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  1. #1
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    Apr 2005
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    Dresden ,Tn 38225
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    Default Short course ideas that made it unique

    I am basically in charge of putting together our club's short course on beekeeping. We are 1 year old club and the first several meetings we held were dealing with the basics to get a lot of our members up to speed with beekeeping. We have considerable interest in new people getting started. A few of us have been in short courses before at the club we were previously involved with. I know most of the basic stuff that we need to cover. We are having it in one day, on a January Saturday in order for the new ones to get going with ordering bees and equipment. A field day will be latter in spring to look at bees.

    What I am interested in is the things that made your short course really good or unique and that kept the new people interested. I know that door prizes really help and if we can swing it maybe giving a complete hive away at the end of the day. I am thinking about using handouts from each presentor for all of the topics that we can.Your thoughts and Ideas.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,879

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    The last three years we have followed this track.
    What do bees bring to the table? (pollination)
    Bee Friendly Garden (flowers, seasonal, diversity, native, be nice!)
    Bee stings (difference, treatment, reactions)
    Beekeeper mentoring program (What we offer)
    What is a beehive? (where, size, comb, castes)
    Beekeeping equipment and tools (hive, supers, frames, smoker, hive tools, veil)
    Dress for success (veil, perfumes, swatting, do not trap bees in clothing)
    Florida registration and inspection (how, who, when, why)
    Beekeeper’s options (What can they get)
    Honeybee biology (queen, drone, worker, egg, larvae, pupa, EHB, AHB)
    Beehive inspection ( how, why, how often)
    Building beehives (hammers, wood glue, hive kits)
    Swarms, splits and package bees (bring hive ready to fill with bees)
    Diseases (AFB, EFB, chalkbrood, sacbrood, Nosema)
    Pests (wax moth, small hive beetles, bears, skunks)
    Parasites (Varroa mites, tracheal mites)
    Florida Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Best Management Practices (BMP) (determining DPP thresholds and level of treatment)
    Queens and requeening
    Products of the hive (beeswax, comb, propolis, pollen, honey)
    Honey extraction
    Fall management (feeding, splits, IPM)
    Winter management ( feeding, entrance reducer, ventilation, crowd supers)
    Spring management (requeen, room for nectar flow, swarm control)
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dresden ,Tn 38225
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    109

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    That is a good list. I will use that as a check list to make sure we cover most of it. thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    Hive, identification(branding, marking with wood tools, paint, etc.)
    Old Guy in Alabama

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,310

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    AmericasBeekeeper, in one class? I think you will scare them all off.

    I would cover the bare essentials in equipment and forget all the options. Pick what you know works and say do this (no options). They will discover options on their own if they stick with it or they are so inclined. Cover the absolute simplest biology of the honeybee and skip all the diseases with exception of mites, SHB, and wax moths if they are in your area. The whole point is don't give them any options. Let them learn the options on their own at their pace. What ever you do and are comfortable with that is what you teach. Forget the phrase "this is what I do" and replace it with "this is what you should do."

    Either by video or with an actual live hive teach them the mechanics of opening the hive and how to remove and handle frames. Point out anything you can identify, honey, nectar, pollen, bees, queen, and drones.

    And don't forget, give them a link to Beesource.com

    I should add, keep in mind that most new beekeeper will have brand new equipment so it is important to teach them what you would do with new equipment and problems they will have drawing out frames.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,804

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    For once Acebird and I agree. A short course as you describe can at best be an introduction to beekeeping. Use it as a sell up to a longer beekeeping 101 type class. Tell them this: our time together today is extremely short and so I'm going to share with you what I know works. Explain the ask six beekeepers get seven answers line and say that's the sort of thing that is covered in the longer class. Mention evolving thought about things like IPM and chemical usage and tell them what you do. Let them know that what they are getting is an introduction, and that they will need to be active participants in their beekeeping education. Strongly encourage them to find a mentor or at a minimum to have new beeks keep hives at the same location. The term "short course" is most often used to describe an in-depth seminar on a particular aspect of beekeeping - think using a microscope to assess Nosema loads - instead of a survey course about beekeeping in general.

