July 28, 2016

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).

2015-16 Maine Beekeeping Schools, Classes, Workshops and Seminars

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

Jack Hildreth – Instructor

UMaine Extension Cumberland County Beekeeping Schools

Beginning Beekeeping Schools: 

This is a great opportunity for new beekeepers, prior to their first year of bees, or it can be a great refresher course for beekeepers just now going into their first winter, and even those with a couple of years of experience who want to refresh their skills and knowledge. The Beginner Bee course consists of 5 sessions and will be taught by two Master Beekeepers. The fee covers the cost of the textbook and the beekeeper’s reference notebook.

Intermediate Beekeeping School — Apiary Management:

Tuesdays, October 6th – November 10th. 6:30-8:30pm
The focus of this class is how to effectively manage an apiary under Maine conditions. It will include how to keep your colonies healthy and thriving, and how to meet the goals you have with your bees such as swarm prevention, honey production, and colony maximization.
Fee: $140, includes textbook and the beekeeper’s reference notebook.
Location: UMaine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth, ME
Chris Rogers

Chris Rogers

Advanced Beekeeping Workshop:
Advanced Beekeeping School is designed for accomplished beekeepers with 5+ years of experience or those who have already taken Intermediate Beekeeping School. Completion of an Intermediate Bee School or instructor permission is a prerequisite for this course. This class discusses advanced topics such as backyard queen rearing, mating nuc management, advanced nuc management, advanced swarm management, live colony removal, managing multiple yards, and more).

Honeybee Disease & Pest Management Workshop:
A comprehensive, two night class concentrating exclusively on honeybee diseases, pests, and their management. The focus of the workshop is on practical identification techniques and how to work with the bees to solve these issues and apply IPM management strategies.


Western Maine

2016 Annual Bee School
Registration January 20, 2016 6:00 pm
Region 9 School, Mexico, Maine

Topics include: Costs of beekeeping; bee biology; races of bees; acquiring bees; beekeeping equipment; using a smoker; reading frames; spring, late summer and winter management; honey harvest; the queen; bee pests and diseases. Classes are held on Wednesdays 6:30 – 8:45 pm – 11 weeks total. Cost is $40.00 – including books. Call or email Carol Cottrill (364-0917 WMBA@roadrunner.com) for more information. No pre-registration is required.

Adult Ed in Oxford – SAD 17

Beginner beekeeping class at Oxford Comprehensive High School starting March 1, 2016. Six weeks, 6:30 – 8:45 pm. Information and registration is through Adult Ed https://sad17.coursestorm.com/searchResults?search=beekeeping

Adult Ed in Farmington – SAD 9

Beginner beekeeping class at Mt Blue Middle School starting March 3, 2016. Six weeks, 6:30 – 8:45 pm. Information and registration is through Adult Ed; once they have their Spring catalog done it will be online: http://rsd9.maineadulted.org/


York County Beginner Bee School

Larry Peiffer

Larry Peiffer

5-Week Beginner Bee School

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

When: Wednesday evenings, March 2 – 30, 2016

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 online

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 rebecca.gowdy@maine.edu. 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.

Somerset County – Skowhegan

Beginner Beekeeping, Day-long Workshop
Somerset Cooperative Extension, Skowhegan
Saturday, February 27, 8am- 4pm
FMI: (207) 858-5909 or runamuckacres@gmail.com

Hancock County – Ellsworth

Tri-County Successful Beginner Beekeeper Course

April 9, 16, 23 and May 7 plus three open hive sessions over the summer.
10am – 12pm in the Howard Room of the Blue Hill Library, Blue Hill, ME
Course sessions will include the basics of 4-season management, identification and control of diseases and predators. We will discuss in detail hive construction, protective clothing, harvesting your honey, and hands-on familiarization with tools necessary to harvest honey and stay safe. Recommended text is Bee-sentials: A Field Guide by Connor and Muir.

