LBA Beginning Beekeepers 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 along the information below.
The LBA Basic Beekeeping for Beginners Course is open to adults and children (age 9 and over) who are interested in keeping bees. 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.
It is very important that you readthe following material so that you are best informed in making the decision to start keeping bees.
WeThis message is not to discourage you from beekeeping but to provide a realistic view of the commitment required to successfully keep bees.
1. Beekeeping requires adult participation. Beekeeping requires a determination to succeed, some heavy lifting, the occasionally working in less-than-desirable conditions, the probability of somewhat painful stings (especially as you are learning), and year-round management. We encourage the engaging and educating children. However, teenagers and children are often not successful without adult guidance and perseverance, therefore 1 adult family member must attend the course instruction and be participatory in the beekeeping venture.
2. Time commitment required. Beekeeping is for folks who have both the time and the desire to devote to the bees. If you have very little free time now then this venture may not be right for you to commit to at this time. Starting out, you should plan to spend 1-2 hours per hive, every week during April through October. November through March requires fewer visits, but those visits are very important to make for evaluation of your colony's health.
3. Regular care and attention is required.
In the State of Virginia, bees kept in hives are classified as livestock. If you have an HOA or other property restrictions, investigate the regulations before committing to beekeeping. We do not recommend that beginning beekeepers keep bees on another's property during their first year. In most cases, the beekeeper will not visit and take care of them as often as necessary. This results in poor colony survival rates, expense and frustration.
Beekeeping today involves real expense. The 2020 class registration fee is $101 and includes the instruction, books, and an electronic copy containing all the lectures, a glossary, and useful formulas to provide support for the bees. This is, however, only the beginning of your expenses. Should you choose to keep bees, the woodenware (the hive and associated components) will cost $200-$350 per colony depending on your ability to construct it. You will also need personal protective equipment and tools, which can run $75 - $200 per person. You will then have to purchase the bees to start your colony costing approximately $120 - $200 per colony. Start-up can easily be over $1000 to setup a two-colony bee yard in your the first year, more if you live in an area where you have to protect your colonies from bears.
Continuing education is very important once you get started.
8. Beginning Beekeeping Course schedule/logistics. To keep the class size manageable, we are breaking the class into two sessions covering the same material. One will be held on Friday evenings
Registration for the 2020 class is now open. The following registration link will take you to a third-party site hosted by Jumbula. If you have questions or trouble with the registration site, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPORTANT: To finalize your registration, payment of the course registration fee is required. Payment options include PayPal, credit card, and personal checks. More information can be found on the registration site.
2020 Open House
The Loudoun Beekeepers Association will hold an informal open house before the first beekeeping class. Registrants of the beekeeping course are encouraged to attend to complete registration and pick up class materials. Refreshments and 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.
Date/Time: Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 9a-12p.
Location: Patrick Henry College, Nash Auditorium, 10 Patrick Henry Cir., Purcellville, VA, 20132.
Course Location, Date and Time
Location: Classes are held at Patrick Henry College, Nash Auditorium, 10 Patrick Henry Circle, Purcellville VA, 20132.
Date and Time: The course is seven weeks. Each class is offered twice a week to accommodate different schedules. There is a Friday class from 7:00p-9:00p and a Saturday class from 8:00a-10:00a. Students should attend one of the two sessions each week and should attend the same session each week (choose a Friday class or a Saturday class for the duration of the course).
2020 beekeeping course pricing: $101.
The cost of the course is per family unit. The course includes the books Beekeeper's Handbook, Beekeeping Basics, and Honey Bee Maladies. Also included is a one year membership in Loudoun Beekeepers Association (LBA) and Virginia State Beekeepers Association (VSBA).
All beekeeping equipment, supplies and bees must be purchased separately. Equipment options will be discussed in the second class. You will be given an opportunity to purchase bees through the course.
Inclement Weather Policy
When Loudoun County Public School officials cancel (or close early) school on Friday because of weather, classes may be postponed. Final decisions about class postponements will be determined by the instructor and communicated to students via email by 4pm on Friday.
Note: Should the Friday class be postponed by the instructor, the Saturday class will be postponed too. This is to keep the classes synchronized.
Week 1 (Feb. 7-8)
Introduction to Beekeeping
Week 2 (Feb. 14-15)
Week 3 (Feb. 21-22
Dynamics of the Colony
Week 4 (Feb. 28-29)
Diseases, Parasites, Pests, & Predators
Week 5 (Mar. 13-14)
First Year Beekeeping
Week 6 (Mar. 20-21)
Second Year Beekeeping
Week 7 (Mar. 27-28)
Floral Sources & Sustainable Beekeeping
Week 8 - TBD
Field day (see below)
Upon the completion of the course, a combined class field day will be held at a local apiary. We attempt to schedule this to coincide with the arrival of the package bees, so date, time and location will either be announced in class, or an email will be sent to you, if it is still unknown by week 7.
Mentor Field Day
To be arranged by the Instructors/Mentors as weather and schedules permit.