Beekeeping 101: Organic, Natural, Traditional

Complete instruction on keeping honey bees using organic, natural and traditional beekeeping techniques.
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12 students enrolled
Instructed by Jacob Wustner Lifestyle / Other
$50
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  • Lectures 46
  • Length 10 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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About This Course

Published 2/2016 English

Course Description

This course offers complete instruction on keeping honey bees using organic, natural and traditional beekeeping techniques.

Beekeeping 101 was created over the course of a summer in order to capture a full season with the bees including lots of hands-on time in the hive. The course is intended to be a thorough introduction to keeping bees so that upon completion, the student can confidently start their own treatment-free honey bee hive. Taught from a permaculture perspective, this course will teach you a holistic approach to beekeeping that considers the natural ecology of honey bees and agriculture. Jacob's techniques are bee-friendly and bee-centered vs. beekeeper-centered.

Beekeeping 101 covers it all from basic honey bee physiology and biology to extracting honey and preparing your hive for winter. In this course you will learn about different kinds of honey bees and equipment and where to get it. You'll learn about bloom and brood cycles, swarms, hive site placement, queens and re-queening, planning your honey harvest, extracting honey and crushing comb, combining hives and much more. In addition Jacob will share with you his philosophies on feeding only honey and pollen, using locally adapted stock, never using plastic or treatments, mimicking nature's patterns. As this course was filmed over the course of the summer season, lesson topics follow the flow of the season.

This course was filmed over the course of the summer on 5 different days. Each day's topics strays somewhat from the agenda as Jacob addresses student questions.

What are the requirements?

  • Bring your enthusiasm for honey bees! No beekeeping experience necessary.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Practice holistic beekeeping.
  • Confidently start your own treatment-free honey bee hive
  • Harvest honey from your own honey bee hive.

What is the target audience?

  • This course is meant for anyone interested in keeping honey bees.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Day 1
03:13
In this introductory lesson, Jacob introduces himself and talks about his beekeeping background. In addition, he shares his goals for the course with you.
08:00

In this lesson, Jacob talks about the many benefits of the bees. He talks about the pollination services of the bees and the benefits of honey as well as other products from the hive such as bee pollen, beeswax, propolis, and royal jelly.

20:06
In this lesson, Jacob talks about where and how to get your bees when starting a hive. He talks about buying them commercially, locally from a beekeeper or catching a swarm. He answers a number of student questions about the details of catching a swarm. Jacob talks about some different varieties of honey bees, and how genetics and aggression are connected. In addition he talks some about the pros and cons of aggressive bees.
07:45
In this lesson, Jacob begins by answering some student questions about purchasing honey bees. Then he gets into honey bee biology, physiology, and terminology talking about the basics of how the hive and honey bees function.
14:52
In this lesson, Jacob talks about beekeeping equipment. He introduces several different styles of hives including Langstroth, Top Bar and Warre hives. He also shares his thoughts on Flow hives. Jacob also answers some student questions about various aspects of bee biology and hive culture.
10:34
In this lesson, Jacob introduces the concept or organic beekeeping and talks about the requirements organic certification. He talks about general space requirements for the hive as well as some site-selection specifics. In addition he answers a number of student questions regarding equipment.
11:35

In this lesson, Jacob discusses different approaches to hive management. He talks about the pros and cons of ‘getting into’ your hive frequently or minimally. Jacob also answers some student questions regarding having a hive in bear country.

18:38
In this hands-on-lesson, Jacob introduces four new hives (or nucs) that he recently installed on the property. The hives are queen-less so he talks about how the hives will raise their own queen. In preparation for opening up and inspecting the hives, Jacob shows you how to use a smoker to calm the bees down when you open a hive. In addition he talks a little bit about protective clothing and equipment. Then Jacob walks you through opening up a hive and shows you exactly what he is looking for in a hive inspections. He shows you ‘what is what’ in the hive including brood, pollen, nectar, drones, queens, propolis, royal jelly and more. In addition he talks about bee aggression, how to avoid getting stung, and what to do if you do get stung.
18:10

This lesson is a continuation of the preceding lesson, Hands on in the Hive I.

Section 2: Day 2
13:07
In this lesson, Jacob introduces the topics he plans to discuss on Day 2: honey bee physiology and biology, blooms and brooding, and staying in touch with your hives and on top of caring for them. Day 2 was filmed on June 13, 2015.
14:13

In this lesson, Jacob talks about the connection between bloom cycles and honey flow. He talks about some locally significant flowers for honey bees and honey flow. Jacob also shares some thought on ways the ecology of bloom cycles has been disrupted by modern monoculture agriculture and conventional rangeland management.

