Join us for Bee School

Each year the Barnstable County Beekeepers Association (BCBA) offers Bee School specifically designed for beginning beekeepers. The course runs from early January to mid-May, progressing through the key points of a hive’s lifecycle. The sessions start in the winter when new beekeepers learn basic information about the bees themselves, the proper equipment they will need, and how to assemble their hives. As the season progresses, new beekeepers learn how to introduce bees to their new hives, how to monitor the progress of their bees, when to add new components to their hives, and so on to pest control, and, finally, harvesting the honey! The course is taught by senior members who are always willing to mentor the new beekeepers.

Bee School tuition is $50 and includes a textbook, handouts, instruction, a mentoring program, and a one-year family membership (a $20 value) in the BCBA. Space is limited and fills up quickly.

Registration for the 2022 BEE SCHOOL is closed.

Those interested in beekeeping are invited to join our association through the membership.

More Information on Bee School

Where: West Barnstable Community Building, Route 149, West Barnstable

Social time 7:00-7:30 pm/Classroom Sessions begin at 7:30 pm

Session Topics: 

January 5th – Wednesday

January 19th – Wednesday
Introduction to Beekeeping

February 2nd – Wednesday
Equipment Workshop/ordering equipment and Packaged bees

February 16th – Wednesday
Occupants of the hive and their Life Cycle

March 2nd – Wednesday
Spring and Summer Management

March 16th – Wednesday
Honeybee Pests, Diseases, monitoring, treatments

All future sessions are now held during our regular monthly meetings. Check the Newsletter for dates/times/information.

Friday, April 1st

Anticipated Arrival of Package Bees
Pick-up time and location TBA


May through September 2022

Hive Openings – All are Welcome to attend



Locations and times TBA/Watch our newsletter

Cancellation Policy: If Cape Cod Community College cancels evening classes due to adverse weather conditions, BCBA meetings and bee school are also cancelled.

Must Read: Contemplating your new hobby

As we walk attendees through the basics of managing a honey bee hive, it is imperative that “newbees” delve into other resources. The internet, of course, has a wealth of information, but one might consider checking out the CLAMS network. Beekeeping for Dummies, Natural Beekeeping by Ross Conrad of Vermont and Practical Beekeeping by Michael Bush would be good reading this winter and are all available through the local library.

Veteran beekeepers will instruct the class with the purchasing and proper construction of the hive components. When budgeting for this new hobby, expect to pay approximately $425 for the complete hive suitable for here on Cape Cod. This figure also includes necessary tools, a smoker and protective equipment.

The association makes a bulk purchase of packaged bees (3 pounds) which usually arrive mid to late April to establish each new hive. In addition to the above equipment expense, it is estimated that the cost for a 3 lb. package of Italian honeybees with a mated queen is $140.00. Other sources of bees and nucleus colonies will be provided which you may pursue on your own.

The class will NOT include instruction on Top Bar, Warre or Flow hives. These all take a special management technique. It is hoped that all attendees will enjoy the experience of working with this incredibly fascinating insect. Please be aware that there are a number of challenges when keeping bees these days and we will do all that is possible to assist in keeping your hive alive.


Did You Know?


Honeybees will visit about two million flowers and fly around 50,000 miles to make a one pound jar of honey.