This website has free lessons and pay-to-view lessons. The free part is fairly detailed, easy & interesting to read, conceptual more than how-to, but worth the time to look at. The how-to appears to be in the pay lessons and might be a good buy.
Ohio State Beekeepers Assn. is an introductory course of 34 short videos followed by 3 powerpoints on varroa, commercial beekeeping & the dynamics of pollination. Well-indexed by topic so it’s easy for an intermediate beekeeper to find desired information. For a beginner, the whole series is worth watching.
This website features about 50 short videos on beginner to intermediate beekeeping topics. Some of the chemicals and procedures are not used in the US, so beware, but many useful techniques are shown and Guelph is about the same latitude 43⁰N and near the Great Lakes. Weather does not match the PNW, but clear instructional videos on how to light a smoker, examine a hive, split, etc.
Penn State Beekeeping 101 was online free for a short time and I read through the entire course. It was okay if free but not worth $159. It’s listed as a 9-hour course but most of that is reading interspersed with review questions and short, unsatisfactorily incomplete videos.
The reading is entertaining with details, trivia, concepts and ideas, but short on practical how-to compared to other courses, so it might work as an introduction to beekeeping, but I just think there are free programs just as good and better for how-to.
A $10 “Beekeeping Basics” book is offered; it may be the course in print and because the course is mostly reading, that might give the same information as taking the course.
The U of Montana beginning beekeeping course is the most expensive, ~$325 for the course fee. The required textbook happens to be my #1 pick for a first book for beginning beekeepers, “Keeping Bees,” 2nd. Ed. The only reason for taking this program is to continue to the Journeyman and Master Beekeeping certifications, but you can take a test to challenge it to start with Journeyman.
I challenged Apprentice to qualify to take Journeyman and Master. Journeyman could not be challenged so I had to pay the $430. Because I had already completed WASBA Journeyman, kept bees for years and had a background in science and research, I didn’t personally gain much from the course except qualifying for Master, which was my goal.
I completed the Master class in Winter 2021 If you are deciding whether the University of Montana Master Beekeeping program is right for you, call me and I will advise as best I can. Overall, I think there are much better sources of beekeeping information.
2 reasons you might take it, even though I don’t recommend it for content: (1) some employers will reimburse for a college credit or university-sponsored course, and (2) it is the fastest track to getting a master beekeeping certificate recognized by WASBA. It takes as little as 8 months to complete Journeyman & Master levels.
Beekeeping in-person course: Look for geographically local; not sales pitch; chance to ask questions; designed for experienced as well as beginner with multiple levels, possibly certification. SKBA will be offering them again as soon as possible but even in 2021 that may not be possible.
Bee clubs with monthly meetings: best source for beekeeping classes, for supply sources, networking and connections.
Facebook groups: SnoKing Beekeepers Association SKBA group – ask to join on facebook or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You must live in or keep bees in Western WA to join. When a group only admits members within a geographical area, it helps keeps discussion on track. This is because beekeeping is dependent on location, location, location!
Books – check for latest edition