These are some of the skills needed by every beekeeper. The workshops below complement the many videos that can be found on YouTube. We encourage you to constantly explore the world of beekeeping to develop the skills you will need in your apiary.
Reading a Frame: Susan Benton
Reading a Frame Video: There are many things that a beekeeper needs to see when checking a frame. Susan Benton will show the different kinds of cells that you find and what to look for to determine the health of the colony. Frame reading allows the beekeeper to determine if the queen is present (queenright), if the brood is healthy, and assess if the colony is expanding (spring), stabilized (summer), or contracting (later fall/winter). This will be a “picture tour” of frame reading.
Lighting a Smoker: Jim Blye
Lighting a Smoker Video: A bee smoker is used to calm honey bees. Many types of fuel can be used in a smoker. The fuel in the smoker's burner smolders slowly due to the restriction of oxygen in the burning chamber. When needed, a squeeze of the bellows provides a blast of fresh air which feeds the smoldering fuel and produces smoke. In this way the fuel is used more sparingly than in an open pan and one load of fuel may last for several hours and even days if it is extinguished and rekindled again later. To effectively calm the bees, the smoke must be relatively cool.
Assembling a Frame: Ben Crawley
Assembling a Frame Video: A sturdy frame provides the structure needed for the bees to build the wax for brood, pollen and honey. Frames may be purchased preassembled or assembled from components at a lower cost to the beekeeper. Frames may even be built from scratch in a home woodworking shop.