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    Beekeeping Programs


    Multi-Level Beekeeping Certification

    The Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center is excited to announce a new multi-level Beekeeping Certificate program.

    This program is designed to support both new and seasoned beekeepers through an entire apiary year. Participants will learn about honey bee biology, beekeeping equipment, care of bees throughout the year, apiary production, and environmental challenges through the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Beekeeping sessions.

    By the end of this collection of courses, participants will be able to manage honey bee colonies for maximum bee health and honey production. Upon successful completion of the course, a certificate will be issued. These programs also support a beekeeper’s preparation for the Eastern Apicultural Society (EAS) of North America’s nationally recognized Master Level Beekeeping.

    Registration is limited, and pre-registration is required.

    To register, click here to download our registration form (PDF). Complete the form and return it with your payment to the LCEEC.

    Cancellation Policy

    Please check LCEEC’s page on Facebook and your local media stations for cancellations. Cancelled classes will be rescheduled for the following week.

    Cost and Registration

    The cost for the program is $250.

    Checks may be made payable to Lackawanna College.

    Payments may be mailed to:
    Lackawanna College Environmental Education Center
    93 MacKenzie Rd.
    Covington Township, PA 18544

    Class Descriptions

    Introduction to the Honeybee

    This course will cover why honeybees are a critical component to a healthy ecosystem and honeybee biology including anatomy, classification, and different strains. Hierarchy of the hive, the life of the bee, and their different roles will be included.

    Introduction to the Apiary: Overview and Tour

    This workshop will consist of an overview and tour through LCEEC’s apiary. LCEEC approved standard protective gear will be required for this workshop. Participants should bring their own gear if they have it. LCEEC will also have gear available to borrow.

    Intro to the Apiary and Beekeeping Equipment

    Course participants will be introduced to the apiary and beekeeping equipment during this workshop. Lecture topics include different types of hive boxes and how each works, frames and foundations, apiary history and “bee space”, protective gear for beekeepers, tools, other apiary equipment and projected overall costs.

    Preparing Your Apiary

    This workshop is designed to give participants information on the setup of their apiary along with the purchase, arrival, and homing of honeybees. Topics will include apiary planning and logistics for optimum success, actual setup, ordering bees and/or nucs, installation of honeybees in their new home, feeding and support, apiary registration, and safety throughout the year.

    Spring Apiary Management

    This workshop will focus on Springtime Beekeeping, what to do, and what to expect. Topics will include what to look for as your new colonies become established, proactive support of your over-wintered hives, an overview of splits and their creation, why and how honeybees swarm, and taking the lead on swarm management.

    Late Spring and Summer Apiary Management

    Participants will be introduced to apiary produce and proper preparation for an optimal crop. Topics will include the growth and development of honeybee colonies, the role and support of the queen, the queen-less colony and re-queening, apiary produce, preparation and placement of honey supers, what to expect and what to look for as your apiary flourishes and an overview of produce extraction.

    Internal & Environmental Challenges

    This workshop will focus on the various challenges faced by the honeybee, and how to proactively manage them. Topics will include colony collapse disorder, resultant honeybee losses and what this means to us, American Foulbrood, honeybee stress diseases, The Varroa Mite, Nosema, insects, bears and small animals and how to inspect your apiary.

    The Honey Bee and Our Ecosystem

    This workshop is designed to give the beekeeping enthusiast in-depth insight to the critical role of the honey bee on our ecosystem and our food supply. It will cover topics including pollination and plant reproduction, the mechanisms and importance of the honey bee in pollination, crops dependent upon honey bee pollination, the use of pesticides and mitigating damage, development of pollinator gardens, supporting strong colonies, and the beekeeper’s vital role in the environmental stewardship of honey bees.

    Apiary Produce

    This workshop is designed to give an in-depth overview of apiary produce and its harvesting. Topics will include PSBA guidelines and recommendations for honey extraction and processing, the history and benefits of apiary produce, equipment for apiary harvesting, honey extraction, bee bread and royal jelly, beeswax, pollen and propolis, and pollination and commercial pollination.

    Fall and Winter Apiary Management (includes Final Examination)

    This workshop is designed to support the beekeeper in what to expect and look for during autumn and winter, and how to prepare the apiary for over-winter survival. Topics will include hive preparation, honeybee food stores and proactive feeding, various measures of hive protection, colony checks during winter, and a review of the apiary calendar. Final exams will be included at the end of this class.

    Class Requirements

    Grading Method

    All participants must earn 80% or higher to receive a certificate of completion for the course. Students will be graded on overall participation in the weekly discussions and a written exam.

    Required Textbook

    There is no required textbook for this course. Supplemental reading materials will be provided by your instructors.


    Students will not receive a certificate if they are absent for more than two sessions.

    Meet Our Beekeepers

    JoAnne Phillips

    Experienced in higher education accreditation, curriculum development and academic records administration, JoAnne Phillips is both a graduate of Lackawanna College and former Registrar of the College. JoAnne pursued her BSBA at Thomas Edison State College, NJ and is also a Licensed Practical Nurse. She began beekeeping with her current D&J Apiaries partner David Krayer in 2013, and brought the proposal for an apiary to the LCEEC in January 2015. With the apiary now established and having successfully completed its first inspection by the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association, JoAnne met with the LCEEC Directors to develop and establish this program in support of honeybee husbandry.

    David Krayer

    David Krayer also of D&J Apiaries, is the operations lead of the LCEEC Apiary. A 20-year, self-taught veteran of beekeeping and mentor to his apiary partner JoAnne Phillips, David has a keen and attentive eye for apiary setup, honeybee and colony status and health, and overall apiary management. Very much a naturalist, David believes that maintaining an environmentally friendly apiary is optimum to honeybee heath, and that the beekeeper’s job is to work in harmony with his or her colonies to support and enhance natural outcomes. David is a Vietnam era veteran and has been employed by the Tobyhanna Army Depot for over 30 years.

    Frank Licata

    Frank Licata, operations manager of Mann Lake, LTD, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and EAS Certified Master Beekeeper* has graciously agreed to act as an educational consultant to program developers. Frank is an experienced and successful beekeeper, managing several apiaries and their produce, as well as overseeing the operations at Mann Lake LTD, a beekeeping supply company offering a wide range of quality products in the beekeeping world.

    * The EAS Master Beekeepers Program has existed for many years as a level of beekeeping expertise certified through the rigorous testing established and maintained through the Eastern Apiculture Society. The Master Beekeepers work together to support the educational arm of the EAS.

    Beekeepers Club

    Whether you are an experienced beekeeper, a new-bee, are interested in beekeeping, or would simply like to learn more about the honey bee, this group is for you!

    Join us for fun, friendship, and education as we share our beekeeping experiences. The primary goals of the group are to promote honey bee colony wellness, share best practices and experiences in beekeeping, and discuss the production of honey and other apiary products.

    This club was designed to complement our multi-level Beekeeping Certificate Program which begins in January and runs until May. Club meetings are free and open to the public.

    For more information about our Beekeeping Club or Beekeeping Certificate Program, please call (570) 842-1506 or email yaniks@lackawanna.edu.