Hands-in-the-Hives Beekeeping & Mentorship Series

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Hands-in-the-Hives Beekeeping & Mentorship Series

Develop your practical beekeeping knowledge and skillset with this rain-or-shine beekeeping series, with beekeeping mentor Julia Common.

By Urban Bee Supplies

When and where

Date and time

Starts on Sun, May 7, 2023 10:00 AM PDT


Urban Bee Educational Apiary 5300 34b Avenue Delta, BC V4L 2P1 Canada

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.
Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

Note: Would you like to register for multiple sessions? We offer discounts for buting 3+ sessions, including a Full Series bundle at 50% off. You can view these options and register here: https://urbanbeesupplies.ca/products/hands-in-the-hives-beekeeping-bundles

April 20th Update: Session 1 has been rescheduled from May 6th to May 7th, as high volume traffic is expected on May 6th due to West Coast Seed's seedling sale on site. May 7th will be a calmer day on location.

Whether you are just starting your beekeeping journey, or if you have been keeping bees for a little while but could use some more mentorship, this series is for you. This series has sessions taking place almost every 2 weeks throughout the season with beekeeping mentor Julia Common, to help keep you on track and practicing throughout the whole beekeeping season. The group sizes are at a maximum of 9 attendees, a size that will help ensure you get your hands in the hives and get a chance to ask questions.

Every session is focused on practical beekeeping. Weather permitting you will be out in the hives performing routine inspections and appropriate beekeeping tasks for the time of year - whether supplement feeding, testing/treating for mites, adding honey supers, etc. You will get the opportunity to get your hands on bees in colonies at all stages of growth and health. This will help you never miss a beat with your beekeeping and learn how to do a task before you have to do it in your apiary.

However, these sessions will take place RAIN OR SHINE - if the weather just doesn't permit beekeeping, the session will become an informal Q&A seminar where attendees sit down in the comfortable heritage house on site with some tea/coffee overlooking our educational apiary, and talk about what is going on in the season, what they should be doing next, and getting a chance to bring their questions about their own hives to Julia. Make sure to take and bring pictures of your hives to help clarify what you are seeing for your instructor.

These sessions will help you get a chance to talk about your bees in whatever niche they are situated, and help you work out the unique needs of your apiary. It is also a great opportunity to meet, discuss and network with other beekeepers and get a wider sense of what is going on in the wider beekeeping community. This will help you distinguish between what most everyone is experiencing with their bees, and what may be unique to your hive(s).

The end goal of these sessions is ultimately to ensure that you stay on track for the season and know what you should be doing next in your apiary. The direct hands-on guidance from a mentor will also help you with your beekeeping technique - handling of frames, tool use, reading the frames, spotting queens, etc.

The format will be casual and relaxed, with the instructor leading inspections and hive work that attendees will assist with, while giving opportunities to ask lots of questions. We have chosen this format and the class size to ensure everyone can receive individual attention, and because while theory is very important, often it is the practical hands-on beekeeping experience with a mentor which is hard to come by and which helps all the theory fall into place. Our apiary's purpose is to enable beekeeper learning, and we hope it helps provide a relaxed environment for growing your skillset month after month.

Above: Julia leading a past Urban Bee workshop.

About the Instructor:

Julia is a Vancouver, BC-area beekeeper with over 40 years of experience. She is a BCHPA certified instructor, BC Regional Director for the Western Apicultural Society, and member of the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturalists. Formerly the co-founder and chief beekeeper of Hives for Humanity, Julia’s current focus lies in her research, pollination work, and livestock production through her new operation ‘Bees Actually’. Julia is also a frequent speaker at local bee clubs, providing knowledge and insight in her unique voice to hundreds of local beekeepers year after year.

Julia has many years of experience helping new and hobby beekeepers. Through her work with Hives for Humanity she came to understand very well the unique challenges and considerations of urban beekeeping. However, the bulk of her hives have remained in rural Ladner, and with experience in crop pollination she also understands the unique challenges of countryside beekeeping.

Regardless of your setting, Julia knows what is most helpful for “newbees” making their management decisions and is inspired to help them become thoughtful and successful beekeepers. You will love her enthusiastic teaching style, and she is very well known for her fun & insightful presentations.

Above: (1) Our educational apiary the early Spring, still wrapped, flanked by the early 1900s heritage house we often get to use for education sessions; (2) Our apiary from another angle in the Summer; (3) The cozy interior of the heritage house, where you will learn if weather doesn't permit in-the-hive inspections.

Where is this event?

This series will take place at Urban Bee located at 5300 34b Avenue in Delta, BC. We are located in the same location as West Coast Seeds, of which Urban Bee is a division, and we share their beautiful grounds which include trial gardens, orchards, and a beautiful heritage house.

It also includes our educational apiary which is set-up and is maintained specifically for the purpose of facilitating beekeeper education, with the goal of being able to offer hands-on learning and mentorship throughout the year to local beekeepers. We hope this will help new beekeepers take up their new passion with greater ease and help support hobby apiarists in their pursuit of joyful and sustainable beekeeping.

If weather does not permit in-the-hive beekeeping, the informal Q&A session will typically take place in the cozy heritage house on site complete with conference room overlooking our apiary. It is a great relaxed environment for asking all of your questions while the instructor talks about what is going on in the season and what they are doing in their apiaries.

There will be access to washrooms, a kitchen with fridge, water/coffee/tea, some snacks and other amenities.

Refund Policy

Please note that if you register and must later cancel your registration for the class due to personal circumstances a full refund can be provided minus the Eventbrite fee. Cancellations must be received 48 hours prior to the start of the workshop to provide adequate time to find a new attendee. If the cancellation was requested less than 48 hours prior to the event and we are unable to fill the vacant attendee spot Urban Bee Supplies reserves the right to retain the workshop payment. Please note that the above does not apply in the case of a cancellation due to re-scheduling (such as if the instructor is ill), and a full refund WILL be applied if you must cancel due Urban Bee Supplies rescheduling the event.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A RAIN-OR-SHINE EVENT AND NO REFUND WILL BE ISSUED IF YOU CANCEL DUE TO THE WEATHER. These sessions will be in-the-hive if possible, but if weather is too adverse the indoor informal seminar format will be used. We will not issue refunds for last-minute cancellations because a reservee would have preferred one format or the other.

Below: Some more photos from our classes and our educational apiary and surrounding area.


Thank you to Rusty Beekeeper for most of the photos above! Check them out here: https://www.instagram.com/rustybeekeeper/

About the organizer

Organized by
Urban Bee Supplies

Urban Bee provides beekeeping courses, seminars and events at a variety of skills levels ranging from totally new to intermediate.

Urban Bee primarily operates as a beekeeping supply store for both total beginners ('newbees') and more experienced beekeepers. We specialize in meeting the needs of backyard & urban beekeepers.

If you think you may be interested in starting in beekeeping, we encourage you to come see us in our store in Ladner and say hi, or check out our website! You can also reach us via phone at 604-364-1993 or email sales@urbanbeesupplies.ca. We look forward to hearing from you.

Urban Bee provides courses, seminars, beekeeping equipment, honeybees for sale, beekeeping supplies, feed & health products, honey, and more!