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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!

Course Outline:

 February  (No visit to bee yard)

Brood rearing has started

            Honey bee biology (individual level life cycle)
                        Nutrition (pollen)
                        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

                        Making splits


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

                        Extracted honey

                        Comb honey


May (Weather permitting; visit apiary to check colonies)

            How bees make honey

            Harvesting honey

            Medicinal properties of honey



            Varroa monitoring after honey harvest

            Integrated pest management for Varroa



            Characteristics of various sub-races of honey bee

            Making splits

            Mating behavior



            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


Serving Montgomery, Bucks and surrounding counties in Pennsylvania, the MCBAPA is an association of hobbyist and professional beekeepers. Our mission is to provide education, hands-on training, support and fellowship in all aspects of beekeeping. Both experienced beekeepers and novices participate in our monthly meetings, field trips and social events.

Our meetings are held at:

Montgomery County 4-H Center
1015 Bridge Road (Route 113)
Skippack, PA 19426

General membership meetings are usually held the 4th Thursday of the month at 7 pm, but please check our calendar.

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