Beekeeping Mentor Program

Colorado beekeeper and teacher, Don Studinski, is offering beekeeper mentoring at the Living Systems Institute (LSI) and other apiaries in the Denver Metropolitan Area.  This comprehensive study in the art and science of beekeeping is a year-round program.  Students are invited participate in all aspects of beekeeping throughout the year from over-wintered early-Spring inspections (which may include dead-out housekeeping) to over-wintering preparation at season's end (which will include kitchen experience making bee tea and bee candy).  This is hands-on practical education.  Detailed study of the hows and whys of Langstroth and top-bar hives (TBH) are covered. In addition, during the off season when weather keeps us out of the hives, students are invited to participate in classroom training at a variety of locations along the front range. On top of that, students are invited to participate in a FREE yahoo group where written  lessons and student discussion are available 24/7.

Students at apiaryThis year-round beekeeping mentor program gives beekeepers access to extensive on-line, hands-on and classroom education from beginning beekeeping through advanced topics.  It's an affordable alternative that breaks the traditional mold of beekeeper education which brings students into a classroom for a few hours followed by a brief apiary visit.  Instead, we provide on-going educational attention all year long, taking students through all aspects of beekeeping as tasks change from season to season.  Each hands-on beekeeping event takes place at an apiary in the Denver metro area or in the Ft. Collins area.  Events are $40 per student and generally last 2 hours, sometimes more depending on questions.  During these events, we provide access to consultation from a seasoned beekeeper, allowing students to get their specific questions answered as the questions arise.

Students also have the option to access hands-on one-on-one training and consultation on-site at their apiary, or over the phone, for an additional hourly rate.  See Consulting.

Read this testimonial from a 2012 student.

Students must provide their own beekeeping suit which should cover their entire body, including gloves and ankle protection which will prevent bees from crawling up shirt sleeves or pant legs.  Two layers is suggested.  Students must sign a contract acknowledging liability waiver.  No Honeybee Keep employee carries an epi pen.  You are responsible for taking care of you at all times.  This program is intended for adults.  Students are encouraged to bring cameras.

Bee shadowsMentoring will typically be on Saturdays from 10 AM to 12 Noon.  New students should plan to arrive a bit early to complete the paperwork.  This opportunity also includes very early morning activities and dusk activities from time-to-time.  Random days and times will also be included as we learn to work with the weather and with swarms, neither of which can be planned exactly ahead-of-time.

Multiple students may be present at any single event, but your individualized questions will be answered.  

To get notice of events, including topics and activities to be covered, please contact Don Studinski at either dstudin@yahoo or 303-248-6677 leaving detailed contact information including email address and phone(s).  Referrals from past students can be arranged.

Here's what students are saying:

January 12, 2012, 2:08 PM

"Don, I have to say you are a great teacher.  Well-spoken, a good writer, this article is great, as have the prior lessons been.  Thank you!" ... Ruth (Golden, CO)

March 5, 2012, 6:10 PM

"I felt that I learned a tremendous amount today Don- again thanks. And for that delicious honey!" ... Holly (Golden, CO)

March 9, 2012, 9:23 AM

Postmortem"I really value your expertise and guidance, and would like to be part of your mentoring program, if it’s not too late." ... Valerie (Longmont, CO)

March 10, 2012, 4:24 PM

"I may not have attended any of your classes thus far, But I still find these very informative for when I will be starting in the next year or two. I am very appreciative of this information, just to let you know." ... Victor (Boulder, CO)

March 11, 2012, 5:46 PM

"Thank You, for your time and sharing your knowledge, greatly appreciated." ... Bill (Broomfield, CO)

March 11, 2012, 8:11 PM

"I also really enjoyed the afternoon.  I feel like I learned so much being able to see 4 different hives!  Thanks so much!" ... Rosemary (Boulder, CO)

March 22, 2012, 3:47 PM

Queen Cell"We are thrilled to share your blog, and are very appreciative of the work you do!" ... Sara, Pesticide Action Network North America

March 23, 2012, 11:14 AM

"I want you to be aware of the fact that I appreciate what you are offering a tremendous amount.  You are helping me and probably alot of others more than you can imagine." ... Robin (Cadott, Wisconsin)

April 4, 2012, 11:03 AM

"Good info on all the questions." ... Brook (Longmont, CO)

April 4, 2012, 11:45 AM

"I am so grateful to have your support.  What a great day, thank you so much." ... Mo (Boulder, CO)

