Beginning Level 2019


Beginning Beekeeping  

The 2020 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.  2020 will be our 16th 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 will give 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.

The class is a lot of fun.  It runs 8 sessions, mostly one day per week.  In addition to the classroom work, the class also includes 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.  (2020 will be near that amount)

In 2019, we ran 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.  In 2020, it appears we may not be keeping the Marshall class, but this isn't final.  

In 2019, the class was taught as follows. 

>>> Mondays, 7-9pm, beginning February 11 @ The Virginia Arboretum at Blandy Farm, in the Library. 

>>> Tuesdays, 7-9pm, beginning February 12 @ the Marshall Community Center.

>>> Thursday, 7-9pm, beginning February 14 @ the Virginia Tech Research Farm, 595 Laurel Grove Road, Winchester.

>>> Saturdays, 10am-noon, beginning February 16 @ Shenandoah University (Henkel Hall, Room 223).

Please also be aware that getting started in beekeeping is not cheap. The costs include the class ($120 - this includes club membership for one year), purchase of hive woodenware and protective gear, as well as bees to put into your hives. 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