So you want to be a beekeeper but…

As a beekeeping class instructor and trainer of beekeeping skills at the teaching apiaries I manage, one conversation I have a LOT is, “I want to be a beekeeper but…”  and then one of a list of reasons or excuses preventing them from doing so.

I say both reasons and excuses because there are some valid reasons why some is finding it difficult or improbable to keep bees on their own.  However, there are some things that come up that really are just excuses that can be overcome more easily if the effort is expended.

My answer to those folks that want to be beekeepers but… is don’t “just” be a beekeeper, be a Beehooligan instead.

Advantages if being a Beehooligan are:

  • You don’t need to have your own place to keep bees, you can play with the bees in the teaching apiaries.
  • You can have experienced mentors right there with you whenever you are unsure or have questions.
  • You get to build experience in multiple methods of beekeeping and to participate in a variety of bee related activities.
  • You can be an active advocate of bees, beekeeping and bee conservation to non-beekeepers by participating in public access presentations and events.
  • You can be a member of a small group of deranged maniacs who thoroughly enjoy playing with flying, stinging insects and they get you as much as you get them.
  • Even if you want to start beekeeping in the middle of the year and no bees are available to buy, you still can trade your time for building active experience and camaraderie so you are better prepared for the next season to start.
  • I work to build in extra perks to make your time invested worthwhile besides the beekeeping experience and education.  Things like Beehooligan only events and special deals and “leftovers”.
  • You get to be part of the podcast episodes, videos and presentations where our ever growing fans are waiting to see and hear from the Beehooligans.

When you’re a Beehooligan, your setting yourself up for success and fun in a shared apicultural experience with a bunch of other folks who can’t think straight without bees in their life (or sometimes at all, but mad luv for all Beehooligans just because we have to bee a little nuts).

I have set up and continue to set up more teaching apiaries that double as bee rescue relocation destinations.  This means as I go rescue and relocate live honey bee and bumblebee colonies with my Beehooligans, I have more places for Beehooligans to get to play with bees by helping me with the apiaries.

So, if you are around the Omaha metro area and want the biggest, bestest beekeeping experience around, then contact Tony Sandoval at one of the teaching apiary days or by calling or texting 402-370-8018.

Beekeeping is Therapeutic, Keep Calm and Keep Bees

One of the biggest reasons I am so enthusiastic about collaborating with Scatter Joy Acres and Joy Bartling is because of the opportunity to have a place that spotlights bees and beekeeping on multiple fronts.  It not only provides space but an open-minded and willing support for bee conservation, skills training, providing a “safe space” for people to encounter bees in a positive way, and to facilitate the incredibly therapeutic experience that beekeeping offers.

Beekeeping can be a very relaxing and calming experience.  It requires the beekeeper to proceed in a purposefully calm and deliberate manner.  There sensory experiences that beekeepers enjoy have been often described as soothing, relaxing, and contributing to an almost Zen-like state of mind.  Like I said earlier, it can be downright therapeutic.

Joy and the volunteers at Scatter Joy Acres bring rescued animals to the ranch and then introduce people seeking calming and self-fulfilling therapeutic experiences to those animals.  This does two things at once.  It provides the rescued animals with and abundance of care and positive interaction from people and it gives people an opportunity to build confidence, a sense of purpose and calm to build up the inner strength to live more full and positive lives.

Bringing rescued bee colonies to SJA helps to keep bees that might have otherwise been exterminated or died of unnecessary environmental stress factors alive and in a low stress environment.  It also allows the Bee Smart beekeeping project to introduce people to the fascinating and often stress relieving experience of beekeeping.

I welcome anyone who is seeking out unconventional and interesting ways to help to alleviate stress issues such as people recovering from ptsd, over-busy lives, incarceration, low self esteem and other such stressful backgrounds.

With the new teaching apiary at Scatter Joy Acres being a home for rescued bees, maybe it could bee a good fit for you to.

Contact Tony Sandoval here at the Bee Smart beekeeping project to find out more about how bee rescue and beekeeping might bee just the the therapeutic experience that you are looking for.

You can support the Bee Smart beekeeping project and it’s efforts in bee conservation, beekeeper skills training, and building informative and entertaining public awareness about bees at the Bee Smart beekeeping project Patreon page.

