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THIS COULD BE YOU!!

This year, A.B.C is pleased to offer a beekeeping apprecticeship program to local urban bee-lovers. A.B.C currently has 10 colonies all over Calgary and is looking to consolidate the colonies to 2 ‘locations’. Inglewood and a rural location near Springbank. A.B.C is looking to expand the 10 colonies to 22 colonies by the end of 2012. Learn how to make splits, prepare for queen rearing, and prepare for winter.

Benefits & Responsibilities: A.B.C’s apprenticeship program is structured to give you all the first-hand knowledge you need to start a beehive of your own on your roof, community garden, or backyard. We will provide teams of two to three apprentices with several beehives, beekeeping equipment, basic safety gear, and close guidance through a season of hive management in a small group setting. Our goal is to give you the training you need to apply your knowledge independently by the end of the season, and leave prepared to be a mentor to new beekeepers next year.

Apprentices will work directly with experienced beekeepers and gain hands-on experience that covers the gamut of beekeeping tasks: basic hive inspections, pest identification and management, swarm prevention, requeening, combining and splitting hives, and honey harvesting. You’ll also learn about more advanced techniques like cell size regression, queen breeding, and managing top-bar colonies.

Apprentices are required to devote an average of 2-3 weekday hours per week to the maintenance of the hives. On a typical day the instructor will give a quick, hands-on lesson (30-60min) using a demonstration hive on what to look out for at that point in the season, at which point apprentices will break into small teams to inspect their own hives under supervision from the instructor. Teams are responsible for maintaining close records of hive conditions and manipulations. Some heavy lifting required, must be willing to cycle to urban Inglewood locations and car-pool to the rural location.

Who We’re Looking For: This is not a beekeeping 101 course; ideal candidates will be able to demonstrate some degree of knowledge, but hands-on experience isn’t necessary. We’re a brand-new program so we need people with a sense of humor, patience, and a willingness to help us find ways to improve as we go!

Benefits In addition to the valuable hands-on training using provided equipment, we may be able to provide starter bee colonies to apprentices who successfully complete the whole program, to start their own hives next year. Students will get a portion of the honey harvest – but be aware that first-year hives sometimes produce little or no harvestable honey. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who’s interested in getting started managing their own bees and giving back to the larger community.

How to Apply: Please respond to eliese@backyardbees.ca no later than June 14th with an email telling us about yourself and your interest in the apprenticeship. We will be reviewing applications as they are received. No resume necessary, creative applications encouraged. We encourage teams of two to three to apply together. Those who do not apply in teams will be paired with other selected applicants. Youth, members of under-served communities, and people from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Applicants who will be available during the work week, or with an interest in queen breeding and genetics will be given special consideration.

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