Beginning Beekeeping Series

This series is designed for individuals serious about hobby beekeeping. Participants will learn about the annual cycle of beekeeping, from establishing a hive to harvesting. Regular class attendance, a commitment to recommended reading, participation in Field Day and Maintenance Days, and regular hive inspections are essential for successful beekeeping.

Participants will attend lectures as a large group in person in the Auditorium at Amazing Space. A Zoom option is available in the event that the class needs to be moved online or if individual circumstances warrant it. In addition to lectures, participants will be guided in hands-on field days in the educational apiary at Etzel Sugar Grove Farm, located between Alburnett and Marion. Small groups will be formed to offer more one-on-one time with instructors. Each participant will also be assigned to a mentor teacher, who can provide one-on-one support throughout the season.

Completion of this class allows for complimentary use of the Nature Center’s Sugar House for extraction from August 6 to September 30, 2022.

New in 2022 beekeeping instructor Julie Rice will offer maintenance days at the apiary. Maintenance days are held on a regular basis and allow students to participate in the regular maintenance and upkeep of the overall apiary, as well as informal Q&A time.

Cost: $125 Member; $150 Non-member

Required Materials:

  1. Simple, Smart Beekeeping by Kirsten Shoshanna Traynor and Michael Joseph Traynor
  2. Varroa Easy Check tool
  3. Personal protective equipment: a jacket or suit with a veil, hive tool or j-tool, gloves (do not have to be beekeeping gloves.

Please Note:

Participants must register prior to the first class of each year, and be in attendance at the first class. Please email us or call 319-362-0664 with any questions.

Local Honey

Many people believe local honey helps combat allergies. Whether you use it to stay healthy, flavor your tea, or for baking, we have all your local supply in the Creekside Shop! Made from bees at ICNC and throughout Linn County our honey is for sale in a variety of sizes up to 5 pounds.

2022 Beginning Beekeeping Series

Registration for the 2022 series is now closed.

Lecture Dates (6-7:30pm; Amazing Space Auditorium):
February 4th
March 4th
April 1st
July 15th
September 16th

Field Days:
April 20th (date is subject to change; time & location TBD depending on package delivery)
May 14th (9am-12pm at Etzel Sugar Grove Farm*)
June 4th (9am-12pm at Etzel Sugar Grove Farm*)
August 6th (9am-12pm at The Sugar House**)

*Etzel Sugar Grove Farm: 3706 St. Peters Rd, Marion, IA 52302 
**The Sugar House: 6665 Otis Rd SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403

Purchase Bees From ICNC:
The registration window for 2022 bee package orders is now closed. Check back for 2023 ordering information. 

2022 Bee Package Delivery *UPDATED INFO*:
Due to cold temps, bee delivery is now scheduled for Saturday, April 23, 2022 between 11:30am-2:30pm at Sugar Grove Farm (3706 St. Peters Rd, Marion, IA 52302). Bees MUST be picked up during the designated time (no holds)! Queens are guaranteed to arrive alive. Any queens who die en-route will be replaced.

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