 

This is a great time to be a Beehooligan with the Bee Smart beekeeping project

Beehooligans are avid learners and doers of bee things.  Being a Beehooligan is to take on beekeeping with your own goals and objectives in mind and just enough sass and attitude to not care if you do what everyone else is doing it not.

Beehooligans work alongside others like themselves to learn, teach, observe and get great things done.

When you are a member of the Bee Smart beekeeping project Beehooligans, you know there are others who’ve got your back and are going to help you bee successful.

The Bee Smart beekeeping project offers its Beehooligans many benefits of association;

  • Working on a team to help rescue and relocate bees that might otherwise be exterminated.
  • Taking care of the hives the rescued bees are moved to.
  • Learning valuable, practical and pragmatic beekeeping skills that promote healthy and thriving bee colonies
  • Supporting a local nonprofit organization dedicated to taking in and caring for bees and promoting conservation. (It’s only $10.00/month)
  • Having fun and enjoying learning while doing with other Beehooligans.
  • When the Bee Smart beekeeping project rescues more bees than the teaching apiaries can handle, our Beehooligans are the go to list that we send the overflow bees to.
  • Share the fun and knowledge of beekeeping with the public by helping out at presentations and events.

Become a Bee Smart beekeeping project Beehooligan today and be part of something bigger and more fun than “just” beekeeping.

Keep bees like a Beehooligan.

Sign up to be a Beehooligan by contacting Tony Sandoval at 402-370-8018.

 

 

Summer Beekeeping Classes at MCC

I was recently informed that we actually did make the time cut to get the beekeeping classes in time to be in the Summer quarter print non-credit catalog for MCC.

I would like to thank MCC for putting the support and effort into making beekeeping and the new native bees classes available. I am working hard to make each class worth every minute of participants time and every dollar.

Having said that, if MCC is going to keep offering these types of classes, I need you help getting the word out so we can continue to build awareness and attendance to all the classes.

If there are any specific bee or beekeeping topics that folks would want to discovered, please let me know, if we can get a group to enroll, we can make that class happen.

Thanks to all you awesome bee folks for your continued support.

Bee Smart, Bee Active, Bee Happy

The Bee Smart beekeeping project is about conservation, education and training, and having fun.

Bee Smart is set up to rescue and relocate honey bees and bumblebees from locations where they are at risk of extermination or due to circumstances of location, pose a threat or risk.  The Bees are taken alive as much as possible and relocated eventually to the new teaching apiary that is being hosted at Scatter Joy Acres, which is an acreage that focuses on animal rescue and animal therapy.

Through the Bee Smart beekeeping project I have developed a series of beekeeping classes for people that want to learn about bees and beekeeping or expand their knowledge base if they are already involved in beekeeping.  There is also an upcoming series of Bee Smart classes focused on native bees found in North America and especially in our local area.  These classes are for a gone curious to know more about how to identify and provide habitat for native bees.

Most of these classes are offered through places like Metro Community College and hopefully soon at nature and garden attractions like Lauritzen Gardens.  They can be provided to private and non-profit organizations as well by appointment.

At the developing Bee Joyful Teaching Apiary at Scatter Joy Acres, apprentice beekeepers can get hands-on experience learning skills by doing them.  These folks are called my “Beehooligans” and are often active in apicultural adventures such as assisting with live bee rescues, capturing swarms, maintaining the hives, and harvesting from the hives.

One of the fun aspects is doing the bi-monthly podcast which is like a radio show on the internet.  These are recorded live at the ranch and any Beehooligans attending that particular day are welcome to sit in and chat about all things bees and beekeeping.

By being a “Beehooligan”, people can gain practical experience, work alongside others with the same interest, and build a network or support for themselves and each other.  On top of that, if a person wants to be involved in beekeeping but doesn’t have the space or other things necessary to keep bees on their own, this gives them the opportunity to still be a beekeeper at the teaching apiary.

Get involved with the Bee Smart beekeeping project.  Learn more, do more, enjoy it more.

Why My Bee Smart Classes Are Full of Awesome

I teach a number of beekeeping classes through Metro Community College here in Omaha, NE.  I try to get it so the basic classes start over every quater, that way, if you missed the opportunity to take one during one quarter, you can take it the next quarter.

