• LBA Beginning Beekeeping Course Information

    Loudoun Beekeepers Association offers its Beginning Beekeepers Course every winter. This course is an important outreach program designed to get more people interested in hobby beekeeping. If you have friends who have expressed an interest in beekeeping, please pass on the information below.

    The Loudoun Beginning Beekeeping Course is open to adults and children (age 9 and over) who are interested in keeping bees, as well as those who are just interested in learning about honeybees. Class size is limited so please register early. The course is held over a seven-week period and covers all aspects of beekeeping, such as the equipment you need to start beekeeping, the development of your colony, and your responsibilities in subsequent years. Classes are offered twice a week to accommodate different schedules.

    Registration

    The 2017 Beginning Beekeeping Course has concluded. The course is taught once each year in February/March to coincide with the beginning of the beekeeping season. To receive notification in December 2017 for the 2018 course, send an email to loudounbee@gmail.com

    Open House

    The Loudoun Beekeepers Association will hold an informal open house before the first beekeeping class. Anyone interested in attending the beekeeping course is encouraged to attend to complete registration for the course and pick up class materials. Examples of beekeeping equipment will be on display so that you can get an idea of the materials you will need. Club members will be available to answer your questions.

    Open House Date/Time: To be announced for the 2018 class
    Location: Loudoun County Extension Office classroom, 30 Catoctin Circle SE, Leesburg, VA, 20175

    Beekeeping is an interesting hobby for both individuals and families. All members are invited and encouraged to attend. Your enthusiasm for beekeeping is certain to encourage prospective beekeepers.

    Class Location, Date and Time

    Classes are conveniently held at the Loudoun County Extension Office classroom, 30 Catoctin Circle SE, Leesburg, VA, 20175. 

    The course runs for seven weeks, and sessions are offered twice a week, usually Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, to accommodate different schedules. Students should attend either the Friday session or the Saturday session each week.

    Inclement Weather Policy

    If the Loudoun County public schools are closed Friday because of weather (or close early), there are no Friday or Saturday beginning beekeeping classes so that the class sessions can stay together. Final decisions about class cancellations will be determined by the instructor and communicated to students via email.

    Cost

    The cost of the course is approximately $85.00 per family (final price subject to change due to the cost of books and materials) and includes Beekeeper's Handbook, Beekeeping Basics, Honey Bee Maladies, and a one year membership in Loudoun Beekeepers Association (LBA) and Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA). Please email loudounbee@gmail.com to reserve a spot or for more information.

    All beekeeping equipment, supplies and bees must be purchased separately. Equipment options will be discussed in the second class; you can expect to pay between $250-$500 for each hive, depending on your own preferences. In addition, you can expect to pay $50-$200 per beekeeper for tools and personal protective gear. You will be given an opportunity to purchase bees in class. For more information on equipment, you can visit several supplier websites listed in the Beekeeping Links section of our website.

    Course Schedule

    Week 1 Introduction to Beekeeping
    Week 2 Beekeeping Equipment
    Week 3 Dynamics of the Colony
    Week 4 Diseases, Parasites, Pests, & Predators
    Week 5 First Year Beekeeping
    Week 6 Second Year Beekeeping
    Week 7 Floral Sources & Sustainable Beekeeping

    Field Day

    A class field day to a local apiary is held after the completion of the beekeeping course. Date, time and location to be announced in class. We attempt to schedule this to coincide with the arrival of the package bees.

    Mentor Field Day

    To be arranged by the Instructors/Mentors as weather and schedules permit.