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. Due to the ongoing pandemic we will not be able to meet in person and will not be able to visit the clubs beehive. When available, videos will be substituted for actual beehive visits. Once COVID permits, perhaps later in the year we will be able to return to in person meeting or at least be able to meet outside at the clubs beehives weather permitting. Once we are able to visit the club’s beehives, each beekeeper is required to wear a veil.
When: 2021 Until further notice, classes will be held on zoom from 6 pm to 9 pm the fourth (4th) Wednesday of each month (except July). Classes start February 24 and end in September 22. Classes meet 2/24, 3/24, 4/228 5/26, 6/23, 7/21**, 8/18 and 9/22. **Note: Our July meeting is the third Wednesday of the month.
Where:Meetings will be online (zoom) until further notice. Once we are allowed to meet in person, meeting with be held 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 2021 classes is CLOSED.
Classes will be virtual until the pandemic allows a return to in person instruction.
February (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 (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 (Zoom meeting)
Honey and pollen producing plants
Preparing for the honey flow
The stimulus for wax secretion and comb production
Supering for honey production
May (Zoom meeting unless we are allowed to meet in person. If in person meeting we will visit the clubs bees, weather permitting)
How bees make honey
Medicinal properties of honey
June (Zoom meeting unless we are allowed to meet in person. If in person meeting we will visit the clubs bees, weather permitting)
Varroa monitoring after honey harvest
Integrated pest management for Varroa
July (Zoom meeting unless we are allowed to meet in person. If in person meeting we will visit the clubs bees, weather permitting)
Characteristics of various sub-races of honey bee
August (Zoom meeting unless we are allowed to meet in person. If in person meeting we will visit the clubs bees, weather permitting)
Preparing for winter part 1
Honey bee diseases
September (Zoom meeting unless we are allowed to meet in person. If in person meeting we will visit the clubs bees, weather permitting)
Over wintering production hives and nucs
Feeding before winter
Feeding during winter
Late mite check and treatments