I recently attended a “Welcome to Beginner Beekeeping” class through the Boise School’s Community Education program. This class was hosted by two very experienced beekeepers that are also fellow Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club members and friends of mine – Kevin and Jeff. These gentlemen remind me of Marley and Marely from the muppets. They banter with one another like brothers, interrupt and finish each other’s sentences, and unintentionally put on quite the stand-up comedy show. Their demeanor and teaching style makes learning about beekeeping fun!

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I took all of the Boise State Rooftop Bee Farm interns to this class, as this will be their first spring season working with bees. The information Kevin and Jeff shared was new, exciting, and informative for the interns. But, even I left with something I didn’t know before! I find that I learn the most about beekeeping from live classes, watching an experienced beekeeper work their hive, and through mentorship. Books and articles are great supplements, but nothing compares to seeing it live and being able to ask questions.

Therefore, I encourage you to put the following events on your calendar!

Saturday, Feb. 28 from 10 a.m.-noon: “Build It And They Will Come!” One of the cheapest ways to buy beekeeping equipment is to buy unassembled hive pieces and put it together yourself. Good news is – it’s not rocket science, and anyone with a hammer, nails, and some wood glue can do it! This class is free and designed for beginners. Bring your unassembled hives and use this class to build them with the help of Kevin, one of the best “beeks” around! (“Beek” is a beekeeping “geek”). The class is held at Kevin’s awesome home at 3555 Warm Springs Ave.
Thursday, March 6 from 6-8:30 p.m: another “Welcome to Beginner Beekeeping” class with Jeff and Kevin! There is a small fee associated with this class, but it is 100% worth it! This class will be held at Hillside Jr. High. Sign up online at http://www.boiselearns.org/pub/.
Wednesday, March 11 from 7-8:30 p.m: I will be teaching a Beginning Beekeeper class! I will address the basic biology of the honey bee, the basic equipment needed to get started, and management at a glance. This class is great for anyone interested in getting started with bee hives this springs, but will also be helpful for those in their first or second year of beekeeping. This class is free and will be hosted at the Caldwell Library. Call the Caldwell library at 459-3242 (not D&B) to register.

Tuesday, March 17 from 6:30-8 p.m: Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club monthly meeting. These meetings provide an excellent network of beginning to experience beeks, which is the most valuable resource when learning! These meetings always address “what should we be doing now” tasks, which can greatly assist you in your first few years. These meetings are held at the Idaho Outdoor Association hall at 3401 Brazil St. in Boise. It’s a MUST attend monthly event for anyone interested in effectively managing honey bees.

Attending educational classes is helpful to any new or experienced beek. There is always something new to learn. The Treasure Valley has some of the most considerate, helpful, and knowledgeable beeks around! So get out there and take advantage from the knowledge they are willing to share.
Keep your bees buzzin’ y’all!

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