Beginning Beekeeping Series

Class Description:

This series is designed for individuals serious about hobby beekeeping. The series takes participants through 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 1 to September 30, 2023. 

Beekeeping instructor Julie Rice will offer maintenance days at the apiary. Maintenance days are held regularly and allow students to participate in the regular maintenance and upkeep of the overall apiary, as well as informal Q&A time. Julie will email all class participants about a week before each maintenance day with a date and time she will be in the apiary. 

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.

2023 Beginning Beekeeping Series

Registration for 2023 is now closed. 

$125 Members, $150 Non-Members

2023 Lecture Dates (6-7:30pm; Amazing Space Auditorium):
February 2
March 2
April 6
July 20
September 21

2023 Field Days:
May 20 (9am-12pm at Etzel Sugar Grove Farm*)
June 10 (9am-12pm at Etzel Sugar Grove Farm*)
August 5  (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

Purchasing Bees

The registration window for bee package orders is now closed for 2023. 

Bee packages are expected to arrive in mid-April. At this time, we expect to hold pick up on Sunday, April 23 between 10am-6pm at Sugar Grove Farm (3706 St. Peters Rd, Marion, IA 52302). Delivery date is subject to change and will be communicated via email with purchasers. 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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