I have gotten phone calls and e-mails asking me one thing: do you have any queens? And as I  am make my splits for the 2011 season I consider the same thing… what if these natural queen cells dont make it? What will I do?

Ideally, beekeeping in Alberta, at least amongst hobbyists, should be self sustaining. The demand isnt excessive and our collaboration and support of one another makes for a ripe opportunity. But how do we get it going? Does the commercial model of Queen rearing work for a beekeeper who only needs 1-5 queens? How do we mate them when our beeyards are small? How do we ensure that the queen is a quality queen, and ready for the local weather and local disease challenges? I too wanted to learn how to approach these issues, so I went to the Organic Beekeeping Conference in Arizona this past February looking for a solution! That is where I met Sam Comfort!

Sam Comfort is not only the largest scale Top Bar Hive beekeeper in North America, he is unconventional, approachable, well spoken, and so deeply in love with honeybees that he spends 12 months of the year travelling across the eastern sea board caring for them! He has bee yards in states all down the coast and travels around the world sharing his knowledge of honeybees and how he cares for them, or rather, lets them care for themselves.  We are fortunate enough to have him come and help us on our way to becoming ‘bee’ sustainable.

 A.B.C Apiaries and Bees for Communities is flying Sam in for July 2nd and 3nd for a Queen Rearing workshop!  In the two days we will be covering:

– Queen Rearing: Walk away splits, grafting, comb cutting, and egg punching.

Also we will be covering:

– Organic Bee Management Strategies

– Starting hives, feeding, splitting, and harvesting

– Alternative Hive designs

– Creating a Bee network within our community- Bee yards for mating in an urban setting?

The course will be held at Chiron Farms, Terry Willards organic herb farm, on July 2nd and 3rd from 9-5pm on both days! There will be bee hives handled, and lunch served with your registration. We are accepting 30 seats to this very indepth, expansive and progressive course; so register ASAP if you would like to attend! If you thought you knew everything about beekeeping, you will be surprised at how much more there is to learn from Sam Comfort. If you are new to bees and want to take your experience with bees to the next level, this is the course for you!

Register for the Queen Rearing Course here.

Course tickets are $270.00 including lunch and snacks. If you have any questions about the course, please e-mail us at info@backyardbees.ca Re: Queen Rearing Course.

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