Brooklyn Grange is pleased to announce the resurrection of its commercial apiary in March of 2013! With it comes an improved Urban Beekeeper Training Program poised to educate a small class of aspiring apiarists in the fine art of urban beekeeping.
The program, lead by beekeepers Chase Emmons of Brooklyn Grange and Meg Paska of The Homestead at Seven Arrows (NJ) will focus on providing students with both an academic understanding of bees and a guided hands-on experience that is unmatched in NYC. Students will be matched in pairs and given a small group of hives to start and maintain throughout the season. The new beekeepers will be able to compare growth, overall vigor and productivity between the hives, a valuable observation that most urban hobbyists with one or two colonies don’t have the opportunity to witness.
In this program, students will begin with an online web course designed by Paska, who has taught beekeeping courses in NYC at respected establishments like The New York Botanical Gardens and 3rd Ward since 2008. This course outlines the behavior, hierarchy and maintenance of honey bee colonies as well as the development of the colony over the course of a season. Reading assignments will be given and then, in March and April, when our new honey bees arrive, students will take part in the introduction of the mini-colonies to their new homes. Bi-weekly inspections will take place throughout the season, and students will learn to troubleshoot and resolve colony issues with minimally invasive, chemical-free management.
In addition to learning to manage hives and colony health, new beekeepers will learn to harvest bee-made materials like propolis, pollen, beeswax and of course, honey. At the end of the season, students will learn how to process these raw goods to create profitable value added products and receive tips on how to package and market them to their local community. At the end of the season, each beekeeper will be equipped with the knowledge and experience to operate their own apiary.
The course will begin in mid-March and continues until mid-October. Students will be expected to attend each lesson (a minimum of two days a month). There is an equipment charge of $100 for the course, which includes a smoker, hive tool and hat/veil for each student.
To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Chase@brooklyngrangefarm.com. With your application, please include responses to the following questions:
1. What about beekeeping interests you?
2. How would you describe yourself in the context of beginning new projects? In working with a team?
3. What do you hope to glean from this program? How do you hope to apply what you have learned?
4. We have a small number of scholarship openings. If you would like to apply, please explain your situation.