Regenerative Beekeeping

At The Santa Cruz Permaculture Farm

A Comprehensive Approach to Beekeeping, Pollinator Habitat, and Biodiversity

Have you ever wanted to learn the skills needed to produce your very own honey? Interested in producing your own beeswax, pollen or propolis? Have you ever wanted to ensure your garden or farm has a sustained and healthy source of pollinators for a bountiful crop of fruits and veggies? We are pleased to offer this beginning level beekeeping practicum grounded in a natural approach to apiculture, with a focus on sustainable hive management, honey production and pollinator health.

Humankind’s relationship with bees reaches back to the dawn of time. Our dependence on bees for their role in our food systems, and our responsibility for their care continues to this day. Come engage with these incredible little beings and learn both the art and science of regenerative beekeeping.

Learning Objectives 

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Have knowledge of different hive styles and beekeeping equipment
  • Engage in seasonal care of honeybees
  • Promote honey production and understand harvesting techniques
  • Identify pests and hazards to the hive and mitigate them using IPM
  • Process beeswax to make candles, salves and countless other products
  • Create a customized pollinator garden plan for your home or farm so that you can promote pollinator health
  • Understand the intricate and fascinating life cycles, behavior, and natural history of the honey bee

Full Series: 6 Weekends over 6 Months

Pricing

  • Full Tuition: $1295
  • Partner / Spouse Tuition: $995 (When one partner registers for the full course, the second gets a discount)
  • Early Bird Discount: $1195 (Register more than 30 days in advance)
  • Super Early Bird Discount: $1095 (Register more than 60 days in advance)
  • Teachers: $995 (Special price for For K-12, College and University Teachers)
  • Youth: $795 (Special price for ages 13-18)

Spring – Summer 2024

  • Springtime Prep – Mar 23-24, 2024
  • Growth – April 20-21, 2024
  • Harvest Time – June 8-9, 2024
  • Summer in the Apiary – July 27-28, 2024
  • The Bounty of the Bee – August 24-25, 2024
  • Preparing for Winter – October 5-6, 2024

Session Times: Sessions typically run 9am – 5:30pm both days, with a lunch break.

Spring – Summer 2025 

  • Session 1: TBD
  • Session 2: TBD
  • Session 3: TBD
  • Session 4: TBD
  • Session 5: TBD
  • Session 6: TBD 2024

Session Times: Sessions typically run 9am – 5:30pm both days, with a lunch break.

Individual Sessions

If you don’t want to sign up for the full course but would like to sign up for an individual weekend, you’re welcome to do so! The tuition is $295 per weekend. 

GrowthApril 20-21, 2024

Harvest TimeJune 8-9, 2024

The Bounty of the Bee – August 24-25, 2024

Preparing for WinterOctober 5-6, 2024

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Session Descriptions

Classes run from 10am-5pm both days.

Session 1 – Springtime Prep (A great intro to beekeeping!)

  • Weekend one provides a thorough overview to beekeeping and can be attended as a standalone workshop if you can’t join the whole series
  • Understanding different beekeeping styles
  • Building beekeeping equipment
  • Sourcing bees and installing an apiary
  • Beekeeping in community
  • ***Students who would like to start a hive at home will receive a 15% discount on nucs and hive equipment available for purchase

Session 2 – Growth

  • Expanding your apiary
  • Inspecting colonies
  • Planning a pollinator garden
  • Record keeping
  • Preparing for a honey crop

Session 3 – Harvest Time

  • Harvesting techniques for honey
  • Queen health and production
  • Planting flowers for bees
  • Beeswax processing

Session 4 – Summer In The Apiary

  • Summering your bees
  • Honey Bee nutrition and supplements
  • Common pests and diseases
  • Integrated pest management

Session 5 – The Bounty Of The Bee

  • Beeswax – nature’s most versatile material
  • Propolis production and use
  • Late season honey bee forage crops
  • Fall apiary management

Session 6 – Preparing For Winter

  • Winterizing bees
  • Equipment care
  • Medicinal honeys
  • Dreaming of spring

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can make up material you missed during the next session.

Please use the registration button above.

Cancellations up to two weeks before the course begins will be refunded, excluding a $150 processing fee. No refunds are given after that date.

Participants are welcome to defer their enrollment to the next session of the course.

Most classes are held on our 26-acre farm north of Davenport, CA, 20 minutes north of the Westside of Santa Cruz and 1 hour from San Jose or San Francisco. Participants are welcome to camp onsite for the weekend of the course and enjoy the gorgeous natural surroundings and beach access.
Course participants are very welcome to camp at the farm Friday and Saturday of the course weekends. Our facilities are rustic, but comfortable. Building community around the campfire is a wonderful bonus! The farm is a gorgeous place where you will feel immersed in nature and enjoy spectacular stars at night and walkable beach access. There are restaurants and markets nearby in Davenport and Costanoa.

Class meets Saturday & Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM with a lunch break both days.

We have extras of all equipment needed to take the course, but if you are serious about beekeeping, we recommend you purchase the following:

  • A beekeeping veil, suit or jacket
  • Gloves
  • Hive tool
  • Smoker