2012 was the first year we offered beekeeping workshops! Peter and Ben (father and son) taught four workshops to help the novice and expert beekeeper improve their beekeeping skills. Peter Eichorn began keeping bees and selling honey in 1965. Since then, he has kept bees in over 30 locations throughout the Central Coast. Currently, he cares for bees in five locations that produce excellent honey crops each year. Ben Eichorn will not be teaching this year but he started going into the hives with his father at a very early age. He specializes in training others in sustainable agricultural practices for educational purposes (his business is called Grow Your Lunch).
We have finished teaching all of the classes for 2013 but below you will find this year’s schedule as an example of what was taught.
Classes last from 9am-1pm, followed by a light lunch from the farm here at Country Flat Farm in Palo Colorado Canyon, Big Sur.
1st Class – Getting Started, March 9, 2013
- Spring beekeeping tips: dividing hives, catching swarms, feeding, placement of hives, building stands for the hives.
- Build your own catcher hive and divide a hive in the field: bring one super top, bottom, and 10 empty wired frames with you to the class.
Special Meeting, April 13, 2013:
For participants who attend all 4 workshops. We will have 3lb packages of Italian bees at $75 each and Peter will help install as many as possible. Call Peter to order by February 20th, 2013.
2nd Class – Managing Hives during the Honey Flow, May 4, 2013
- How to appropriately “super up” your hives in the spring.
- Pest management – hands on mite counts.
- How to adequately monitor the health of your colonies throughout the spring.
3rd Class – Honey Extraction, June 22, 2013
- Timing the harvest for optimal colony health and productivity.
- Selecting a harvesting method of appropriate scale for your apiary.
- Wax processing: building a “solar melter.”
- Hands on extracting.
4th Class– Preparing for Winter, July 20, 2013
- Pest Control – using yarrow, oil, and/or formic acid pads (two provided during the workshop to take home).
- Reducing space: dividing hives, removing material, etc.
- Cleaning, organizing, storing hives and equipment, and wax moth control.
To Sign Up: call (831) 624-2894 or email Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org. The classes, taken individually, cost $100. However, if you sign up for all four classes at one time you receive the discount price of $300.
Please bring your own bee suit, veil and solid shoes if you would like to go into the apiaries with us. Each class will begin in a lecture format and be followed by a hands-on session with our bees.
What participants have said:
“Not only does Peter possess a wealth of knowledge in beekeeping and farming, he has a staggering love of the land that is palpable.” -Cristin & Peter, Carmel Valley
“I have read quite a bit over the last few years but until I took your course, I didn’t have all of the pieces. I really enjoyed learning by doing and I am glad I decided to take all four sessions. I would love to take the course again, since the practical part of the learning is always changing based on the weather and what is going on with your hives at the time…Continue to teach this course!” –Ken, Big Sur
“As a novice beekeeper [your beekeeping workshop] was very informative, I especially enjoyed the hands on learning when you opened up the beehives. Thank you for sharing all of your beekeeper’s secrets that come from years of being such a passionate beekeeper!” -Veronika, Carmel Knolls