A Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Beekeeping 101 course will be held Sept. 30 in San Antonio, and an online option will be offered in four two-hour programs on Oct. 3, Oct. 5, Oct. 10 and Oct. 12.
The Sept. 30 in-person program will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension office in Bexar County, Suite 212, 3355 Cherry Ridge Drive.
The virtual program will be from 6-8 p.m. on each date. Those not able to attend can watch the online sessions afterward.
Participants must preregister at https://tx.ag/Bees. The cost for the in-person course is $65, and for the online series, $45.
In-person participants will also have access to the online series.
“This program is meant for those with little to absolutely no experience with beekeeping,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension entomologist and Beekeeping 101 instructor, Bexar County. “We’ll get you started by teaching the basics of beekeeping to get you prepared to have your own hives. You’ll learn what to expect those first few years as a beekeeper.”
After registering, participants will receive information about field day dates. An apiary visit is optional, and participants will need to travel to the San Antonio area to participate.
“A hands-on field day to a beekeeper’s yard will be held for all interested in-person and virtual participants,” said Keck. “This is where you will learn the most about beekeeping.”
Attendees must sign a medical release waiver to participate in the field day, and a bee suit will be provided.
Beekeeping 101 topics, overviews
The Sept. 30 course will cover all topics in a one-day format. The four online sessions will be:
- Honeybee Biology: Learn the lifecycle of the honeybees, lifecycle of the hive, caste system and subspecies of honeybees. By understanding the biology of the insect you are trying to manage, you can better understand what is happening inside the hive.
- Beekeeping Basics: The basics for beekeeping, including what to purchase, what suit options are best, how to construct a hive, where to place your hive, and considerations for food and nectar.
- Purchasing and Installing Bees — What to Expect the First Year: Options for purchasing bees and how to install them. What you should be seeing with your bees through the seasons, how to know if they are hungry or stressed and how to remedy that, how to feed bees, and how and when to remove honey.
- Pest Risks for Honeybees, Honey Extraction and Resources: Honeybees may be plagued by many stresses and pests. This lesson will cover how to manage and identify those pests, including varroa mite management options and monitoring, fire ant control, hive beetles, wax moths and more.