Beekeeping in Northern Climates - Year 1

Due to risks of contracting Covid19, we are preparing to move our beekeeping classes on-line.

With the help of Dr. Katie Lee, our new Extension Educator, we are producing a new and improved set of course materials, updating some management techniques, and creating fun online instruction modules. Year 1 and Year 2 classes will be combined into one Beginning Beekeeping in Northern Climates class. 

The 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. 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 the updated Beekeeping in Northern Climates and Honey Bee Diseases and Pests manuals. Upon completion of the course you will receive a certificate of completion. 

The on-line course is scheduled to begin on January 16th, 2021. Registration will be available through our Bee Lab website in mid-November, 2020. After the January 16th kickoff you can dig into the materials whenever you like. If you cannot join us on January 16, you can still register and begin the course anytime after that and watch the recorded kickoff.

We will resume teaching in-person when we can ensure everyone’s safety. We also will continue to offer the on-line course for those who prefer that type of venue, or who find it difficult to meet in person.

The cost will be $175.00 per person.  For comparison, the price for both Year 1 and Year 2 in-person classes was $275.00 per person.

We are excited to roll out our new material!

BEEKEEPING IN NORTHERN CLIMATES, Year 1: Getting Started in Beekeeping

Interested in becoming a beekeeper? Dr. Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab will help you get started in beekeeping. If you have had no prior experience keeping bees in our cold climate, Beekeeping in Northern Climates, Year 1 will teach you everything you need to know for a successful first year. 

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


  • 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

Cancellations: Send cancellations to Gary S. Reuter, 1980 Folwell Ave. Room 219, St. Paul, MN 55108-6125, or by emailing

Refund Policy: $130.00 will be refunded to participants who cancel in writing BEFORE beginning class.

Additional Information