CLASS GUIDELINES - PLEASE READ:
Although classes may be taught by any number of staff, our lead educator is a Certified Master Beekeeper and Certified Master Gardener that has been hobby & commercially beekeeping since 2000.
Class dates are added to the schedule as they are determined, once a class fills, we will pick the date for the next class.
We not only sell bee supplies and teach classes, but we operate a fully functional honey and bee business with, at peak times, 100's of hives.
We are actively involved with youth programs, bee clubs, garden clubs, public speaking at events and plant/honey bee conservation.
There are three possible class locations:
Indoor Classroom - 33 W. Battle Creek Street. Downtown Galesburg (the store)
Outdoor Classroom - 33 W. Battle Creek Street downtown Galesburg (in our garden center)
The Farm/Bee Yards - 4960 S. 36th Street, Climax, MI 49034 (2 miles south of store)
We try to have the classes the month prior to when you're actually going to apply what you learned to your own hives. This ensures you don't get overwhelmed with too much information all at once, but will still know how to work with your hive before you get into it.
All classes are rain or shine, even if they are in the hives at the farm. Our class hives are housed inside a building, so rain doesn't bother us.
All classes, except the honey extraction fall harvest event, are held multiple times to allow everyone to get registered. Each year we have over 500-600 (and growing) students go through our classes from Michigan and nearby states.
Can't make our classes in Galesburg, MI? Keep an eye on our schedule because we teach classes all over Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.
Don't just take one class and then be left to fend for yourself! Whether you take one of our classes or many, you will always have a person to call or come visit with and ask questions, 7 days a week! We'll even come to your hive if you need serious help :)
There isn't anything offered in classes hosted by other organizations, that we don't cover in ours.
Make sure you can make the classes you sign-up for. There are no refunds or exchanges.
Don't forget the little ones too! We host the Bee & Pollinator 4-H Club at the store, so sign up the kids! (9 years old and up.) Click here to find out more about the 4-H Club.
In the event of bad weather, we will post class cancellations on the HOMEPAGE of this WEBSITE. Please check this before you come to a class.
Registration for classes can be done via our website by clicking here. All class registration must be done in advance.
Garden Related Classes
Beginning Canning Class - Inside the classroom at the bee store. Will last approx. 1 hour. We will discuss the different types of canning and will do prep work on veggies to start the canning process. At the end of the class you should have enough knowledge to try it on your own. To reserve your seat click HERE to purchase online.
How to purchase, raise and release Monarch Butterflies - Coming spring of 2020
Succulent Propagation Class Learn how to propagate succulents. Dividing succulents can be fun and enjoyable and who doesn't want more succulent plants?! We will talk about types of succulents that can be divided and get our hands in some dirt. Every participant will get to take home one of their new potted plants. Come enjoy an hour of fun!
Other Presentations, Movies, Etc.
We will list any misc classes here, that don't fit into any of the categories below.
Orientation meeting for all those interested in commercially raising bees to sell to our store in the upcoming seasons. If you have ever wanted to raise bees and make some extra cash or go into the business of raising bees, come to our orientation meeting and we'll tell you all about what we are looking for and go over the details of selling your bees via Great Lakes Bee Supply. We just can't meet the demand each year, so we need your help!
Native Michigan Pollinators (Butterflies, Moths, Bees and more)
This class will talk about native Michigan pollinators such as Leaf Cutter Bees, Bumble Bees, Mason Bees, Monarchs and other butterflies/moths. We will go over their habitat, migration, why they are having such a hard time and ways you can help. Class will lasts approximatley 2 hours and will be held in our classroom within Great Lakes Bee Supply.
Basic beekeeping plus, pests, diseases, losses, diagnosis, treatments (This class is for Veterinarians only)
This class if for veterinarians that will be participating in the new VFD program started in 2017 by the FDA. Veterinarians who wish to learn more about beekeeping in order to be more effective in the field can attend these classes. We will also ask for your input when we discuss the rules, regulations and how each clinic/hospital is approaching this situation. Please bring any notes you wish to discuss with the class about VFD's, Off Label Medications, Prescriptions, Minor Species specifics, Feed Application vs Water Applications, Foulbrood Test Kids, Tracheal Mites, Medications, etc. This class is a great opportunity to have questions answered and to really connect the VFD with Beekeeping in general. Classes will lasts approximately 4 hours with Q & A at the end. Refreshments will be provided.
Please note: This class is NOT intended to teach you about the VFD's or anything related to veterinary medicine; rather it is intended to give you a basic understanding of bees as a foundation for becoming more knowledgeable of the beekeeping trade. The focus of this class is on the diseases, ailments, how to identify them and treatments.
Combo Class 101 & 102
This class covers all the topics from both 101 and 102 classes in a time saving double course. This class will teach you everything you need to know in order to start your own hives in one sitting. The first 2 hours talks about hive placement, installing your bees, hive parts and pieces, tools and more. The second two hours covers how the bees interact with each other, biology, forage habits, swarming and tips/tricks for successful beekeeping. It is a lot of information to take in, so bring paper and pen to take notes. We will have a break half-way through the class and refreshments will be included. It will last approximately 4 hours. Please read guidelines at top of page before attending class. PAY ONLINE HERE
Classes online are held via ZOOM. You do not need a Zoom account in order to watch our classes. All you do is go to www.Zoom.com and click on JOIN A MEETING. It will then want to download a small app to your computer in order to watch our class. Once it downloads the small program, it will pop up and ask for a room number and password. We will provide the room number and password prior to class. That's it, you are then ready to watch the class. Please note: this class is best watched on a computer, not a cell phone.
