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Garden for the Environment: Beginning Beekeeping: The Basics and Starting a Hive

February 16 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

So you’re thinking of becoming a beekeeper? Beginning Beekeeping: The Basics and Starting a Hive is an introduction to bees and beekeeping practices whether you’re starting a backyard hive or are just curious about bees. We’ll cover equipment and tools needed, bee biology basics, and provide practical knowledge to get your beekeeping journey started.

The class is designed for absolute beginners so no prerequisite knowledge is required. There will be a hands-on hive inspection, weather permitting. Protective clothing will be provided.

There will be a class outline, suggested reading and further recommendations provided.

We will have two future beginning beekeeping workshops this year, and each will emphasize what is happening in a beehive throughout the seasons. You are welcome to attend any of the workshops for learning basic beekeeping principles and seasonal beehive information.

INSTRUCTORS: Paul Koski, Marc Johnson, Pilar Leano

Paul Koski of the San Francisco Beekeeper Association has been beekeeping in San Francisco for decades. He takes care of some of the GFE beehives and manages other hives around San Francisco.

Marc Johnson and Pilar Leano
Beekeeping Instructors, Pizza Makers

Marc and Pilar went through GFE’s Get Up! program in 2010 and have volunteered at the garden since. They first put hives at GFE in early 2015 and manage about a dozen hives, mostly in Western SF. Marc is on the board of the SF Beekeepers Association and both volunteer time and effort to promote urban beekeeping.


What are my transportation/parking options?

Although there is street parking available, it can be challenging on weekends. Public transportation is frequent and nearby, so it’s a great option! The 6, 36, 43, and 44, bus lines and the N Judah all run within a few blocks of the garden. Forest Hill Station is also nearby and you can take the 43 or 44 directly from there to the garden.

What should I bring to the workshop?

Classes are held outside in our teaching garden. We recommend bringing a hat and sunscreen, comfortable closed toed shoes, a full water bottle, and lots of layers. You may also want to bring a notebook to take notes on what you are learning and you are welcome to bring food and join us for a picnic lunch in the garden at noon. Bee suits or bee jackets, and gloves, will be provided for safety.

Do you ever cancel workshops?

We try our best not to cancel, but if the weather forecast suggests it is very likely to be pouring rain, we will cancel the workshop and notify attendees by 5pm the day before. We do hold classes in drizzling weather, however, so come prepared with rain gear. We are also occasionally forced to cancel workshops due to other unforeseen circumstances. In any case, we will happily register you for another workshop or refund your workshop fee.

Happy beekeeping!


February 16
10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Garden for the Environment
1590 7th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122 United States
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