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2018 WSBA Beginner beekeeper Class February 27 - April 3

The 2018 West Sound Bees Beginning Beekeeper Class will consist of 6 lecture sessions and one hands-on session. The 6 lecture sessions will held on Tuesday evenings February 27 through April 3 from 6 to 8pm. The lecture sessions are approximately 2 hours in length and do include a short break in the middle. The hands-on session will be held at multiple times in small groups. The hands-on session will likely be Saturdays April 1 and/or April 7 at 10am and 12 noon. The hands-on sessions will be approximately 2 hours. This hands-on session will cover getting ready to open the hive, lighting a smoker, a basic hive inspection and tour of the hive. It is a great opportunity to get past the reading and start with the doing. Please bring your questions. If the apiary is populated and the weather cooperates, we hope to have you inspecting a hive, or at least watching if you are still not quite ready.

It is also advisable to attend one of the hive packaging demos on the day package bees are available At Stedman's Bee Supply at the association apiary. This is likely to bee from 9am to 12noon on April 14 or 21. The date may vary depending upon the package bee arrival date which is dependent upon the spring weather in northern California. As most of our members purchase package bees through Stedman's Bee Supply, this works well to watch a demo, pick up your bees, and go try it at home.

The lecture sessions will be held at Silverdale United Methodist Church 9982 Silverdale Way NW, Silverdale, WA. The Hands-on sessions will be held at Stedman's Bee Supplies located at 3763 NW Anderson Hill Road, Silverdale, WA

If you or your family is interested in learning about bees and possibly getting an hive of honeybees, then this is the class for you. No prior knowledge of farming or beekeeping is required. This class is where you can get started.

The cost of the Beginner beekeeping class for 2018 is $60. The whole family can attend the lectures for the one price. In addition to the information you will absorb during the lectures and hands-on session, you also receive a renewable one year family membership in the West Sound Beekeepers Association ($20 value) and A beginning beekeeper study booklet ($15 value). If you successfully complete the 10 section exam as part of the class, you will receive an apprentice beekeeper certificate and patch ($20 value) through the Washington State Beekeepers Association ($20 value). Additional booklets may be purchased at the $15 cost if your family wants more than a single book. If multiple members are getting certified it will cost an additional $20 for each additional member taking the test to cover the cost of certificates and patches. In becoming a member of the West Sound Bee Association you get access to the association's library, meetings, apiary activities, yahoo group, and most importantly access to the members willing to share their beekeeping knowledge.

This class will teach you what is necessary to get started in beekeeping. It follows the Washington State Bee Association Booklet mostly but has been expanded somewhat to include additional useful information. There are many optional methods to approach beekeeping and an unlimited number of conflicting opinions. We hope to help you find the best path for your beekeeping adventures.

Surplus funds raised by this class go toward funding other West Sound Bee Association activities such as expanding the reading library, funding the apiary for supporting the hands on lab and other classes, funding the student grant, or one of many other activities sponsored by the West Sound Bee Association. It is hoped that class attendees will participate in many of the association activities this year and continue to be an active member of the association in future years so they develop into accomplished beekeepers.

In addition to this Beginning Class, we also have some hands-on classes, and some more advanced classes later in the year. I would encourage you to take all of the classes you can fit into your schedule and your budget for the first year. By the time the more advance classes come around, you will be ready to build on the knowledge you have already obtained.

Click for Class Registration Form

Click for Class Flyer

Click for Membership Form

The schedule is as follows (modified 1/14/17) The topics may shift around a bit.
  • Tue Feb 27 6pm - 8pm - Session 1 - Class overview, Bee and Hive life cycles, Honeybee and her products, hive types, First year in the apiary
  • Tue Mar 06 6pm - 8pm - Session 2 - Beekeeping Equipment, Making a start in beekeeping, spring management
  • Tue Mar 13 6pm - 8pm - Session 3 - Spring management, Swarm management
  • Tue Mar 20 6pm - 8:30pm - Session 4- Honeybee Mites /Association meeting (presentation TBA)
  • Tue Mar 27 6pm - 8pm - Session 5 - Honeybee diseases and pests, Summer management and Honey Production, Fall Management
  • Sat Mar 31 10am - noon - Hands-on sesssion (Group A) (bring bee suit/veil, smoker, hive too)
  • Sat Mar 31 noon - 2pm - Hands-on sesssion (Group B) (bring bee suit/veil, smoker, hive too)
  • Tue Apr 03 6pm - 8pm - Session 6 - Queen Rearing, pollination, hive product marketing, yearly recap, Becomming a complete beekeeper, Class closeout
  • Sat Apr 07 10am - noon - Hands-on sesssion (Group C) (bring bee suit/veil, smoker, hive too)
  • Sat Apr 07 noon - 2pm - Hands-on sesssion (Group D) (bring bee suit/veil, smoker, hive too)

