Ξ Class Description
The Montgomery County Beekeepers Association of Maryland conducts a yearly beekeeping class which teaches the beginner beekeeping skills needed to establish, maintain and protect a honey bee colony.
The course consists of 7 weekly classes (each 2-hours) and includes lectures, demonstrations of tools & equipment, and hands-on sessions in the apiary, where students can experience the excitement of working a hive.
The timing of the class (Feb/March) allows new graduates to begin their own hives immediately after graduation.
The only prerequisite is an interest in learning about beekeeping. There is a lot to learn, but remember: bees have trained beekeepers for thousands of years, and they have gotten good at it.
Ξ Class Schedule TBA
Classes meet Tuesdays, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., in February and March. Start dates and registration dates vary each year, but will be announced on this page, and on our ListServ in early 4th quarter. Be sure you have joined our free ListServ to receive notifications.
Ξ Class Location TBA
The class location will be posted here as soon as it it known. Most likely, it be be one of two places: Brookside Nature Center or a meeting hall in West Bethesda, near the intersections of River Road, 495, and Wilson Lane.
Ξ Class Tuition
COST: $70 for MCBA members and includes your textbook, "The BEEKEEPER'S HANDBOOK".
You must be an MCBA member to enroll in this Beekeeping Class.
- Membership in MCBA does not guarantee a seat in the class. Enrollment is limited, and does fill up.
- Tuition is NON-REFUNDABLE. However, with teacher approval, you are permitted to sell your seat to another qualified MCBA member for up to full face value.
The Beekeeper’s Handbook (4th Edition)
Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile
Foreword by Dewey M. Caron
Comstock Publishing Associates
Ξ To Enroll
When registration opens, a link to ENROLL will appear here.
Syllabus for "Beekeeping Class for Beginners"
- Session 1 -
- Understanding Bees – Chapter 1
- Honeybee Anatomy
- Bee Types
- Life Stages of Honeybees
- Races of Bees
- Colony Activities – Chapter 2
- Bee Roles Within the Hive
- Comb Building
- Beekeeping Equipment – Chapter 3
- Hives – Langstroth and Top Bar
- Beekeeper Protective Gear
- Session 2 -
- Obtaining and Preparing for Bees – Chapter 4
- Good Neighbor Policy
- Hive Orientation
- Record Keeping
- Packages and Nucs – Chapter 6
- Installing Packages
- Releasing the Queen
- Nucs and Installing Nucs
- Feeding Bees – Chapter 7
- Types of Feeders
- Sugar Syrup
- Session 3 -
- Working Bees – Chapter 5
- Hive Examination
- Bee Temperament
- Apprehension in Hive Management
- Pollination – Chapter 15
- Planting for Pollinators
- Insecticides and Honeybees
- Session 4 -
- Pathogens and Parasites of Honey Bees – Chapter 13
- Pests of Honey Bees – Chapter 14
- Nosema Disease
- Amoeba Disease
- Brood Disease
- Viral Disease
- Wax Moth
- Small Hive Beetle
- Products of the Hive – Chapter 12
- Session 5 –
- Spring and Summer Management – Chapter 9
- Spring Swarming
- Cooling Hive
- Honey Flow
- Adding Supers
- Harvesting Hive Products
- Session 6 -
- Fall and Winter Management – Chapter 8
- Treating for Pests
- Fall Feeding
- Winter Cluster
- Winter Feeding
- Special Management Problems – Chapter 11
- Moving Established Colonies
- Weak Colonies
- Queen Supersedure
- Swarm Cells
- Laying Worker
- Pointers for Urban Beekeeping
- Locating Hives – Small Backyards and Roof Tops
- Protecting Your Neighbors
- Session 7 – (also Snow Day Make Up Session if needed)
- Hands-On Demonstrations
- Soap Making
- Candle Making
- Pest Recognition and Management
- Lighting a Smoker
- Clearing Bees from Frames
- Installing a Package and Nuc
- Box Assembly
Field days give new beekeepers hands on mentoring with an experienced beekeeper in the club’s bee yard at Brookside Nature Center. Dates for field days will be determined based on weather and arrival of bees for installation in the hives. All field days will be announced in advance via the MCBA ListServ.
Barbecue and Field Day
A Saturday in May, exact date TBD
MCBA sponsors free Hands-On Hive management demonstrations throughout the Spring and Summer at Brookside Nature Center. To receive emailed updates on demonstration topics, dates, and times, join the MCBA Listserv.
- Backyard Beekeeper – author Kim Flottum
- Top-Bar Hive Beekeeping: Wisdom and Pleasure Combined – author Wyatt A. Mangum
Beekeeper Equipment Suppliers
- Azure b LLC http://www.azurebllc.com/
- Maryland Honey Company 301-518-9678
- Mann Lake http://www.mannlakeltd.com/
- Kelley Beekeeping https://www.kelleybees.com/
Electronic Hive Recordkeeping Website – Hive Tacks www.hivetracks.com