Beginners Beekeeping Course March 2023

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  • March 4 and March 5, 2023
     March 4, 2023 - March 5, 2023
     9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Calgary and District Beekeepers Association (CDBA) is pleased to present a City of Calgary approved Beginner’s Beekeeping Course. This course covers topics that you need to know to start beekeeping and become a hobby beekeeper in your own backyard or become a commercial beekeeper. It is designed to provide the knowledge you will need for the entire beekeeping year.



Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5, 2023

      • 12-14 hours of beekeeping instruction.


Glamorgan Community Association – Community Centre

4207 41 Ave SW, Calgary, AB


$250 includes:

      • a 2023 membership to Calgary and District Beekeepers Association;
      • the book Beekeeping in Western Canada;
      • 12-14  hours of beekeeping instruction from Neil Bertram, Liz Goldie, Ron Miksha and Thomas Schweizer;
      • lunch, snacks, and beverages;
      • a spring apiary visit; and,
      • a certificate of completion following attendance which is required for beekeeping in Calgary as of January 2022.

Course content will include:

      • Bee biology and colony behaviour
      • Bee purchase options
      • Beekeeping equipment and tools
      • Beekeeping safety
      • Hive Location Selection
      • Hive Management during spring, summer, fall and overwintering (including swarm management, feeding and queen replacement)
      • Pest and disease management
      • Harvesting and extracting honey
      • Natural nectar sources and pollination
      • Beekeeping regulations in Alberta and City of Calgary Bylaws (including general guidelines for urban beekeeping)


Neil Bertram grew up on a grain, cattle and commercial honey farm in Manitoba where he spent winters hunting and trapping in the area. Neil obtained a Diploma in Machine Shop from Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, MB. He has been a welder, owner and operator of a sawmill business, leech trapping business and part-time professional hunting guiding. He spent 10 winters commuting to Saskatchewan and Alberta to work winters in the oilfield for Schlumberger Oilfield Service to help grow his own commercial honey farm back in Manitoba. Neil grew the size of his farm up to 700 hives before moving to Alberta. Now, he has an acreage with about 300 hives near Trochu, Alberta, which is operated entirely off the grid. Neil has been working bees for over 30 years. Neil is a past treasurer of the Calgary and District Beekeepers’ Association.


Liz Goldie is a retired geologist who has been keeping bees for over 10 years. She has apiaries at local restaurants in the Calgary area and in her backyard after moving her hives from Pincher Creek. For four years, Liz served as secretary and as a director for the Calgary and District Beekeepers’ Association (CDBA) and is currently a director. She developed the club’s mentoring program which consists of a one-on-one program as well as coordinating Saturday visits to apiaries for new beekeepers. As the community outreach officer for CDBA, she responds to beekeeping concerns and 311 calls within the City of Calgary and surrounding areas and helps coordinate community events on behalf of the club. Liz is active as a founding member of the United Beekeepers of Alberta Council and is a director of the Western Apicultural Society.


Ron Miksha grew up on a farm in the east. At 16, Ron began managing the family’s 300 hives. Soon after, he moved to Florida to raise queens. In Florida, a beekeeper talked Ron into buying 400 hives in southwest Saskatchewan – no money down! Ron grew that business to a thousand hives. After ten years, Ron sold his honey farm and went to the University of Saskatchewan, keeping 350 hives near Saskatoon while earning a geophysics degree. Next, it was Calgary and a few hobby hives south of town and later, in his backyard. Ron has written for the British Bee Quarterly, American Bee Journal, Bee Culture, BC’s BeeScene, and the Canadian Honey Council’s Hivelights. He is author of Bad Beekeeping and A past president of the Calgary and District Beekeepers’ Association, Ron is a director of the Western Apicultural Society and the United Beekeepers of Alberta Council. Currently, Ron is working on an MSc in bee ecology at the University of Calgary.


Thomas Schweizer grew up in a beekeeping environment in Switzerland. He’s at least the fourth generation of his family keeping bees – always as a side business or hobby. His father is still keeping bees after over 60 years of experience and they talk regularly. Two cousins are carrying on the tradition back in Switzerland as well. One of them is a part-time district bee inspector. Thomas started keeping bees in Calgary in 2011. Since then, he attended the beekeepers’ basic and intermediate courses and whenever possible, the CDBA meetings and workshops. Thomas is currently running 20 hives west of the city and he coordinates swarm catching during the summer months in and around the city of Calgary. Thomas is president of the Calgary and District Beekeepers’ Association.