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OPPORTUNITIES TO VISIT AND WORK WITH US AT CHAMPLAIN VALLEY BEES AND QUEENS

Jan 1, 2020 | 2020 Writings, View All Posts

UPDATED DATES JAN 2020: Every year I get many requests to visit and/or to work here in the apiary– to see in person an apiary operating successfully for many years without treatments, and to learn something about making a living and having a nice lifestyle based around this work. After spending three years establishing the apiary’s home base in a new location, I now have the time and resources to honor at least some of these requests, and possibly help a few new commercial beekeepers get started with a solid, nature-based model, and an understanding of the successful small farmer’s lifestyle. The following three options represent a sort of sliding scale from public, open house events at one end, to a search, at the other, for the very few people who could thrive in a way of life based on the works of Nature

— even within and alongside the current predatory and destructive American culture. Each of these events has been planned and scheduled to maximize the opportunities for learning and sharing in the time allotted and to avoid conflicts with the important annual work in the apiary. This is a busy, hardworking place–supported entirely by bees and honey–with things needing attention almost every day. So, it’s hard for me to accommodate visitors at other times. Thanks for your consideration.

1. Two open house field days: April 18th, and July 18th, 2020

You can find info for each scheduled day below:

Both of these events are open to the public.  The April 18th event has no charge and there is no pre-registration required.  For the July 18th event there is a fee (shown below) and pre-registration is required.

The dates were chosen to show the apiary at its apparent weak point (April) and its apparent strong point (July). (Those who are gathering evidence to show that commercial beekeeping without treatments is impossible will probably want to come in April; those already convinced that this type of beekeeping is easy and always good news should come in July. For all others with a serious interest, I recommend coming to both.) Hopefully, these are relaxed, informal events which can accommodate beekeepers of all skill and experience levels. Weather permitting, we’ll be able to examine colonies and describe the process of making spring and summer nucs. There should be plenty of time for both beginner and advanced questions and discussions. Very likely we will visit another beeyard in addition to the home farm.

Bring a veil, bag lunch and some water to drink, and rain gear if the weather is inclement.

April 18th

Rain or shine – 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
1437 South Street, New Haven, Vt. 05472

*There is no fee or pre-registration for the April 18th open house 

July 18th, 2020

Please Note: This year, as a one-time event my July 18th open house will be a part of the Northeast Organic Farmer Association (NOFA VT.) Summer Workshop Series. The format is the same as usual, with both myself and Troy Hall leading the workshop; but the start time is later, running from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Pre-registration is required and there is a fee to attend (to help support NOFA-Vt): $40 for NOFA members, $50 for non-members.

*Registration begins on-line in early may at nofavt.org/events or call Livy Bulger at 802-434-4122, ext-21.

Registration limited to 50 people. As usual, bring a bag lunch, water. and a veil if you have one

2. The 8-Day Workshop: June

The productive potential of this apiary is tapped and developed by an 8-day cycle of queen rearing and nuc making, which continues for seven weeks during mid-summer. This workshop enables up to five people to work through one whole cycle with me and my local helpers. It is intended for those who already have experience handling bees, and would like to greatly increase their ability to produce nucs and queens during a short growing season. Everyone will participate in each step of the process, (except grafting, which only takes up a few hours each week, and which you have to learn by practicing at home anyway.) There should also be time to see how the production of nucs and queens supports honey production in a non-migratory, northern apiary. For someone interested in a long-term apprenticeship, this would be a good way to see if there is a good fit between you and my apiary. There is a fee for this workshop, and simple housing/camping is available on site. Limited to five participants. Please contact me by phone or snail-mail for more information or to apply.

3. Long-Term Apprenticeships

For someone seriously interested in 1-2 years of training in Nature-oriented beekeeping as a vocation and way-of-life. This is my attempt to find the few young people in America today who could actually do this; to train them the way I wish I had been trained; and to help them establish their own apiaries in their home locations. Please contact me for more information.

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