Bee School

The Bee School Certificate Program is the first in British Columbia to offer a comprehensive program in sustainable small-scale organic and urban beekeeping.  With beekeeping classes and courses offered in numerous sites in Metro Vancouver the Bee School gives equal emphasis on hands on learning and classroom instruction.  The goal of the program is to teach best practices to beginners, to reinvigorate experienced beekeepers, to offer opportunities and experiences to take hive management and practices to higher levels.

A honeybee colony is comprised of many thousands of individual insects, each carrying out a function and a purpose that may appear to us random and disconnected from the whole.  The colony, through a complex combination of behaviour, environment and communication among bees, forms a super organism that is greater than the sum of its parts.  As a super organism the honeybee hive is much more like a mammal in temperament and behavior.  That fact plus their unique growth pattern and population dynamic throughout the year that in many ways mimics a perennial plant makes understanding and managing honeybees both fascinating and challenging.

Is The Bee School Right for You?

If you are curious about the natural world and want to take a guided journey into the amazing life of honeybees or long for a deeper connection to ecology to understand the complexities of pollination and pollinators then this course is for you.  You don’t need to be a beekeeper to learn about honeybees or to appreciate their amazing abilities or to get a tremendous amount of knowledge from taking this program.  Whether you know not a thing about bees but want to take up the craft or are already an experienced beekeeper the Bee School Certificate program emphasizes good apicultural practices to get you started right or to renew your commitment to beekeeping excellence.

The Bee School offers the training, the skill set and the chance to refine and hone your knowledge and understanding in an integrated hands-on learning environment and intensive program of organic and sustainable beekeeping.

Beekeeping classes and workshops are offered throughout the Vancouver area.

Register for the 2019 course here!

Session 1

Getting Started: tools and equipment; site selection; bylaws and provincial regulations

Session 2

Spring and summer management: organic prevention and control of diseases and pests; understanding swarming, promoting health, honey production

Session 3

Introduction to Honeybee Biology

Session 4

Hive inspections and manipulations: core skill sets, best practices

Session 5

Introduction to IPM for beekeepers: An overview of an integrated approach to problem solving in the hive including methods of prevention and control of pests and diseases

Session 6

Honeybee Pests and Diseases

Session 7

Products of the Hive: honey, wax, pollen, and propolis

Session 8

Preparing your bees for winter: stores, population health, to wrap or not to wrap

Practicum TBD

There will a number of days and activities to choose from to hone your skills, ask questions and learn from the bees with supervision and guidance

One Response to “Bee School”

  1. Nicole February 27, 2014 at 5:28 am #

    While most apiculture systems today involve taking all of the honey and supplementing with sugar syrup, transporting bees long distances to get from crop to crop and treating hives with pesticides, Brian chooses a different approach to keeping bees.

    Brian is a steward of the bees that he keeps, not an owner, and approaches each hive humbly, despite his immense amount of knowledge and long history of working with bees. Brian never takes all of the honey that the bees produce, only the surplus, and does not move his bees for pollination. On the other hand, if he has to treat his hive with an antibiotic or an organic pesticide for the sake of the bees’ health, than he will. Brian does not approach beekeeping as a black and white science, but rather as an art that he has the honour of partaking in. On any given day, Brian may be checking on his hives in Richmond and Vancouver, acting as an expert on native bees, working on a variety of on-the-go projects to do with pollen libraries, mason bees, seeds and better testing methods for honey bee diseases and pests.

    In other words, when you sign up for Brian Campebll’s “Bee School,” you are not simply signing up for a class on how to keep bees. You are also signing up to work with one of the best resources on native pollinators, biodiversity, small-scale agriculture and local food systems that we have here in B.C.

    If you are interested in bees, small-scale agriculture, our local food-system, or even just in learning a new, somewhat lost art, than I would highly recommend Brian Campbell’s “Bee School.”

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