Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Prince Georges County Community College Course


It is now official…I’m teaching a course at the Community College!   We have installed a couple of hives out there today to be populated with bees in April.  The location in Upper Marlboro is a combination of woods and farmland with some suburban developments so there is a healthy variety of
bee foraging flora.  The colonies will be at full strength by the time we are teaching the course in September.

Here our south-facing hives are sited, set, and strapped.  The program administrator (my boss), Helen, hides in the background.  I will level the stand with shims on the day I install the bees.

The course will consist of three, 3-hour sessions on a Saturday morning and will be an introduction to beekeeping with a few nuances:
  • Students will build their own hive from scratch to start their own colony;
  • Students will get a considerable amount of time at the hives we installed for significant hands-on experience and comfort around the hives; 
  • There will be a focus on beekeeping as a business and will include such opportunities as:
    • Honey production and marketing;
    • Beeswax products;
    • Pollination services;
    • Bee removal services;
    • Nuc production and queen sales. 
     

     Note the rebar driven into the ground and strapped to the stand with cable ties.  We have had some windy events locally and several of our stands and (empty) hives have toppled over.  Thankfully as they are strapped together the assembly falls over as a unit and can be easily righted.  However, prior to these supers gaining weight with honey and brood I wanted to stop toppling in the future.  This remedy seems to do the trick.

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