Before signing up for Bee School, read this…
Is Beekeeping Right for you?
Congratulations on your interest in beekeeping. Most new beekeepers begin their journey with the honey bee as
a hobby. Over time, with experience and increased knowledge, some take their interest to new a level as a side
business or to a full-time commercial venture. Your decision to enroll and participate in the Henderson County
Beekeepers Association’s Bee School will provide you with a sound foundation of knowledge and practical
experience which will greatly improve your chances of success at this endeavor.
We wish you to understand that this is a hobby that is very rewarding, yet requires a substantial commitment
and investment of your time and financial resources. Therefore, the following is provided to help you decide if
beekeeping is right for you, before you invest your time and money. Two things to consider before you start:
- Do you, or any member of your household have an allergy to bee stings? If so, consult with your
healthcare provider to determine if beekeeping is safe for you and those in your household.
- Do you belong to an H.O.A.? If so, check to see if beekeeping in your neighborhood is permitted.
- Preparation of, and assembly of your equipment, construction of your bee yard. Depending on your
skills this can take more than a weekend.
- Annually between April and September you will need to inspect your hives every 10-14 days to ensure
they have what they need to survive and minimize swarming which can be a loss of your investment.
Inspections can take 15-45 minutes per hive.
- Because of number 2 above, taking a vacation during the summer is not in your hives’ best interest
unless you have a bee buddy you can trust to monitor and care for your hives in your absence.
- Upon completion of bee school, attendance at HCBA apiary sessions is essential to your pathway to
success. Apiary sessions are 2 hours every other weekend.
- When your bees provide you with honey to harvest that process can take hours or days depending on the
quantity you harvest.
Startup cost can be spread out over the first year and depends on what source you use for your equipment.
- Gear (jacket, suit w/veil, gloves, smoker hive tool) $125 – $230
- Nuc box with bees (small hive with a laying queen) $175 – $225 ea
- Complete hive kit (recommend 2) $130 – $200 ea
(Feeders ( you will need to feed our bees) Cost varies by type.
- Bear Fence: materials w/o charger $250
AC charger or solar $125/ $350
HCBA strongly recommends you protect your apiary with a bear fence. If you live in WNC it will only
be a matter of time until bears find your bees. They will destroy your hives and bees.
- Total initial investment range w/2 hives: $1110 – $1680
All this can be daunting; however, you should know ahead of time what beekeeping requires of the
keeper. If you’re okay with the time commitment, but still feel overwhelmed, before abandoning the idea
of beekeeping altogether consider preparing over time. Take the course this year, begin buying supplies
as you can, attend bee school apiary sessions for skill building, network with a mentor and other
beekeepers, then take bee school again next year (it will only cost your annual membership of $15) and
then get started on your beekeeping adventure.
HCBA Bee School starts January 8, 2024 from 7-9pm on Zoom and/or in person at the county Extension office 100 Jackson Park Rd Hendersonville NC and runs for 7 consecutive Mondays. Additionally there will be several sessions (up to 6 depending on weather) in the Apiary/outdoor area at Historic Johnson Farm on Haywood Rd./Hwy 191 in Hendersonville, NC. Cost for Bee School is $75 – $15 to join the Association and $60 per family for class (including textbook). Henderson County Beginner Bee School enrollment requires a current HCBA membership. Please join HCBA by following this link. Please note – emails to complete registration will be sent to the email address you use for PayPal.
Once you have joined HCBA, you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. You must complete the profile and set up your user name and password. Now that you have a valid membership, log in to the HCBA website (click here to log in).
If you still have questions you may call 828-233-5623, leave a message and someone will get back to you.
At this point, you are finally ready to enroll in the 2023 Beginner Bee School by paying below. But, before enrolling, if you haven’t done so yet, please read the document – Is beekeeping right for you? (If you do not see the button below, you are not logged into this site so you must go to “click here to log in” above).
Apologies for the multi-step process on joining HCBA and then paying for class… its the best I can do on the cheap.
Click on the Buy Now button below to purchase a seat in the 2024 Beginner Bee School. Payment processing is via PayPal.
Now, I am going to ask for one more thing… I know, I know… send an email to email@example.com and let me know if you want to attend in person or by Zoom and if a spouse or family member will be joining you (free with the family membership).
If you have successfully completed all these steps, you are more than qualified to become a successful Beekeeper! You might even want to consider running for President (of HCBA, of course).