Enroll by 12/31/2021 to save $100!
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.
- 22 3-hour Sessions from January-November 2022 - Each session will include some lecture time and some hands-on time where you will practice concepts we carry through the season.
- 3 Field Trips (TBA)
- Sessions will generally be Sundays from 10am-1pm at the Compost Collective in Forest Hills, Queens. See specific dates for details.
- Receive a copy of "The Beekeeper's Handbook"
- Hands-On Experience with a Dedicated Hive
- Hands-On Honey Harvesting
- Guest Beekeeper Talks (TBA)
- Swarm Catching/Rescue (if available)
- 1-on-1 Season-Long Mentorship
- Multiple Apiary Locations to Visit
- 1/16, 10am-noon // Virtual Session: Urban Beekeeping & Honey Bees* - Find out what's unique about urban beekeeping. We will also begin to cover bee biology and behavior. This will be a virtual session over Zoom.
- 2/6, 10am-1pm // @Green-Wood Cemetery: Winter Checks - A brief look at checking overwintered hives and potentially diagnosing 'dead-out' hives. What to look for and how to determine what has happened to the hive.
- 2/20, 10am-1pm //
- @Green-Wood Cemetery: Building & Maintaining Equipment* - Learn about the different parts of the hive, how to build the pieces, and how to maintain equipment from a previous season.
- 3/6, 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Prepping for a New Hive* - We'll cover season milestones and what to have on-hand and ready for when your package arrives.
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Bee Installs - How to install a package of bees. (date may change depending on the bee distributor's dates)
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Inspecting & Logging Notes for Your Hive* - First inspections after installing a hive. What to look for and how to record your observations.
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Swarms & Building Up A Colony - How to take advantage of early build-up as well as keeping an established hive from swarming.
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Prepping for the Nectar Flow* - What equipment you need and expectations for producing honey.
- , 10am-1pm //
- @Compost Collective: Guest Speaker (TBA)
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Start of the Flow - As the main nectar flow starts, learn about what honey is and how the bees use it.
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Analyzing the Nectar Flow*
- , 10am-1pm //
- @Compost Collective:
- Guest Speaker (TBA)
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Pests & Disease* - An overview on some of the most common pests and disease you'll encounter as a beekeeper.
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Prepping for Winter - Learn ways to keep your hive thriving into fall and why it's important to start prepping for winter now instead of waiting until it's too late.
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Varroa Prep* - As varroa populations rise, learn ways to combat them and manage their populations.
- , 10am-1pm // @TBA: Hands-On Honey Harvest - Enjoy the rewards of the season and leave with some honey from bees you've been caring for all season long.
- , 10am-1pm //
- @Compost Collective:
- Guest Speaker (TBA)*
- 9/18: Honey Tasting - Learn about the nuances of honey flavors and aromas, as well as the variation that occurs between location, plant source, and time of year.
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Feeding & Treatments* - Why it's critical to feed and treat as necessary.
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Products from the Hive - Learn about how to harvest and process other items from the hive, like propolis and beeswax.
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Looking to Next Season - Analyzing season logs and how to make next season better.
- , 10am-1pm // @Compost Collective: Wrapping Up The Season* - How to wrap and put up a hive for the winter. We'll go over the season and expectations for winter checks.
* Sessions will partially include Bee Season Series participants.
All dates in the schedule are 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.
- Bee Jacket - $54 (sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL)
- Bee Suit - $74
- (sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL)
- Smoker & Hive Tool - $34
If you choose a bundle with a bee suit or bee jacket, we will be in touch to get your size and make sure your gear is ready for the 2022 season. Choose your options from the dropdown menu at the top of this listing.
Safe Beekeeping 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.
For more information or for FAQs, please visit the Apprentice Page.