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Continuing Education

hands holding a rack of bees

Continuing Education

Basics of Beekeeping - Wednesdays

Wednesdays, October 17th to December 12th (7pm - 9pm)

PLUS: 6 additional OPTIONAL field trips: Sunday October 21st, Friday October 26th, Saturdays October 27th, November 17th, November 24th, and December 1st. Waivers are required to be filled out and signed for each field trip.

Location: Fry Lodge 104, Traill College, 310 London Street.

Cost: $20 per class (+ HST) before October 12th. $30 per class (+ HST) after October 12th.

Register Online or in person at Scott House Room 107.1, 300 London Street, Traill College.

Drop-ins will not be admitted.

This popular beekeeping course will interest the beginner and novice beekeeper as well as those individuals looking for knowledge about bees and the beekeeping industry. It covers a wide range of topics from equipment, biology, regulations, duties and responsibilities, honey and hive products, pests and diseases. The curriculum is designed to be comprehensive, but also dynamic and fun with lots of interactive activities. Together we will work our way through the topics, learning about the colony and its relationship to the environment and the beekeeper. Come and learn how to responsibly manage honey bees colonies and you will find a whole community of beekeepers ready to help.

Field trips: There will be the opportunity to participate in six different field trips. These trips are designed to connect you to the beekeeping community. There is a tremendous wealth of beekeeping knowledge, and experience as well as opportunities available to us in our region.Three of the trips will be to commercial apiaries: Kawartha Lakes Honey and commercial beekeeper Jerry Jerrard, Dancing Bees Apiary and commercial beekeeper Todd Kalisz, and Hunnabees Honey & Co. with beekeeper Dave Nicolaou. You will also be invited to attend the Central Ontario Beekeepers Association (COBA) fall dinner meeting as well as a site visits to the colonies within the Trent University Apiary and Whitney’s apiary. All field trips will require a waiver to be signed. There is no fee for visiting the Trent or Whitney’s Apiary. A fee will be paid to COBA directly if you attend the dinner and a fee of $10 is required to participate in the visits to the commercial apiaries.

Although classes are designed to be stand-alone for a comprehensive understanding of bees and beekeeping, enrollment in the full program is encouraged.

Wednesday October 17 - Getting Started

Ready, set, go! The first class will explore the exciting opportunities; what do I need to know to become a beekeeper in Ontario? We will examine the basics of equipment, yard location, bees and regulations as well as the time, physical and financial requirements of beekeeping. Class will include equipment demonstration and assembly.

Sunday October 21 - Field Trip

Trent University Apiary where we will prepare the colonies for winter. 1600 W Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 0G2. There is no fee to attend this field trip but it will not occur in the rain! 11am-1pm. RSVP to whitneylake@trentu.ca

No formal classes on October 24

Friday October 26 - Field Trip 

Central Ontario Beekeepers Fall Meeting and Dinner: Friday October 26th at 6pm, Lakehurst Hall, Buckhorn. There will be an auction, general meeting, and speakers. More details to follow.

Saturday October 27 - Field Trip

Lake Reflections Apiary, Whitney’s Apiary is south of 11544 Northumberland County Road 29, Roseneath, ON. Preparing the hives for winter. There is no fee to attend this field trip but it will not occur in the rain! 11am-1pm. RSVP to whitneylake@trentu.ca

Wednesday October 31 - Bee Biology & Pest Management

Understanding bee biology is fundamental to understanding how the bee and the colony work together in your Apiary. Class two will introduce you to bee biology; the anatomy and physiology of these fascinating creatures. It will also include Pest Management. Pests can be a real threat to your apiary. We will learn integrated pest management and how to protect your hive to discourage critters like ants, raccoons, and bears from visiting your bee yard.

Wednesday November 7 - Disease Management & the Beekeeping Industry

Identifying, monitoring, treating and record keeping are all part of a larger integrated disease management program for your apiary. In the third class we will explore both conventional and natural methods of treating honey bee diseases. It will also include an overview of the honey bee industry and threats to the health of all bees both domestic and indigenous.

Wednesday November 14 - Honey

It’s all about the honey! From bee to bottle –the story of honey from the bee and flower to harvesting, marketing, sales, packaging and labeling. Class four will include hands on liquid honey extraction from the frame using a manual extractor as well as different methods of comb honey-cutting and collecting.

Saturday November 17 - Field Trip

Dancing Bees Apiary and commercial beekeeper Todd Kalisz. 11-1pm at 3384 Loyalist Rd, Port Hope, ON L1A 3V7. $10 fee and waiver please. RSVP to whitneylake@trentu.ca

Wednesday November 21 - Hive Products

There is more to bees than honey. Class five will walk through all the other products a beekeeper can create from the hive: Propolis, wax, venom, mead, royal jelly and the bees themselves: we will try our hand at creating some bees wax candles and other hive products.

Saturday November 24 - Field Trip

Kawartha Lakes Honey and commercial beekeeper Jerry Jerrard. 11-1pm at 465 Colony Rd, Bobcaygeon, ON K0M 1A0. $10 fee and waiver. RSVP to whitneylake@trentu.ca

Wednesday November 28 - Getting your Bees and Communication

Bees can be captured in swarms, or purchased in nucs, partial and full colonies as well individual queens can support a hive split. Class six will discuss how to catch a swarm, install a nuc, and split a hive. It will also discuss the magic of bee communication.

Saturday December 1- Field Trip 

Hunnabees Honey & Co. 1331 Zion Line in Millbrook, L0A 1G0 and commercial beekeeper Dave Nicolaou. 11am-1pm with a $10 fee and waiver. RSVP to whitneylake@trentu.ca

No formal classes on December 5

Wednesday December 12 - A Year in the Life of a Beekeeper

From start to finish your seventh class will tie everything together as we explore a month by month account of the honey bee colony and the responsibilities and duties of the beekeeper that cares for them. This popular class will include a little bit of everything from pest management, registration obligations, supplemental feeding and hive inspections.

About the Instructor:

An interest in the natural world, particularly the relationships that exist between all living things has drawn Whitney Lake to beekeeping. Honey bees are extraordinary creatures and through teaching others Whitney hopes to instill a deeper understanding and appreciation of these amazing creatures.  She completed a Bachelor of Science in the Honours program at Trent University and is now enrolled in the Masters of Education program. In 2014 Whitney founded the Trent Apiary Club, bringing the first hives to the Trent Peterborough campus and then together with Leslie Boileau Whitney formed a swarm removal business called the Swarm Sisters as well as her own business Lake Reflections Apiary.

As a hobby beekeeper she understands the challenges and excitement in taking those first few steps towards having your own apiary. Whitney is committed to working in partnership to share information, develop good husbandry and sustainable practices in agriculture. Primarily she believes in a world where we can co-exist with all things on this land.

Online registration is provided through RegOnline, a third-party registration service. An additional charge will be applied by RegOnline in addition to the course fee. Avoid online fees by registering in person at the College Office during business hours with cash or a cheque. Traill College Office is in Scott House and is open Monday to Friday, 9 am - 4 pm.