University of Montana as a Master Beekeeper. He draws from his studies in that program and his years of beekeeping experience to provide a practical approach to beginning beekeeping.

When: The class will meet on Saturday mornings, beginning on Saturday, February 11, 2018. The last classroom session will be on Saturday, March 18. The date and time of the field day depends on weather and other factors and will be determined later. Classroom sessions will begin promptly at 9:00 AM and will run approximately 90 minutes.

Where: The classroom portion of the class will be held at Dolittle Farm, 696 Stefangia Road, Stafford Virginia. The field day will be held in the bee yard at Cardinal Apiaries, 15 Skyline Drive, Fredericksburg Virginia.

Course requirements: Pre-registration is required to attend the class. Please click the Paypal button below to register. Tuition is $90 per family.

All beekeeping equipment, supplies and bees must be purchased separately. Equipment options will be discussed in the second class; you can expect to pay between $250-$500 for each hive, depending on your own preferences. In addition, you can expect to pay $50-$200 per beekeeper for tools and personal protective gear. Some class members will prefer to find and purchase the bees on their own. Others will prefer the convenience of participating in a class order, which I will broker for  the class if there is sufficient interest. When you register, please include a note whether you will find and purchase your own bees or whether you would like to participate in a group order.  I do have some nucleus colonies for sale, which are described and may be ordered here. Beekeepers often start with two colonies – one with a nucleus colony and  the other started with a package of bees. We’ll discuss this in class. 

Will you join class bee order?