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21 Acres: Successful Beekeeping Series for Backyards in the Puget Sound

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 Woodinville  See map

Five Saturdays/times vary:
February 23, 10:00 am – noon
March 23, 10 am – noon
June 29, 9:30 am - noon
August 17, 10:30 am – noon and 1 pm – 3:30 pm
September 14, 10 am – noon

This twelve-hour course will teach you everything you need to know to safely start and maintain a beehive and is intended to prepare new or experienced beekeepers with specific beekeeping activities before those activities are attempted with your own hives. It includes hands-on training on a number of important topics related to beekeeping, including assembling hives and opening and examining colonies. From disease and mite prevention and hive management to honey production, this class will cover everything you need to know to further your hobby or get your business off the ground.

Most classes will involve visits to hives for hive inspection; consequently, a veil and jacket or head net is required.

Individual course session descriptions:


Intro to Beekeeping (A) – You will become familiar with how to raise bees by learning about the construction of hives and the various hive bodies, safe hive placement, purchasing bee packages, and generally how to get your bees hives started. You’ll also learn some bee biology, too.
Intro to Beekeeping (B) – The second Introduction class builds on getting your hive started and introduces you to feeding bees, general maintenance, troubleshooting in the hive, diseases and treatments, and ordering your first packages of bees.
Hive Inspection – You will learn how to inspect new and established hives, identify healthy and unhealthy hives, and use proactive, management techniques to prevent and treat common ailments for honeybees in the Pacific Northwest. Participants will inspect 21 Acres hives to identify those that are suitable for honey production. Hives will be adjusted accordingly and preventative maintenance conducted to reduce the likelihood of swarming or disease.
Extracting Honey – A combined indoor and outdoor class, you will learn how to remove frames from the hives and then how to extract honey from the comb. The class wraps up with a taste and take-home of the final product—raw, natural honey.
Preparing Your Hives for Winter – In the last class of the series, you will learn how to prepare hives for the winter and the steps to be taken during fall and winter months to provide your colonies with the greatest chance of survival.

Faculty: Gary Gibbons and Clare MacQueen, are officers and members of the Northwest District Beekeeping Association (NWDBA), and possess a wealth of knowledge and skills they are glad to share to help you get started. Gary and Clare maintain three hives on their property and like all beekeepers, learn more about their bees all the time. Both have become Apprentice Level Master Beekeepers and are currently working on the Journeyman Level.


Registration and Enrollment


Standard fee is $119, discounted rate for 21 Acres members is $109. Standard early bird rate for people who buy tickets before February 14th is $99. Discounted family rate (for 3 people) is $199. Rate for individual class on February 23 is $29, discounted rate for individual February 23 class for 21 Acres members is $25. There are three ways to register; online at http://21acresbeekeepingseries2013.eventbrite.com/#, by e-mailing deb@21acres.org or by calling us at 425-481-1500. Classes will be sold on an individual basis only, if space allows, after February 21.

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