    I'm working on the 2 1/2 hour class I'll be giving as a part of my local clubs beekeeping 101 course this spring - Even on the subject of equipment there is a lot to discuss. For example do you mention that our current langstroth box sizes are heavily influenced by the sizes of dimensional lumber available when they were first introduced? In a class like you are describing you won't have time for that but it could lead into a discussion of bee space and the options of purchasing or building your own equipment. Your class will be more of a "Thou shalt use two deeps for your brood chamber." And there is nothing wrong with saying that sort of thing provided the students understand that they are getting an introduction and not a complete grounding in beekeeping.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  7. #7
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    If you are not a trained educator and your class is 2.5 hrs long you will eat up an hour or so in BS and unrelated topics and some it will be generated by yourself. The hardest part is staying on topic and sticking to one method that you know works.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    The hardest part is staying on topic and sticking to one method that you know works.
    Are your opinions from taking classes or teaching them?

    I like Americas' list. It's pretty ambitious. I'd spread it out over weekly lectures, discussions and demonstrations, but I like it.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,559

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    I respectfully disagree with the "no options" approach. Beekeeping is ALL about options, that one of the basic fascinations. If this causes distress for the students, then perhaps beekeeping isn't something they should pursue. I honestly wish that I would have attended a course that gave me a good sampling of the various options. Besides, if there is going to be more than one instructor, its going to be hard to get total agreement between them as the "correct" single approach. Further, if these newbees get inspired they will very quickly realize that there are MANY successful approaches and it will discredit your efforts. Give them options, but also describe what works for you in their local area.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    Have to go with AstroBee here. Someone's bound to raise a hand and ask, "Could I use all mediums?" and you'd be remiss (as well as incorrect) in saying, "No." For a course as short as yours for pure beginners I'd only focus on a happy-path for their first year. I'd ditch requeening, pollination, extracting/products, fall/winter management (discuss that at later club meetings), gardens, registration except to mention that it needs to be done, and building beehives. My list for your few hours:

    Bee Biology
    Equipment for the First Year
    Where to Get Bees
    Where to Put Bees
    Mentoring
    Installing the Bees
    Feeding the Bees
    Why and Hows of inspection

    If you have time (which will be tight) go over pests/diseases.

    Be sure to put a duration on all these things and have someone keep an eye on the clock to end a section early if required.

    I think you'll only have time for this short list and only if you stay on track. Mention all the other things (like wintering) and that the course isn't long enough to discuss that but you'll cover it in later meetings. If someone asks a question about it, be sure to remind them (nicely) that it's not part of the course. One other thing...have you or someone write up a vocabulary sheet of every beekeeping term you know and its definition and hand this out. Tell them first thing that if a presenter uses a term they don't know to just look it up quickly in the vocab list. This will help a lot.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,397

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    A short course as you describe can at best be an introduction to beekeeping. Use it as a sell up to a longer beekeeping 101 type class.
    For sure. Too much information is a turn off. Give them enough to wet their appetite and give resources for them to follow up on their own (books, etc.). Nothing more frustrating for me than sitting through a class/talk that goes into too much detail on something I know very little about.
    Regards, Barry

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Clarkson, KY. USA
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    Woodyard,
    I teach (6) 101 classes per year here at Walter Kelley's. My next class is this Saturday and the one after that is on December the 10th. The class runs from 9-3:00 CST. If you think it would be helpful to your orginization I would like to invite you to attend at no cost to you. Please PM me if you are interested and I will set it up. Everything is supported with a slide presentation and equipment is available for a hands on approach. I begin with some history of beekeeping and cover everything from basic equipment choices, assembly and painting (but not too much depth in that) protective clothing, best hive locations, terminology, what the bees require, ground improvement, package bees VS. nuc's, installation, feeding, inspections, healthy brood patterns, common diseases and pests, when to add boxes, swarm prevention, splitting, winter preparations and if the weather permits an in hive inspection of one of our colonies here. This is not geared as a sales event but is meant to inspire new beekeepers and to help them be succesful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    I'm working on putting together a beginner class to. My goal is to get them started, not to overwhelm them with to much information, and to keep it short. Attention span runs short when you put to much information into their hands. Many will not start beekeeping if you have their head spinning. Another issue is that many did not read a beekeeping book, expecting to learn it all in class or to find out what book to get.
    So I will cover the 3 types of bees in the hive, short wrap up on what type of breeds, basic equipment needed to get started, protective clothing and tools, installation of a package, basic feeding in the beginning, first inspections, and real short overview on pests. We don't have small hive beetles in our area, so newbees are clear for the first couple of months. Varroa is what then need to worry after 3 months, and that is in the next class. The book we will start with is:
    http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/agrs93.pdf
    You can order it from Pennsylvania State for $7.50.
    The book I really like to use is:
    The Beekeeper's Handbook, Fourth Edition by Diana Sammataro
    It goes more into details, but also cost more.
    The class will have equipment on hand and a presentation on a large screen where I add images and small video clips. Overall a 3 hours class if more then enough, followed by some question and answers.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    9,310

