June 26th: 10am - 3pm
Session 1 covers more than just the bee basics, which is a misnomer because there is nothing basic about bees! Corwin paints a fascinating picture of how bee genetics inform survivor behavior traits, how these traits make up the bees' behavioral immune system, which directly relate to survivability. Corwin launches into the big picture of bees as a superorganism, why we teach beekeeping the way we do, and why we designed the type of hives we use. We compare and contrast different hive styles used by the majority of beekeepers, but we also explore various management practices that natural Bee Guardians use to create a sustainable habitat for the bees. Once we learn the bee basics, understand the individual types of bees in the colony, and can identify and discern the various combs and their uses in the nest, we will have the foundation to continue onto Session 2.
June 27th: 10am - 3pm
In Session 2 we go through step-by-step management practices during the seasons of the hive. We learn to "read" combs from different locations in the honey bee nest and assess their condition, their state of health and many other factors. Corwin demonstrates unique techniques for hive management, presents a "time lapse" perspective of how the honey bee nest is initially created, how it evolves over the first year and how it is sustained over the years through careful observation and application of specific management techniques at the right times. By the end of Session 2 you should be able to identify colony problems, apply solutions and be able to assess what to do for your bees in just about every circumstance that you will encounter. Session 2 is also when we get to see how Corwin approaches the hives and how he flows with the energy of the bees, and how he moves through the hive, weather permitting.
About the Instructors:
Corwin Bell is a longtime treatment-free Bee Guardian and founder of BackYardHive.com. In 1995, Bell started keeping bees due to a prolonged fascination with this delicate pollinator. From the beginning, Corwin always built his own hives. Early on, before beekeepers recognized the massive value of survivor behaviors preserved in the genetics of wild swarms, Bell made it his mission to field every call and save as many wild swarms as he could. He began getting an ever increasing number of phone calls alerting him of swarms that needed to be captured and given good homes. With each swarm, Bell would take the opportunity to build and test different hive designs, ideas, features and alternative practices.
Karen co-founded BackYardHive.com with Corwin in 2005 after she caught her first bee swarm and was immediately hooked on bees. She talked to a local woodworker asking to have a hive built overnight for her newly caught swarm. After much discussion with the woodworker and Corwin about hive size and details, the first 'BackYardHive' was born. Soon after Corwin and Karen created the BackYardHive website with backyard beekeeping information, a training DVD and fully assembled hives. Karen has worked with the bees under the guidance of Corwin for the past 10 years. Karen brings a sense of calm and respect when working with the honeybees. She co-teaches classes with Corwin and is especially skilled and patient when helping beginners get started on their new journey of Bee Guardianship.
Your health and the well-being of our community are important to us. We encourage all participants to be vaccinated before they visit the farm or wear a mask and practice social distancing if they have not yet been vaccinated. We have upgraded sanitation protocols in place, and require that guests follow our policies, which are in compliance with all CDC and county guidelines.