We are considering running a bee keeping workshop the first week of May with an awesome guy named Michael Jordan (AKA The Bee Whisperer). I met Michael face to face for the first time in Colorado at the Self Reliance Expo last year. I was impressed but that was just the start. In November he attended our Earthworks Workshop. Frankly I should have paid him to come for the amount of adjunctive teaching he did!
I have met a ton of bee keepers in my days, never anyone that holds a candle to this guy’s knowledge. My only concern is that Wednesday I will open sign ups for the food forest planting workshop. That will be the FIRST WEEK in April. I know the interest is huge and that it might hurt attendance of the bee keeping one. We need at least 15 paying students to the bee keeping workshop to make the numbers work, and due to the nature of it, well it won’t be cheap though the value will be insane.
Likely the cost will be 500 dollars to attend or 700 if you want to leave with a on sight built top bar hive. I can tell you this though, you will be able to go home and build as many hives as you want after you attend. I would put the value of this class more in the 1500 dollar range than the 500 – 700 dollar range. Yet with many things it comes down to how much you have vs. how good the value is. I am also aware that for our normal Thursday to Saturday classes students generally need to arrive and/or travel on Wednesday and Sunday so the time cost is significant too.
I am also concerned that the planting workshop will bring in many students that would want to come to the bee one, but they won’t be able to financially or just logistically and I can’t viably run this class with say 7 students. 15 is about my rough break even point. Keep in mind this is because we feed people like kings at these events, we bring in cool special guests and do a lot of additional things, many that are never even advertised.
Anyway I REALLY WANT TO DO THIS CLASS so I am probing interest. No matter what we will likely set the dates on it and take deposits but advise students that fly in to NOT make airfare arrangements for the first week of registrations, so it will then be easy to give refunds if we can’t make it work.
Frankly I don’t know if it will be a problem. I am about 1000% sure we would sell this one out if it were not so close to the Food Forest Planting Workshop. Again I am pretty sure that one will have quite a few people that will be disappointed and not get in. So keep in mind the installation will only be 30 days old at that point. Michael being a switched on guy has already scheduled in time for me to conduct tours of the property and explain the system into his proposed course schedule.
So with the Food Forest one coming April 2-6 (course dates 3-5) in mind how many would be interested in the bee keeping workshop April 30 – May 4th (course dates May 1-3). Again price will be about 500. Leave with a hive for 700. We will also be building things like NUC boxes and swarm catchers which will have a price list in advance for you to consider.
Lastly, those that fly in, if we know in advance we can have boxes and packing material ready, so you can pack up your stuff, you pay shipping but we will take the boxes to the shipper for you on Monday morning.
A PDF of the proposed outline is here, this isn’t set in stone but will give you a real idea of how awesome this course will be.
If you really want to get a feel for why Michael is far from just another Bee Keeper read the amazing article he has authored at Brink of Freedom.