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. Weather permitting we will start the class with a visit to the club’s beehives. Beekeepers should bring questions and a their usual beekeeping attire (but at least a veil).
When: 2020 Classes will be from 6 pm to 9 pm the fourth (4th) Wednesday of each month starting in February and ending in September (2/26, 3/25, 4/22, 5/27, 6/24, 7/22, 8/26 and 9/23).
Where: Meetings will be held at the Montgomery County 4H center in the Maple room.
Cost: $150 per person. Class size is limited and enrollment will be allotted on a first to register-first enrolled basis.
Registration for 2021 classes will be opening soon. Don't miss out!
February (No visit to bee yard)
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 (No visit to bee yard)
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 to make split to replace
Track 2 bees alive: prepare for honey flow
Honey bee biology (colony level life cycle)
Swarm control and prevention
April (Weather permitting; visit apiary to check colonies)
Honey and pollen producing plants
Preparing for the honey flow
The stimulus for wax secretion and comb production
Supering for honey production
May (Weather permitting; visit apiary to check colonies)
How bees make honey
Medicinal properties of honey
Varroa monitoring after honey harvest
Integrated pest management for Varroa
Characteristics of various sub-races of honey bee
Preparing for winter part 1
Honey bee diseases
Over wintering production hives and nucs
Feeding before winter
Feeding during winter
Late mite check and treatments