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2018 Beekeeping Series

Bee part of the solution!

Register Here!

 Experience the culture of the honeybee while you learn how to keep your own bees in our series of hands-on classes and labs. 

"This class was INVALUABLE. Tracy is an excellent instructor--very kind and helpful. She provided awesome resources along with helpful contacts and guidance outside of class. I am deeply appreciative and would recommend this class to anyone wishing to learn more about keeping bees." -2016 Student

These workshops are designed to support new beekeepers through their first season of beekeeping. Participants have the opportunity to learn this fascinating skill through an entire season of beekeeping with the support of an experienced instructor and a community of other new beekeepers. 

Beekeeping has become challenging with the advent of the Varroa mite, pesticides, and spread of disease, so it’s important to learn about what you can do to help your bees through an entire season. This series gives you the confidence to get into your hive regularly and discover just what your bees are up to.  

Class materials and methods will focus on the most natural methods for beekeeping, including Top Bar Hives and Langstroth hives (without a foundation), however, all management styles are welcome. Top Bar Hives have proven to be a great system for backyard and small scale hobbyist. Langstroth hives are the most common hives in beekeeping today and should provide you with an excess of honey in your second year 

Class Schedule (descriptions below):

  • Introduction to Beekeeping, Sat. March 10th 9am-12pm 
  • Understanding the Bees, Sat. April 7th 9am-12pm
  • Honeybee Colony Care I, Sat. April 28th 9am-12pm
  • Honeybee Colony Care II, Sat. May 19th 9am-12pm Offsite class, call to register
  • Practical Lab I, Sat. June 9th 9am-1pm  Offsite class
  • Practical Lab II, Sat. July 21st 9am-1pm Offsite class
  • Fall and Winter Care, Sat. August 25th  9am-12pm
  • Honeybees Give Us More than Honey, Sat. Oct. 6th 9am-12pm

Advanced Beekeeping (not part of the series), postponed (date TBA)  - $60

Location: Growing Gardens Greenhouse,1630 Hawthorn Ave, Boulder, CO 80304 (unless otherwise indicated)

Cost: $400 per person for entire series, includes materials and supplies.

Beekeepers with some experience are welcome to register and drop-in to any class for $60.00.

Class Structure:

  • 8 classes, one weekend day per month March - October.

  • 3-hour sessions (with the exception of 3 classes that run for 4 hours) include discussions of current activity in the hive followed by practice and observation in the bee yard.

  • Each class covers new topics and includes dedicated Q&A and troubleshooting time. Informational material is provided at each session.

  • The June 2nd and July 21st sessions are 4-hour practical labs and held off-site. 

The Buzz on our Beekeeping Instructor:

Tracy Bellehumeur has been raising bees for nine years using natural methods in Top Bar and Langstroth hives. She also teaches for the Boulder County Beekeepers Association, specializing in honeybee pests and diseases, Boulder Public Library, and for the Denver Botanical Gardens. She is passionate, enthusiastic and will patiently walk you through all your questions as a first-year beekeeper.  Tracy is also one of the BeeChicas who manages beehives on the roof of the Boulder Public library and offers workshops to all ages through the library, in addition to helping organize the annual Boulder’s Pollinator Appreciation.  More information on Tracy can be found at BeeFarmgirl and BeeChicas on Instagram, and Beechicas.com



We have Top Bar bee hives available for sale! Click here to purchase yours today.

They are handmade by a local craftsman, all proceeds support our programs.


For registration questions, contact Megan at [email protected]

For programming questions, contact Tracy at[email protected]

Growing Gardens Beekeeping Series

Class Schedule and Content Brief

Class 1: Introduction to Beekeeping

Date: Saturday, March 10th  Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

Location: Growing Gardens, 1630 Hawthorn Avenue, Boulder

This class will cover expectations and an introduction to keeping bees in your back yard. We will have an opportunity to meet our fellow beekeepers. There will be demonstration hives (of both Top Bar and Langstroth)  available for inspection and plans for building your own top bar hive.


