Undoubtedly one of the most engaging aspects of Queen B is being a part of the beekeeping community and learning about bees, honey, beeswax, flora, fauna, drought and flooding rains, native bees and beekeepers... 20 years in and I barely feel like Ive scratched the surface. The more I know, the more I realise I dont know and the more I want to know.
So, with today being the start of Spring I thought it may be timely to do a post on a few of the courses available to learn about bees and beekeeping. If youre going to be caretaker for a hive of bees (which means up to 100,000 of them at the height of summer), then you need to know how to look after them.
I started my lifelong learning about bees by doing a beekeeping course through OTEN (a division of TAFE). This course no longer appears to be offered having just looked at their website.
There is a Cert III in Beekeeping available through Tocal Agricultural College but with an estimated cost of almost $7,000 it doesnt appear to be aimed at novice or hobby beekeepers.
You will find the NSW Amateur Beekeepers Association here, and Id imagine most states have this. They 30 affiliated clubs with some great resources and field days where you can chat to experienced beekeepers.
Or today I was emailed information from the team at Flow Hive about and online beekeeping course theyre offering via TheBeekeeper.org. It looks really interesting and at just $29 per month (cancellable any time) it also looks affordable. They have a few sample videos up which look professionally done (versus some of the other online material available) and are currently offering a month free.
In the interests of clarity or for those of you who dont know us well yet, we have no interest in and receive no benefit or kickback from telling you about any of these resources or courses.
If you do an online course, I would still strongly recommend getting some practical experience either through your local Amateur club or even offer your services for free online (say Gumtree) in return for experience. You wont regret it.