Beginning Level 2021


Beginning Beekeeping  

The 2021 Class is accepting new students

Let's Raise Bees!

If you are interested in the
read on...


Beekeepers of the Northern Shenandoah (BONS) sponsors a class each year in Beginning Beekeeping.   The class is taught only once per year, in the early spring months (Feb-April).  This timing works best for the bees.  2021 will be our 17th year teaching this class locally - the class has become extremely popular. 

The BONS Beginning Beekeeping class is taught parallel to similar classes that are taught this time of year across Virginia. We are part of the Virginia Beekeeping Teaching Consortium. BONS serves Frederick and Clarke Counties, Winchester, and the northern reaches of Shenandoah, Warren and Fauquier Counties.

There is a lot to learn to be successful with Honey Bees.  The Beginning Beekeeping class gives you all the information you need to get through your first year or so of beekeeping.  We help you understand how a bee colony functions, what woodenware and protective gear to buy, how to build the hives, how to deal with diseases, and how to manage your bees to (hopefully) produce honey.

In 2021, the class will be at last partly online.  It runs 8 sessions, mostly one day per week.  In addition to the class work, we will have two part days that are practical and hands-on.  These will be on Saturdays, in mid-March and mid-April (specific dates TBA) - please save these days in your calendar.  In the first, we teach you how to build strong and durable hive equipment.  In the second, we work with and inspect live honey bee colonies.  We have a good meal together afterwards.  

The cost of the class for 2019 was $120.00.  (2021 will be near that amount)

In 2020, we will run the class in four sections, listed below.  New beekeepers attend just one section for the 8 weeks of the class.  The same material is taught to all four sections, but with different instructors.  

We've yet to determine what the dates will be for the 2021 class.  In 2020, the class were be taught as follows:

>>> Saturdays, 10am-noon, beginning February 15 @ Shenandoah University (Henkel Hall, Room 223).

>>> Mondays, 7-9pm, beginning February 17 @ The Virginia Arboretum at Blandy Farm, in the Library. 

>>> Wednesday, 7-9pm, beginning February 19 @ the Marshall Community Center.

>>> Wednesday, 7-9pm, beginning February 19 @ the Virginia Tech Research Farm, 595 Laurel Grove Road, Winchester.


Please also be aware that getting started in beekeeping is not cheap. The class fee is $120.00  ($120 - this includes club membership for one year). The purchase of hive woodenware and protective gear, as well as bees to put into your hives is seperate. In total, first year costs can typically run about $800. Your future yearly costs will be much lower, but getting started takes some funds.

So if you're interested in learning beekeeping, let us know. Please send your name, address and phone number by email, to John Lewis.  We will be back in touch in January. 

To learn more about beekeeping, you can also attend our monthly club meetings, held on the 2nd Thursday of each month.  You would be most welcome.  See elsewhere on the website for details.  Come see what beekeeping is all about!

John Lewis

BONS Education Coordinator