Vancouver Beekeeping Courses

Become a beekeeper
        There are a number of organizations offering beekeeping courses in the Vancouver area.  This is a list of some of the Schools : Urban Bee Supplies (Delta);  Honeybee Centre (Surrey); locally Homestead Junction at 649 E. Hastings; Dancing Bee Apiary in Aldergrove; Campbell's Gold in Abbotsford ; Capilano University in North Vancouver; Environmental Youth Alliance in Vancouver; and Langara College in Vancouver.   While hands on beekeeping experience is a must there are a few free online beekeeping courses available that are very useful.  Ohio State University Bee Lab has created a free "Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping Course" based on Dr. Reed Johnson's for-credit OSU Beekeeping Course.  The course consists of video lectures, handouts and readings that can be accessed through iTunes.  They need volunteers to review the course and offer suggestions.  To be a volunteer to review this course fill out this simple registration to receive a link to the course.  Another good, free online beekeeping course, "Honey Bees and Colony Strength Evaluation"  (you may log in as a guest) is presented by the University of California.  This course is offered in modules covering topics from very basic beginner beekeeping information to more advanced colony strength evaluation so that the student can choose the module suited to their skill level.  Below is a list of some of the local beekeeping courses available.

2017

February

Free Beekeeping Webinar
     The British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture has offered a free introductory WEBINAR course for beekeepers for a number of years now. Participants can be located anywhere – in the past they have been from the US, the Yukon, Ontario and as far east as Newfoundland as well as BC.
The webinar series involves four sessions on consecutive Saturday mornings. Prior to each session, registrants will receive an email with suggested reading materials and references. There is no lab session or field day offered in this course. 
     The purpose of offering the course is to address the serious problem of many novice beekeepers failing in the first few years. Many colonies go through a protracted period of decline, often in company of diseases and pests which are then subsequently spread to other beekeepers nearby. The original intent of the course was to offer educational opportunities to beekeepers who live in isolated locations in the province without ready access to such services. The fact that many participants are outside BC is not important. The “virtual classroom” has no enrollment limit so anyone interested in taking the course can do so.
If you wish to be notified when course details and registration become available, please send an email to Paul van Westendorp to have your name and email address added to the course notification list. (It is recommended for participants to have high-speed internet access).


Bee Master Course (Province of B.C.)
The Bee Master course is offered every other year in February. This course is intended for beekeepers with extensive experience who wish to learn more about apiculture research and science. (This course has little to do with beekeeping management and is not recommended for beginner beekeepers).
The Bee Master course in an intense one-week course held at UBC. Lectures are presented daily by invited researchers and speakers from Canada and United States. An optional 3-hour written exam is offered at the end of the course and upon successful completion, a Bee Master Certificate will be issued.
The biennial Bee Master course was first developed and introduced by the BC Ministry of Agriculture in the mid-1950s and is the oldest advanced beekeeping course in North America.
If you wish to be notified when course details become available, please send an email to Paul van Westendorp to have your contact details added to the course notification list:
Email: paul.vanwestendorp@gov.bc.ca



Youth Beekeeping Program (Enviromental Youth Alliance, Vancouver)
Each year, 30 youth participate in a 3-month beekeeping course at EYA’s two beehives and eco-pavilion training space in Strathcona Community Garden. Youth receive seven days of instruction led by Brian Campbell, master beekeeper and program instructor at Langara College’s Sustainable Urban Beekeeping Program. Young beekeepers-in-training gain the theoretical knowledge and technical skills to carry out organic beekeeping on their own. Instruction includes honeybee anatomy, social behaviour of bees, pest management, beekeeping equipment, hive inspections, honey processing, and overwintering. Past program graduates may apply for a mentorship position. Mentors have greater responsibility for hive maintenance, assist program facilitation, and sharpen leadership skills. The program also includes a series of outdoor honeybee and mason bee workshops for kids. Guided by EYA facilitators, children engage in hands-on exploration and discovery of bees designed to inspire and cultivate a sense of wonder. Interacting with mason bee cocoons from our Mason Bee Hotel at Oak Meadows Park or our honeybee hives, they learn to identify, handle, and care for bees, and understand the importance of bees to urban biodiversity. The workshops are held in parks and schoolyards across Metro Vancouver and in partnership with community groups. We deliver 10-15 bee workshops each year.
To sign up for a beekeeping course or inquire about hosting a workshop for kids, contact Erin at erin@eya.ca


