Indy DIY: Catch the Buzz with Beekeeping Classes

A sweet craze inspires swarms of fans.

Editor’s Note: From raising chickens and goats to knitting a masterpiece to pickling and preserving, we present your ultimate guide to mastering the homespun, do-it-yourself life in Indy. So slip on your gardening gloves, and let’s get dirty. (See all Indy DIY stories here.)

Cross-Pollinate with the Best

Yes, the Indiana Beekeepers’ Association’s BEE SCHOOL lands only in February, so you’ll have to put the class on your calendar for next year—but the education is worth the wait. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced versions of workshops like Honey Bee Nutrition (how pollen and nectar substitutes help hungry hives) and Nosema (a disease that can devastate a colony)—alongside honey cooking and brewing demos—mean there’s plenty for old-timers and “newbees” alike. The day also offers a one-of-a-kind chance to chat up hundreds of real-life hobbyists and commercial beekeepers and pick up honey, a hive or two, and even pre-ordered bees from local suppliers. $30 to $40 (preregistration discount; after that, $40 to $55).

Take a Crash Course in Colonization

It’s no wonder the 400-page textbook used at the INDIANA BEEKEEPING SCHOOL is called The Beekeeper’s Bible. The two-day lesson is split between intense classroom time and a workshop, with an optional hands-on experience at a bee farm. Instructor and 15-year keeper Rob Green teaches students about how to start their colonies—including helping them order their first batch of bees and construct hives from scratch—and the revelations of basic beekeeping that ensue (like how to avoid getting stung). $120 (includes textbook, breakfast, and lunch). June 6–7 (Avon) and June 13–14 (Indianapolis). 317-536-9800,

This article appeared in the April 2014 issue.