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).
See below for the 2015 workshop schedule. The four classes are now open for enrollment for the 2015 beekeeping season! Classes are limited to 10 people.
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 discounted price of $300. Returning beekeepers: contact Peter for special pricing.
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 – Spring Beekeeping, February 21, 2015
- Spring beekeeping tips: dividing hives, catching swarms, purchasing bees, feeding, placement of hives, ventilation, ideal stands for hives, etc.
- Catcher hives and creating a nucleus (if you would like to make a catcher hive, bring a super with a top, bottom, and empty wired frames to this class)
2nd Class – Managing Hives during the Honey Flow, April 18, 2015
- How to appropriately “super up” your hives in the spring and when to do so
- Pest management – mite control, etc.
- How to adequately monitor the health of your colonies throughout the spring
3rd Class – Honey Extraction, June 20, 2015
- Timing the harvest for optimal colony health and productivity
- Selecting a harvesting method of appropriate scale for your apiary
- Hands-on extracting/bottling (please bring empty honey containers and your supers of honey and we will extract them together!)
- Wax processing: using a “solar melter”
4th Class– Preparing for Winter, July 18, 2015
- Pest Control: use of nontoxic and natural controls for common bee pests including robbing and how to prevent it
- Reducing space: timing hive divisions, making nuclei, removing material, etc.
- Using follower boards and feeding the bees
- Cleaning, organizing, and storing hives and equipment
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 (weather permitting).
What participants have said:
“I enjoyed the relaxed and friendly nature of the classes, where all questions were welcomed and explained. Peter’s years of beekeeping knowledge was freely shared, encouraging new beekeepers like myself.” -Ellen, Seaside
“As a beekeeping novice, this class was enormously helpful. Peter’s broad and varied experience is communicated in a friendly and knowledgeable way. Seeing how a seasonal beekeeper does it is invaluable. And of course, the honey is to die for!” -Steve, Cachagua
“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.” –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