November 23, 2017

Bee Schools

Annual Bee Schools are sponsored by Local Chapters, Adult Education Programs,  and sometimes in cooperation with the County Extension Service.

These practical courses are a must for beginners and a great chance for intermediate-level beekeepers to update and refresh their skills.

It is important to be sure to sign up with the instructor who is right for you (find out by asking at local bee clubs).

Fall/Winter Maine Beekeeping Schools, Classes, Workshops and Seminars

bee on sunflower


York County Beginning Beekeeping School

5-Week Beginner Bee School – Fall 2017


Participants in this 5-week introductory beekeeping course will learn about

  • the honey bee colony;
  • constructing hives;
  • spring, summer and fall management;
  • honey production;
  • wintering hives;
  • identification and control of brood diseases; and
  • parasites and predators.

Through the York County Beekeepers Association, students will also have the opportunity to visit local hives for observation and hands-on experience. Beginner Bee School instructor is Larry Peiffer, Master Beekeeper and former Vice President of the Maine State Beekeepers Association.

Where: Nasson Heritage room, basement level in the Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen Street, Springvale, ME  04083

When:  Wednesdays, 6:00 to 8:30 pmOctober 4 – November 1, 2017

Course Fee: $95 – includes beginning beekeeping textbooks, other materials, and a 1-year membership in the York County Beekeepers Association. A reduced fee of $45 applies to one of a pair of students who choose to share the text and materials ($140/pair).

Register Here

Sponsored by the Maine State Beekeepers Association and University of Maine Cooperative Extension York County.

For more information, contact UMaine Extension in York County at 1.800.287.1535 (in Maine), 207.324.2814 or (TDD) 1.800.287.8957 or e-mail If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please call Frank Wertheim at 800.287.1535 to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 7 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request; however, all requests will be considered.

Larry Peiffer

Larry Peiffer


Beekeeping Classes by Peter Cowin

Beekeeping for beginners – This class is designed to stimulate the interest in and answer the questions of those interested in starting beekeeping as a hobby, to help pollinate their crops or generally learn more about honeybee husbandry. It covers what is needed where to locate bees hives, where to buy them, what it costs and how to care for bees so they survive the winter.

Intermediate beekeeping – Is designed to look in more detail at key aspects of beekeeping particularly helpful to those who wish to run several hives and get the most out of them. The course is a good follow-on from the beginners course. Building up hive strength, swarm prevention, splitting hives, making nucs, disease prevention, feral colony relocation and honey production are all covered.

One day beginners class – Learn about honeybees, what equipment you need, where to locate hives, how to care for them, how to harvest your own honey and prepare the bees for winter. A full range of equipment will be available for sale so you can be prepared to start beekeeping that day! Class fee of $75 per person includes 4hrs of lessons, morning coffee, lunch and weather permitting, opening some bee hives in the afternoon. Protective equipment provided, but you must wear long pants and sleeves.

Peter Cowin , aka The Bee Whisperer, has kept honeybees on and off since the age of 11. In the last 10 years has grown his beekeeping hobby, and now runs 30 hives. He sells honey and other beeswax derived products such as lip balms and hand creams. Peter is President of Penobscot County Beekeepers Association, and is on the MSBA Swarm Team getting called all over the state to remove honeybee swarms. He specializes in the removal and safe relocation of honeybee colonies which have become established in the walls of people’s homes and out buildings. Peter writes a monthly column for the Bangor Daily News called The Bee Whisperer’s Diary.

Peter can be found on facebook “The Bee Whisperer” and website

And can be contacted at

Phone 207 299 6948


J. Hildreth - President of the Cumberland County Beekeepers Association with a spectacular frame of honey

Jack Hildreth – Instructor

EAS Master Beekeepers Certification Program

The purpose of the Master Beekeeper certification program is to identify and certify people who have a detailed knowledge of honey bee biology, expertise in the proper practices of beekeeping, and can present this information to the beekeeping and non-beekeeping public in a detailed, accurate, clear and authoritative manner. The goal of this program is to certify that those who are awarded the Master Beekeepers Certificate are competent at a college level in the four areas where they are tested.

The certification program will be conducted in conjunction with the annual EAS Conference. Certification will be coordinated by personnel who are designated by the Master Beekeeper Organization. More information »

Page last modifed on: Sep 29, 2017 @ 9:44 am


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