Like humans, bees are social animals—living and working together in a community—and intuitive designers and builders. Raising bees provides a window through which we can commune with these unique creatures, gain an understanding of their biological and social structure, and encourage a more productive, ecological landscape of our own. In this workshop, we will discuss the history of beekeeping, the environmental importance of having more individuals raising bees, and the responsibilities associated with keeping the hive healthy. The emphasis will be on sustainable and biodynamic principles. We will analyze natural beehive architecture, and look at the different styles of human-made hives. Finally, we will review plans for our own hives and then each build one. Each student will leave with a finished beehive consisting of a brood hive, one medium hive body (two if time permits), the base, and inner and outer covers.

Course start time: Saturday, 9am
Course end time: Sunday, 5pm


  • Competency Level: All Levels
  • Sterling College credits: 1 Continuing Education Unit ($130 additional)

Course Outline

Saturday morning

  • Introduction
  • History of Bees, beekeeping practices
  • Video

Saturday afternoon

  • The basics of beekeeping
  • Best practices for maintaining a healthy hive
  • Observation of a live colony
  • Questions and discussion period
  • Review of safety procedures and proper use of power tools in shop
  • Begin building hives


  • Complete construction of hives

Suggested Reading

C.P. Dadant. First Lessons in Beekeeping

Richard E. Bonney. Beekeeping: A Practical Guide

Ross Conrad. Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture

Start Date: August 30, 2014
Duration: 2 Days
Instructors: TBD
Tuition: $350
Materials: $100