Getting Started with Beekeeping – How to get educated

There are literally thousands of materials that you can find on the internet to learn about beekeeping. The amount of information can be daunting. For the beginning beekeeper the Brown County Beekeepers Association recommends four major avenues for learning.

Beginning Beekeeping Classes

In Northeast Wisconsin there are a number of beginning beekeeping classes. The Brown County Beekeepers Association conducts an Introduction to Beekeeping Class in in January or February each year. The most current information can be found here, which is generally updated in September of each year. Let It Bee in Greenville, WI conducts classes around the same time of year.

Join a Club / Network with Experienced Beekeepers

Most beekeeping clubs provide education at their meetings – you should check it out before joining. Brown County Beekeepers Association prides itself on monthly education. You are welcome to attend a meeting or two before deciding to join. Most bee clubs are run by experienced beekeepers and, in general, they love to talk about beekeeping which means you can network with them. Develop a relationship with one and ask if they will be your mentor.

If possible, set up some time to have coffee or lunch with other beekeepers to discuss what’s happening in your hive and theirs, to discuss goals, conferences and new beekeeping information.

YouTube Videos

As a new beekeeper or beekeeper wanna-be you need to be careful with the information you find on YouTube. Some YouTube’s are advanced and some are just plain WRONG. With YouTube, remember, you might get what you paid for-nothing of value. With all of this said, here are a few recommendation from the Brown County Beekeepers Association.

New Bee University has some very good videos.  They are easy to follow and align closely with the teaching’s of Brown County Beekeepers Association.

The Beginning Beekeeping video by David Burns is excellent place to start your education. David Burns is a master beekeeper from Illinois and has some nice videos. A good place to start is with this Beginning Beekeeping video.

Books, Books, and More Books

There are so many books available, some are basic and some are very advanced with in-depth information.  Two books that are great for the beginning beekeeper are highlighted below. These two are great at guiding a beekeeper through the activities needed to manage a hive throughout the year. You can do a Google search for the best beekeeping books. Here is one such list for 2023.

Check out The Beekeeper’s Handbook by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile.

Beekeeping Basics by Penn State University is a great book with which to start. Below is an extract from the book.

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