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Are Online Beekeeping Classes a Good Idea?
When you are considering getting bees, a good beekeeping class should be your first stop. One of the most frustrating parts getting started with bees is deciding how to start. Managing a hive filled with thousands of stinging insects requires a bit of education. Online beekeeping courses are a great way to learn from different people who have experience with bees.
Considering becoming a beekeeper? Great! Do you have to take a class to keep bees? No, you don’t.
But you stand a much better chance of success if you are prepared for bee hive management.
Beekeeping is a dream for a lot of people but it doesn’t have to be just a dream. With proper preparation, having a beehive or two can be a reality for most people.
Investing in a good beekeeping class or online beekeeping course is money well spent. And, it may just save you from wasting hundreds of dollars too!
Beekeeping is a Popular Hobby
It is easier to become a beekeeper today than any other time in recent history. The plight of the honey bee and other pollinators is big news.
The media attention has resulted in many people getting involved in bees.
Sadly, it has also resulted in the death of many honey bee colonies and frustrated former beekeepers.
Keeping bees is rewarding but it is not easy-especially if you have no idea what you are doing.
Anyone who wishes to become a beekeeper, needs to learn about all aspects of beekeeping. You need to know more than just how to get the bees in the box.
Beekeeping Classes Teach You How to Manage Beehives
Having successful beehives is about more than just buying some bees and putting them in a box. You have hive management chores to do.
Routine hive inspections are necessary to keep your bees productive. How do you open the hive and what should you look for once you get in there?
Knowledge is the key to success. Successful beekeepers know that the time invested in beekeeping education will pay for itself in many ways.
A quick search online will provide you will a lot of information about honey bees. In fact, perhaps too much !
You will find videos, books, etc on every aspect of raising bees. There is a lot of good information available.
But keep in mind that anyone can make a YouTube video, know enough to recognize good advice when you hear it.
This is where a good beekeeping class becomes important. If you know the basics, everything else fits into place much easier.
Take More Than 1 Beekeeping Class
Does it surprise you that I recommend taking more than 1 beekeeping class? Why would I say this?
Well, I have completed several beekeeping courses myself (and I still do when the chance arrives).
I have seen the benefits of having different teachers. Every beekeeper has expertise in different areas.
Some people are great beekeepers personally but may not be great at teaching others. Teaching is a skill too.
Check Out Beekeeping Associations in Your Area
Most regions of the country have beekeeping associations. And, most of the associations hold beginner beekeeping classes in the late Winter.
This is the time of year when the beekeepers are not busy with their own hives. But, local classes don’t fit everyone’s schedule.
If you miss the local class, my online beekeeping course can get you started.
Beekeeper Opinions – OMG
If you have had any connection with the world of beekeepers, you know that we are an opinionated bunch. That’s okay, but its not the most effective teaching technique.
The basics of honey bee biology and the needs of bees are obvious. But, be prepared to hear a lot of opinions.
This is another reason that I support the idea of taking more than 1 beekeeping class. It gives you a chance to gather useful information from different people.
This gives you a better perspective and you learn more than 1 way to do things. Because in beekeeping, there are certainly many ways to manage bees.
Online Beekeeping Course Expectations
A beekeeping course should be easy to understand and fit your learning schedule. You should have access to some type of material to review at a later date.
This is one benefit of an online beekeeping course. You can watch the videos and then refer back to them when you want to.
Take good notes that you can refer back to later. It is impossible to remember everything you are told or read for the first time.
The class should always cover current beekeeping topics including the basic pests and diseases. But remember a beginner course may not delve too deeply into these topics.
Your instructor(s) should be familiar with the type problems faced by beginner beekeepers.
Some of the best beekeepers I know are not the best teachers – they find it hard to remember how overwhelming the basics can be.
Finding Your Own Methods of Beekeeping
In my online beekeeping class, I give you correct, factual information on how to keep bees. You decide how to apply the techniques I teach.
With these basics, you can decide how to apply the techniques to your hives or maybe you don’t want to do it that way.
There are many ways to be a good beekeeper. Find the beekeeping management style that fits your schedule and your region.
Free Beekeeping Classes
I am sure you have learned by now that nothing is free. If you are not paying for the class, you are paying with your time, exposure to things they sell, etc.
A free beekeeping class will give you useful basic beekeeping tips. However, they are always centered around what products that business wants to sell you.
Take the class, it may have some great information, but don’t let it be the only beekeeping course you experience.
Know Your Beekeeping Instructor
When choosing the best beekeeping class, consider who is developing the material. I am a Master Beekeeper and I have spent years training new beekeepers through my local beekeeping association and other outreach. But guess what – I don’t know it all – no one does.
Ideally, the instructor of your class will be someone who is the same type of beekeeper as you want to be.
Look for a beekeeping class that has a healthy page on Facebook, and maybe even a Facebook group where you can meet other beekeepers and ask questions.
Do they have a newsletter that will continue to send you updated information from the beekeeping community?
All of these things add value to the beekeeping class itself and help you to continue to grow. Learning how to be a beekeeper is not a one time event.
No beekeeping class can teach you everything you need to know. Beekeeping is a journey.
Final Thoughts on Online Beekeeping Courses
Whether you choose my online beekeeping class or one from someone else. Take your time going through the material. When classes are self-paced there is a tendency to rush.
Yes, standing in the bee yard with an experience beekeeper is the ideal but not everyone has that opportunity. No matter the location or format – invest some time in your beekeeping education.