I teach beekeeping classes to provide in depth information about various topics.  Each class is three hours of presentation of information, discussion and Q&A to gt the most out of each topic area.  Taking classes should be more than having a bunch of information shoved at you.  It should give you the opportunity to make the information relevant specifically to you and your needs.  That’s why I make sure to include plenty of opportunities for participants to ask questions that matter to what they have in mind.

I make sure that every participant gets a printed copy of the class booklet that I wrote to accompany each particular subject.  This way, participants don’t have to worry about taking copious notes of everything and can focus on discussion, Q&A, and making notes of specific info from the discussion and Q&A as it helps them be most effective.

I also make sure that each participant gets a crossword puzzle that created specifically from terms and ideas in the class it was made for.  This helps participants to reinforce the terminology and concepts that were discussed but hopefully in a way that is little more interesting and fun than by rote memorization.  Having even a little more fun helps to remember things than being bored to tears and forgetting most of it.

I want to help new and current beekeepers expand their capacity to be successful.  To  build their knowledge base and to understand just a little better these crazy insects we have fallen in love with.  The better informed we can be about our bees and our craft, the greater potential to be successful and enjoy doing it.  That’s what it’s all about.

Hive Working Happening At Scatter Joy Acres Teaching Apiary Tomorrow

I’ll bee ready to work on rehabbing hive boxes and putting together new boxes tomorrow at 1 pm.

We have donated hive boxes that need to be cleaned up and made usable for the new bee colonies we will go out and rescue this year.

Interns, here’s a great opportunity to come down, ask questions, find out the answers to What, How, Why, When, and even When.  Learn to identify pieces of hive equipment and much more.  $7.50 for the day.

Apprentices, take in a session of getting hands-on experience while you have someone there who won’t let you break anything (or can fix it if you do).  No stress, all fun and improving your skills.  $15.00  for the day.

After we’re done, you can get a special deal on going through the rest of the farm to see what Joy and the gang’s and visit the special critters living there.

Learn about bee hives, beekeeping equipment and support Bee rescue all at the same time.

 

UPDATE ON MCC BEEKEEPING CLASSES 2018!!!

OK beehooligans.
I got the most recently updated class schedule for all of the beekeeping classes being offered through Metro Community College at the new North Express location.
 
The classes are all on Saturdays from 10 am till 1 pm beeginning April 7th, 2018.
 
The classes are NOT listed in the paper or online Spring catalog for MCC due to timing of class listing. You can still register for the classes listed on the Bee Smart website by calling the phone number(s) listed in the class description.
 
Please visit the Bee Classes page and go to April and May on the embedded calendar to get the class information for each class being offered.
 
The Applied Beekeeping class, a hands-on class, will bee the only class NOT at the North Express MCC location. It will take place at the new teaching apiary at Scatter Joy Acres instead.

Spring Beekeeping Classes at MCC

Hello folks.  As promised, I am getting the beekeeping classes to be offered in the Spring quarter at the new MCC location here on the Bee Smart beekeeping project website.

If you go starting at the April 2018 calendar on the Bee Classes page here, you will find the Saturday classes listed which include the class registration number for each class and the phone number to call to register for the classes.

The classes were entered after the listing date for the catalog so unfortunately you won’t bee able to register online or see the classes listed in the Spring catalog.  We expect to have the next series of classes included in the catalogs and able to enroll online for the Summer quarter.

Don’t worry if you only find the April classes listed at first.  As the other beekeeping classes are updated, I will add them to the calendar.

Bees at beekeeping classes

So I have verification that beginning this April I am teaching basic level beekeeping classes at Metro Community College this Spring again.  There’s a full line up of in depth classes that include plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion in each one.

We’ll hold the classes at the new MCC location on North 30th St just somewhat North of Cummings St. If I recall hearing correctly.  I’ll post the specific address when I post the actual class line up in the near future.

While I liked the location at DoSpace, this location will allow me to bring a live observation hive to each class for up close inspection and demonstration of each topic as we’re discussing it.  I wasn’t able to bring the live bees into the building when the classes were at DoSpace due to building management concerns.

So, beekeeping classes, check.  Live bees at classes, check.  Wide variety of topics covered related to apicultural success, check.

I am looking forward to providing information and camaraderie to fellow bee people this coming Spring.  Hope to see you there.