Introductory Beekeeping Class: My Experience

Bee Keeping… Where do you start? How hard can it be? Where do you get supplies? Where do you get bees? How much honey do you get? How much money can you make? Can you even make money? Will I get stung? How aggressive are the bees?

All those questions and more have tumbled around in my head. This is why I decided to take a Bee Keeping Class. There is a Bee Keeper who offers a class in our area. The class takes two and a half hours but is jam packed with good information.

A buddy of mine wanted to take the class as well so we signed up together and drove down there together. The day was perfect, not too hot – not too cold. The sun was shining and the bees were flying. Gretchen Bee Ranch isn’t a large place, but is very welcoming and friendly. Mark and Thiên Gretchen are the owners and operators of Gretchen Bee Ranch. We were welcomed by Thiên, who made us feel right at home.

Prior to the class I received an email telling me all that would be needed for the class and how to get there. One item that was needed was a lawn chair… Yeah, I forgot my lawn chair… so did my buddy LOL. Luckily there were a few extras so we did not have to sit on the ground.

After a brief introduction of the students and instructor we dove straight into the good stuff. Right off the bat it’s obvious that Mark is very comfortable, confident and knowledgeable about the subject. After all he’s been doing it for over 30 years.

Mark Gretchen: Gretchen Bee Ranch

I don’t always do well in classes when there is a lot of talking. I want to get right in and start messing with Bees! Well, it didn’t take long. Mark gave us a good introduction and prepared us for what we were going to see and experience. I was ready to get suited up!

The suits were passed out and we got dressed. My at and veil didn’t fit quite right, but that didn’t stop me. I felt like a little kid all excited for a trip to the candy store. I’m not sure why… this was just FUN!

My Buddy Scott In His Bee Suit

Once over at the hives we got to see the flurry of activity. There were a lot of bees. The bees didn’t seem bothered by us too much. There was no aggressive behavior. Mark explained the differences between the hives and opened them up one at a time. At each one we got to see and handle the frames that were loaded with bees.

Mark pointed out all the things that he had already talked about. He wanted us to see up close the brood, the frames, the feeder, the results of violating “bee space” and the queen… where is that queen? Oh There she is! Yes, I was the one to spot the queen first!

We were the lucky class where, for the first time ever, Mark re-queened a hive during class! That was pretty cool… a little sad for the old queen, but a cool experience for us!

You know, not all my questions are answered. I will forever have more questions, but I figure what better way to answer those questions than to just do it! Yep, I ordered a hive and will be getting bees from Mark at Gretchen Been Ranch.  Perhaps in future blog posts I’ll be able to ask more and answer more questions.

Thanks for hanging out with me here. Enjoy the pictures of the experience below 🙂

Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience
Daddykirbs Blog: Beekeeping Class Experience

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