The First-Year Beekeeper Cluster Program is designed to support new beekeepers during their first year independently managing hives.
In the past, we observed that new beekeepers found it challenging to successfully run new hives their first year. It’s difficult to apply all the good information and practices learned in bee school at just the right time (when the bees need it). To provide support to new beekeepers and improve their chances of successfully overwintering, the OCBA designed the First-Year Beekeeper Cluster Program.
Cluster participants are assigned to a small group (4-6 new beekeepers) that is led by two experienced co-mentors. Starting in April, Cluster groups meet once a month. Each month, the Cluster meets at a different apiary belonging to one of the new beekeepers. Meetings are spent observing the host beekeeper inspecting their hives, asking questions and discussing topics relevant to the season.
Eligibility and Registration–Clusters Form in March for the Year
To be eligible for the First-Year Beekeeper Cluster Program, you must be a member of the OCBA and a graduate of bee school. Sign up before March 7th to be included in the cluster this year!