Mentors and Support

Gilroy Beekeepers Association is an Educational Non-Profit Organization (501c3). Part of our mission is to support folks with beekeeping, and with establishing and maintaining their own hives, or adopting a hive.

We offer a series of introductory classes for fledgling, first year beekeepers (see here). We do not have a program for one-on-one support of beekeepers in their first few years. Many organizations have a “Mentor” program to support people in their beekeeping journey. What would this look like for GBA?

Mentorship could:

  • Involve a formal training and certification process.
  • A more loose “bee-buddy” support network.
  • Something in between the above.
  • Or both of the above.

Bee Buddy

  • Bee-Buddies are not expected to know the answers to all questions, but they know where to find out.
    • They know the nooks and crannies of club knowledge and resources
    • Who’s who in the club
    • GBA Website content
    • Other resources
    • When and how best to escalate an issue
  • They know some beekeeping basics
    • Installing bees
    • Identification: workers, queen, drones
    • Hive health - basic inspections
      • Seams of bees
      • Food stores
      • ELB
    • Basic pest management

Mentor

At the other end of the spectrum could be a Mentor program. This would involve a formal certification process. This process would likely leverage existing programs offered by UC Davis, Cornell, OSU, etc:

Davis, Texas, and OSU all offer various levels, for example: Apprentice, Journey / Advanced, and Master. GBA might develop adjunct support and assistance for folks enrolled in a formal program. GBA could also consider providing scholarships to a formal program for disadvantaged/deserving applicants.

Other Clubs and Programs

Here are some links to other formal Mentor programs:

Feedback

We are rapidly coming up on spring, when new beekeepers are entering the club and getting started.

We are very interested in your thoughts, and how everyone can pull together on this! Please take a few minutes and fill out the survey below.


 

Class Survey

Help us improve! How can we make our classes better? If you took a class from us over the last year, please give us some feedback.

Class Survey

Classes

Description

Create and deliver classes. Potential audiences:

  • The general public, to generate interest in honeybees, beekeeping, and pollinators. People are very curious about bees and pollinators, and what is inside those white boxes they see on the side of the road. 
  • People interested in having hives, to help them get started with beekeeping. Spring is the time to jump into beekeeping. How can I do that? What is involved? What is the commitment?

Benefit

  • Educate the public on honeybees, pollinators, and pollinator-friendly plants.
  • Foster new beekeepers, emphasizing the climate, environment, and unique challenges of South Santa Clara Valley.
  • Income for GBA.

Requirements

Labor

  • Materials (slides and handouts) for previous courses must be reviewed and updated if necessary.
  • New classes will require a significant amount of time to develop.

Financial

  • Classes held at Pajaro will require a portable bathroom.
  • The club may choose to charge for some classes to generate income.

Notes

Previous Classes

The following classes were given in 2022. Course materials are fully developed.

Free
  • Becoming a Beekeeper - Introductory online class. Covers necessary equipment and financial commitment. Given multiple times in the fall, winter, and early spring.
Paid
  • Beginning Beekeeping - Online class and a field class. Necessary equipment, hive setup, and installing bees.   March
  • Helping Your Hives Thrive and Grow - Online class and a field class. Hive health, expected growth, feeding, IPM and pest management, and honey supers.   May
  • Harvesting and Hive Products - Field class only.  Selecting frames to harvest, de-capping, extraction, wax rendering, and products, propolis.   June
  • Reducing Stress On Your Hives - Online class and a field class.  Covers the common stressors for your bees – food, water, heat, and pests, and how to mitigate them.  July

Fall Intro To Beekeeping

Interested in beekeeping? Want to learn more, and get a little hands-on with beehives? GBA is offering a two-part Intro Class:

  • Online (Zoom) class - Oct 27, 7:00-8:00 PM.
  • Field class at GBA's Pajaro Apiary (just south of Gilroy) - Oct 29, 9:00-11:00 AM.

Price

Requirements

  • No experience is necessary.
  • Suits and gloves are a must for the field part.
  • All participants of the field class must sign a liability waiver before attending the field class.

Register

Please check back for additional classes.

Reducing Stress On Your Hives

Are you concerned about your hive's progress and health? 

With the drought and hot weather, it's been a tough summer for your bees. Would you like to learn how to help your hives survive and thrive through this challenging year? Take the GBA class "Reducing Stress On Your Hives".

Click here for more information. To register, click here.

The class has two sessions:

Online Zoom Class - Wednesday, July 27th at 7:00PM

  • Common stresses
  • Varroa
  • Nutritional Stress
  • How to provide food
  • Ants and other pests
  • Heat stress
  • Water
  • Hive inspections
  • Mite Counts

Field Class - Saturday, July 30th, 8:00 - 10:00 AM

Here's your chance to get together with experienced beekeeper mentors:

  • How to do a hive inspection
  • How to feed syrup and sugar
  • How to feed pollen patties
  • Mite counts
  • Controlling other pests

Class Follow-Up

Thank you for taking the "You've Getting Your Bees - Now What?" class from GBA. We are very interested in how you and your bees are doing, and if we can provide any assistance or answer any questions.

Please send us a couple of photos at the following times:

  • 2 weeks after installing your bees.
  • 1 month after installing your bees.
  • 2 months after installing your bees.

We are here to help! Check the box on the form if you'd like Arthur or Sara to reach out to you. Happy successful beekeeping!

Here's a sample of the photos we're looking for:

Class Followup

Name
Email
Follow Up
Would you like Arthur or Sara to contact you? Do you have questions or concerns?
Hive
Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, png, gif.
Please upload a photo of your hive. Please show the full hive and stand.
Hive Frames
Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, png, gif.
Please upload a photo with the lid off looking down onto the frames.
Any additional comments or concerns.

Class Registration Confirmation

Order confirmed!

Class 2021.12.08- Becoming a Beekeeper – thank you for registering

Thank you for registering for our Becoming a Beekeeper class. Our Master Beekeepers are looking forward to sharing how to get started as a Backyard Beekeeper!

Click here to join the Zoom meeting on Dec 8, 2021 at 7PM.

Additional Zoom information:

Meeting ID: 885 5165 1278
Passcode: 652946
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