The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will offer two Beekeeping 101 courses, one in person in San Antonio on March 24 and one online April 3-4 and April 10-11.

The cost is $65 in person and $45 for the online course. Participants can register at Registering for the in-person session will also include access to the online courses, which will be recorded.

The March 24 event will be from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the AgriLife Extension office in Bexar County, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208. The online courses will be held each of the four days in April from 6-8 p.m. Online attendees will receive a packet of beekeeping resources by mail; in-person participants will receive their packet on the day of training.

The course includes hands-on training with bees and hives during an optional field day at a beekeeping location in the San Antonio area.

“This course includes an optional, but highly recommended, field day in an apiary,” said Molly Keck, AgriLife Extension entomologist, Bexar County, and course instructor. “This hands-on field day to a beekeeper’s yard will be where you really will learn the most about beekeeping.”

Tentative field day dates for in-person participants are March 26-27. April 7-8 are the expected field day dates for online attendees. Participants will need to live or be willing to travel to the San Antonio area for the field day.

Suits and gloves will be provided for those participating in the apiary visit. The field days are weather dependent and subject to change; participants must be 16 or older. More information will be provided after registration.

For additional information, contact Keck at [email protected] or call 210-631-0400.

Beekeeping 101 topics

The course will help newcomers learn the basics to start a beekeeping journey. It will cover what to wear, what equipment to purchase, how to set up the apiary, common pests and diseases, and what a typical year looks like for a beekeeper, Keck said.

Both the online and in-person courses will also discuss the following topics:

  • Honeybee Biology: Learn the lifecycle of the honeybees, lifecycle of the hive, caste system and subspecies of honeybees. By understanding the biology of bees, you can better understand what is happening inside and how to manage the hive.
  • Beekeeping Basics: The basics for beekeeping, including what to purchase, what suit options are best, how to construct a hive, where to place your hive, and considerations for food and nectar.
  • Purchasing and Installing Bees — What to Expect the First Year: Options for purchasing bees and how to install them. What you should be seeing with your bees through the seasons, how to know if they are hungry or stressed and how to remedy that, how to feed bees, and how and when to remove honey.
  • Pest Risks for Honeybees, Honey Extraction and Resources: Honeybees may be plagued by many stresses and pests. This lesson will cover how to manage and identify those pests, including varroa mite management options and monitoring, fire ant control, hive beetles, wax moths and more.
  • Susan Himes is a writer and media relations specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife. She writes news releases and features from science-based information generated by the agency. She also covers human interest stories and events across the state.
  • Floating Vimeo Video