Big Island Beekeepers Association Hosts Hands-on Training Class for Existing and New Beekeepers

How do honeybees learn?
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How do honeybees learn?

If you are an existing or new beekeeper, and are interested in learning how to raise hygienic hives that will be able to better defend against the pests that are currently decimating bee populations throughout the State of Hawaii, then please plan to attend the BIBA Hygienic Queen Selection class, taught by master bee keeper Jeff Ritchie of Winding Road Apiaries of North Carolina.  This hands-on class will be held in the Pahoa area of the Big Island, beginning on Wednesday 2/8/12 and extending thru Thursday 2/19/12.

The agenda is as follows:


Day 1, Wed 2/8/12 –  Orientation, hygienic testing of colonies, setting up cell builders – 8 hrs.

Day 2, Thurs 2/9/12 –  Identifying hygienic bees, grafting from the best. – 8 hrs.

Day 3, Fri 2/10/12 –  Checking grafts / cull cells – 2.5 hrs.

Day 4-8, Sat 2/11/12 thru Wed 2/15/12 –  Feeding cell builders if necessary, and checking for webbing in the cell bars.  – 2 hrs.

Day 9, Thurs 2/16/12 –  Make-up mating nuclei at selected yards. – 2 hrs.

Day 10, Fri 2/17/12 –  Feed nuclei if needed. – 1 hr.

Day 11, Sat 2/18/12 –  Pull grafted cells from cell builders and put them into incubators, check mating nuclei for queen cells and destroy them. – 2 hrs.

Day 12, Sun 2/19/12 –  Place grafted cells into mating nuclei. – 2 hrs.

•             14-16 days later check for mated queens.

Due to the duration of this course, it may not be possible for all students to attend all days.  Days 1 thru 3 should be considered mandatory for all students.  Days 4 thru 12 are recommended for existing beekeeper/yard owners, but all enrolled students are welcome.  Days 4 thru 12 will be videotaped, so that any students who are unable to attend all class sessions, can still obtain the desired training online.

The cost for this intensive hands-on training is only $75/person, with a 15 person maximum class size.  If you are interested, please don’t delay in making your reservation, as this is a one-time opportunity, and once all seats are filled, additional students will not be accepted.  Please contact Val Kimbrough at 769-1320 for further information, or to reserve your spot today.