Non-club member class registration is $50 (up to 2 family members). FMI: tricountybeekeepers@yahoo.com

Registration form

Beekeeping Classes by Peter Cowin 2016

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 www.beewhisperer.us

And can be contacted at petercowin@tds.net

Phone 207 299 6948

Classes for 2016

Newport -Beginners Tuesdays Jan 19, 26 and Feb 2, 6:30 -8:30pm, call 207-368-3290 www.RSU19.maineadulted.org

BucksportBeginners Wednesdays, 6-8 pm, Jan 20, 27, Feb 3 call 207-469-2129 www.RSU25.maineadulted.org

Ellsworth -Beginners Monday Feb 22, Mar 1 and 8, 6:30 -8:30pm, call 207.664.7110 ellsworth.maineadulted.org

Pittsfield -Beginners Tuesday Feb 23, Mar 2 and 9, 6:30 -8:30pm, call 207-487-5145 msad53.maineadulted.org

Bangor – Beginners Wednesdays Feb 24 Mar 3 and 10, 6:30 -8:30pm, call 207 992-5522 www.bangoradulted.org

HampdenBeginners Monday Mar 21, 28 Apr 4, 6:30 -8:30pm, call 207 862 6422   www.orono-hampden.coursestorm.com

Sullivan -Beginners Tuesdays Mar 22, 29 and April 5, 6:30 -8:30pm, call 422-4794 https://rsu24.coursestorm.com/course/beekeeping-for-beginners?search=bee&x=0&y=0

HowlandBeginners Wednesdays Mar 23, 30 and April 6, 6:30 -8:30pm, 207-732-8361 http://www.sau31.org/

Hampden ONE DAY BEGINNERS CLASS includes morning coffee break, lunch and opening beehives in the afternoon weather permitting. April 30 8am-2:30pm call 207 299 6948 petercowin@tds.net

Hampden ONE DAY BEGINNERS CLASS includes morning coffee break, lunch and opening beehives in the afternoon weather permitting. May 7 8am-2:30pm call 207 299 6948 petercowin@tds.net

Newport -Intermediate april12 and 26 (2 classes each 2.5hrs) , 6:30 -9pm call 207-368-3290 www.RSU19.maineadulted.org

Howland -Intermediate Wednesday April13, 20 and 27, 6:30 -8:30pm, 207-732-8361 http://www.sau31.org/

BangorIntermediate Mondays May 2, 9 and 16, 6:30 -8:30pm, call 207 992-5522 www.bangoradulted.org

EllsworthIntermediate Tuesdays May 3, 10 and 17, 6:30 -8:30pm, call 207.664.7110 ellsworth.maineadulted.org

Bucksport -Intermediate Wednesdays May 4, 11 and 18, 6:30 -8:30pm, call 207-469-2129 www.RSU25.maineadulted.org

Courses at The Honey Exchange in Portland

494 Stevens Avenue, Portland, ME 04103

Beginner Beekeeping Five-week course that takes absolute beginners from setting up a new hive, managing it throughout the season, getting ready for winter, and planning for the following spring. Special focus on urban, suburban, and chemical-free beekeeping. Course fee of $110 includes the textbook “The Backyard Beekeeper” (Flottum). Class size limited to 14 students. Course instructor: Phil Gaven, EAS Master Beekeeper

Session 1A – Tuesday evenings 6:00-8:00pm begins January 12
Session 1B – Thursday evenings 6:00-8:00pm begins January 14
Session 1S – Saturday mornings 10:30 am-12:30 begins January 16
Session 2A – Tuesday evenings 6:00-8:00pm begins February 23
Session 2B – Thursday evenings 6:00-8:00pm begins February 25
Session 2S- Saturday mornings 10:30 am-12:30 begins February 27

Sophomore Beekeeping Five-week course for novice beekeepers with at least one season with a hive of their own. The focus of the course is to move toward a sustainable apiary with emphasis on swarm prevention, nucleus colony and honey production, and disease control. Course fee of $110 includes the textbook “Bee-ssentials” (Connor). Class size limited to 14 students. Course instructor: Geoff Maclean of Red Brook Honey. Call the store to sign up, or for more information: 207-773-9333.

