STOCKSCH 166 – Practical Beekeeping

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STOCKSCH 166 – Practical Beekeeping 

Instructor: Angela Roell, M.S.

NOTE: interested non-majors are welcome but will need permission to register.  Contact the instructor at Angela Roell <angela.roell@gmail.com>.

Class Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00- 3:30;  This course will be both in person and online via Moodle, digital content will be released weekly on Monday, weekly course content will be due by the following Monday by midnight.

Office Hours: Via phone or Skype, by appointment only

Contact Information: Angela Roell, angela.roell@gmail.com, 413.588.6977

Course Description

This course will focus on knowledge pertaining to honeybee hive anatomy & social structure, and the management strategies necessary to perform basic beekeeping. The course examines the honeybees role in agriculture and the ecosystem. The course encourages interest in and application of best management practices for successful small-scale beekeeping.  The course support development and use of acquired knowledge and skills for creative & sustainable agricultural pursuits.

Prerequisites: none

Required Course Materials

  • Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping by Dewey M. Caron and Lawrence John Connor
  • Increase Essentials by Lawrence John Connor

Additional course materials will be distributed via PDF and/or web links.

Grading:

Project Percentage
Weekly Readings, Videos & Comments 25.00%
Beekeeping Research Project 25.00%
Apiary Action Plan 25.00%
Bee Botany Data Collection 5.00%
Honeybee Educational Poster 20.00%

 

Course Schedule:

Section 1:  Anatomy and Social Behavior

Week 1: Hive Anatomy & the Super-organism

  • Read: Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping, pp 50-55, 61-73 and 75-82
  • Read assigned web links & watch video content
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

Week 2: Communication: Dance & Pheromone

  • Read: Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping, pp 87-112
  • Read assigned PDF, web links & watch video content
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

Week 3: Pests: Diseases & the Ubiquitous Varroa Mite

  • Read: Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping, pp 310-324, 331-352
  • Read assigned web links & watch video content
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

Week 4: Foraging & the Importance of Bee Botany

  • Read: Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping, pp 133-156
  • Read assigned web links & watch video content
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

Section 2: The Beekeeper’s Year

Week 5: Getting Started, Make A Plan

  • Read: Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping, pp 159-175
  • Read assigned web links & watch video content
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

Week 6: Management Basics

  • Read: Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping, pp 177-199
  • Read assigned web links & watch video content
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

Week 7: Spring & Summer

  • Read: Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping, pp 221-235, 237-241
  • Read assigned web links & watch video content
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

Week 8: Fall & Winter

  • Read: Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping, pp 205-219
  • Read assigned web links & watch video content
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

Section 3: Queen Rearing, A Small-Scale Reclamation

Week 9: Swarms, A Natural Reproduction Cycle

  • Read: Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping, pp 116-129
  • Read assigned web links & watch video content
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

Week 10: The Importance of Drones

  • Read PDF Queen Rearing Essentials, pp 55-60
  • Read assigned web links & watch video content
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

Week 11: Queen Rearing

  • Read Honeybee Biology and Beekeeping, pp 271-284, PDF Queen Rearing Essentials, pp 7-15,
  • Read assigned web links & watch video content
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

Week 12: Nucleus Production

  • Read: Increase Essentials, pp 37-87
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion assignment due

Section 4: Beekeeping Practices, Past & Present

Week 13: Beeconomy: Beyond the Commercial Beekeeping World

  • Read assigned PDF, web links & watch video content
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

Week 14: Bee Research, An Activated Practice

  • Read assigned PDF, web links & watch video content
  • Using your Apiary Action Plan, reflect upon your practice, list any unanswered questions or points or research you’d like to pursue as we wrap up this class, steps you will take to deepen your beekeeping practice
  • Comment according to discussion questions, cross comment on peers comments to facilitate discussion

 

Assignments:

Project Description Due Date
Weekly Readings, Videos & Comments Students will be expected to complete readings and comment 1x on the assigned reading and 2x on other students’ comments Weekly, released on Monday, due on the following Monday at midnight.
Apiary Action Plan     Generate an apiary action plan for your apiary which will include:  location, hive configuration lay out, number of hives, type of hive used, materials needed, start up budget, record keeping strategy, sources/materials for identifying disease, mite counting method; cite resources, use academic sources, text books and recommended resources

Share on Blackboard.

 

In our discussions, we’ll look at several tools for record keeping and weigh in on our opinions about each one, and how we may use them.  These will be incorporated into our Apiary Action Plan.

12/5/2018
Honeybee Research Project W As a team, we’ll be creating several questions for beekeepers in the field.

Individually we’ll conduct targeted interviews of beekeepers in the field.  We’ll be entering the data collected into a database for qualitative assessment of beekeeping strategies and practices.

11/28/2018
Bee Botany Data Collection     Research local bee botany, and list 1 pollen and 2 honey flows in your area, include approximate time of the year for each source of honeybee nutrition, cite resources

1.

Add to Bee Botany Database, document will be shared with the class as a working document

10/03/2018
Honeybee Educational Poster     Design an educational poster/presentation on 1 honeybee related topic, cite resources, use academic sources, text books and recommended resources

are on Blackboard, each student read & comment/critique 2 other posters

10/24/2018

 

MORE ASSIGNMENT DETAILS FORTHCOMING

Course Policies

  1. The success of this course depends on student participation. Everyone is expected to participate, comment, ask and answer questions, and actively contribute.
  2. Written work is to be handed in on time. Late work will not be accepted.  I will make exceptions to this rule only in the case of serious emergency, and only if contacted via phone or email within 24 hours of missing the scheduled deadline.
  3. Students are responsible for course information sent to their UMass email accounts. I will respond to your email within 24 hours, please plan accordingly.
  4. Office hours will be by appointment, if a question or concern arises you can email me to schedule a meeting via phone or Skype.
  5. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Use care in written work to avoid the appearance of cheating/plagiarism.  Please discuss questions with us if you have a concern.
  1. If you are in need of learning accommodations, please come speak with me at the beginning of the semester so I can guarantee your needs are fully met throughout the course.    
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