Maine State Beekeepers Association

Maine Bee Schools in 2024

Acquiring some basic but essential skills is critical to becoming a successful beekeeper. “Bee School” will  get you off to a great start. Classes run for varying lengths from January through April, all over the state. They are conducted by local chapters, adult education programs, beekeeping supply businesses and in cooperation with county extension offices.

These practical courses are a must for beginners, and a great chance for intermediate level beekeepers to update and refresh their skills. In-person learning has many advantages, but due to public health concerns some programs have been switched to online. Either way, acquiring an educational foundation in beekeeping will greatly improve your chances of success!

If you are a new beekeeper, 
locate a chapter in your area to get help or find a mentor. Most of these clubs also hold open hive demos during the summer months.

2024 Online Courses (coming soon)

2024 In-Person Courses (by location)


Swan’s Honey
Beginner Beekeeping Class

  • 1st class is Saturday March 16 from 9 am to 11:30 am
  • 2nd class is Monday March 18 from 6:30 pm to 9 pm
  • 3rd class is Wednesday March 20 from 6:30 to 9 pm
  • 4th class is Saturday March 23 from 9 am to 11:30 am
  • Field day will be first or second Saturday in May depending on weather

Advanced Beekeeping Class

  • 1st class is Saturday March 16 from 12:30 to 3 pm
  • 2nd class is Tuesday March 19 from 6:30 to 9 pm
  • 3rd class is Thursday March 21 from 6:30 to 9 pm
  • 4th class is Saturday March 23 from 12:30 to 3 pm
  • Field day will be first or second Saturday in May depending on weather

Class is $70 per person and includes book and all handouts, $120 for 2 people sharing book and handouts. All classes held at Swan’s Honey 332 Bessey Ridge Road Albion


Kennebec Beekeepers Association 
Beginner Bee School, Saturday Feb 10 – Mar 16 ( No school Sat Feb 24th), class will be from 9-12pm at Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital Street, Augusta.
The cost is $85.00 which includes all class materials, open hives throughout the summer, our honey extraction class, a winterizing class in the fall and a 1 year membership to the club. We also provide you with a mentor. Please contact Sheri Zimmerman at or check out our Facebook page at Kennebec Beekeepers Association for detailed information.


Sagadahoc County Beekeepers Association
Fundamentals of Beekeeping course through the Merrymeeting Adult Ed. Program.  The course will be offered at Morse High School, Bath Maine.
To register:
Beekeeping: An Introductory Workshop, Thursday January 18th, 2024,  6:00 – 8:00 PM
This introductory course will provide an overview of beekeeping for those considering beekeeping or just wanting to learn more about honeybees. The course will cover equipment required, equipment sources, cost, level of effort required, basic bee biology and care, etc. The course is intended to provide basic background information and a general understanding of beekeeping, to help determine if beekeeping is for you. The course is not intended to function as a full beekeeping course; it is highly recommended that a full “Fundamentals of Beekeeping” course is completed if your goal is to become a beekeeper.
Beekeeping: The Fundamentals, January 18th to February 29th, 2024. 6:00 – 8:00 PM.  *NO CLASS: 2/22.
This six class course of instruction is designed for those that wish to become a beekeeper. The course will cover the what, why, and how of beekeeping. Topics include but are not limited to bee biology, equipment requirements and setup, seasonal management techniques, diseases, pest management, honeybee environmental benefits, and hive products. The goal of this course is to develop a foundation for new beekeepers to be prepared to keep bees. A course textbook will be provided to each student. Meets in Rm 160.

Blue Hill

Tri-County Beekeepers
Beginner Beekeeping School
Saturday February 17th     10:00am – 12:30pm     Introduction to Beekeeping and Hierarchy of the Hive
Saturday February 24th     10:00am – 12:30pm     Hive Equipment Overview
Saturday March 2nd          10:00am – 12:30pm     Pests and Diseases of the Hive with State Apiarist Jen Lund
Saturday March 9th           10:00am – 12:30pm    Seasonal Management of your Beehive

The classes will take place in the Howard Room of the Blue Hill Library. The cost is $55 for the course and includes a membership to the Club.

Anyone who is interested can fill out our form to be added to the mailing list:

Or contact us at:  or


Spicer Bees
Beginner Beekeeping – 3 day class, March 30, April 6 and April 13, Saturday afternoons 1-5pm
Beginner Beekeeping – 6 day class, March 5, 12, 19, 26 and April 2 and 9, Tuesday evenings 5-7pm
All classes will be at Spicer Bees, 463 Mills Road in Whitefield. The cost for the class and reading material is $75.00.  Both of these courses will cover information needed to effectively manage and maintain bees for the entire first season including, we hope, the harvesting of your first honey crop.  Please sign up online at

Free Online Courses

Many online courses and YouTube videos are helpful as a supplement to in-person Bee Schools, but they may not be an adequate substitute for local learning. Your beekeeping management must be geared to Maine’s climate conditions.

University of Guelph (Ontario)
Honey Bee Research Centre
“How-To Beekeeping Video Series” a comprehensive library of videos from getting started to more advanced topics.

National Cooperative Extension Resource
First Lessons in Beekeeping: Honey Bee Biology
Basic Beekeeping Techniques

Scientific Beekeeping
First Year Beekeeping is presented by biologist and commercial beekeeper Randy Oliver

Heroes to Hives
Free online beekeeping program for Veterans, Reservists, Active Duty or National Guard members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their adult children, spouses, partners and caregivers.

Hives for Heroes
Hives for Heroes® is a national non-profit service organization focusing on sustainability, conservation, and providing a healthy transition from service. Through our national network of beekeepers, we provide connection, purpose, and healthy relationships, through access, resources, and funding for Active Duty, Veterans, and First Responders.

Watch videos here to learn the step-by-step process, roles, responsibilities, and expectations of Hives for Heroes members.

SCBA Bee School