  • Sat April 14 or 21 (est) - Package Arrival Day, Demos 10-12. (- remember to order packages between TBD through Stedman Bee Supplies)

2018 Monthly - Regular West Sound Beekeepers Association meetings are at 7:00p.m. on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at Stedman's Bee Supplies located at 3763 NW Anderson Hill Road, Silverdale, Washington. (The August meeting takes the form of a picnic and the December meeting takes the form of a dinner party.) The meetings start with announcements followed by questions and discussions of bees and beekeeping. We then usually have a short break followed by a presentation of some sort. We need schedule our presentations in advance so we can list them here:

  • 2018
  • Tue Jan 16 7pm - Dana Schack and Debra Langley-Boyer :AZ hives
  • Tue Feb 20 7pm -
  • Tue Mar 20 6pm - March only - special location: Silverdale United Methodist Church 9982 Silverdale Way NW, Silverdale, WA (Meeting incorporated into the Beginner class)
  • Tue Apr 17 7pm -
  • Tue May 15 7pm -
  • Tue Jun 19 7pm -
  • Tue Jul 17 7pm -
  • Sat Aug 19 Noon til 4pm - Picnic (no presentation)
  • Tue Sep 18 7pm -
  • Tue Oct 16 7pm - Annual Meeting (Elections, Budget Approval)
  • Tue Nov 20 7pm -
  • Tue Dec 18 6pm - Dinner (Potluck Dinner/Auction/Party)..oh yea...Silverdale United Methodist Church 9982 Silverdale Way NW, Silverdale, WA

2018 Monthly Apiary activities Prior to Regular West Sound Beekeepers Association meetings (see above) As daylight and weather permits, beekeeper volunteers will be available in the association apiary prior to the association meetings. We hope to use this time to assist you with questions or problems you may be having in your own apiary. If you have not questions but need more time in the apiary with bees, that works well. Stop by and take advantage of these great opportunities.

We are hoping to get a few volunteers to help with this effort and become apiary assistants. If hives need any maintenance, we may be able to accomplish some of that as well. Apiary assistants are needed will all levels of experience and knowledge. This is one of the opportunities we added in 2014. We hope this will be well attended and can be fully supported so it can be a very beneficial resource for our members. It is recommended you bring and wear a veil when participating in events in the apiary. We may put together planned topics for some of the activities, as we do we will add details below and/or send a notice out to the yahoo group or facebook group page.

Apiary events

  • Tue Apr 17 5:30pm - Apiary Activities before the meeting...(weather permitting)
  • Tue May 15 5:30pm - Apiary Activities before the meeting...(rain or shine)
  • Tue Jun 19 5:30pm - Apiary Activities before the meeting...(rain or shine)
  • Tue Jul 17 5:30pm - Apiary Activities before the meeting...(rain or shine)
  • Tue Sep 18 5:30pm - Apiary Activities before the meeting...(rain or shine) e expanding for 2014.
2018 Hands-on classes

The hands-on classes are not yet scheduled nor finalized for 2018. Below is a notional list of classes and the approximate time frame. As we finalize the list and establish a schedule, the below list will be updated and we will likely send out notification to current paid association members.

Hands-on Class 1: Spring Inspections. Three session class intended help get beginning beekeepers comfortable with basic hive inspection which includes: Getting prepared, Apiary Safety, Starting a smoker, opening a hive, using a hive tool effectively, inspecting a hive, knowing what to look for and recording the inspection. The inspection process will be repeated for two or three session each having slight variations as the awareness and skill of the student improves. This class is an extension of the class provided as part of the beginner class and will be both beneficial to the students and beneficial to the hives in the apiary being inspected and maintained.

