Beekeeper Academy

Our goal is to make beekeeping accessible to everyone. Whether you want us to manage a hive for you or train you to keep bees yourself, we want to help you take the next step

Swarm of Bees

Simple & Effortless

$300

We will set up a hive on your property and manage it for the season. You get the joy of having bees, the opportunity to help as much as you want, and about 10 pounds of honey at the end. Bees go back to my apiary before winter arrives.

Beekeeper at Work

Beekeeper Academy

$550

In addition to hive setup and management, we provide you with personalized beekeeper training. You will learn about types of bees, hive building, colony management, honey harvesting, winterizing...Everything you would need to know to keep bees on your own.

 

Academy Training Sessions

1. Introduction to Beekeeping

Bees and beekeepers have a bit of a codependent relationship. Honeybees are not actually native to North America but have become an integral part of our ecosystem. They need us, and we need them. Beekeepers need to understand their role including how they can help bees AND how some of the things we do can be (inadvertently) detrimental.

Image by Damien TUPINIER
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2. Hives & Hive Building

In this session we will meet and actually build some hives!  If you talk to 10 beekeepers you will hear 10 different opinions about the "only way" to do things. Don't get too caught up in that. We will look at several different ways of doing things and try to identify the pros and cons of each method. Langstroth hives are the standard (and what we will be building) but we will also look at Top Bar hives and horizontal hives with deep frames.

3. Colony Installation

This is the day you get your bees! Once you select what KIND of bees you want, I order them and then, eventually, they are delivered (usually in the first 2 weeks of April). I will bring you a small screened box containing three pounds of bees, which means there are about 10,000 of them. Our job is to get them from THAT box, into YOUR box.

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4. Queen Release

When your package of bees was made, bees from several different colonies were combined in that box and a queen was added. They have only been together for a few days and they have not yet accepted the queen. We will need to wait for a few days before we release her. Once she has established her control over the colony with her pheromones, we can release her to start laying eggs (up to 2500 a day!)

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5. Colony Inspection & Bee Biology

After release, we will want to give the queen 7-10 days to get going expanding the colony. When we do the inspection, we will be looking for clear signs that she has started laying. The quality of the queen will determine the success of your colony and if she is poorly mated or a spoty layer, we will want to replace her ASAP.

6. Colony Expansion

With a good queen, your colony will start to expand exponentially. They will go from 10,000 when we start to somewhere between 60 and 100 thousand bees. We will watch the colony to see when they need a new box. Expanding the hive as the colony expands is an important part of growing your colony successfully.

Beekeeper with Bees
 

7. Summer Inspection

This is what everyone thinks about when starting a hive and what we have worked for all summer. We will pull off supers process the frames to get honey. Its a delightful, sticky process.

Image by Melissa Askew
Image by Alexander Mils

8. Honey Harvest

After release, we will want to give the queen 7-10 days to get going expanding the colony. When we do the inspection, we will be looking for clear signs that she has started laying. The quality of the queen will determine the success of your colony and if she is poorly mated or a spoty layer, we will want to replace her ASAP.

9. Winterizing

Winters in Nebraska are...unpredictable. Bees need to be protected from wind, cold, damp and starvation. If your hive is not strong going into the winter, we will combine it with another colony so that together, they can survive.

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