November 29, 2015

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

Intermediate Beekeeping
October 27 – November 24, 2015 (5 weeks – Tuesdays)
6:30 pm – 8:45 pm

Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School – Room: E 220
256 Main Street
So. Paris, ME 04281


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 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.



Hancock County – Ellsworth

Classes are over for 2015.  None currently scheduled. Look here for Fall 2015-Winter 2016 classes in the future.

Beekeeping Classes by Peter Cowin 2015

Peter Cowin aka The Bee Whisperer is running a number of beginner and intermediate beekeeping courses this fall. The beginners class will cover what is involved in keeping bees, costs, where to get them, where to locate your hives and how to look after them. The intermediate class is designed for those with a bit more beekeeping experience or as a follow-on from the beginners class. It is designed to help beekeepers get more from their hives including more honey, splitting hives, swarm prevention etc…

Fall 2015

  • Mount Desert Island  Beginners  Mondays September 14 – 28th  6:30 – 8:30pm (207) 288-4703
  • Hampden Beginners Tuesday September 15 – 29 6:30-8:30pm call 207 862 6422
  • Bangor Beginners Wednesdays September 16 – 30 6:30 – 8:30pm call 207 992-5522
  • Newport Beginners Mondays October 5 and 19 6:00 – 9:00pm call 207-368-3290
  • Ellsworth Beginners Tuesdays October 6 – 20  6:30 – 8:30 call 207-664-7110
  • Bucksport  Beginners Wednesdays October 7 – 21  6:00 – 8:00pm Feb 4 call 207-469-2129
  • Bangor  Intermediate Mondays October 26 – November 9 6:30 – 8:30pm  call 207 992-5522
  • Hampden Intermediate  Tuesdays October 27 – November 19 6:30 – 8:30pm call 207 862 6422
  • Bucksport  Intermediate Wednesdays October 28 – November 11 6:00 – 8:00pm  call 207-469-2129
  • Newport Intermediate Mondays November 16, 23 and December 7 6:30 – 8:30pm call 207-368-3290
  • Ellsworth  Intermediate Tuesdays November 17, 24 and December 8  6:30 – 8:30pm  call 207-664-7110

Courses at The Honey Exchange in Portland

Learn some new techniques from Karen Thurlow-Kimball. Karen operates New Moon Apiary and has been keeping bees healthy, productive, and (most importantly) alive through winters in Maine since the 70’s.
October 3rd – Winter Preparations
How to prepare your bees for winter with proper fall management
You can only learn so much from the internet and books – learn from an expert with decades of success keeping bees alive in Maine winters
October 17th – Beekeepers! Use Your Brain Not Your Brawn
Beekeeping can be heavy and hard. Learn from an expert with years of experience doing the job without hired help.
Perfect for anyone who wasn’t born brawny or who maybe doesn’t feel as young as they once were.
November 7th – Late Winter Management
Should you supplement protein? Should you add a candy board?
Learn about winter treatment with Oxalic Acid
Get ready for that first March inspection

All classes begin at 10:30 Saturday morning and will run till approximately 12:30. Course fee is $20 per person per class. Classes are recommended for beekeepers with at least one and up to dozens of hives*.

For more information:


Classes and Workshops at Bee Pride in Lebanon

For more information:


Classes at Spicer Bees in Whitefield

For more information:



Classes and Workshops in Top Bar Hive Beekeeping

For more information:


Cooper Charolais Farm and Apiary

Beginning Beekeeping School
Instructor: Mark Cooper EAS Certified Master Beekeeper

An introductory course for those interested in getting started keeping honey bees and also those who have kept bees for one or two years. Covers all the basics to get off to a good start keeping bees and maintaining them. Also covers diseases and issues honey bees have suffered from over the past 20 years. This course is designed to have as much hands on opportunities in class as possible. One handbook will be provided.

Classes are over for 2015.  None currently scheduled. Look here for Fall 2015-Winter 2016 classes in the future.

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 »

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