April 4, 2012, 4:39 PM

"Your instruction is so detailed-I know how long it takes me to compose a brief e-mail!  I no longer feel as though I will be blind going into beekeeping this summer." ... Marsha (Denver, CO)

April 16, 2012, 12:29 PM

"I have been getting your emails and all information is helpful.  I am new to bees.  I set up my first hive Saturday." ... Linda (Lenoir, NC)

Chris, Susan & Valerie. Background Clarkson and Violet.April 30, 2012, 9:25 AM

Top Bar with Window"We all learned much from your guidance and technique.  Your program continues to be a wonderful, hands-on experience and I’m very glad to be a part of it." ... Valerie (Longmont, CO)

May 14, 2012, 7:16 PM

"Thanks so much! It's really great to have a mentor!" ... Susan (Boulder, CO) 

May 21, 2012, 10:08 AM

After retrieving a swarm ... "It was a good experience. I was pretty proud I did it all by myself." ... Mo (Boulder, CO)

May 21, 2012, 3:46 PM

"Thank you very much for this update!  You continue to give prompt, timely and informative information, and I continue to learn from you at every turn!" ... Valerie (Longmont, CO)

May 22, 2012, 10:31 AM

"It is exciting to be involved with bees and I do think the mentor program is the way to go about it- trying it on ones own is not good for the bees or beekeeper." ... Leslie (Boulder, CO)

July 1, 2012, 2:21 PM

"I wanted to say Thanks for all of your hard and diligent work this past few months. You've shown a true interest in passing along your knowledge and experiences to us beginner beekeepers." ... Michael (Longmont, CO) 

Valerie, Don, Ruth and Chris. Background Birch 2 and 3 to right, Sugarloaf to left.July 17, 2012, 10:15 AM

"I derive alot of value from this.  Probably mostly from your willingness to answer my questions and share your experience.  I do think the hands on stuff you offer, though, would be of great value." ... Robin (West Central Wisconsin)

July 26, 2012, 1:08 PM

Thanks for seeing my bees today. I feel so much better." ... Mo (Louisville, CO)

September 9, 2012, 8:51 AM

"I can’t thank you enough for all you have done and shared this year. I work with loads of farmers and so many guard their knowledge like it is a finite commodity. I appreciate you more than you will ever know, or I could express. Rest and know you made a difference.  Gratefully." ... Mo (Boulder, CO)

September 13, 2012, 6:59 PM

"Thanks again for your terrific teaching e-mails.  Sorry I'll miss this one." ... Ruth (Golden, CO) 

September 18, 2012, 1:24 PM

"Grateful to have you as my Bee mentor, thanks for all the good information over the past year - well almost a year." ... Bill (Broomfield, CO)

October 3, 2012, 8:03 AM

About Lesson 23, Superorganism, "Very, very good.  I’ve read this twice, and the flow of concept is very well done.  You are a writer!" ... Valerie (Longmont, CO)

October 22, 2012, 8:51 PM

"Thanks for all you have shared with me this year.You have been a blessing." ... Linda(Lenoir, NC)

October 27, 2012 11:16 AM

Warre parts"I have read countless books, countless websites, watched videos ad nauseum, anything else I can think of.  I love [your] on-line Reference Articles, they carry alot of practical real-life information. I believe that you have furthered my education and love of bees more than anything else I've studied.  I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this mentorship program." ... Robin (Cadott, Wisconsin)

November 19, 2012 08:58 AM

"Hi don, wanted to thank you again for the nice class.  I learned a lot and enjoyed the sharing and community around bees.  Good group of people. " ... Mary (Boulder, CO)

November 25, 2012 05:32 PM

"Thank you for the year of inspiration."  ... Kimberly (Boulder, CO)

April 1, 2013, 9:13 PM

"I'll be there to split the Birch girls at LSI on 4/6 and 4/13. And I'll send you a bunch of pictures from last weekend later in the week. It really was incredible - thank you." ... Danielle (Franktown, CO) 

April 2, 2013, 3:35 PM

"It was a pleasure to be able to help you, you have provided invaluable help and guidance to me which I truly appreciate!  I look forward to much more learning this year!" ... Susan (Longmont, CO)

Don, David W, and BobbiJuly 23, 2013, 5:34 PM

"Past year learning from year has been great.  Looking forward to more in the future!" ... Chris (Arvada, CO)

October 23, 2013, 2:16 PM

"My students and I were awed by your deep knowledge and skill as a beekeeper.  We particularly appreciated the compassionate partnership you seem to convey that you have, and that others can have, with bees.  Many thanks." ... Joan (Regis University, CO)

© Copyright License Information

Contact Us