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 








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