The Astor Apiaries Urban Beekeeping Apprenticeship is a fully immersive program where participants will learn responsible beekeeping skills and management under the supervision of a certified Master Beekeeper. This full-season program will cover all aspects of starting and caring for a colony of honey bees, harvesting honey, and being an informed member of the beekeeping community.
What You'll Experience:
- 25 Sessions & Events from February-November 2023 - Each session will include some lecture time and some hands-on time where you will practice concepts we carry through the season. Events will introduce you to aspects of beekeeping outside the hive.
- Sessions will generally be Sundays from 9am-12pm at the Compost Collective in Forest Hills, Queens. See specific dates for details.
- Hands-On Experience with a Dedicated Hive
- Hands-On Honey Harvesting
- Swarm Catching/Rescue (if available)
- Additional Opportunities At Other Apiaries
- 1-on-1 Season-Long Mentorship
- Multiple Apiary Locations to Visit
- Private Group Chat With Instructor & Fellow Students
Additional Items Included:
- A free copy of "The Beekeeper's Handbook"
- Complementary LIBC Membership
- Bee Jacket
- Bee Gloves
- Hive Tool
- Free 2-year license to the hive tracking app
- Completion Certificate
- Student Discounts to Astor Apiaries Products and Services
- 2/27, 6-8pm // Virtual Session: Welcome To The UBA! - This will be a virtual session over Zoom.
- 3/5, 12pm-3pm // @Compost Collective: Winter Checks
- 3/19, 12pm-3pm // @Compost Collective: Building & Maintaining Equipment
- 4/2, 12pm-3pm // @Compost Collective: Prepping for the Spring, Swarms, and New Hives
- 4/16, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Bee Installs
- 4/16, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Queen Checks
- 4/30, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Inspecting & Logging Notes for Your Hive
- 5/7, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Building Up Your Colony
- 5/21, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Prepping for the Nectar Flow
- 6/4, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Start of the Flow
- 6/11, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Regular Inspections
- 6/18, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Analyzing the Nectar Flow
- 7/2, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Regular Inspections
- 7/16, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Pests & Disease
- 7/23, 9am-12pm // @Long Island Beekeepers Club Summer Picnic
- 7/28, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Regular Inspections
- 8/8, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Varroa Prep
- 8/20, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Feeding & Treatments
- 9/3, Time & Location TBA: Hands-On Honey Harvest
- 9/17: 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Regular Inspections
- 10/1, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Regular Inspections
- 10/15, 9am-12pm // @Compost Collective: Products from the Hive
- 10/29, Time & Location TBA: Honey Tasting
- 11/05, 12pm-3pm // @Compost Collective: Winterizing and Bee Yard Maintenance
- 11/19, 12pm-3pm // @Compost Collective: Wrapping Up The Season
All dates in the schedule are tentative and may be changed. Beekeeping is always dependent on good weather and other factors outside of our control. If sessions must be rescheduled, we will do so with as much notice as possible.
Beekeeping Safety Considerations:
Beekeeping is fun and rewarding but also comes with the risk of physical injury to yourself or those around you. Our main priority is the safety of all those who visit our apiary sites. We will provide you with a safety briefing and make sure that all participants are adequately protected with safety gear in order to participate. Participants who do not bring the necessary gear or behave in a risky manner will be asked to leave immediately and may not be allowed to return. All participants will be required to sign a waiver for every visit to an apiary and agree to follow all safety instructions from Astor Apiaries team members or host site agents.
While we carry a first aid kit, please note that we cannot administer medication, including but not limited to Benedryl, epinephrine, etc. All participants are responsible for their own medications if needed.
For more information or for FAQs, please visit the Apprentice Page.
The UBA program was a hands on, thorough, and delightful education in all things beekeeping. The class itself came to demonstrate the macro-organism of the hive, as we all worked together to learn from all the hives in the colony. Nick was always accessible to answer questions and illustrate ideas with his personal experience of the craft. I met some really wonderful people and, while I feel confident I could get on my way with hives of my own, I’d do the course again and recommend it to anyone with an interest.
The UBA program reignited my love of nature and science. Learning about the biology of the bees, their lifecycles and the coordinated, collaborative hierarchy within the hive was fascinating. The hands on responsibility of caring for a hive through the whole season was practical experience that could not have learned from just books.
I enjoyed every moment of interacting with the hive, I could have watched the bees all day.
Nick also provided extra curricular opportunities to accompany him on hive checks in NYC. It was invaluable, practical, hands on experience that led to a better understanding of beekeeping in different environments and locations.
The folks I took the class with were fantastic, and I look forward to trading stories as they continue in their beekeeping adventures. I wish I would have taken this class years ago.