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University of Minnesota Extension

Beekeeping in northern climates

Event information



Online course


Katie Lee, Extension educator, apiculture

Interested in becoming a beekeeper? Marla Spivak, Katie Lee and Gary Reuter from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab will help you get started in beekeeping. If you have had no prior experience keeping bees in our cold climate, Beekeeping in Northern Climates will teach you everything you need to know.

The online course modules cover honey bee biology, management, successful wintering of colonies, and managing diseases and pests. You'll learn skills to keep your bees alive and healthy year after year.

You will have access to the course materials for 2 years (January 2022 - January 2024).

See the course page for more information


This online course is for anyone interested in becoming a beekeeper.


Course fee includes access to the course for 2 years. 


Registration opens on October 15, 2021, and remains open until June 15, 2022. You will receive an email with information for accessing the course after you register.

If you would like to directly help bees, your goal is better met by planting flowers for diverse pollinators, reducing pesticide use, or supporting research through participation in community science initiatives. Becoming a beekeeper will not help the honey bee population or contribute positively to addressing native bee declines.

Read more about helping bees and all insects on beelab.umn.edu.

Everyone can help support all bees in five ways:

  • Plant bee flowers everywhere.
  • Provide nesting habitat.
  • Keep bee flowers clean — do not treat bee-friendly flowers with pesticides (insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc.).
  • Collect data.
  • Support our efforts to keep bees.
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