2/23, 1-3pm // $30 per person
Being able to raise your own bees is the critical key to a sustainable bee yard. It's a tough truth that an apiary cannot be sustainable until it can get off the commercial/package/replacement bee treadmill. This class is for intermediate beekeepers who are ready to take the leap into raising quality queens and bees for their own yard (and to share/sell with others) on a small scale. If you are willing to do the work you may never need to buy replacement bees again. It's more fun than you would ever guess, but it requires basic skills, practice and long-term dedication. If you think locally adapted-beekeeping is the way to go, and have worked bees at least a couple of years, this is the class for you. Class will touch on genetics, selection, basic (quality) queen rearing, overwintered-nuc systems, and using the equipment you may already have to do it.
Leigh Knott ("Digs") of Five Apple Farm started with bees in 2010 and keeps around a dozen hives at 3000' in Yancey County. The apiary is Certified Naturally Grown and has produced honey and a few nucs to sell for the last nine years fully chemical-free, without buying replacement bees.