17:54

In this lesson, Jacob sets you up for success when opening up a hive. He talks about how to approach and work around the bees so as not to anger them. He talks about how to do a hive inspection and what to look for. Then Jacob walks you through the process including use of the smoker, taking the top of without crushing bees, pulling out frames and how to recognize capped brood, green brood, honey, nectar and pollen in a frame.

15:28
In this lesson, Jacob opens up a hive, with the help of students, and inspects for brood, nectar, and pollen. He shows examples of good laying patterns and signs of a good queen. And he gets the opportunity to show students the queen herself! Jacob also shows students examples of foundationless frames.
12:10

In this lesson, Jacob continues the exploration of the hive. He walks students through opening up a hive, pulling out frames, and inspecting for brood, nectar and honey.

10:18

In this lesson, Jacob answers questions about aggressive bees and explains how aggression is tied to genetics. He shares some techniques and behavior that you can employ so as not to anger your bees. He also talks about the behavior and role of drones in the hive. Lastly, Jacob talks about allowing a hive to raise their own queen – rather than buying a queen and introducing it to the hive – and why this is beneficial to the hive.

05:04
In this lesson, Jacob talks about honey! He explains the difference between ripe and green honey and shows you how to tell the difference. Jacob talks about moisture levels of honey and how moisture affects granulation.
Section 3: Day 3
05:52

In this lesson, Jacob introduces the topics he plans to discuss on Day 3: knowing when to harvest honey, queen problems, re-queening, and recognizing nature’s patterns. Day 3 was filmed on July 18, 2015.

19:30

In this lesson, Jacob shares his knowledge and experience regarding knowing whether or not to harvest honey. Jacob talks about how much honey bees can produce, how much honey they need to get through the winter, and how to decide whether or not your hive has enough honey to spare some for your own harvest. In addition, Jacob talks about his methods for saving honey in case a hive runs out of honey before the next bloom cycle begins.

18:15

In this lesson, Jacob talks about what a ‘problem queen’ is and how to recognize when your hive has one. He introduces the idea of open-mating. He talks about the benefits of open-mating and walks you through naturally re-queening your hive.

03:48

This lesson is a continuation of the preceding lesson, Queen Troubles, Open Mating part I

09:48

In this lesson, Jacob introduces the concept of small-cell beekeeping. He teaches you what it is and why this method of beekeeping allows for treatment free hives.

12:17

This lesson is a continuation of the preceding lesson, Hive Diseases and Treatments part I

18:11
In this lesson, Jacob talks about organic beekeeping. He talks about the challenges of keeping honey bees organically as well as the reasons why it is so important. Jacob also introduces the idea of tuning into nature’s patterns and talks about why this is key to successful beekeeping.
14:48
In this lesson, Jacob opens up a hive and walks you through inspecting the hive for honey, pollen, brood, and how to make sure there is a good, healthy queen. He answers all sorts of student questions throughout the process.
13:49

This lesson is a continuation of the preceding lesson, Hands on in the Hive I.

Hands on in the Hive III
09:51
09:51

This lesson is a continuation of the preceding lesson, Hand on in the Hive III.

Section 4: Day 4
17:54

In this lesson, Jacob introduces the topics he plans to discuss on Day 4: honey extraction and crushing comb, bottling honey, and working brood down. Day 4 was filmed on August 29, 2015.

17:19
In this lesson, Jacob talks about honey extraction: how to extract honey, whether or now your should extract honey, crushing comb and how this affects the hive, and working brood down as you reorganize frames as you extract honey. Jacob also talks some about bottling honey.
16:07
In this lesson, Jacob walks you through harvesting honey from the hive. As always, Jacob first considers how much honey the bees need before he takes any for himself. He talks about how honey harvesting practices have changed over the years in the US to the detriment of the honey bee. Jacob shows how he inspects the hive for health and hardiness as he also determines whether or not he can harvest honey. He also gives you tips on how to avoid harvesting brood or unripe honey. In addition, Jacob introduces the practice of harvesting honey without the use of smoke and the smoker so as not to contaminate the honey with smoke.
11:59

In this lesson, Jacob continues inspecting the hive and pulling out frames of honey. He walks students through the process and answers questions as he goes.

