Peter Eichorn began keeping bees and selling honey in 1965. Since then, he has kept bees in over 30 locations throughout the California Central Coast. Currently, he cares for bees in five locations that produce excellent honey crops each year. Please see below for the 2015 beekeeping workshop schedule. The four classes are now open for enrollment for the 2015 beekeeping season! Classes are limited to 10 people.
Ben, Peter and Janie’s son, specializes in the development of successful edible school garden programs and leads organic gardening workshops to groups (primarily teachers) throughout CA and beyond (see: Grow Your Lunch). In 2015, Ben will also be offering organic gardening and farming workshops at Country Flat Farm! See schedule below for details.
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 four classes at one time you receive the discounted price of $300. Returning students: contact Peter for special pricing.
Classes last from 9am-1pm, followed by a light lunch from Country Flat Farm in Palo Colorado Canyon, Big Sur.
2015 Workshop Schedule:
Saturday January 3, 2015 – Backyard Mushroom Cultivation*
- Celebrate the New Year by learning how to grow mushrooms in logs, straw, wood chips, etc. in your own backyard.
- Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms will be the main focus of the class.
- Take home your own mushroom growing kit!
Sunday January 24, 2015 – Pruning Deciduous Fruit Trees*
- Explore different approaches to pruning deciduous fruit trees, from young trees to trees over 30 years old.
- Perfect for beginners and advanced pruners alike.
- Pruning for optimal tree health, pruning for fruit, and pruning for height control will all be covered in this hands-on class.
Saturday February 21, 2015 – Spring Beekeeping**
- 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).
Saturday March 21, 2015 – Spring Vegetable Propagation*
- Learn to grow your own food from seed!
- Learn to make your own potting mix with local ingredients.
- Gain crucial knowledge for urban and rural homesteading = self-sufficiency!
Saturday April 18, 2015 – Managing Hives During the Honey Flow**
- 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.
Saturday June 20, 2015 - Honey Extraction**
- 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”
Saturday July 18, 2015 – Preparing the Bees for Winter**
- 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 check the schedule again in the Spring for Fall and Winter 2015 organic farming and gardening workshops. Thanks!
** Please bring your own bee suit, veil and solid shoes if you would like to go into the apiaries with us during a beekeeping class. 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