College Level Education program

This 8-month program is available as an entire series to anyone interested in studying beekeeping.  The WEI’s Sustainable Beekeeping Certificate program option is available to students who would like to pursue a more intensive course of study which requires a final exam. You can register for the entire series without signing up for the Certificate Program. You can also register for individual classes without registering for the entire series.

Sustainable Beekeeping Certificate Program:  Learn about the art and science of keeping bees year-round in northern climates. This eight-month class is designed for beginning beekeepers and will provide hands-on experience at turning point in the season.  Each class will focus on the changing tasks that are involved in keeping bees and will include one-on-one time at the hives on WEI’s Amador Hill Orchard.

Registration: $250   


Start date:  March 24, 2019

 Location:  WEI’s Amador Hill Farm and Orchard , 15715 River Road, North Branch (Amador Township), Minnesota, 55056. 

Sustainable Beekeeping Certificate Class Schedule: Class meets at WEI’s Amador Hill Farm every 4th Sunday of the month 12:30-4:00, (March 2019-October 2019)

Instructor: Mike Mackiewicz, head beekeeper at  Bone Lake Meadows Apiary which is located in the open, rural spaces of Washington County, Minnesota. Mike has a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Geography and a minor in Art from the University of WI, Superior. He has completed the Beekeeping and Queen Rearing Courses at the University of MN.

Mike began teaching beekeeping at the Women’s Environmental Institute (WEI) in 2017, a class that meets the educational requirements for Urban Honeybee Permit holders. Bone Lake Apiary aims towards sustainable beekeeping.  Since 2001, Bone Lake Meadows has had hives in various locations along the St. Croix River Valley. “As beekeepers it’s our job to set up our bees to succeed. We do this by placing our bees on organically farmed land, orchards, garden plots and CSA farms. All of our honey is completely raw and unadulterated and filtered once to remove large chunks of wax. With this process you can both taste and see the difference.”

Requirements for WEI Sustainable Beekeeping Certificate and Letter of Achievement:
Attend  a minimum of 7 of the 8 beekeeping classes. This class also meets the education requirements for the Urban Honeybee Holder Permit. For an additional $50 (instructor grading time and exit interview), you can request a customized final exam to verify what you have learned and skills you have acquired. If you pass your exam, you will receive WEI’s Sustainable Beekeeping Certificate and Letter of Achievement which will verify what you have learned, what skills you have acquired, evaluation of your work ethic and aptitude for learning and any special assets you bring to the future of beekeeping in northern climates. These documents may be used for future employment, school applications, transfer of credit or résumé feature. WEI will try to help you make these articulations.


Class Schedule

March 24 Overview of Sustainable Beekeeping, building hive boxes and frames, equipment overview

April 28 Setting the hives and installing bees, planting for pollinators

May 19  Hive day/anti-swarming techniques, reversal of hive boxes

June  23 Hive day/honey assessment, prepping for nectar flow

July  28  Hive day/mite counts

Aug  25  Honey extracting

Sept. 22  Making mead, fall mite assessment

Oct. 27   Bees wax, wintering hives and Swarm Party