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Apprentice-Level Beekeeping Online

Online Apprentice-Level Beekeeping

The Apprentice course is the first step in the Master Beekeeper Certificate Program.

Take this online beekeeping course and learn the basics of keeping honey bees, including bee biology and care of bees throughout the year, how to recognize common honey bee ailments and pests and the treatment of them. 

Through a variety of modalities, students at the apprentice level learn how bees interact in the hive and how to properly handle them. The course covers the different types of bees in the hive and the jobs of the workers and the queen. Beekeeping tools and equipment will be discussed.  The apprentice course also covers the history of beekeeping up to, and including, current regulations. Emphasis will be placed on firsthand experience in the hive and bee handling.  By the end of this course, students know how to manage honey bee colonies for bee health and honey production.

This course meets online, but requires one final hands-on session.  Local students will complete the practicum at the Fort Missoula bee yard. Those living outside the area will make arrangements to complete the practicum in an apiary near them.  Students must provide their own hive tool, bee suit and gloves for the hands-on session.

Students will also need to have the text book, which is available at the UM Bookstore or online at or

At the time of registration, students elect whether to take the course for academic credit (one University of Montana credit in Biology - BIOB 191) or Continuing Education Units.  Course requirements are the same in either case.  Students should be prepared to spend a minimum of three hours a week study time on this course.  Whether the course is taken for academic credit or not, assignments, quizzes and tests are part of the learning process.

View the course syllabus.

Course text:

Storey’s Guide to Keeping Honey Bees
Malcom T. Sanford and Richard E. Bonney, Storey Publishing 2010
ISBN 978-1-60342-550-6 (pbl.: alk. Paper)
ISBN 978-1-60342-551-3 (hardcover : alkpaper)

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Online Apprentice-Level Beekeeping Course


April 7 - May 9, 2014

Jerry Bromenshenk, Scott Debnam & Phillip Welch


To be placed on a wait list, call 406.243.6496. If there is sufficient interest, another section of this course may be added.

Non-Credit Registration Cost: $325

Credit Registration Cost: $460




Practicum for those living in the Missoula area:  Fort Missoula Research Complex and Apiary in Missoula, MT. 

Others will make arrangements to complete the hands-on session with an approved proctor closer to their home.

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  • School of Extended & Lifelong Learning
  • The University of Montana
  • 32 Campus Drive
  • Missoula, MT  59812
  • Phone: (406) 243-2900
  • Fax: (406) 243-2047
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