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What Are the Different Types of Beekeeping Courses?

A honey bee.
Clover honey in a squeeze bottle.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 April 2014
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There are many different methods of taking beekeeping courses. Non-credit courses on beekeeping topics can be learned through books or on-site classes. Some beekeeping classes may be taken online. Many bee farms offer weekend beekeeping workshops.

Commercial bee farms often have weekend beekeeping courses that include lunch. The activities may involve learning to make honey or other bee products such as royal jelly. Royal jelly is a secretion from nurse worker bees that is made into nutritional supplements thought by some people to restore vitality to skin and hair as well as add many other health benefits.

Those interested in the profession of beekeeping can locate college credit or non-credit courses through a beekeeper organization or agricultural colleges or universities. For example, the Tennessee Beekeepers Association holds classes and events at the University of Tennessee and presents an annual Beekeeper of the Year award. The Institute of Agriculture at the University of Tennessee offers a Master Beekeeper Program.

Beekeeping courses may be a part of degree programs such as a Master's in Agricultural Management. In general, there are more non-degree beekeeping classes than credit courses as many beekeepers work part-time in the industry or are hobbyists. Beekeeping hobbyists are also called backyard beekeepers.

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Whether a beekeeping course is degree or non-degree, it is usually aimed at a certain level of beekeeper knowledge such as beginner or advanced. A beginning beekeeper may have no experience, while an advanced one usually has experienced at least five years in the field of beekeeping.

The first level of beekeeping courses may cover topics such as local bylaws on keeping bees as well as biological information about the honey bee. Second level beekeeping classes may include a section on how to control swarming. Third level or more advanced courses may focus on the breeding of honey bees and bee colony management.

Beekeeping courses vary widely in their length. Condensed beekeeping classes typically combine an overview of the subject in an eight- or nine-hour class. An advanced condensed beekeeping course may be 12 hours long.

Online beekeeping courses are popular as they allow experienced or aspiring beekeepers to learn about the subject from any location. Electronic, or e-books, published by professional beekeepers can give interested learners extra tips and advice on beekeeping. Online beekeeping classes are also called beekeepers’ distance learning courses. Some online beekeeping courses include a blog written by a commercial bee farmer or a digital beekeeper magazine.

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