Class 2: Understanding the Bees (at Growing Gardens)

Date: Saturday, April 7th  Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

Location: Growing Gardens, 1630 Hawthorn Avenue, Boulder

In this class we will focus on basic honeybee biology, the caste and roles of bees that live in a colony and cover the ecology of honeybees. In the lab we will learn about hive preparation, location, how to install packaged bees or swarms, and what to look for in your new expanding colony.


Class 3: Honeybee Colony Care I (at Growing Gardens)

Date: Saturday, April 28th  Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

Location: Growing Gardens, 1630 Hawthorn Avenue, Boulder

In this class, we will share how our colonies are settling in.  You will learn how to handle combs, trouble-shoot problems, manage build-up, and maintain the overall health. The lab will apply the knowledge gained from the class through hands-on beekeeping. 


Class 4: Honeybee Colony Care II 

Date: Saturday, May 19th  Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

Location: St. John's Episcopal Church, 1419 Pine Street, Boulder 

We will review how to maintain healthy colonies and what this looks like, and discuss how to recognize pests and diseases, and what you can do to support your bees. In the lab we will review proper handling of combs, assessing queen vitality and brood development and we will learn how to observe honey flow and colony strength through the seasons.  We will spend the last hour doing a hive inspection at a nearby hive, weather permitting.


Class 5: Practical Lab I *off-site*

Meet at 9am at the greenhouse, then travel to off site lab location.

Date: Saturday, June 9th  Time: 9:00am-1:00pm

In this lab you will have the opportunity to gain confidence and familiarity with honeybees and learn how to work a Top Bar hive successfully (next lab will be a Langstroth hive inspection). In the lab we will review proper handling of combs, assessing queen vitality and brood development and we will learn how to observe honey flow and colony strength through the seasons. 


Class 6: Practical Lab II *off-site* 

Meet at 9am at the greenhouse, then travel to off site lab location.

Date: Saturday, July 21st  Time: 9:00am-1:00pm

This lab will give you a chance to improve your skills and gain more experience handling combs and bees. We will inspect Langstroth hives depending on which type of hives were inspected in Practical Lab 1. We may be able to harvest honey. We will discuss and practice sustainable techniques for monitoring and preventing diseases and parasites.


Class 7: Fall and Winter Care

Date: Saturday, August 25th  Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

Location: Growing Gardens, 1630 Hawthorn Avenue, Boulder

In this class we will review methods and preparations for maintaining a healthy hive. We will also learn alternative honey processing techniques and the steps needed to prepare the hives for winter by demonstrating a variety of winterization techniques unique to top bar hive management.


Class 8: Honeybees Give Us More than Honey

Date: Sunday, October 6th  Time: 9:00am-1:00pm

Location: Growing Gardens, 1630 Hawthorn Avenue, Boulder

Here we will learn how to process wax and how to make mold candles, salves, medicinal honey syrup, honey ointment and lip balms. This practical lab will be devoted to making samples of these various products and enjoying the fruits of your labor. 


Advanced Beekeeping Class for Returning Students

Date: Saturday, March 17th  Time: 9:00am-12:00pm

Location: St. John's Episcopal Church 1419 Pine St, Boulder

Cost: $60

This class is for beekeepers who have overwintered their hives and are wondering what to do next. You will learn how to help prevent crowding and swarming in a Top Bar or Langstroth, and how to make a split to expand your apiary or just to help propagate a good colony. We will also go over spring management practices, how to monitor for potential problems, and how to catch swarms. Be prepared for a slide show and discussion, bring all your questions.


See what our past students had to say about our beekeeping class series:

"I've gained a great deal of confidence which allows me to work in my hive. I understand the life cycle of bees, how to identify a healthy queen, how to identify worker brood, drone brood, workers, drones, queens, how to keep my bees healthy and strong."


"Tracy has been an amazing teacher! She is so eager to share resources with students and is very passionate about bees! She inspires confidence in students!"


"I was already aware of honeybees as pollinators and had already taken a basic beekeeping class through NCBA, but this HANDS ON class was FABULOUS in terms of really developing my practical beekeeping skills and comfort around the bees."


"Tracy has been such a wonderful teacher! Her passion and enthusiasm for bees is infectious and I very much appreciate how available she has been to support students outside of class and her sharing of resources with the students."


Thank you to our Honeybees program sponsors!