Annual Beginning Beekeeping Course Information

The 2021 UDC/DC Beekeepers Alliance Beginning Beekeeping Course Will Take Place Online

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DCBA has chosen the Zoom platform for course delivery in the interest of the well-being of students and instructors in 2021. Course length and content, while adapted, will remain consistent.

MidAtlantic region beginning beekeeping courses begin in late Winter and conclude by late March or early April. The bees need this early start to take advantage of the way our greenspace grows. Sustainable preparation takes several weeks of instruction and planning, requiring a midwinter course schedule.

Please note: demand for urban beekeeping classes wildly outstrips supply: there are more than 700 households on the notification list and we urge you to explore all options available for beekeeping education. 

We are not the only local source for quality beekeeper education! Other area beekeeping associations that also offer courses include:

There are more options via local beekeeping businesses and universities: to learn more, we suggest that you join our Facebook or Google Group. Both of these are private and your request to join must be approved.

About our class

Members of the DC Beekeepers Alliance receive priority access to class seats: remaining seats will be offered around December 1 to those who sign up for notification (form below). Student seats are not reserved until registration and payment are complete. 

The DCBA 2021 Class will begin Tuesday evening, January 19 and continue for 8 weekly sessions to March 9. Class meets for 2 hours. Should pandemic conditions permit, there will be two optional face to face workshops, "Build Day" to teach the construction of hives and hive components (all tools provided!), and "Field Day" at the Sustainable Honey Bee Program

Course Description:  

UDC CAUSES/Extension and the DC Beekeepers Alliance offer an annual for-fee, non-credit bearing course that provides resources and knowledge needed to successfully and responsibly keep bees in the District of Columbia. Those who complete all sessions receive a Certificate of Completion, introduction to a mentor, and connections to suppliers of equipment and bees.

Course meetings begin in January and run through mid-March (8 total, 16 hours of instruction). The course fee covers all lectures, two text books, online resources and potential hands on sessions. Text books will be distributed at or before the first session.


The introductory beekeeping course covers these topics:

  1. An Overview of the History and Practice of Beekeeping
  2. Bee Biology and Lifecycle, and Why You Need To Know It
  3. Beekeeping Equipment: Woodenware, Tools, and Protective Gear
  4. Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter Management in DC: How the Seasons Dictate Your Tasks
  5. Challenges to Bee Health: Diseases, Pests and Parasites
  6. Bee Forage: What Bees Eat in the MidAtlantic
  7. Products of the Hive: Honey, Wax, Propolis and How You Can Harvest and Use Them
  8. Purchasing and Installing Bees
  9. Record keeping, club resources for beekeepers
  10. (Optional) Equipment building hands-on workshop

If there is demand, an equipment building session can be scheduled in March. 

Additional course goals include linking students with mentors, connecting them with ongoing educational resources, and assisting in locating sources of bees and equipment.

Class sizes are limited by classroom space and mentor availability, usually 60 students per year.


The class will be taught by active beekeepers, including local Master Beekeepers and experienced DC Beekeepers. Additional DC beekeepers assist at each session.

For Notification (NOT Priority Access) When Course Registration Opens: