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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All -
I've just finished teaching Maine's first 6 week Intermediate level bee school -
It was a blast, I had a fantastic time and with 56 students I'm hoping we all learned something.

In thinking about running this class again, I am wondering if there are other groups out there teaching Intermediate level material.

Official suggestion for the targeted students was that they have bees for at least two years and focus is on those with 2-12 colonies.

Our Texts were Dr Caron's Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping and Richard Bonney's Hive management.

Our Syllabus was as follows:

Week 1 -
Realities of Beekeeping - where do your bees come from?
Alternative Management Styles / Alternative Equipment
The Bees Year (and their beekeeper's year)

Week 2 -
Swarming - Reproductive Swarming, Overcrowded Swarming, how do we manage these urges?
Spring Management of Overwintered Colonies
Making Nucs and Splits
Understanding the Queen

Week 3 -
(Tony Jadczak, State Apiarist)
Becoming a better beekeeper
Problem Solving with your bees
Neighbor relations

Week 4
Summer Management, Fall Management, Getting ready for winter
Diseases and Pests, Identification, Medications
Diagnosing and understanding when something is wrong with the colony

Week 5
Products of the hive, working towards break even
Extracting honey, storing honey
Protecting your supers
Record keeping
Regulations for honey processing, bottling, labeling and selling honey
other products of the hive

Week 6
All Medium Box hives
Top Bar Hives
Observation Hives - traveling and permanent
Hive Post Mortems - what killed my bees?

Do you teach or have you attended an intermediate level bee school?
What worked in your case - I'd love suggestions.

I believe we will be running this class again,Cooperative Extension seemed very happy with the turnout and the class itself. We may even add a second tier, Intermediate 2 class covering additional topics.

I'd appreciate any input / experiences.

7,885 Posts
Congratulations Erin! That looks like a great turnout and a well thought out syllabus.
I've taught beginning beekeeping classes for a number of years. Past students have asked about doing some more advanced classes. How do you organize each week? One class per or several classes? And about how many hours per week?
Best to you

792 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Dan -
We did one class per week - two hours per class.
That was too short, next time will be 2.5 hours

At this point I'm only teaching up here in Maine but I'd love to explore weekend intensive classes elsewhere.

Mike - yes, the overwintered nucs are the stars of week two -
I should "call that out" in the syllabus better.

There is such need for a bridge between beginner bee school and the higher level presentations at State meetings, EAS, ABF, etc - hoping to help fill that middle ground...

Thanks all for your input and I welcome further thoughts,

Premium Member
2,521 Posts
I'd love if there was a class offered like that in my neck of the woods. At this point I read books and posts here to gain some knowledge of something I want to try. I then take the proverbial plunge. Sometimes it works sometime it doesn't. It would be great to skip those hard knock lessons I might be able to avoid with intermediate level classes.

34,542 Posts
Is there a way to put these classes on line? At one time the late Dr. Roger Morse of Cornell University produced and ran a beekeeping correspondence course. I don't know if Nic Calderone does this or not, but I don't think so.

Isn't the EAS Masterbeekeeper Program offered on line? What about the FL Masterbeekeeper Certification Course?
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