Urban Beekeeping

Urban beekeeping continues to gain popularity in cities around the world in response to the troubling news of worldwide drops in honeybee populations and honey yields. Learn how our gardening choices can have a positive impact on the lives of urban honeybees and their wild cousins. 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.

Students may also choose to attend a variety of bee-related courses and workshops throughout the year. Urban Beekeeping Series students and alumni may participate in TBG’s regular hive checks that take place approximately every 10 days once they have attended both spring and summer Hive Check classes.

General Beekeeping Courses
These courses vary from term to term and do not apply towards the Urban Beekeeping Certificate.

  • What’s the Buzz in the Hive?
  • Health from the Hive: Introduction to Apitherapy
  • What Do Bees Do in Winter?
  • Pollinators in Peril
  • Lures and Liars
  • Wild Bees and Nest Building
  • Nighttime is the Right Time… For Pollination

Including six in-class and “in-hive” sessions, this series provides grounding in basic beekeeping for two groups of 15 students per year. Please choose Group A (more weekdays) or Group B (more weekends) when registering. Some sessions combine both groups. Instructors: Mylee Nordin, Cathy Kozma, Oliver Couto and Paul Zammit.


Group A: [PG15--] Public $300; Members $240
Group B: [PG15--] Public $300; Members $240

Session 1: Intro to Bees & Hive Building
Groups A & B: Wednesday, March 26, 6 to 9 p.m.
Learn the importance of bees to the environment and the history of the modern beehive. Explore hive-building equipment, beekeeping suits, a smoker and hive check tools.

Session 2: Designing & Planting a Pollinator Garden
Groups A & B: Wednesday, April 23, 1 to 4 p.m. Rain Date: Wednesday, April 30, 1 to 4 p.m.
How does TBG keep our bees happy? We plant a pollinator garden right on their doorstep! Learn the best plants to provide optimum bee nutrition throughout the growing season. Do some planting in the Pollinator Garden and receive plant lists and planting tips.

Session 3: Planning the Season & the Spring Hive Check
Group A: Tuesday, May 20, 1 to 4 p.m. Rain Date: Wednesday, May 21, 1 to 4 p.m.
Group B: Saturday, May 31, 1 to 4 p.m. Rain Date: Sunday, June 1, 1 to 4 p.m.
Learn about a typical beekeeping season, planning considerations, pitfalls and remedial options. Learn about safety in the bee yard, don your beekeeping gear and take your first look into a hive.

Session 4: The Summer Hive Check
Group A: Wednesday, June 11, 1 to 4 p.m. Rain Date: Thursday, June 12, 1 to 4 p.m.
Group B: Saturday, June 21, 1 to 4 p.m. Rain Date: Sunday, June 22, 1 to 4 p.m.
Learn to handle hive equipment and identify the queen, worker and drone bees. See how the hives’ honey and wax stores are coming along. Learn how to identify signs of parasites and organic strategies to deal with them.

Session 5: The Honey Harvest
Groups A & B: Sunday, August 17, noon to 4 p.m. Rain Date: Sunday, August 24, noon to 4 p.m.
This is the most exciting time of the beekeeping season when bees and beekeepers share the bounty. Learn to sort and pull capped honey frames, remove wax cappings, extract liquid honey from the honeycomb, clean and return spun frames to the hive.

Session 6: Putting the Bees to Bed
Group A: Tuesday, November 4, 1 to 4 p.m. Rain Date: Wednesday, November 5, 1 to 4 p.m.
Group B: Saturday, November 8, 1 to 4 p.m. Rain Date: Sunday, November 9, 1 to 4 p.m.
In this final class in our Beekeeping Series, learn how to do a final check for any parasites that may harm the hive during dormancy, wrap the hives and get the bees ready for winter.

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  1. 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.

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