The Capital Area Beekeeper’s Corner serves mid-state Pennsylvania beekeepers in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties. Its purpose is to provide thorough, timely information to help improve the practice and quality of beekeeping throughout Central PA.
There are many beekeeping groups throughout south-central Pennsylvania. They invite new beekeepers to join them and benefit from the wealth of experience represented by their members, many of whom operate large scale apiaries both private and commercial. Beginners and professionals alike benefit from these groups by sharing observations and experiences about bee activities. We encourage you to check back frequently to find a group and meeting or event closest to you.
How to Become a Beekeeper
If you’re looking to begin the hobby of beekeeping this site is a great place to start! The Capital Area Beekeeper’s Corner hosts hundreds of pages and links to information on all aspects of beekeeping, from beginner to seasoned master. On this site you’ll find help answering the questions most soon-to-be beekeepers ask. Questions like where to buy hives, how to order bees and what tools and supplies are necessary to be successful, how to extract honey and more.
The site is updated regularly with the dates, times and locations of beekeeping classes and events held by the many beekeeping groups around the mid-state. Most of these clubs offer classes in early spring. These classes and seminars teach attendees all aspects of the beekeeping craft from A to Z. Taught by experienced members of the club, classes can also include presentations from scientists and researchers about the latest up to date findings in bee science and colony management study.
After attending a beekeeping course and becoming involved with a group, the next step is to find a mentor. A mentor is someone who comes to your location and helps you “work the hive”, that is, learn more about the process of beekeeping. Each of the central PA bee groups highlighted here offer new beekeepers an opportunity to learn from experienced members. The aim of all beekeeping is to use apiary practices leading to healthy bee colonies and highest quality hive product. Having a mentor, someone to stand next to you as you begin, helps develop a best practice approach to honeybee hive care. This initial support makes the difference between frustration and enjoyment in beekeeping.
Since bees are susceptible to disease and pests just as we are, knowing what to look for and how to treat problems is an important aspect of beekeeping. To support a best practice approach, many beekeeping clubs offer a “hive review”. Once your hive(s) are populated with bees, it’s always good practice to ask an advanced level beekeeper to come and inspect the bees. The clubs featured here have volunteers who inspect new and existing hives for the purpose of assessing bee health and teaching best practices. By seeking these services new beekeepers learn to identify threats early and reduce colony losses from disease and other factors.
We also encourage you to become a member of the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association. This statewide organization provides specific information and support for Pennsylvania beekeepers of all levels. The PSBA meets annually in Lewisburg Pa in late fall.
Again, welcome to the Capital Area Beekeeper’s Corner, enjoy your stay and we hope we’ll bee seeing you soon!