Urban Beekeeping

Honey Sommelier
Public $48; Member $40
Ontario honey comes in myriad flavours, textures, scents and nuances based on floral sources and geography. Refine your taste palate with this tutored taste tour by beekeeper and instructor Cathy Kozma. Explore the honey-making process and experience a selection of Ontario’s finest varieties.
[PG17S01] Wednesday, April 5, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
[PG17S06] Saturday, April 8, 1 to 4 p.m.



The Urban Beekeeping Series is taught by seasoned beekeeping instructors and long-time members of the urban beekeeping group, Toronto Beekeeper’s Cooperative. This series gives you hands-on experience with managing hives, as well as provides you with simple steps to support honeybees and other important pollinators in the city, whether you intend to keep your own bees or just enjoy learning about their care.

Including in-class and “in-hive” components, this series provides grounding in basic beekeeping. Please choose Group A (more weekdays) or Group B (more weekends) when registering. Some sessions combine both groups.
Instructors: Mylee Nordin, Cathy Kozma and Oliver Couto.
Group A: PG17W20 Public $300; Members $250
Group B: PG17W21 Public $300; Members $250


Session 1: Intro to Bees & Hive Equipment
Groups A & B: Sunday, March 26, Noon to 4 p.m.
Get the 101 on honeybees (Apis mellifera) and modern beekeeping. Build hive equipment and explore beekeeping suits, smokers and hive check tools as we prepare for the year ahead.

Session 2: Design & Plant a Pollinator Garden
groups A & B: Sunday, April 23, 1 to 4 p.m.
Rain date: Sunday, April 30, 1 to 4 p.m.
See flowers from a bee’s perspective. Learn which plants provide optimum nutrition to honeybees throughout the growing season, as well as optimum honey for the beekeeper.

Session 3: Plan the Season & Check the Spring Hive
Group A: Friday, May 12, 1 to 4 p.m.
Rain date: Friday, May 26, 1 to 4 p.m.
Group B: Sunday, May 14, 1 to 4 p.m.
Rain date: Sunday, May 28, 1 to 4 p.m.
Experience an exciting time in the beekeeping season as bees wake up from their winter slumber. Don bee-keeping gear and learn about safety in the bee yard. Common challenges and their tried-and-true solutions will be discussed.

Session 4: The Summer Hive Check
Group A: Friday, June 9, 1 to 4 p.m.
Rain date: Friday, June 23, 1 to 4 p.m.
Group B: Sunday, June 11, 1 to 4 p.m.
Rain date: Sunday, June 25, 1 to 4 p.m.
Learn to handle hive equipment and identify the queen, worker and drone bees. Assess honey stores, look for signs of parasites and review organic solutions to this problem.

Session 5: The Honey Harvest
groups A & B: Sunday, July 23, noon to 4 p.m.
Rain date: Sunday, July 30, noon to 4 p.m.
This is the most exciting (and sticky!) time of the beekeeping season when bees and beekeepers share the bounty. Learn how to sort and pull honey from frames, remove wax cappings, extract liquid honey from honey¬combs, clean frames and return spun frames to the hive.

Session 6: Honey Jarring & Processing
Group A & B: Sunday, Aug. 20, 1 to 4 p.m.
Learn how to harvest honey, so that it is ready to enjoy and share, and render wax to be used in candles, soap and lip balm.

Session 7: Late Summer Hive Check and review
Group A: Friday, Aug. 25, 1 to 4 p.m.
Rain date: Friday, Sept. 8, 1 to 4 p.m.
Group B: Sunday, Aug. 27, 1 to 4 p.m.
Rain date: Sunday, Sept. 17, 1 to 4 p.m.
Review what you have learned in the classroom and bee yard to prepare for beekeeping on your own.

Session 8: Put the Bees to Bed
Group A & B: Sunday, Nov. 5, 1 to 4 p.m.
Wrap up the season by conducting a final check for parasites, wrapping the hives and ensuring equipment is ready for winter storage. Students will go home with a jar of honey.


Share this:

Related Posts

  • For anyone interested in learning more about bees. Basic beekeeping – classroom and apiary time. I took all six courses last year. Learning about honeybees was exciting and educational. Wonderful teachers. Loved the hands on approach.

    • Toronto Botanical Garden

      Thanks Trish, great to hear positive feedback from our students.

    • Bee Boy

      Hey Trish.
      We have 4 hives on our Roof in Cabbagetown. Can’t enough about urban bee keeping:)

      • Amy

        Hi. We are moving to cabbagetown and are looking for more info on keeping 1-2 small hives. If bee boy can contact me, I would appreciate it! Woolbelly@me.com

      • kokocat

        Hi! I live in Cabbagetown and creating a short documentary on beekeeping. If you are still there, and still actively beekeeping, and would like to be a subject in my film, please contact me at katmcg@yorku.ca, Thanks!

      • Sylvie Greeniaus

        I have two hives on a roof top near moss park. How are they doing?

      • Wes

        Hi, Bee Boy (and others with rooftop hives). I’m confused – I thought the City’s bee hive setbacks required a minimum lot size of approx. one acre (which is not to be had in Cabbagetown), or a skyscraper (to achieve the setback distance, but vertically – like the Royal York hives on the roof). Am I missing something? I’m asking because I’m enrolled in this course for 2015, and am also keenly interested in having my own hive(s)… Thanks!

  • Madison

    Hi there
    I was just wondering when the deadline is for the 2015 courses ?

  • Adult Education Department

    Hi Madison –

    Thanks for your interest in the program – registration is open until the courses fill or begin, there is currently room in both but we’ve always sold out in the past 🙂

  • Andrea Pedrosa

    Does anyone know where I can purchase a beekeeping suit in Toronto?

  • Pingback: Saving Bees with Let it Bee | Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance()

  • Pingback: The Secret Lives of Mason Bees (and how they're going to save our food supply)()

  • Pingback: 7 Unique Things To Do With A Date Toronto If You Want To Try Something New | Narcity Toronto()

  • nofoofro

    Will this course be offered again?