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Virtual Beekeeping Course with Ross Conrad

Golden Well Farm & Apiaries
1089 River Road
New Haven, VT 05742

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May 23 - 24, 2020 12:00pm — 5:00pm

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This 16 hour online live beekeeping program is geared for beekeepers who are just getting started in beekeeping and beekeepers who have experience but want to learn more natural and organic ways of keeping bees. In this course, you’ll learn about the current state of the honeybee and the beekeeping industry, as well as alternatives to the failing status quo. We’ll cover the basics of honey bee biology, resources for sourcing bees, choosing an apiary site, and the tools and equipment you will need.Safe, nontoxic, and effective methods for controlling hive pests and diseases such as mites and foulbrood are covered, as well as tips on successfully overwintering hives. Whether you are looking to use fewer chemicals, or are committed to keeping bees organically, this course is for you.This workshop provides an introduction for folks interested in small scale and part-time (backyard) beekeeping. 

The workshop will present a balanced view of natural and organic beekeeping topics and practices, including:

*Basics of Honeybee Biology
*Choosing your equipment, tools and apiary site
*Organic Varroa Mite Control in Beehives
*Organic and Natural Controls for Pests and Disease (other than Varroa)
*CCD And The Current State of Beekeeping and Honey Bees
*Overwintering Bees and Spring Management
*Honey, beeswax, and propolis production and harvesting:
*Overview of the beekeeping management year, beginner tips and recommendations and Questions and Answers
Although questions will be taken during the program, time will be reserved at the end of each session to allow participants to ask additional questions related to the subject being covered.
Sign up and cost:
You may sign up for one session at a time (4 hours of instruction) for $30 or for all 4 sessions (16 hours of instruction) for $80. Sign up is via Eventbrite, you'll receive a zoom link after you've signed up within 1 day of the event.
Sessions I & II, May 16 & 17th:
Saturday, May 16th: 12pm  - 5pm
12pm-2pm EST
1. Basics of Honeybee Biology: In order to become a successful beekeepers you must learn the biology of the honeybee. 
Topics covered include: Development stages of honey bee from egg to adult, types of bees in hive and their roles, life expectancy, honey bee physiology, the super-organism, reproduction, brood identification and evaluation, sourcing bees and swarming as an expression of the bees’ vitality.
2-3pm Break
3:00pm – 5:00pm EST 
2. Choosing your equipment, tools and apiary site: Choosing the right equipment and tools for your needs is important for success. 
Topics covered include: Types of hives, components of a basic hive, smokers, veils, hive tools, the characteristics of an ideal apiary location, and presence and mindfulness in the bee yard.
Sunday, May 17th: 12pm  - 5pm
12:00pm – 2:00 pm EST
3. Organic Varroa Mite Control in Beehives: Safe, nontoxic and effective methods for controlling varroa mites will be covered. Ross will share the “how to” of numerous techniques to keep bees alive in the face of Varroa. 
Topics covered include: Genetics and breeding, culling drone brood, Screened Bottom Boards, Essential Oils, Organic Acids, herbal treatments, small cell comb, and more.
2-3pm Break
3:00pm – 5:00 pm EST 
4. Organic and Natural Controls for Pests and Disease (other than Varroa): We’ll discuss natural approaches to support honeybees through the variety of challenges they face from predators and pests to disease.
Topics covered will include: Control of bears, skunks, ants, birds, wax moths, small hive beetles, Australian Sap Beetle, hornets, American foulbrood, European Foulbrood, chalk brood, chill brood, Nosema, and Viruses.
Sessions III & IV, May 23rd & 24th:
Saturday, May 23rd: 12pm - 5pm Eastern
12 pm-2 pm EST 
5. CCD And The Current State of Beekeeping and Honey Bees: The honeybee faces many affronts to its immune system in these days of Varroa mites and pesticide overload. 
Topics covered include: A review the cause of the most recent dramatic honey bee decline Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the causes of CCD, share ideas and techniques on how to combat the disorder and an appreciation for the role that pollinators and beekeepers play within Earth’s ecosystem
2pm - 3pm break
3pm - 5pm EST
6. Overwintering Bees and Spring Management: One of the most challenging aspects of keeping bees in the Northeast is successfully overwintering the hives so that they are alive and healthy in the spring. 
Topics covered include: the primary issues that need to be addressed to help bees survive the winter and how to steward colonies through the critical time period of late winter and early spring when hives are typically in their most vulnerable condition. 
Sunday, May 24th, 12pm  - 5pm
12pm - 2pm EST
7. Honey, beeswax, and propolis production and harvesting: The products of the hive are incredibly valuable and beneficial. Ross presents collaborative approaches to production and harvesting that respect the needs of the bees while rewarding the beekeeper at the same time.
Topics covered include: managing colonies for honey production, timing the harvest, separating the bees from the honey, extracting and bottling honey, beeswax harvesting and rendering, and propolis harvesting.
2pm - 3pm break
3pm - 5pm EST
8. Overview session: We will review the beekeeping management year, beginner tips and recommendations and
Questions and Answers. 
Topics covered include: tips for beginner beekeepers, and review the entire beekeeping season and the management activities that should be considered at each time of year. Time will be allotted to answer additional questions about topics covered in previous sessions and if there is time, any beekeeping related topic not covered in the program.
Ross Conrad learned his craft from the late Charles Mraz, world-renowned beekeeper, father of apitherapy, and founder of Champlain Valley Apiaries in Vermont. Former president of the Vermont Beekeepers Association, Conrad is the author of Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches To Modern Apiculture (Published by Chelsea Green, 2007), and has written numerous articles on organic farming, natural healing, and health issues.
His 12-year-old small sideline beekeeping business, Dancing Bee Gardens, supplies his friends, neighbors, and local stores with honey and provides bees for Vermont apple pollination in the spring.
To learn more about Ross, visit his website, Dancing Bee Gardens.
Cost of course:
Day by day sign ups: $30 
Whole course (all 4 days): $80
*please note cost of course is per person, not per household. please be in touch if you'd like to sign up for multiple people in a house hold as we'll be able to offer a discount.*
A zoom link to join the class will be sent out the day prior to the event.
This event is co-sponsored by Metta Earth and Golden Well Sanctuary.
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