Dates: mid April - early May

Hands-on Class 2: Swarm management and Inspecting to prevent swarms. One session class learn how to recognize a hive getting ready to swarm and second, to take action to best satisfy the goals of the beekeeper and the bees which may be at odds with each other. One session will provide a method of swarm control where the goal is to keep the hive large and in the hive to collect honey rather than flying away. One session will provide a method of swarm control where the goal will be to divide the colony into 2 or more colonies to avoid the swarm flying away.

Dates: mid May

Hands-on Class 3: Queen Rearing for Hobbyists. The WSBA queen rearing class in 2018 will focus on the process of queen rearing for the hobby beekeeper who has but a couple of hives. This class will consist of 12 sessions focusing on the practical aspects of queen rearing from a hands on approach. Both a grafting and non-grafting method of growing queens will be covered. Over the course of a month, students will be making up walk away splits, swarm boxes, and grafting bee larva to produce queen cells for the purpose of growing queens. As a final class project, a cloak board hive will be set up to support an attempt growing a large number of queen cells to be ready on the third Tuesday of June. Students will be encouraged to bring in desirable larva to graft from this final project. Due to the repetitive learning process being used, students will not miss much content if some of the sessions cannot be attended. Students will be provided with a nuc box so they can follow the the class steps in their apiary at home to produce 2 queens following the same process as the class. Individual classes will be from 1 to 2 hours in length.

Click for Class Registration Form

Below are the primary topics of each meeting.

Dates: Class prep dates for instructor and assistants:
  • Sat May12 noon : split/swarmbox test setup
  • Tues May15 5pm : pollen trap install, grafting practice
Dates: Class dates for students:
  • Thur May 17 6pm : Class overview presentation, handouts, homework assignments
  • Sat May 19 11am: walkaway 1 setup / Swarm box 1 setup
  • Tues May 22 5pm: walkaway 1 and swarmbox1 check / grafting practice (0-1) (m31)
  • Sat May 26 11am: Grafting for Swarmbox1 / nuc box 1 final adjustments
  • Tues May 29 5pm: walkaway 2 setup / Swarmbox2 setup and graft (j7), assess swarmbox1
  • Sat June 2 11am: walkaway 3 setup / Swarmbox3 setup and grafting / check 2 boxes (j11)
  • Tues June 5 5pm: cloak hive setup, assess swarmbox2 results
  • Sat June 9 11am: cloak hive reconfigure
  • Sun June 10 11am: cloak hive grafting (j19), assess warmbox3 results
  • Tue June 12 5pm: graft check
  • Sat June 16 11am: graft check, class assessment,
  • Tues June 19 5pm ripe queen cell harvest from cloak hive.

Hands-on Class 4: Making Nucleus Hives. A session class. It may be a stretch to call this one a class. We have queens coming in and will be harvesting resources from colonies to make up nucleus hives. We will be finding strong colonies, finding and caging the queens, transferring resources to make up nucleus hives, and then introducing queens. This is a great learn by doing class to gain confidence in handling bees and finding queens. This class will be several hours in length.

Dates: Saturday July 7 6pm (this is a several days prior to the expected palmer queen arrival.)

Hands-on Class 5: Inspection and manipulation of Alternative (Non-Langstroth) Hives: A 1 2, or 3 session class. This class will focus on horizontal(kenyan) and vertical(Warre) top bar hives, A-Z hives. Focus of the class will be limited to hive types available in the apiary.

Dates: early July

Hands-on Class 6: Summer Hive Assessment. A One session class covering summer summer hive inspections,Honey removal, mite load monitoring, feeding, splitting, re-queening, etc. The nectar flow is soon to end so now is the time to assess the hive for options while they are still happy and cooperative. Productive hive can be allowed to continue but now is a good time to make better use of the non-productive hives or at least determine why they are non-productive.

Dates: Dates: Saturday July 7 9am

Hands-on Class 7: Honey removal and processing. A One session class removing excess honey, extracting the honey, and bottling the honey. We hope to remove some of the mystery around honey processing.

Dates: mid July

Hands-on Class 8: Fall Hive Assessment and Winter preparation. I consider this the most important class to take to avoid winter loss of your bees. This class covers a systematic method to inspect your hive to assess its current condition and determine what action needs to be taken to get it winter ready by mid September. You will watch an assessment, and pair up to perform an assessment on an association hive. Items of importance are the queen, brood, hive health, population, food storage, space.

