Introduction to Beekeeping Class


Are you interested in beekeeping but don’t know where to begin? Are you a beekeeper interested in improving your skills? The OCBA’s bee school is a great place to start.


This 11-week course focuses on beekeeping using generally accepted beekeeping practices for traditional Langstroth-style beehives. Knowledgeable, highly-experienced instructors cover the biology of beekeeping, essential beekeeping skills, monitoring and treatment of pests and diseases, seasonal hive management and other relevant topics. At the end of the course, you will be prepared to begin beekeeping.

Bee school graduates have the opportunity to take the NCSBA Certified Beekeeper written exam. They may also participate in a First-Year Beekeeper Cluster mentoring group that is designed to reinforce the skills and knowledge gained in the classroom.

For maximum flexibility and to serve people with a variety of needs, we will conduct our 2024 classes both in-person and remotely via Zoom (a “hybrid” approach). Our in-person sessions are held at the new Orange County Agricultural Center on Highway 70 in Hillsborough. The classes will be simultaneously cast on Zoom. Students can attend in whichever way they choose.

Tuition for 2024 is $75 per person for an individual. We are continuing the popular Family Rate of $125 for any group at the same address.

To greatly simplify administration and increase flexibility, the cost of the required textbook is not included in tuition. Instead, textbooks can be purchased on-line from a variety of vendors or at a local bee supply store. Our textbook this year is The Beekeeper’s Handbook 5th Edition (2021) by Dianna Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile. A family may wish to share one textbook or get one for every family member. You get to choose. Or maybe Uncle Bob took a class last year and has given his textbook to you. With this approach, you won’t need to purchase another one.

Class Schedule–Beginning January 2024

2024 Dates/Time:
Tuesday nights, January 16th, to March 26th, 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Orange County Agricultural Center, 1020 US 70, Hillsborough, NC 27278 and via Zoom

The Beekeeper’s Handbook 5th Edition (2021) by Dianna Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile (can be purchased for approximately $25 from any vendor, such as Bailey Bee Supply in Hillsborough,,, etc.)

Sample Syllabus:

  1. Introduction to Beekeeping
  2. Honey Bee Biology
  3. Bees as Social Insects
  4. Beekeeping Equipment
  5. Getting Started
  6. Varroa Mites
  7. Diseases and Pests
  8. Plants for Bees in NC
  9. Products of the Hive
  10. Seasonal Management

Class Registration


  • $75 for an individual
  • $125 for a couple/family living at the same address

Registration and payment must be completed on-line. Registration is not final until payment is received by the OCBA.

Questions? Contact