If you are thinking about becoming a beekeeper, we strongly recommend you take one of the introductory courses offered in the area. While keeping bees is a fun, exciting and fulfilling experience, getting started can be overwhelming and confusing. Understanding bee biology, navigating the myriad of choices in equipment and starting to develop you own philosophy are among the outcomes of a good bee class. Click the link above to access the list.
One of the problems we’ve noted with many introductory beekeeping classes is that the information for the whole year is condensed into one day, hence the reason we have decided to offer a beginning class that spans the first year. Our class is designed to give your the right information at the right time and serves to guide beginners through their first year. Click the link above to access the class details and registration form.
Our advanced beekeeping class is focused toward individuals who have kept bees at least one year and who are looking to gain a deeper understanding of the honey bee and their management. Click the link above to access the class details and registration form.
Handouts for Garden Expo and Classes
- Getting Started with Honey Bees presentation handout
- Pollinators at Risk presentation handout
- Beginner Equipment Needs handout
- Equipment Explained handout
- Hive Configurations handout
- Honey Bee Types handout
- Buying Bees – Packages vs. Nucs
- Nucs – Questions to Ask the Producer
- Wisconsin Plants for Bees handout
- Sugar vs. Corn Syrup handout
- Honeybee Pests and Diseases handout
- Dysentery in Honeybees handout
- Honeybee Medications Explained handout
- Wintering Hives handout
- Beekeeper Calendar handout
- Hive Inspection Sheet handout
- Powdered Sugar Roll Comments handout
- Varroa Mite Sampling handout
- Spring Management Part 1- Population Dynamics and Varroa Control handout
- Spring Management Part 2- Swarm Management and Splits handout
- Winter Deadout Evaluation Guide
- Lighting a Smoker
- Rock County Disease and Pest Presentation
- Marathon County Pest Presentation
- Walworth County – Honey Harvesting
- Tracheal Mites
- Sauk/Columbia – Late Summer Management, Winter Preparation
www.madbees.org – Dane County Beekeepers Association
Interested in networking with fellow beekeepers? Not a beekeeper, but interested in bees? Then the DCBA is the group for you.
For those outside of the Madison area, we have compiled a list of beekeeping clubs and associations throughout the state. Click the link above to access the list.
www.wihoney.org – Wisconsin Honey Producers Association
The WHPA promotes the use of honey and hive products, as well as research into beekeeping problems and issues. The WHPA provides a good connection to other regional, state and national beekeeping organizations.
The WHPA Spring District meetings are a way to connect with other beekeepers in one of the eight geographical regions, share information and learn new things. The meetings will be starting in early February and run through April.
www.Honey.com – National Honey Board
The National Honey Board is a federal research and promotion board under USDA oversight that conducts research, marketing and promotion programs to help maintain and expand markets for honey and honey products.
www.abfnet.org – American Beekeeping Federation
The ABF is a national organization with about 1,000 members that continually works in the interest of all beekeepers, large or small, and those associated with the industry to ensure the future of the honey bee.
www.americanhoneyproducers.org – American Honey Producers
The American Honey Producers Association is an organization dedicated to promoting the common interest and general welfare of the American honey producer. It is the only national beekeeping organization that reserves voting rights for beekeepers.
Universities with Bee Research Facilities
Beelab – University of Minnesota Bee Lab
The goal of bee research at the University of Minnesota is to promote the health of bee pollinators. The University offers a number of courses of interest to beekeepers, including a Fundamental of Beekeeping course, an Advanced Beekeeping course and a Queen Rearing course. We’ve had the privilege to take all of these courses over the years and they are excellent!
- Honey Bee Program – University of Georgia
- Harry J. Laidlaw Jr. Bee Research Facility – University of California
- Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research – Penn State University
- Robinson Laboratory – University of Illinois
- Honey Bee Research and Extension – University of Florida
- Carl Hayden Bee Research Center – USDA-ARS
Bee Health – Native and Non-native pollinators
beeinformed.org – Bee Informed Partnership
The Bee Informed Partnership is an extension project that endeavors to decrease the number of honey bee colonies that die over the winter.
www.extension.org/bee_health – Bee Health Extension
University of Wisconsin Extension – lots of publications related to bee health and nutrition
www.xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/ – Xerces Society – Pollinator Conservation
The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs.
www.pollinator.org – Pollinator Partnership
The Pollinator Partnership’s mission is to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research. Signature initiatives include the NAPPC (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign), National Pollinator Week, and the Ecoregional Planting Guides.
pfspbees.org – Partners for Sustainable Pollination
The Partners for Sustainable Pollination is pursuing collaborative approaches between farmers, growers, beekeepers and scientists to develop ways to improve health of honey bees in pollination services and support native pollinators.
Scientific Beekeeping – Randy Oliver’s Website
Randy Oliver is a commercial beekeeper in Grass Valley California. He conducts a lot of pratical/applied research on honeybees and has authored a number of articles related to bee health and bee nutrition.
Publications and Trade Journals
www.americanbeejournal.com – American Bee Journal
The American Bee Journal was established in 1861 by Samuel Wagner and has been published continuously since that time, except for a brief period during the Civil War. The Journal has the honor of being the oldest English language beekeeping publication in the world.
www.beeculture.com – Bee Culture
The magazine Of American beekeeping, is designed for beginning, sideline and commercial beekeepers who want the latest information.
www.bee-craft.com – Bee Craft
Bee Craft is the informed voice of British Beekeeping.
www.beesource.com – Beesource Beekeeping Forum
The Beesource Beekeeping website was started in 1997 by a hobbyist beekeeper and became an online community for beekeepers and beekeeping in 1999. It has experienced organic, word of mouth grassroots growth ever since. Today, Beesource.com has over 14,000 registered members and is the most active online beekeeping community of its kind in the world.
Ol’ Buffalo Beekeeping Page – Cedar City Utah
The Ol’ Buffalo Beekeeping Page is a virtual plethora of links to other sites related to beekeeping.
Other Sources of Great Information
www.calamuscreek.com – Calamus Creek Farms
Calamus Creek Farms is a relatively small, family owned farm and apiary located in Columbus, WI. We are committed to high quality products, sustainable practices and community education.
Phenology, Plants and Other Interesting Stuff
NASA and Honey Bees – Goddard Space Flight Center
This site is a compilation of data and research from NASA’s HoneyBeeNet program wherein honey bee foraging and hive weights are tracked in an effort to examine climate change on a national basis.
This site tracks plant and animal phenology throughout the United States
Wisconsin Pest Report – Wisconsin Department of Ag trade and Consumer Protection
Includes weekly updates on corn, soybean, fruit, forest and vegetable pests during the growing season. Also tracks the growing degree days.