The IAC Online Apiculture Training Course

This course will provide the participant with all the basic information required to conduct beekeeping in the Caribbean. It was developed for new Caribbean beekeepers as well as those with less than two (2) years worth of experience. 

This online course represents the first of its kind for the Caribbean and is the next step in the development of the beekeeping tradition in the region.

Table of Contents

Explore our Apiculture Training course modules or request private training.

Beekeeping can provide a sustainable income to a beekeeper, if managed properly. Bee hives provide a variety of financially viable products, not limited to honey. Many beekeepers state that their trade provides them with mental and physical health support. They also state that tending to their bees is a peaceful and relaxing exercise. Further health benefits have been identified from inhaling the air from hives, consuming propolis and other hive products.The IAC hopes to develop the apiculture industry as another revenue source across the entire Caribbean

Module 1: Ecological Importance of Bees

A. Importance as Pollinators.
B. Habitat Conservation & Protected Areas
C. Use of Toxic Chemicals

Module 2: Basic Honey Bee Biology

A. Casts of Honeybee
B. Anatomy of a Worker Bee, Queen Bee, and a Drone.
C. Life Cycle of a Worker Bee, Queen Bee, and a Drone.

Module 3: Health and Safety in Beekeeping

A. Introduction to occupational safety & health
B. Beekeeping risks.
C. General guidelines i.e allergies to bee venom, visitors to hives etc.
D. PPEs explained
E. First aid training (bee stings, etc.)
F. Introducing a health and safety policy

Module 4: Hive Boxes

A. Bottom Board and Cover
B. Brood chamber
C. Frames and Foundation
D. Queen excluder
E. Honey Supers
F. Crown board

Module 5: Hive Production Systems & Frames

A. Hives and components - Langstroth, Perone, Top Bar, Warre Hive, Layens Hive.
B. Build a hive box
C. Wiring frames
D. Making wax sheets
E.Mounting foundation

Module 6: Tools & Personal Protective Equipment

A. Lighting your smoker.
B. Putting on your PPE’s
C. How to use your hive tool. (Tips & Tricks)

Module 7: Hive Inspeection

A. Identifying the various casts.
B. Identifying stages of brood.
C. Identifying pollen and honey in hives.
D. Data capture - app

Module 8: Diseases and Predators of Honeybees

A. Chalkbrood
B. Varroa Mite (Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), Kashmir Bee Virus, Acute Bee Paralysis, Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV), Slow Bee Paralysis virus,Parasitic Mite Syndrome (PMS), Kakugo Virus.
C. Tracheal Mite
D. Wax Moths
E. Ants, Frogs, Birds

Module 9: Hive Inspection Looking for Signs of Diseases & Predators

A. Alcohol wash to gauge mite infestation
B. Look for signs of chalkbrood
C. Review under microscope signs of tracheal mite
D. Look for signs of wax moth larvae in a hive and frames
E. Look for signs of ants and frogs

Module 10: How to Prepare Feed & When to Feed

A. Mixing ratios
B. Feeding systems
C. Pros and cons of internal and external feeding.

Module 11: Field Assignments

A. How to set up an apiary
B. Placing your hives on points
C. Hive inspection, ID Brood at various stages, Queen, etc...
D. Splitting a hive

Module 12: Economics of Apiculture

A. The cost of Starting Beekeeping
B. Recurring Expenditure
C. Products from the Hive
D. Income from Honey
E. Income from Bees.

Module 13: Honey

A. General characteristics of honey
B. Important characteristics of honey to monitor as a food
C. Honey testing

Module 14: Honey Extraction

A. Examining capped honey.
B. Removing capped honey from the hive.
C. Using a refractometer.
D. Uncapping honey.
E. Extracting the honey.
F. Storage and bottling.

Module 15: Value Added Products

A. Pollen
B. Propolis
C. Beeswax
D. Mead
E. Royal Jelly

Module 16: Packaging Standards

A. Labelling requirements
B. Understanding licensing

Module 17: Gender Considerations in Beekeeping

A. Apiculture as a tool towards realising women empowerment

Private Training

With increasing deforestation and habitat fragmentation, many pollinators, including bees, are negatively impacted by reduced food and habitat. Beekeeping, if conducted in tandem with the environment, is an important method of conserving bees and the benefits they provide as pollinators. This is especially important in terms of achieving SDG 15 “Life on Land”, the main objective of which is to Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

The course will be delivered using a two-pronged approach: the basic theory content will be provided via presentations whilst videos will be used to illustrate field work.

The IAC will deliver all the basic information required to understand bees, beekeeping and hive products through this online course using two different methods: presentations and videos. Traditionally, the art of learning beekeeping was done via in-person training however, with the rise of COVID-19, video training has now replaced in-person training, a first for the Caribbean. This online bee-keeping course will consist of 16 modules, as follows:

Frequently Asked Questions & Important Information

We cater to children, youths and adults. 

For each module, participants will be evaluated in two (2) ways:

Online quizzes. Each module will have its own online quiz which will evaluate the participants’ ability to understand and assimilate the relevant content. 

Videos. Participants will be required to submit a video on the module to the course coordinators in order to assess their understanding of the content in a real-life context. Participants can use drawing, visit beekeepers or use their own equipment in order to prepare videos.

The IAC hopes to partner with mentor beekeepers in each country via the Association of Caribbean Beekeeping Organisations (ACBO). The purpose of the mentors will be to lend support to beekeepers completing the course in their respective countries through an apprenticeship programme. The country beekeeping mentors will be identified based on the country registration for the course.

At the end of the course, the participant should have a basic knowledge and understanding of beekeeping as well as be able to set up and maintain their own apiary.

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