Beginners Short Course

The 2016 Beginners Beekeeping short course presented by Cookeville Beekeepers will be presented on Saturday March 5 from 8:00 – 3:00 (lunch from 12-1) at Collegeside Church of Christ 252 East 9th Street Cookeville, TN 38501.

Directions from I-40

  1. Exit North from I-40 at Cookeville exit 287 onto Jefferson Avenue.
  2. Continue North on Jefferson for 2.7 miles to East 9th street – note that N Jefferson doglegs to the left at the intersection of E. 7th street.
  3. Turn Right on east 9th st.
  4. Collegeside church (large white building) is on the left – go past the church and turn left into the parking lot.
  5. Enter the Church through the covered entrance –
  6. turn left at the main hall and continue in that direction until you hear the commotion in the big room on the right – just across from the kitchen.

Beginners Short Course – The basic facts that a new beekeeper needs during their First season

I.       A year in the life of a wild honey bee colony – ppt

II.     Essential Honey Bee Knowledge

III.     Before you  Even get bees

IV.  Be Prepared

V. After you get bees

VI.        Getting ready for Winter

  • Make Increase in spring – Making increase during the spring reproductive season will give you the queens and other resources that you need later to keep your colonies healthy.
  • Once the main nectar flows end in June robbing can become a problem – especially if you have large hives and nucs in the same area, but even if you don’t.  Robbing is stressful for all hives involved – stress kills bees just like it does people.  Seriously consider installing robber screens on all hives during any dearth of nectar.
  • Complete an effective mite treatment no later than August 15.
  • Do a mite count a week after your treatment – if mite loads remain high be prepared to do another treatment immediately.  Managing mites in mid summer is essential for a healthy fall build up.
  • Culling and combining in Fall – Evaluate all hives early in Sept and combine shake out or requeen any which are lagging.  Cut your losses now before you have fed and babied lackluster hives for months only to have them fail over the winter – or fail to be productive in the spring.  This is one reason that you need to make increase every spring – so that you can afford to cull weaklings in the fall.
  • Fall feeding beginning about Sept 15 or earlier if natural forage is not available in early september – Start feeding light hives 2-1 heavy syrup until they put on sufficient weight to overwinter on.
  • Winter Hive configuration – Remove any extra supers to reduce hive volume, and configure hive for top ventilation.  Install mouse guards.
  • Emergency Feeding

VII. A schedule for your first year

VIII. Suggested Online Reading

Other Beekeepers class resources


3 thoughts on “Beginners Short Course”

  1. I would love to get started in being a beekeeper in the DeKalb Co. area. Is this open to the public? Are there mentors there that can work with me to get started? I would greatly appreciate if you would contact me. Waiting in anticipation of starting at a hobby that not only interests me but helping the environment.


  2. I am trying to locate packages or nucs of small cell bees. Do you know anyone selling
    them in southeast or middle Tennessee.

    Thank you
    Adam Couch

  3. I attended the short course and I am trying to sign up for the newsletter. I am having trouble getting registered. Can you help please?

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