Beginning Beekeeping Series

Cost: $90 Member; $100 Non-member

Course Description: Join us for Iowa’s premier beekeeping class! This seven session series is designed for individuals serious about starting a beekeeping hobby. The series will take the participant through the annual cycle of beekeeping from establishing a hive to harvesting and marketing the honey produced. The class members will be actively involved in learning activities by working in our Educational Apiary at Indian Creek Nature Center. Attendance at all classes and a commitment to recommended reading and regular hive inspections are essential for successful beekeeping. 

What You Get: Fee includes lectures and field days, informational handouts, and use of the Nature Center’s Sugar House for extraction in the fall. (Students must attend Session 8 to use the Sugar House.) All field days have an indoor equivalent, in case of rain or inclement weather. All class participants are welcome and encouraged to attend Heartland Bee Club meetings as a way to network with experienced beekeepers and strengthen the local beekeeping network.

About The Class: All beekeepers will attend lectures as a large group, held in the Amazing Space Auditorium. Bring your textbook, a notebook, and a writing utensil to each lecture. In addition to lectures, all beekeeping participants will be guided in hands-on field days in our Educational Apiary. Small groups will be formed to offer more one-on-one time with instructors. Participants must bring a suit or jacket and veil, gloves, and wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. A limited number of suits and veils will be available to borrow. 

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.

Educational Apiary Hive Leasing

Residents of many cities within Linn and surrounding counties are not allowed to keep bees on their property. Indian Creek Nature Center has limited space in its apiary to accommodate those wishing to keep bees. You must be enrolled or have previously completed the Beginning Beekeeping Series to lease a hive. A variety of rental options are available. For more information on hive leasing, please email Kelli Kennon-Lane.

Local Ordinances

2020 Beginning Beekeeping Series

Cost: $90 Member; $100 Non-member

Our 2020 series is now FULL! Click below to add your name to the interest list for 2021!

Lecture Dates (6-8:30 PM):
February 7th, March 13th, July 17th, October 9th
Location: Amazing Space Auditorium; 5300 Otis Rd SE

Field Day Dates (Times Vary):
April 19th 1-4pm, (May 16th – CACNCELLED due to COVID-19), August 8th 9-11am
Location: Educational Apiary; 6665 Otis Rd SE

Beekeeper’s Handbook

The Beekeeper’s Handbook by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Aritabile, 4th edition is the text used in the class. It is also a helpful guide for those wishing to pursue the hobby on their own. We strongly encourage you to purchase the text in our Creekside Shop or online as you register for the class, and it will be ready for you at the first lecture. 

Purchase Bees From ICNC

Registration for bee package orders will take place between February 7-March 24, 2020. This year we will offer 3 lb packages from Georgia for $135. The queens will be open-mated Carniolans/Italians. This order is now CLOSED. Please check back January 2021 for our next order. 

2020 Bee Package Delivery:
Bee delivery is scheduled for Sunday, April 19, 2020 between 1-4pm. Bees MUST be picked up during this time frame at Amazing Space (5300 Otis Rd SE). Purchasers will be emailed with special pick up instructions due to COVID-19. Bees cannot be held. Queens are guaranteed to arrive alive. Any queens who die en-route will be replaced.

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