Beekeeping in Northern Climates - Online

Interested in becoming a beekeeper? Dr. Marla Spivak, Dr. Katie Lee and Gary Reuter from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab will help you get started in beekeeping. If you have no prior experience keeping bees in our cold climate, Beekeeping in Northern Climates will teach you everything you need to know. The course modules cover honey bee biology, management, successful wintering of colonies, managing diseases and pests and so much more. If your goal is to keep your bees alive and healthy year after year, this engaging course is for you.

This on-line class will be about 8 hours of instruction divided into modules. We will begin with a live, on-line presentation from Marla Spivak, Gary Reuter, and Katie Lee on January 16, 2021. From there, you will be able to work through the course material in modules at your own pace. You will have access to the materials for two years to allow you to review any module over two beekeeping seasons. To accompany the class, you will receive a PDF version of both the updated Beekeeping in Northern Climates and Honey Bee Diseases and Pest manuals. Upon completion of the course, you will receive a certificate of completion. 

After January 16, you can register and begin the course anytime and watch the recorded kickoff.

The cost is $175.00 per person payable with a credit card. Go here to register.

Topics include:

  • Purchasing equipment and bees
  • Hiving packages
  • Best management practices for keeping bees in urban and rural settings
  • Honey production
  • Successful strategies for the first winter
  • Strategies for keeping your bees healthy using medications only as a last resort
  • Dividing colonies in spring to avoid swarms
  • Introducing new queens to new divide colonies
  • Preparing colonies for the second winter
  • Best management practices for controlling diseases and mites, using medications only as a last resort


  • Marla Spivak, Professor, Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota
  • Gary Reuter, Scientist, Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota
  • Katie Lee, Apiculture Extension educator, University of Minnesota

Class Details

Registration: cost is $175.00 per person payable with a credit card. Go here to register. Instructions to access the class will be emailed to you when you complete the registration.

Cancellations: Send cancellations to Katie Lee, 1980 Folwell Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, or by emailing

Refund Policy: No cancellation refunds after the class has been started. A cancelation fee of $15.00 will be deducted from refund for cancelations made before the student starts the class.