Beekeeping Apprenticeship Program

The SF Bee-Cause Beekeeping Apprenticeship Program is a 2-year program, designed to train new beekeepers who will manage SF Bee-Cause honey bee colonies, on a volunteer basis, at one of our San Francisco beekeeping sites.

Hive inspection picIntroductory Meeting

Sunday March 16, 11 AM

The Bee Farm (San Bruno Ave @ Ordway)

If you think you might be interested in applying to our Program, come to our 1-hour meeting where we will discuss the Program and answer any questions you might have.

Program Overview

If you apply and are admitted to the Program, we will make a substantial and meaningful investment in you during your first year in the Program.  We guide you through book, Internet, discussion and hands-on learning.  Groups of apprentices (2-3) are teamed up with one of our prior year apprentices who will mentor the “newbees” through their first year of managing a SF Bee-Cause honey bee colony.  Apprentices must:

•  purchase their own bee suit, gloves, hive tool, smoker and book (about a $150 investment)

•  thoroughly read and sign an Assumption of Risks & Waiver Agreement

•  do weekly hive inspections with their “hive team” (Sundays around 11 AM) in order become comfortable opening their hive, inspecting and understanding what they are seeing and looking for

•  prepare for monthly Program meetings by doing the required research and reading

•  actively participate in Program meetings, held one Sunday per month, 2-4 PM, where we discuss the information learned from the assigned research and reading (Program Meeting dates are noted in the Application)

•  help extract honey on at least 2 occasions (weekend dates TBA as honey becomes available to extract)

•  help sell our honey to their network of friends, neighbors, family, co-workers, etc.

During the second year of your participation in the Program, you give back to SF Bee-Cause in a substantial and meaningful way. It is our ultimate hope that you will get the “beekeeping bug” and will want to continue beekeeping — to further your learning in the course of help to mentor our next group of apprentices, and helping with the Monthly Program meetings.

But if one year of beekeeping makes you decide it is not for you, or changes in your life make the regular time commitment difficult, you can fulfill your 2nd year volunteer commitment by giving back in other substantial and meaningful ways.

Who should not apply

This is not a Program for people who are motivated by the desire to keep their own bees for their own honey.  We make a substantial time commitment in you during the first year of the Program.  We expect you will make the substantial time commitment to learn during the first year  and be an active member of our beekeeping community, and that you will “give back” to SF Bee-Cause during the second year of the Program.  While you will be sufficiently educated and trained to manage your own honey bee colony after 2 years of beekeeping in our Program, we strongly discourage you from managing your own colony before then.  Beekeeping and our Program is a substantial time commitment.  We are counting on your focus and commitment for the full 2-year period.

Application & Decision

You can download, save and complete a 2014 Beekeeping Apprenticeship Program Application here.  The Application contains all our scheduled monthly meetings.   Our timeline:

•  March 22, 2014:  You must email your completed Application to

•  The week of March 23-29:  Sometime during this week, we will want to talk to you by telephone.  You will need to be available in order to complete the application process.

• March 31, 2014:  You will be informed by email whether you are admitted to the Program.

• April 6, 2014 (10 AM – 1 PM):  Our first meeting to discuss purchasing protective clothing and tools, the reading schedule, “hive team” and mentor assignments, and an overview of hive equipment.

• April 27, 2014 (11 AM – 1 PM):  Your first hive inspection with your mentor and “hive team”, followed by our first monthly discussion meeting at 2 PM

BF Debbie bee