The School of Extended & Lifelong Learning at The University of Montana has created a buzz with its new Beekeeping Certificate Program, which offers apprentice, journeyman and master levels of expertise.
Due to popular demand, the apprentice-level course will be offered a second time from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekends of July 21-22 and July 28-29 (four total class meetings) at the Fort Missoula Research Complex and Apiary. The course will be taught by one of the nation’s premier bee research teams.
Jerry Bromenshenk, co-founder of Bee Alert Technology Inc. and statewide director of Montana’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, will lead the course, which includes classroom lectures and hands-on experience. Bee Alert research team members Scott Debnam, a senior field technician, and Phillip Welch, senior lab supervisor, also will teach.
Course participants will learn the basics of keeping honeybees, including bee biology and care of bees. Students will gain firsthand experience in caretaking and bee handling as they learn to recognize and treat common honeybee ailments and pests. By the end of the course, students should be able to manage honeybee colonies for maximum health and honey production.
Upon completion, participants will receive either two continuing education units or, for an additional cost, one academic credit through UM’s Division of Biological Sciences.
Registration is open, and enrollment is limited. The course costs $325 (plus an additional $135 if opting for academic credit), and participants are expected to provide their own beekeeping supplies, including hive tool and bee suit.