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Frequently Asked Questions

This is our place to keep a running list of program questions and answers

ANSWER. Yes and No.

Factually, we do not mind if you join mid-stream. The instruction (lessons) are available to watch online and theoretically, you can catch up. In fact, if you do plan to join midstream we would anticipate that you will go back to the beginning and watch everything up until the point where we are in the course.

As to eligibility, pragmatically we cannot take in participants who are going to have problems because they are so late that they are not following the program charter.

If you start mid-year and your hives are not where they should be, we would not have the resources, nor can we commit to the time, to disrupt the course for those following the program to mitigate new mid-year registrant problems.

ANSWER: It is not.

That being said, we are exploring some ways to recognize our graduates. We are thinking that if you joined the program, followed all of the prerequisites, and demonstrated that you were a participant through the course of the program, we would recognize those individuals at the conclusion of the program.

2023 will be considered the inaugural class (Class 1) with graduation out of the program set for January 2025. We are going to be so excited to announce the names of those individuals who followed the program in its first live year.

ANSWER: Yes, within reason

A flow hive is at its essence a Langstroth hive. We do have experience with them but to us they are a rather specialized use and do not warrant building a curriculum to tell you how to keep bees with them.

It can be said however that they are really Langstroth hives when it comes to managing bees so most of what we teach applies.

However, when it comes to the instruction for operating the flow frames, for that we would anticipate that you follow the companies’ instructions as we will not be instructing that as part of the course delivery.

ANSWER: Missing a single session is not going to be a problem.

We understand life gets in the way. We would hope that you will be on the honor system and go back to catch up on the session you missed.


Not in the traditional sense. But we like to think we’ve filled the gap…

There are simply not enough competent beekeepers available to be mentors to the massive pool of beekeepers who want to learn beekeeping. 

The way we see it, our program is your mentor. If you could imagine having a mentor there to answer your questions; that is in essence what we have tried to emulate.  Our course design is a manifestation of what a mentor would tell you for whatever activity you are facing.  This is in essence the premise of the ‘right on time’ instruction. 

We know what you need to know and we’ve taken the time to capture it and give it to you so you can be prepared for whatever you are doing. Of course, for those that are eligible, there will be a real in-person mentor visit. This person is not dedicated to you, but they will make sure by being in person at critical junctures that you are on track and provide the necessary guidance if things are not right. 

We do make provision for periodic in-person mentor visits when working with beekeeping associations that will help to accommodate this service.


We do not use a textbook for this program but we do recommend these reference books for your library:
– Beekeeping Basics – MAAREC: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsyvania, West Virginia and USDA Cooperating
– Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping (Dewey M. Caron and Lawrence J. Connor)

ANSWER: Yes, BUT…Not Very Pragmatic

This answer requires a few considerations in the context of the program. We want you to start with two hives for a number of reasons and this does not comply with the charter of that prerequisite.

Also, saying you are going to start with a swarm is a hit-and-miss proposition for you have no schedule as to ‘if’ and ‘when’ you will obtain the colony to get started.

That being said, if by serendipity you do hive a swarm and can catch up and follow the instructions, that is your choice. To be a devotee of the program, this does not work.

ANSWER: Technically No

We will be using Langstroth Style hives in this program. We cannot deviate from the training to explain how to manage colonies in alternative-style hive equipment. We know how to do it of course, but as a beginning course, we are not wishing to entertain it and cloud the learning of the participants with the distraction of accommodating teaching how to use other formats.

We will say this, bee biology is rather constant and those who do have alternative hives can learn in this course, but when it comes to management practices, you will have to look elsewhere.

As an aside, if and when this courseware matures, we are considering that our follow-on track would be an intermediate level program and in that curriculum, we would likely add instruction for alternative hive formats.


This is a core competency for a beekeeper and we will share fundamentals of how to detect and treat varroa as well as the important details on varroa biology. We will also cover how they impact colony health and why they need to be managed.

  • How much does it cost to get started?
  • How much time investment is required to be a beekeeper?
  • What equipment do I need? What bee suit is best? Where should I buy things?
  • What should I do if I am having trouble with my neighbors?
    We will take the time here to say – if the problem is the least bit contentious, and it is not going to blow over, your first thought would be to consider moving the bees.