Students at the TCBA Bee Basics school gather around as an instructor shows them how to inspect a hive.

*** NOTICE: This class has been postponed to April 6 due to weather ***

If you are thinking about raising honey bees this year, attend the Toe Cane Beekeepers Association’s one-day, hands-on Bee Basics for Beginning Beekeepers class. The introductory class will be offered Saturday, March 23, at an apiary to the east of Burnsville, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting.

The class is designed to help the new beekeeper get started by identifying the equipment they will need, setting up their first hive, transferring a package of bees or a nuc to their hive, and conducting an inspection. 

Participants will also learn how to identify the various stages of brood and what each one means, steps to help prevent a hive from swarming, when to add honey supers, and how to minimize stings while working with bees. After attending, participants should be comfortable setting up their own hive and have a basic understanding of how to handle bees in the hive.

“By giving new beekeepers the basic knowledge to establish their first hive and some experience handling bees, we hope to get them off to a good start on their beekeeping journey,” said David Reeder, TCBA president. 

To sign up for the class, go to Class size is limited and last year’s class sold out.

Bee Basics for Beginners is open to anyone age 14 and up who is a TCBA member. Membership is only $10 and interested parties can sign up at

The Toe Cane Beekeepers Association is a non-profit organization serving the bees and beekeepers of Mitchell, Avery and Yancey counties. It offers educational and training opportunities throughout the year for new and experienced beekeepers and engages in community outreach through area schools and at special events. TCBA members meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month in Spruce Pine. Check our events page for upcoming meetings.

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