Beginner Beekeeping Course

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Are you interested in learning about bees or how to become a beekeeper?

Beekeeping can be done on a smaller scale at home in the urban environment as well as in rural areas. Many CABA beekeepers have a single hive or a few hives in their backyards which flourish and not only aid our community by increasing the overall population and gene-pool of honeybees; but also provide them with robust vegetable gardens and a fun interesting hobby to share with family and friends...not to mention the side-product of some delicious honey
If you would like to attend our next course, please see the details below and submit the registration form.
Charleston Area Beekeepers Association logo - bee sipping nectar from flower from lawnchair on beach with Charleston skyline in the background

Charleston Area Beekeepers Association

Beginner Beekeeping Course 

Offered Annually-Mark Your Calendar 

If you would like more information about the 2019 course, please email

Thanks for your interest! 

If you missed this year’s Course offering, you are welcome to attend an upcoming CABA monthly meeting to network and meet other beekeepers! 

View details and link to a map from our home page here


Class Format:
 2-day Beginner Beekeeping Course

 Class meets all day on Sat and Sun 8:30a-5p 

Advance registration is required.

Please plan to arrive between 8:00-8:30am on Saturday to sign-in.

Registration confirmation is issued by email when payment is received.

[Class begins promptly at 9am; individuals on the waitlist may be permitted entry in place of registrants who are not present at the time class begins.]

MUSC Gazes Auditorium
 Room 125 in
Thurmond/Gazes Bldg.
114 Doughty Street
corner of Courtenay Dr.
Charleston, SC 29401
(across from Ashley River Tower)
Course Fee Includes: Course fee is $75 per person and includes the following:
  • Beekeeping book/training materials/instruction/cookies or light refreshment
    Bring your own non-alcoholic beverage in a spill-proof sports bottle or insulated coffee mug
  • There is no refrigeration or ice machine available at the classroom.
  • Hands-on hive visit with a beekeeper at a working honeybee hive is included in price. The hive visit is not conducted during the class; it is scheduled when weather is warm enough to permit entering a hive without harming bees (generally in mid-March).
Club Membership Benefits:
  • 1 year annual membership (Jan-Dec) in both the Charleston Area Beekeepers Assn.(CABA) and the South Carolina Beekeepers Assn. (SCBA) 
  • Mentor assistance - CABA members can aid you in getting started, for example, assistance selecting equipment, installing your first bee package, or assembling your hive. Some mentors may request a small fee for travel.
  • Discounted price for live bees purchased through our bulk order process
  • Membership discounts to attend State-sponsored conferences
  • Access to CABA-owned varroa mite treatment equipment, and club-owned honey extractors, strainers, and collection buckets for harvesting honey.
  • Access to educational DVDs, books, and other items from the club's library inventory.
  • Invitation to attend periodic workshops and educational sessions instructed by experienced beekeepers as part of our ongoing training program. The College of Charleston has partnered with CABA to offer current members use of a training apiary site along the Stono River in Ravenel, SC. Many of these hands-on sessions are conducted at the training apiary site.
  • Eligibility for special recognition awards, such as State Beekeeper of the Year
  • Opportunities to participate in testing of new practices, tools, and research projects
  • Opportunities to participate in club-sponsored events and sell honey at the annual Charleston Honey and Bee Expo.
  • We encourage beekeepers to study to become a State Certified Beekeeper. A written and practical exam are required. Review details about the South Carolina Master Beekeeping Program
You will be eligible to take the written exam after this class; however, it is not required. The exam is also offered at other times during the year in association with the State beekeeping conferences.

CABA will offer the State written exam for Certified level at the end of class on Sunday, approximately 4pm.  A fee of $10 (cash/check only) will be collected at the point when you pick up your exam packet. (This exam is optional and the $10 fee submitted to the State to sit for the exam is not included in the CABA Beekeeping course fee.)

Beekeepers are eligible to make arrangements to take the State practical exam after beekeeping in the state for at least one year. 

Registration and Payment:
The registration form will be posted here when the next course opens in 2019.  

Bring cash or check with your completed registration form to a monthly meeting or mail with check (make check payable to "CABA"):
CABA Beekeeping Course
PO Box 2406
Mount Pleasant,  SC  29465
We must have the completed registration form along with your payment to send registration confirmation.

Classroom size is limited. Registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until the class fills.  Notice will be posted here if class fills before registration closes. 

Cancellations: If you need to cancel your registration, please email as soon as possible so that we may offer your slot to an individual on the waitlist. Your request to cancel will be confirmed electronically. Refunds will be issued if cancellation is received prior to January 6, 2019. 

Contact information:
  • CABA members agree to share email and phone with other CABA and SCBA members via private roster to facilitate club business and communications.We collect your current email address and telephone number at registration to provide you with course materials/details.
  • CABA will never sell your personal information.
  • If you want to host a hive, we recommend you discuss equipment, hive location, etc.with an experienced beekeeper prior to beginning a hive.
Hive visit:
  • Beekeeping equipment is not required to attend the course or hive visit.  To avoid chilling/killing bees or brood, the hive visit will be scheduled in early spring when warmer weather conditions permit.
  • If you do not have beekeeper equipment (suit/veil/gloves), alert the instructor in advance of the hive visit and regardless of how hot it may be, wear a long-sleeved jacket, long pants, closed shoes, and bring leather gloves.
  • Do not wear fuzzy or furry clothing. Wearing light colored shirts is best.
  • Eye protection is required. Snug-fitting safety glasses are acceptable for the hive visit. Alert the instructor in advance that you need eye protection; some equipment may be available to share.
  • If you have a smoker you are encouraged to bring it and learn to use it.
  • Bee stings are rare, but not impossible. By attending, you agree to sign a liability release and accept all responsibility for your own safety. As there is limited space around the hive, hive visit participation is extended to paid course participants only. No bystanders.  

 Lunch is one hour and is not included in the fee. Class will reconvene promptly in 1 hour.  You are welcome to bring your lunch and eat at the class location.

Meetings:         We welcome guest presenters at our monthly meetings. If you have information relevant to beekeepers you would like to share, please contact us!
 Thank you!Thank you for your interest! By participating in our comprehensive course, you help support bees and aid CABA in our mission to provide outreach and educational opportunities for the community. 
Please review our home page and visit us on Facebook!

We look forward to seeing you soon!