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Honeybees pollinate the crops for about a third of the foods we eat, and produce honey and other products.  The colonial social structure of bees allows us to observe, study and manage them in a way that is beneficial to us, to them, and to nature. These courses will provide the information, experience, and confidence you need to succeed as a backyard beekeeper.

With Dick LaForge, Jeannine Kaprielian, Steve Sottong & "Missy Bee" Krein

These courses involve field trips to sites outside of the HSU campus. Participants are required to complete a Release of Liability form.

Practical Beekeeping

Beekeeper inspects a hive

Gain the skills you need to keep bees, including learning bee biology, studying the basics of keeping honeybees for pollination and honey, and exploring beekeeping equipment and management techniques on field trips to local hives.

We’ll study bee life cycle and social organization, with a focus on basic skills and knowledge

which are essential for any style of beekeeping. Although alternative styles will be considered, we will particularly examine the standard Langstroth-type hives. During field trips to the intructors’ bee yards, you’ll observe the inner workings of a hive.

For those who want to start colonies, the class will organize a group purchase of bees and equipment.

Required textbook: Beekeeping for Dummies, 4th edition, 2017, by Howland Blackiston. You are urged to buy the book and start reading it before the first class meeting.

Mon., Feb. 12-May 7 • 6:30-8:30 p.m. • HSU Campus: Science B 133
Sat., March 3-April 28 • 1-3 p.m. • Off campus (TBA)
$160 • Class #27019: REGISTER ONLINE (NON-CREDIT)
Credit (1 unit, optional): ZOOL x315, $50, #27020 : REGISTER ONLINE (CREDIT, 1 UNIT)
Credit (2 units, optional): ZOOL x315, $100, #27021: REGISTER ONLINE (CREDIT, 2 UNITS)

Advanced Practical Beekeeping

Beekeeper inspects a hive

Through this field-based course, follow the progress and problems of several bee yards, inspect colonies to assess their condition, and learn strategies for guiding colonies towards production and good health.

Some situations we will encounter are hive and queen assessment, loss of queen, requeening, dividing and combining hives, feeding, identifying and dealing with diseases and parasites, and adding honey supers. Also, each week you’ll be assigned to read up on a special topic to discuss in class. Students are expected to have at least one bee book. The

Beekeepers Handbook (Sammataro & Avitabile) is recommended.

This class is for those who already keep bees or who have taken Practical Beekeeping.

Sun., Feb. 18-April 29 • 1-3 p.m. • Off campus (TBA)
$160 • Class #27022: REGISTER ONLINE (NON-CREDIT)
Credit (1 unit, optional): ZOOL x315, $50, #27023: REGISTER ONLINE (CREDIT, 1 UNIT)


Beekeepers inspect a hive

Dick LaForge has about 20 years experience and manages eight hives near Freshwater. He taught the beekeeping classes for HSU from 1997-2009, and again in 2015. He produces on average six new colonies and several hundred pounds of honey each year.

Jeannine Kaprielian began beekeeping by taking Dick LaForge and Garrett Brinton's beekeeping class in 2009. She and Garrett developed an apiary on her small farm in the Hoopa Valley. Since then she has kept bees on several coastal sites, giving her insight into specific issues facing both inland and coastal beekeepers.

Steve Sottong is a backyard beekeeper in Eureka. His wife Joy Thomas was co-teacher in 2015 and he served as the beekeeping tech and photo show expert in 2016.

Melissa Lee "Missy Bee" Krein has been a keeper of the bees since 2001. She uses her years of experience to empower others to learn the joys of beekeeping. She keeps colonies at several locations on the coast and has also kept bees inland in the mountains. She produces honey and wax for sale locally.


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