Registration for our 2023 Short Course is OPEN!

BUMBA, the Bowie-Upper Marlboro Beekeepers Association, is pleased to announce our annual Beginning Beekeeping Short Course and is accepting registrations for our 2023 class.

Registration is $75 per family. This cost includes 7 class sessions, an in-person field day/lunch event in the Spring (details to be announced closer to the event) and your first year of BUMBA club dues.

  • When: Thursday evenings, Feb 9 - Mar 23, 2023, 7-9 P.M.
  • Where: Classes will be held in-person at the Watkins Nature Center in Upper Marlboro.
  • Resource: The book, The Beekeeper's Handbook 5th Edition (Sammataro and Avitabile), can be ordered online from Amazon. You will be required to purchase your own copy of the book for the class.
CLICK HERE to Register

This seven-week course is designed to get you started in the fascinating hobby of keeping honey bees. In this class you will learn how to set up your own bee hive, how to handle, work with and manage the bees, how to keep them healthy, and, of course, what you can do with all of that honey you will be rewarded with. We will be holding the classes at the Watkins Regional Park Nature Center from 7 P.M to 9 P.M. on Thursday nights beginning on February 9th. A syllabus will be published online along with a BUMBA website forum with a wealth of information.

The class is taught by experienced BUMBA members, beekeepers with years of experience in keeping bees and making wonderful products from the honey they produce. We teach from “The Beekeeper’s Handbook” by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile. This book is intended to be a useful reference even beyond the 7 weeks of this short course and will help answer many of the questions you encounter in your first year of beekeeping and beyond.

PLEASE NOTE: registrations are not final until we receive your course fee, and places will be given on a first-come, first served basis based on date of payment. Registration is limited to 50 people to assure individual instruction and to comply with COVID-19 protocols at Watkins.

Why so early in the year?

If you want to start a hive in the Mid-Atlantic region you need to plan on having it going by mid to end of April (if installing a package—a common way of beginning which we will explain), or by the first week of May if starting with a nucleus colony (less common, but more reliable means of starting a colony).  Bees need to be ordered by February or early March at the latest to ensure being able to obtain them, and you should have all equipment built and painted by April 1st at the latest to allow paint to dry and air out.

For further information contact:

Beekeeping Class
Michael Mehalik,