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    Quote Originally Posted by libhart View Post
    "Could I use all mediums?"
    Yes, that is precisely what will take the class off on another topic for thirty minutes or better. I am in favor of all mediums but you don't cover all eleven ideas (that work) in a one day class. You need to head off "off topics" and simply state right up front that there are a hundred ways to keep bees but this is the method I am teaching. If there is more than one teacher, they can teach their preferred method. It isn't going to harm anyone new to just learn one of the eleven ways to do things. You will accomplish next to nothing if you try to teach all eleven ways especially if you are only versed in one or two. They can learn the other 10 ways right here on Beesource.com if they are so inclined.

    Yes Mark, I have been in classes, all kinds of classes and I see that blank stare on some people just going over the outline of the course. Most beekeepers don't have Doctorate degrees and some have no education at all. No one needs to be an expert on the first day. Beekeeping isn't about being a science major, or bee inspector. That is just for a few.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Yes, that is precisely what will take the class off on another topic for thirty minutes or better.

    Yes Mark, No one needs to be an expert on the first day. Beekeeping isn't about being a science major, or bee inspector.
    If one is leading a Class, one can lay ground rules concerning questions and discussion, stating that after the "Lecture" portion of the Class is when questions and discussion can occur.

    Simply, "Here is what I am presenting.", "Now lets discuss the alternatives."

    Of course Acebird, Beekeeping is about being a beekeeper. Which means one will be or become a number of things at an amature level, unless one wishes to delve deeper and learn more. I was a beekeeper before I Researched 18th Century Beekeeping at Colonial Wmsbg and before I attended 2 years of school in Ohio to get a Degree in Commercial Beekeeping. And then I really learned how to do what I do during the last 20 years of doing beekeeping and learning from beekeepers.

    I don't really understand your science major or bee inspector comment, unless you are saying just teach me enuf to have bees.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  16. #16
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    unless you are saying just teach me enuf to have bees.
    Just teach me enuf to get interested. That is all there is time for. And good luck with that "ask me questions later."

    Take any pod cast, video or taped seminar for anything on the net. If you delve in to a bunch of options you will have nothing but questions and / or most certainly uncertainty for the person taking the course.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dresden ,Tn 38225
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    Libhart, I had already planned on a term and jargon list with definitions to be part of the frst session and introduction. Glad you reinforced my thinking. We will cover the basics in 6-7 hours in order that they will know somewhat what they are getting into and how to prepare. It all can't be taught in one day. I think the suggestion about where to find info and different resources is important and to stress that they will be in a learning process probably for years. Our course will mainly be to help them decide if this is for them and that they will be confident enough to proceed if they want too. Thanks for the replies.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,310

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    Any fool can be a beekeeper. I don't mean to insult anyone but a child can keep bees. If you are going to teach someone about beekeeping I should think you would want to encourage them not discourage them.
    Barry, you noticed I censored my own post.
    Last edited by Barry; 11-16-2011 at 04:51 PM. Reason: didn't censor enough ;)
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Chittenango, NY, USA
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    112

    Default Re: Short course ideas that made it unique

    xxxxx
    Last edited by JohnAllen; 11-17-2011 at 09:32 AM.

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