MCBA Intermediate Course
Instructor: Dr. Vince Aloyo
This course is designed for beekeepers who have completed Mark Antunes’ beginner classes OR with at least 1 year of experience, with Dr. Aloyo's approval. Below is a rough outline of the course materials. So that the beekeepers can prepare for the following month, the materials are presented a month in advance of when activities are usually needed. However, since we will all be experienced beekeepers, the material will be altered to reflect the participants needs. Seasonally relevant questions will be welcome. When we visit the club’s beehives each beekeeper is required to wear a veil.
When: 2022 Fouth (4th) Wednesday of each month from February through September, 6 pm to 9 pm.
Where: Classes will be held on zoom for February and March then held in person from April - September at the Montgomery County 4H Center.
Cost: $150 per person. Class size is limited and enrollment will be allotted on a first to register-first enrolled basis.
Registration for 2022 classes is now open.
Februray and March classes will be virtual. Classes beginning in April will return to in person instruction.
For everyone's safety, masks will be worn while inside and proof of vaccination and booster is required for this class.
Documentation will be checked at the first class you are admitted to.
February 23rd (Zoom meeting)
Brood rearing has started
Honey bee biology (individual level life cycle)
Seasonality of salt foraging in honey bees (Bonoan 2017)
Sting reaction: allergy testing
Winter to spring: advantage of Spring feeding
Importance of low mite levels in the spring; treatments available
March 23rd (Zoom meeting)
If bees alive, prepare for swarm control
Track 1 bees died, why did they die?
Remove dead bees to reduce mold
Save the combs; consideration irradiation (handout for program)
analyze reason for death (starvation or Varroa; handout)
learn from death so can do better for next year
Only one colony: order replacement bees (package or nuc)
More than one colony: order queen(s) to make split(s) to replace
Track 2 bees alive: prepare for honey flow
Honey bee biology (colony level life cycle)
Swarm control and prevention
Making splits and nucs
April 27 (In person meeting as long as allowed by CDC guidelines. We will visit the clubs bees, weather permitting)
Honey and pollen producing plants
Preparing for the honey flow
The stimulus for wax secretion and comb production
Supering for honey production
May 25 (In person meeting as long as allowed by CDC guidelines. We will visit the clubs bees, weather permitting)
How bees make honey
Medicinal properties of honey
June 22 (In person meeting as long as allowed by CDC guidelines. We will visit the clubs bees, weather permitting)
Varroa monitoring after honey harvest
Integrated pest management for Varroa
July 27 (In person meeting as long as allowed by CDC guidelines. We will visit the clubs bees, weather permitting)
Characteristics of various sub-races of honey bee
August 24 (In person meeting as long as allowed by CDC guidelines. We will visit the clubs bees, weather permitting)
Preparing for winter part 1
Honey bee diseases
September 28 (In person meeting as long as allowed by CDC guidelines. We will visit the club bees, weather permitting)
Over wintering production hives and nucs
Feeding before winter
Feeding during winter
Late mite check and treatments