Pontiac Bee School

Beekeeping Training Program

The Pontiac Beginner Bee School 2023 session is ready for sign up! Presented by Growing Pontiac and instructed by CombUnity Honey Co.!

The tentative dates for classes are as follows. It is imperative that each student attends as many of these classes as possible to learn the necessary skills. All dates fall on Saturdays and the classes are held at 11am. Each session lasts approximately 2 hours. Classes are outside unless otherwise noted as “virtual.”

  • Feb 18th (Virtual) – Introduction to bees
  • Mar 4th – Equipment and buying bees
  • Mar 25th – Hive building day
  • Apr 8th – Installing Nucs or Packages
  • Apr 29th – Varroa Destructor
  • Week of May 1 (Special event) – Install day hands on
  • May 20th – Spring management, Swarm Control, and Capturing Swarms.
  • June 3rd – Making Splits, hive strength, robbing and pests
  • June 24th – Honey Harvesting and bee products
  • Aug 5th – Fall Management, hive inventory, fall feeding
  • Sept 2nd – Overwintering, Combining Weak hives
  • Oct 7th – Winter management, preparing for spring, deadouts

Students will learn the following beekeeping HANDS ON skills:

  • Installing Bees in a hive
  • Assembling a hive from purchased parts
  • Lighting and using a smoker to calm bees
  • Bee diseases, parasites, and how to check for mites
  • How to super (add boxes) to hives
  • Different types of bee hives
  • How to feed their bees
  • Inspecting a beehive and finding the queen.

Participants who attend 9 out of the 12 courses will also receive:

  • A t-shirt
  • A personalized hive tool
  • Up to 1 lb of honey (based on availability)
  • Certificate of completion

The cost of this course is as follows:

  • Free for Kiwanis youth – sponsored by Kiwanis Club of Pontiac
  • $60.00 for Growing Pontiac GRN members – three scholarships available through Growing Pontiac GRN
  • $90.00 for non-GRN members who register before February 18th. $120.00 for those who register after February 18th but before April 8th. April 8th is the final cutoff (no walk-ons after this date.)

It is cheaper to join the Growing Pontiac Growing Resource Network (GRN) and then pay the $60 registration fee for this course. Plus, you get access to seeds, transplants, compost, and other resources.*

*Available to Pontiac, Michigan residents.

These course fees cover the cost of mandatory PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that is necessary for any beekeeping class. Suits, jackets, veils, and/or gloves will be provided for each registered student.

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