Session I – Wednesday evenings 6:00-8:00pm begins January 13
Session II – Wednesday evenings 6:00-8:00pm begins February 24

Courses at Backwoods Bee Farm in Windham

Instructor: Chris Rogers, EAS Master Beekeeper
106 Page Road, Windham, ME
(207) 893-2847

Beginner Beekeeping:
Lake Region Adult Ed.
Mondays 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
Feb 1st – March 1st. Call 627-4291 to enroll. $85.00

Beginner Beekeeping at Backwoods Bee Farm:
Saturdays 9:00 am -1:00 pm
Text book and refreshments provided. $65.00
February 27th – March 12th. Call 893-2847 to enroll.

Sustainable Beekeeping at Backwoods Bee Farm:
Thursday March 10th and 17th. 6:00 pm -8:00 pm
Backyard nuc and queen rearing. $35.00
Call 893-2847 to enroll.


Classes and Workshops at Bee Pride in Lebanon

FMI: Peggy Pride, peggy@beepride.com
Intro to Beekeeping, March 19, 1-3pm
6-week Beginner Beekeeping, February 23, 6:45-8:45pm
3-week Advanced Beginner Beekeeping, February 27, 6-8pm
3-week Intermediate Beekeeping, March 19, 6-8pm


Classes at Spicer Bees in Whitefield

3-Week Beginner Beekeeping:

Class1: March 19, April 2 & 9
Class 2: March 20, April 3 & 10

$60/person, includes book
FMI: David Spicer, dave@spicerbees.com



Classes and Workshops in Top Bar Hive Beekeeping

For more information:


Cooper Charolais Farm and Apiary

Instructor: Mark Cooper, EAS Certified Master Beekeeper
42 Montgomery Road
Windham, ME
(207) 892-9223

Beginning Bee School
6-week introductory class on Wednesdays at 6:30 PM
Begins January 20th. Course Fee $75

Intermediate Bee School
5-week intermediate level class on Mondays at 6:30 PM
Begins on January 18th. Course Fee $50

Please call for more information and to register for classes.

Classes at Swan’s Honey – Albion

Swan’s Honey
5-Week Beginning Beekeeping, Starts March 16, 6:30-9pm
5-Week Advanced Beekeeping, Starts March 15, 6:30-9pm
Instructor: Lincoln Sennett
332 Bessey Ridge Road, Albion
$60/person, includes text and all materials
FMI: swanshoney@roadrunner.com

Microscopy Workshop: Techniques for Nosema and Tracheal Mite Identification

Instructor: Karen Thurlow
Location: Falmouth, ME. University of Maine Cooperative Extension Cumberland County 75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104 Falmouth, ME 04105
Date: 02/13/16
Time: 9:30 AM to 4 PM
Cost: $100

Using a microscope will give you a new way to look at honey bees and to keep your bees healthy. The methods are simple, no microscopy experience is necessary. Any beekeeper with the correct microscope and a little know-
how can use a microscope as a diagnosing tool. In this class, students will learn how to set up wet mount slides, about depth of focus, and Nosema spore counting. The microscopic examination of the bees’ respiratory system is required to show the presence of the Acarine, tracheal mites.

Students also will learn how to dissect a bee to retrieve the trachea, do a dry slide mount and microscopic examination. Class size is limited to 12 people.

What you will need: a compound microscope that is 400X, an objective (lens) of 40X magnification with the ocular a magnification of 10X. The microscope must have an illuminator. There are a limited number of microscopes available to rent for class.

FMI: http://newmoonapiary.com or newmoonapiary@gmail.com or 207-329-9934

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: Apr 1, 2016 @ 10:18 am


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