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Humboldt State University
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Humboldt State University was established in 1913.

  SPRING 2015 extension

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

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

Practical Beekeeping[bee image]

Learn the basics of keeping honeybees for pollination, to produce honey and other products, and to appreciate the lives of these fascinating creatures.

The class will teach bee biology, life cycle, and social organization. In parallel, it will teach about beekeeping equipment and management techniques, including how to keep your bees healthy in today’s challenging environment. We will focus on basic skills and knowledge which are essential for any style of beekeeping. 

Although alternative styles will be considered, we will focus on  the standard Langstroth type hives. There will be Saturday field trips to the bee yards of the instructors where students may 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: The Beekeeper’s Handbook by Sammataro and Avitabile, 4th edition, 2011.

date .......... Mon., Feb. 16-May 4 (no class March 16) and Sat., Feb. 28, April 4, April 18, May 2

time .......... Mon.: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sat.: 1-3 p.m.

fee .......... $140, plus $50/unit of optional credit

place .......... Mon.: SciB133; Sat.: Eureka and Arcata (TBA)

instr .......... Dick LaForge & Joy Thomas

course .......... EENC X014, 27722: REGISTER FOR NON-CREDIT ONLINE

credit .......... ZOOL X315, 1-2 units (CR/NC), 27724/27725



Advanced Practical Beekeeping

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

Spring is the most intensive time of the beekeeper’s year as the bees are building up their population for collecting honey in late spring and summer. 

Meeting each weekend, we will follow the progress and problems of several bee yards.  We will inspect colonies to assess their condition, discuss strategies for guiding them towards production and good health, and carry out these strategies. 

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 a special topic will be assigned. Students will read up on this topic and we will discuss it at the class.

Students are expected to have at least one bee book, and the Sammataro and Avitabile text (see above) is recommended.

date .......... Sun., Feb. 22-May 3

time .......... 1-3 p.m.

fee .......... $140, plus $50/unit of optional credit

place .......... Eureka and Arcata (TBA)

instr ..... Dick LaForge

course .......... EENC X014, 27723 REGISTER FOR NON-CREDIT ONLINE

credit .......... ZOOL X315, 1 unit (CR/NC), 27726 REGISTER FOR ONE UNIT OF CREDIT ONLINE


Dick LaForge has about 20 years experience and manages eight hives near Freshwater. He taught the beekeeping classes for HSU from 1997-2009. 

Joy Thomas has nine years of beekeeping experience and keeps hives in her Eureka back yard.

To be notified of future offerings of "Practical Beekeeping," be sure to get on the College of eLearning & Extended Education mailing list.


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