2019 HCBA Beginning Beekeeping Course Resources

2019 HCBA Beginning Beekeeping Course Resources
Welcome to the 2019 Beginning Beekeeping course!  We’re excited that you want to learn more about these fascinating creatures, and perhaps even start a colony or two this season.


As the lectures are presented we will add the presentations to this page.


Select from the items below to download a copy of any of the presentations and other resources from the Beginning Beekeeping course.






Class 1

Introduction: Welcome to the HCBA Short Course

Session 1.1: Getting Started

Danielle Spendiff

  • What you need to get started
  • Equipment

Presentation LINK


Session 1.2: Apiary Site Locations

Doris Walsh

  • Why keep bees and what you get out of it
  • Optimal site location for honey bees


Session 1.3: Zoning Laws in Howard County

Allen Hayes, Master Beekeeper

  • How zoning laws in Howard County affect site selection

Presentation LINK

Session 1.4: How to Start Colonies

Jeff Crooks

  • Ways you can obtain bees (nucs, packages)
  • Ordering and installing packages
  • Obtaining nucs

Presentation LINK

Class 2

Session 2.1: Honey Bee Biology and Behavior

Dr. Wayne Esaias, Master Beekeeper

  • Understanding bees (taxonomy)
  • Honey bee races
  • Castes & developmental stages
  • Honey bee anatomy & pheromones
  • Colony Activities


Session 2.2: Swarming and Its Prevention

Jim Fraser, Master Beekeeper

  • Swarms: Why you should care
  • What is a swarm?
  • Reasons for swarming
  • Identifying swarming conditions
  • Swarm prevention & control

Presentation LINK

Session 2.3: Discussion of why studying AHB is important in MD (which currently does not have resident AHB, but sometimes gets imported colonies)

Allen Hayes, Master Beekeeper

  • Quick review of honey bee races
  • African Honey bees (traits, benefits & drawbacks)
  • History of spread of AHB in North America
  • Discussion of why studying AHB is important in MD (which currently does not have AHB)
  • Identifying and remedy of “hot” colonies
  • Description of MD Recommended Management Practices (RMP)

Presentation LINK

Class 3 


Session 3.1: Management of New Colonies

Jim Fraser, Master Beekeeper

  • Your “honey goal” for the first year and how to reach it
  • Opening a colony for the first time
  • What to look for while inspecting your colonies

Presentation LINK


Session 3.2: Local Nectar and Pollen Plants

Carol Link

  • What are our major sources of nectar here in Howard County?
  • Highlight different floral sources that are available in our area throughout the year


Session 3.3: Feeding Bees

Dr Wayne Esaias, Master Beekeeper

Why feed?

  • Sugar Syrup recipes
  • Sugar Syrup Feeder types (pail feeders, top feeders, fondant, division board feeders, Boardman feeder)
  • Feeding in emergency situations (starvation)
  • Feeding bees in the fall
  • Feeding pollen (and how to make a pollen patty)
  • Feeding water (water source, Boardman feeder)


Class 4 

Session 4.1: Products of the Hive

Tina Mullan

  • What is honey?
  • Forms of honey
  • Beeswax
  • Pollen and harvesting pollen
  • Showing and selling honey (label regulations, cleanliness, etc.)

Presentation LINK

Session 4.2: Honey Bee Pests, Diseases and Other Problems – Part I

Gregg Gochnour, Howard County Apiary Inspector

  • Identification of honey bee pests & diseases
  • What to look for
  • What to do when you encounter something
  • Medications
  • Registering your Bees with the state

Session 4.3: Honey Bee Pests, Diseases and Other Problems – Part II

Gregg Gochnour, Howard County Apiary Inspector

Session 4.4: Things to avoid that will make your first year more successful

Allen Hayes, Master Beekeeper

        Miscalculations other first year beekeepers have made


Class 5

Session 5.2: Where’s Waldo – Everybody Makes Mistakes

Roger Frissora

  • Experience is that thing that lets you recognize a mistake the second time you make it


Session 5.3: Break Out Sessions


  • Installing Wax Foundation with a Spur Embedder Dave Dobbs
  • Under the Microscope Wayne Esaias
  • Sugar Roll and Alcohol Wash for Varroa Detection Dave Schultz
  • Assembling Woodenware Allen Hayes
  • Planting for Honey Bees: Nectar & Pollen Sources Valerie Wampler