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11th Annual Bee Camp 2024

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I call this my "Tom Sawyer" bee camp. What I want is for you to come and do my bee work and pay me for it. But, of course I hope you get to learn a lot about how I keep bees in the process. Seriously it is how I hope to get somewhat caught up on bee work while teaching at the same time.

I call this a "camp" because it fits my view of what "camp" is. They have football camp, band camp etc. and in this case most of the participants are camping in tipis or their own campers or tents, so it is a camp in that sense as well as the "football camp" sense that we are focused on bees. I suppose we could call it a symposium, but that sounds so much more formal than sleeping in tipis, doing bee work and talking about bees all day and half the night. It is kind of an immersion into beekeeping as we will be doing things to do with beekeeping all day long for the most part. We may spend some time on other farm related things, but everyday will involve bees and most conversations will involve bees.

  • Bee Camp dates: 23-27 May 2024 (arriving 22 May leaving 28 May)
  • (Work week will be 18-22 May 2024 arriving May 17)
  • Location: Nehawka, Nebraska 68413(45 miles south of Omaha Eppley Airport)
  • Cost: $1,000 ($100 non-refundable deposit. $900 on arrival)
  • Accommodations: meals and camping in a tipi provided. I highly recommend staying in the camp. If you don't you will miss a lot of the camaraderie, but Hotel or Glamping (glamour camping) are available in the area at the cost of the camper and the camper is responsible for arrangements. Here is a list of hotels by distance and the top ten hotels by ranking. The map that shows the hotels does not show Nehawka. Nehawka is 2 miles or so west of Union.
  • Weather permitting we will be doing bee things for at least 4 hours a day, usually more like 12 and other activities the rest of the day.
  • We will probably be talking about bees all the time.
  • Bee activities we will do:
    • All aspects of queen rearing will be done (several batches going at once) including:
      • Cell starter
      • Cell finisher
      • Grafting
      • Mating nucs
      • Catching and marking queens
      • Working with an actual swarm
  • Also
    • Splits
    • Inspections
    • Building equipment
    • Repairing and cleaning equipment
  • Tentative schedule (depending on weather, bees etc. Equipment, inspections etc. will fill out the days). I am giving this so you can better plan what days to show up and leave but it is not "cut in stone" as weather and bees sometimes decide for us and I may adjust to better serve the participants if they have to leave and we haven't covered something they want to do.
    • Fri May 17 people who wish to earn a scholarship to cover their expenses show up for "work week" get settled in
    • Sat May 18-Wed May 22 Work week for those working for their scholarship.
    • Wed May 22 pick people up at airport, settle people in. Orientation etc.
    • Thu May 23 put cells in mating nucs. Move cells from starter to finisher. (batch of queens started the previous friday). Setup starter. Setup finisher. Graft.
    • Fri May 24 inspections of outyards possible splits, cut down splits etc.
    • Sat May 25 cells in mating nucs. Transfer cells to finisher
    • Sun May 26 catch queens or setup more mating nucs
    • Mon May 27 inspections
    • Tue May 28 get people to the airport etc.

Due to issues with turning people away because we were booked up and then having them not show I've decided to get $100 non-refundable deposit to hold your spot. This includes Work Week. So working during work week will still cost $100 for the non-refundable deposit.

I have a farm and a life, and a family, so I can’t do just bees all day every day. There are too many other things that need to be done, but I will be doing bees at least four hours a day, probably more, most days and then possibly other things the rest of the day. Not that we can’t talk about bees all the rest of the time, but I will need to do other things around the farm besides just bees. I don’t want someone to feel cheated because we are hauling firewood or moving hay etc. But we would have queen rearing things to do almost every day. Outyards to check. Splits to make. Equipment to fix. Equipment to build. Equipment to move, clean up etc. Other things I need to be doing besides bees that I would want help on: construction, hauling wood, planting, watering, mowing, etc.

The nearest airport is Eppley in Omaha, NE
There is also an Amtrak station in Omaha, NE
There is a Greyhound bus station in Omaha, NE
Wifi is available at my house and outlets to charge your phones etc.

Let me know if you need to be picked up from one of these. Where, when and flight number etc.

If you can’t afford the money, I have set aside the week before Bee Camp as "Work Week". Come and work all week and I will offer a scholarship to the camp, minus the $100 deposit. I don’t want someone to miss out because of money so please, if that is an impediment, let me know. Mostly this week is not bee focused but rather things outside of bees that need to be done. But there are always bee things needing to be done as well.

The registration is a .pdf form. Please download it and then open it to fill out as a form. Click here for the registration form Email electronically signed .pdf or scan of signed application to the email address listed at the top or bottom of this page. Or if you prefer mail the hard copy.

I didn't get many pictures taken last year. Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what camp is from camp in 2019, mostly taken by the campers or click here for a gallery:

Artificial Swarm AZ Hive Backyard bees Bees In The Air Bee Barn Hive Bee Barn Hive Flow Hive Camp Camp Camp Carts Cleaning Equipment Conversations Cutting Trees Cutting Up Tree Entrance Grafting Grafting Group In Beeyard Group Photo Handfull Of Bees Honey Bees And Pollen Huber Hive Inspection Brand Inspections Inspections Inspections Inspections Inspections Inspections Making Faces Marking Drones Marking Drones Packages Pitching Tipis Ptiching Tipis Queen Queen Queen Cells Queen Cells Relaxing Roadside Sign Russian Scion Sibley Smoker Insert Starter Hive Sunset2 Swarm4.jpg Talking.jpg Top Bar Hive Top Bar Hive The Four Musketeers Tipi Fire Tipi Looking Up Touching A Swarm Touching The Bees Touring The Bee Barn Wax Dipping Work Week Crew Library

Click on Thumbnails for bigger pictures

Michael Bush

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