- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
The courses, directed by Extension apiculturist Elina Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and taught by her and her staff, will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Laidlaw facility on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. Registration is now underway, and gift certificates are also available.
- Planning Ahead for Your First Hives (25 spots per session)
Participants can sign up for one of two short courses: the first on Saturday, March 11 and the second on Saturday, March 18. The cost is $95. The all-day course will include lectures and hands-on exercises. "This course is perfect for those who have little or no beekeeping experience and would like to obtain more knowledge and practical skills to move on to the next step of owning and caring for their own honey bee colonies," Niño said.
- Working Your Colonies (25 spots per session)
Two separate short courses will be offered: the first on Sunday, March 12, and the second on Sunday, March 19. The cost is $150. The all-day courses are for novice beekeepers who already have a colony or have taken the previous course and want to develop their beekeeping skills further. Participants will learn how to inspect their colony and how to troubleshoot, as well as glean information on products of the hive. The afternoon will be spent entirely in the apiary with hands-on activities and demonstrations.
- Queen Rearing Techniques Short Course (16 spots per session)
The Niño lab will be offering two separate two-day courses: the first course on Saturday and Sunday, April 14-15, and the second on Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23. The cost is $375. Each course will include lectures on queen biology and rearing, as well as extensive hands-on exercises. This course is designed for those who have some beekeeping experience and would like to move on to the next step of rearing their own queens and bee breeding.
- Varroa Management Strategies (25 spots per session)
Two separate courses will be offered: the first on Saturday, May 13, and the second on Saturday, May 27. The cost is $175. Course description: Current beekeeping challenges call for all beekeepers to have a solid understanding of varroa mite biology and management approaches. Participants will dive deeper into understanding varroa biology and discussing pros and cons of ways to monitor, mitigate and manage this pest.
- Bee Breeding (25 spots per session)
This is a one-day course, to be held Sunday, June 11. The cost is $75. Course description: This course complements the queen-rearing techniques course. Participants will learn the intricacies of honey bee genetics along with honey bee races and breeder lines. "We will also have an in-depth discussion of various breeding schemes," Niño said.