Beekeeping 103 - FIELD DAYS!
Our 103 class gets a little more in depth with beekeeping, but still covers basic techniques. This class is taught in hives with live bees (bring your suit and gloves!). Students will be able to observe different parts of the hive and bee activity. This is a great way to become more familiar with working in a hive and to observe healthy hives. Field days will cover a wide variety of topics, because every time we get in the hives, something is different. It is not uncommon for people to come to many different field days so they can learn different things each time. Class space is VERY limited in these offerings, so don't delay when signing up. PAY ONLINE HERE
Beekeeping 104 - Cottage Food Law. Find out how to operate a food business in Michigan using your honey. Joanne Davidhizar from the Michigan State University Product Center will review basic food processing, regulatory requirements, business development resources, and related topics. This class will last approx. 1.5 hours. PAY ONLINE HERE
Beekeeping 105 - Tree, Flowers and Plants
Pollination, commercial pollinating processes, guilding, permiculture, organic gardening, companion planting, veggies and much more. These classes are where everything green goes. We have these classes in our garden center, classroom or out at our farm, depending on their topics.
Beekeeping 106- Pests, diseases, losses, VFD's & Antibiotics
Class 106 covers losses, diseases, pests. Varroa Mite, Nosema, Small Hive Beetles, Foul Brood, Tracheal Mites, Wax moths, Chalkbrood, CCD, Veterinarian Feed Directives (VFD), use of antibiotics and other treatments and more. A bit more advanced, but still very accessible to newer beekeepers. This class is taught in our classroom in downtown Galesburg. This class does NOT get into hives. PAY ONLINE HERE
Beekeeping 107 - Raising new queens & splits
Queen rearing, grafting, genetics, splits. This is a technical class for those wanting to learn more about queens, hive genetics and reproduction. We will also look at bees under a microscope and go over bee anatomy. (This class material is often covered in the field day classes)
Beekeeping 108 - Bee anatomy
Want to completely nerd out on bees? This is the class for you! We will cover the anatomy of the honey bee (Apis Mellifera) and we will take a VERY close look under the microscope at the inside and outside of the bee. This class will be held back in our classroom in downtown Galesburg. You don't need to bring anything, supplies will be provided. Please call to reserve your seat, chairs are limited.
Beekeeping 109 - Pre-Fall Class
Hive health, season updates, where your hive should be and where it needs to be in order to be strong and healthy going into winter. This class will touch on a little bit of everything and will be geared toward thinking about Fall and what is in store for the beekeeper and the bees. This is will be FULL of lots of new information. PAY ONLINE HERE
***Beekeeping 110 - Honey extraction/Annual Fall Gathering Potluck***
We call this a class, but this is really our annual fall get together! Bring a dish to pass and a chair, we will have drinks and lots of yummy food WITH a bonfire; even horseshoes and bean bag toss to name a few! After we have our honey extraction class, we will settle in for an evening of warm fires, smores, good food and drinks while we talk bees (and other things) at this fun fall gathering. This is a great way to meet new beeks and be able to talk outside classes. Depending on weather, this event is generally held the last week of Sept. or first week of Oct. each year. PAY ONLINE HERE
Beekeeping 111 - Making Mead - hands on class
Join local Cicerone (Sommelier of beer), Mark Hibbert and friends, as they share their knowledge and love of mead making at home. Learns the tricks of the trade and get expert advice during this hands on class. The best part is trying different kinds of mead at the end of class. A fun & interesting class for sure, even if you don't want to make your own. Pace is limited so don't delay. PAY ONLINE HERE
Beekeeping 112 - Winterizing your hive(s)
Winterizing your hive. Everything you need to know and best practices when it comes to helping your bees make it through the winter, feed and last treatments of the season. This is one of the most important classes you could take to help your bees survive. PAY ONLINE HERE
This coursework will take you through every step of beekeeping. By the end of these courses, you will have in-depth knowledge of beekeeping. These courses generally run over the winter months. These classes are comprehensive and there is homework/quizzes, but in the end you have a much greater understanding of bees, beekeeping and pollinators in general. Each graduating student must adhere to the Certified Beeologists guidelines and will earn a certificate upon passing the program. This certification is taught by our lead instructor and assisting instructors. Because this class takes place during the winter, all coursework is held in classroom. Your final will be held in the spring in the bee yards, so you will need a bee suit and equipment by then. More about this course can be found here.
Other bee classes will be announced throughout the year. If you would like to teach a class or would like to recommend a topic, please contact us! If there is a fee: PAY ONLINE HERE
A great list of bee clubs around the State of Michigan can be found at http://www.michiganhoneyfestival.com/bee-clubs.html
Saturday March 20th, 2021 4-8pm
Saturday March 27th, 2021 4-8pm
Sunday March 28th, 2021 4-8pm
Saturday April 10th, 2021 2-6:30pm ZOOM - ONLINE ONLY
Saturday April 17th, 2021 2-6:00pm