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Beekeeping Education in Alachua County – Annual Series

This blog is updated annually. Scheduling of face-to-face classes will depend on the status of COVID-19 outbreak.

In recent years, awareness of honeybees has increased globally. More and more people are interested in learning about honeybees and how to keep them. The UF/IFAS Extension Office in Alachua County has developed a series of short courses that will help you get started as a beekeeper. This series is the 2019 national winner for the Search for Excellence in Commercial Horticulture category by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents!

The series is comprised of four classes that are strategically scheduled to help you along the way during the first year as a beekeeper. We hope to resume hands-on, face-to-face classes during the second half of 2021 as gatherings become safer. We are working on developing online materials for beginner beekeepers in our area. In the mid-time, we invite you to join us at Bee College this Spring. Below, find a brief description of our future face-to-face classes:

  • November: Beginner Beekeeping. Six-hour class (includes lunch and materials). The class covers principles of honeybee biology, equipment, how to use a smoker, rules to start an apiary, and more. The class cycle starts again with Beginner Beekeeping every November but during 2020, this class will not be held.
  • Feb: Swarms and Colony Management. Three-hour class (includes refreshments and materials). During Spring months, many resources are available for honeybee colonies to grow. Around March, strong colonies will prepare to split and start a colony somewhere else (swarm). To avoid losing those bees, this class trains you on how to recognize signs that your colony may be getting ready to swarm and how to make splits properly and timely.
  • May: Honey Extraction and Hive Management. Three-hour class (includes refreshments and materials). As the colony stores resources, you may want to collect the sweet reward of keeping bees. This class will go over how to extract honey, how to bottle and label it, and more. This will be our first honey extraction class hosted at the new extraction room available at the new Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory!
  • July: Hive Pest and Queen Loss. Three-hour class (includes refreshments and materials). The class will go over multiple pests and diseases, reasons for queen loss, and hive nutrition.

These classes will give you the principles and hands-on experience that will help prepare you to take full advantage of Bee College later in the year.

New beekeeper learning to select frames for Honey Extraction.

Classes are announced around the 15th of the month before the class thru local TV and newspaper, our website, IFAS Calendar as well as Facebook so you CANNOT miss it! Classes are limited to 40 participants and typically fill up quickly after the announcement. Sign up as soon as you see the class advertisement and take advantage of the early-bird registration. A 10 dollar late registration fee will apply after the cut off date for each class. Registration closes at noon the day before class. If you would like to receive email notifications about these beekeeping classes, you may join our beekeeping listserv by emailing You may also follow us thru Facebook @FarmingAlachua.

Each class has an individual registration link thru Eventbrite that goes live around the 15th of the month before the class. Classes take place on Saturdays at the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab located at 1881 Natural Area Drive, Gainesville, FL 32611 (the building with yellow hexagonal windows).

These classes are brought to you as a collaboration between UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County, the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab, and volunteer local beekeepers.

Featured post:

More than 400 people have participated in this series. Come and join us!

Participants of Pest & Disease Management Class

For more information contact

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