Pollinator Citizen Science (Environmental Youth Alliance, Vancouver)
Each spring and summer, this unique three-month program engages 30 youth volunteers (ages 15-30) to collect population data on pollinators at nine public green spaces across Metro Vancouver. Youth receive 12 hours of in-field lesson time on pollinator biodiversity and data collection method at Oak Meadows Park, followed by group data collection events at each of the nine parks over spring and summer blooms. Data is analyzed by a professional biologist and final reports are presented to each site partner, who use the findings to make informed choices about habitat management and support pollinator diversity in Metro Vancouver parks. The program also includes a series of pollinator workshop for kids. Through these hands-on outdoor workshops, hundreds of children learn about bee and butterfly biodiversity, how to identify local pollinators, and how to carry out pollinator citizen science projects. The workshops are held at elementary and secondary schools across Metro Vancouver and in partnership with community groups. We deliver 10-15 workshops each year.
To join the program or inquire about hosting a workshop, contact Erin Udal at erin@eya.ca




March

Introduction to Beekeeping (Province of B.C.)
The course is intended for those planning to start keeping bees, and for general interest. This is a comprehensive course that covers a full range of topics including beekeeping management, bee biology and behavior, crop pollination, forage sources, disease identification and control.
The course is comprised of six evening classes with an additional field day near the end of the course. The course normally starts in the middle of March.
If you wish to be notified when course details become available, please send an email to Paul van Westendorp to have your name and email address added to the course notification list:
Email: paul.vanwestendorp@gov.bc.ca
As with all government beekeeping classes there is no specific date or cost given (It's a mystery)

April

Hands-on Beekeeping Course (Seasonal, April-September, Aldergrove)
This course is for anyone interested in learning about Honeybee hive management with a very hands-on approach.  No previous experience or knowledge of bee keeping is required.  We will meet in 3 sessions of 6 hours each throughout the spring and fall to allow for maximum exposure to a large range of timely topics during the beekeeping season.  You will have a choice of registering for either a Friday or Saturday (same content) for each session.
The cost for early bird registration and payment (prior to Saturday February 25, 2017) is $299.  The cost for couples is $500 and the price after February 25, 2017 is $350.
Class size will be small to facilitate lots of open discussion and maximize time in the hives for everyone.  Each student will need their own protective gear (which can be purchased here).
The classes will be held at 6328 264 Street, Aldergrove.
The focus of our sessions will be on hands on hive management, identifying and treating bee diseases, and gaining an understanding of bee behaviour and biology.  Each student will receive a copy of the book Honey Bee Diseases and Pests and additional supportive learning material will be provided online.
To register please provide me with your name, phone # and email address.  Cheques can be mailed payable to Dancing Bee Apiary mailed to 6328 264 Street, Aldergrove BC V4W 1P4.
Alternatively if you would like to pay with credit card or cash please call me at 604-341-8929.
April 7 or 8, 2017 11am-5pm
-Spring feeding and treatments
-Disease Identification
-Bee biology – lifecycle
-Basic colony examination, and record keeping
-Apiary registration
May 12 or 13, 2017 11am-5pm
The most important bee in the hive -THE QUEEN
-Marking queens
-Swarm management
-Making splits
-Equalizing
-Passive queen rearing
-Disease ID continue
 September 8 or 9, 2017 11am-5pm
-Preparing colonies for overwintering
-Fall treatments
-Fall feeding
Shelley Armstrong
Dancing Bee Apiary
604-341-8929
www.dancingbeeapiary.com
Shelley@dancingbeeapiary.com


May 
Sustainable Urban Beekeeping (Langara College, Vancouver)
Gain hands on training and expert instruction with this new certificate in Sustainable Urban Beekeeping. This is a comprehensive course suitable for beginners and experienced beekeepers alike. Learn to use organic non-chemical approaches to keeping bees, while balancing the needs of the environment for pollinator diversity. Developed and taught by experts in the field, the curriculum is both current and relevant. Program runs for 2-3 months.
This program curriculum provides a strong theoretical and practical foundation in beginner beekeeping. Graduates will be at an advantage compared to others in the industry, as they will have both theoretical and practical preparation, taught by industry professionals. Five of the six courses have a practical component. Most other programs/courses have minimal or no practical application. To earn a certificate, students must complete a total of 6 courses and 36 instructional hours. There is also a one-hour exam that students must write upon completion of all of the courses. Students will have two years to complete all requirements for the certificate. 
To register go to Langara College.



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