Beginning beekeeping class at Poulsbo Farmers Market

The PFM folk asked me to do a Market U class for beekeepers. I checked with the West Sound Beekeepers Association officers, thinking it was quite a presumption for a second year beekeeper, but the club encourages members at every experience level to both learn and teach, and they warmly supported the idea.

West Sound Beekeepers Association has a demonstration box for a Langstroth frame. There aren’t any commercial ones for top bars. So…Ted made one! It’s sturdy, well ventilated, and a genius thing.

Yesterday we showed up to give the class. The market provided us with an awning, table, chairs, an easel for our poster, and lots of encouragement – really a nice place to teach! We hung beekeeping equipment and laid out books and photos. When Ted opened the demo box, we were swarmed by kids, and people stopped to ogle and ask questions from that moment until we packed up. We even had people sit down to hear the scheduled talks!

I learned a lot of things from this first class.

  • Farmer’s markets are a good fit for natural beekeeping talks.
  • Bring at least two beekeepers to talk and answer questions.
  • Bring bees. They’re the stars of the show. Without them, you’re just a geek in a white suit.
  • Bring photos of: your apiary, equipment, operations, and bee anatomy.
  • Equipment is nice but less interesting than photos or bees.
  • Engage all the senses. Photos to look at, honeycomb to smell, honey to taste.
  • Bring club information.
  • Smile and have fun!
PFM Bee class - photo by Kate Cummings

PFM Bee class - photo by Kate Cummings

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