15:34

In this lesson, students continue harvesting frames of honey from the hive. Jacob talks more about inspecting the hive for health and hardiness including more details on how to distinguish between ripe honey, unripe honey, capped brood, flat brood, and pollen in a frame. He also gets the opportunity to show you the best way to remove a stinger!

17:47

In this lesson, Jacob extracts honey from the frames he just pulled out of the hive! He talks a little about equipment and his preferred method for setting it up. Jacob shows you how to prep the frames for extracting, how to load the extractor, and how best to operate the extractor. And then the honey flows! Jacob answers some questions about how to separate the beeswax from the honey.

13:47

In this lesson, Jacob continues with honey extraction. He talks some about how to collect and prep beeswax for use. Jacob also answers a number of questions regarding the commercial beekeeping industry and the practice of hauling honey bees to California for almond tree pollination.

Section 5: Day 5
01:58
In this lesson, Jacob introduces the topics he plans to discuss on Day 5: combining hives, disease treatment, feeding, and insulating for winter. Day 5 was filmed on September 12, 2015.
18:42

This lesson is a continuation of the preceding lesson, Introduction to Day 5 part I.

10:00

In this lesson, Jacob talks about how much honey the bees need to get through the winter. He talks about to know if they have enough. Jacob also shares his thoughts on best practices regarding saving honey in frames in case the hive needs more honey at some point during the winter or spring. In addition, Jacob talks extensively about the whys and hows of insulating hives for the winter.

19:17

In this lesson, Jacob talks about diseases in the beehive. He shares his philosophies regarding disease and disease treatment. Jacob talks more about going treatment-free through small-cell beekeeping. Jacob answers a number of student questions about disease transfer between hives in the commercial beekeeping industry as well as more details regarding the logistics and business of transporting bees to California for almond tree pollination.

10:03

In this lesson, Jacob continues the conversation about small-cell beekeeping. He talks about what it is, why it is beneficial to the hive, how cell-size has evolved industry-wide over the years, and how to regress your hive to a small-cell hive.

15:13
In this lesson, Jacob talks about the why and how of bear fencing. He talks about the damage a bear can do to your hive and equipment. Then he walks you through setting up an electric fence as bear protection. Jacob shows you the equipment he uses to make an electric fence and how best to build one.
09:30
In this lesson, Jacob shows you how to insulate your hives for the winter. He talks about his preferred materials and then walks you through the process. Then Jacob continues building his bear fence to protect the hives.
15:51

This lesson is a continuation of the preceding lesson, Winterizing, Bear Fencing II part I.

05:31

In this lesson, Jacob finishes building his bear fence. In addition he offers some tips to ensure your fence works properly.

16:29
In this lesson, Jacob talks extensively about treatment-free, small-cell beekeeping. In addition he talks about the importance of making medicinal plants available to honey bees as pollen and nectar sources so the bees can self-treat their own ailments.
10:34

In the final lesson, Jacob goes over some final things he wanted to cover and answers a number of student questions. He talks about the tools he thinks are the most useful to have around when working the hive. He talks some about where to purchase beekeeping tools and equipment as well as the bees themselves. Jacob answers some student questions about the details of re-queening and letting a hive raise their own queen. He talks about some local beekeeping clubs as resources for beekeepers in Montana. Jacob also answers some student questions about baiting swarms using empty hives.

12:13

This lesson is a continuation of the preceding lesson, Concluding Thoughts and Questions part I.

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Instructor Biography

Jacob Wustner is a second-generation beekeeper from Missoula, MT. He operates Sapphire Apiaries in Stevensville, MT where he produces honey bee products, produce, and mushrooms using the highest principles of Permaculture. Jacob keeps honey bees using natural farming methods such as selecting for disease resistance, raising naturally-mated queens, and only feeding honey.

The mission at Sapphire Apiaries is to “cultivate fruit and nut trees and shrubs, edible and medicinal mushrooms, nutrient dense polyculture produce, pastured poultry and pork, and harvest the purest comb honey from hardy, disease-resistant honey bees.”

Jacob has amassed an amazing breadth and depth of knowledge regarding keeping honeybees. He grew up within the commercial, conventional beekeeping industry; later ventured into organic beekeeping with his brother at Wustner Brothers Honey; then recently launched into a Permaculture approach to keeping honey bees with Sapphire Apiaries. His knowledge of ecology and Permaculture allows him to teach from a holistic perspective that is very informative, very interesting, and very helpful when it comes to understanding honey bees.

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