Dates: early August

2018 WSBA Board Meetings are at 6:00p.m. on the 3st Tuesday of every month at Stedman's Bee Supplies located at 3763 NW Anderson Hill Road, Silverdale, Washington. For 2018, the Board Meetings will be held an hour prior to the regular general meeting and will be limited to 45 minutes so they do not disrupt the begin of the general meeting. All members are invited to come early to the general meeting and attend the board meetings and participate in the discussions to help steer the association's activities and events in a direction you would like to see it go. If you have grand ideas or plans or simply have some time to kill, please stop by. If you do not have grand ideas but have some time, the board might be able to find some fun or exciting tasks to send your way.

  • Tue, Jan 16 6:00pm Board Meeting (finalize schedule for the year)
  • Tue, Feb 20 6:00pm Board Meeting (Final Preparations for beginner class)
  • Tue, Mar 20 6:00pm Board Meeting (Apiary Preparations)
  • Tue, Apr 17 6:00pm Board Meeting (Spring Events focus)
  • Tue, May 15 6:00pm Board Meeting ()
  • Tue, Jun 19 6:00pm Board Meeting ()
  • Tue, Jul 17 6:00pm Board Meeting (Summer Events focus, Assign Budget Committee)
  • No Board Meeting in August ()
  • Tue, Sep 18 6:00pm Board Meeting (prep for elections/next budget)
  • Tue, Oct 16 6:00pm Board Meeting ()
  • Tue, Nov 20 6:00pm Board Meeting (New officers, begin planning for next year)
  • No Board Meeting in December
2018 - For Teens interested in Beekeeping ...West Sound Bee Association is offering two study grants worth up to $200.00 each to pay for bee equipment, bees, supplies and/or tools to help someone get started in beekeeping. To get more details, Click Here. Note: The forms may have old dates, but they still work.
Summer Picnic... Sat Aug 19 , 2018
Summer potluck Picnic... Sat Aug 19 , 2018 Noon til 4pm at Stedmans. Located under the large trees in field in the back. On hot days, there is shade and a nice breeze. The location may be moved and was moved for 2017 to Bob and Janet's. We are all hoping the host it again in 2018.
Look for more details in the August Newsletter.
Find us at the Kitsap Fair... Aug 22-26, 2018
We have a booth located with the Master Gardeners in the Presidents Hall.
We will have an observation hive as well as a couple tables filled with information. We hope to have the booth staffed with at least two members at all times. If you are a member and have time, please help us staff the booth and answer questions and talk about bees. If you happen to visit the fair, please stop by the booth and talk to the beekeeper(s) staffing the booth. If you are not a member but have an interest in becoming a beekeeper, please stop by the booth and find out what it is all about.
Introduction to Beekeeping - 2 hour class... Sept 8, 2018
Are you thinking about getting a hive of Honeybees? Maybe you would like better pollination for your garden and orchard or maybe you want to produce honey from your back yard. Perhaps you have a fascination with life and stewardship of creatures you don't fully understand? Or maybe you have been reading about the health benefits of pollen, honey, propolis, bee venom, and want to start up your own personal research. There are many reasons to get bees. Getting started can be a little overwhelming as there are many conflicting and confusing sources of information available. Hopefully, we can add some clarity and enable you to turn that idea into a reality. In 2 hours we will not cover everything but you will have a good feel for what you are getting into with keeping honeybees. Time:Sat. Sept 8, 2018 10am til 1pm. Location: Stedman Bee Supplies, 3763 NW Anderson Hill Road, Silverdale. Cost: $10 per individual or family. Registration: sign up at the Fair, the august meeting, or by contacting the president of wsba
  • Bee life cycle and hive life cycle
  • Clothing, hive types and hive tools
  • First year in the apiary
  • Beginning classes, hands on instruction, learning.
  • Beekeeping costs
  • Recommendations for beginning.
Archived News and Events
For Archived events from 2017 , Click Here.
For Archived events from 2016 , Click Here.
For Archived events from 2015 , Click Here.
For Archived events from 2014 , Click Here.
For Archived events from 2013 , Click Here.
For Archived events from 2012 , Click Here.
For Archived events from 2011 and earlier , Click Here.