Beginning Beekeeping Series

Cost: $100 Member; $110 Non-member

Course Description:

Join us for Iowa’s premier beekeeping class! 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. Participants will be learning hands-on in our Educational Apiary at Etzel Sugar Grove Farm and with limited hives in the apiary at Indian Creek Nature Center. Regular class attendance, a commitment to recommended reading, and regular hive inspections are essential for successful beekeeping. 

What You Get:

Fee includes lectures, field days, informational handouts, and complimentary use of the Nature Center’s Sugar House for extraction in the fall. In the event our Sugar House is not open to the public due to the pandemic or other circumstances, a portable extraction kit is available for check out at no charge. All class participants are encouraged to attend Heartland Bee Club meetings to network with experienced beekeepers and strengthen the local beekeeping network.

About The Class:

Participants will attend lectures as a large group online via Zoom. 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. 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.

Recommended Text

  1. Simple, Smart Beekeeping by Kristen Shoshanna Traynor and Michael Joseph Traynor.
  2. The Beekeeper’s Handbook, 4th Edition by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Aritabile.

We recommend that you have one of these texts before the first class, but it is not required. Each class will have recommended reading from one of the books, which will enhance your learning. Limited copies of The Beekeeper’s Handbook are available in the Creekside Shop. Both texts can be found on or Amazon.

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.

Local Ordinances

2021 Beginning Beekeeping Series

*Registration full*

Lecture Dates (6-7:30pm via Zoom):
February 5th
March 12th
July 16th
October 8th

Field Days:
April 18th (time & location TBD depending on package delivery)
May 8th (9am-12pm at Etzel Sugar Grove Farm*)
June 5th (9am-12pm at Etzel Sugar Grove Farm*)
August 7th (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:
Registration for bee package orders will take place between February 5 and March 26, 2021. 

2021 Bee Package Delivery:
Bee delivery is scheduled for Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 3-6pm (subject to change). Bees MUST be picked up during this time frame at 6665 Otis Rd SE. Bees cannot be held. Queens are guaranteed to arrive alive. Any queens who die en-route will be replaced.

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