Our 2019, all womens’ beekeeper training program is underway! 

“If they start keeping bees, selling honey, processing wax and doing any other things that have to do with bees, it will not only help them but help the children. In fact, it’s going to impact the whole community. When you empower women, you empower the whole community,”  Pierre Maxence Perpignand

Salt “Spring” – 2019 – Beekeeper Training Program  (Sorry, Sold Out!)

It’s been three years since we ran our fabulous Salt Spring Island Beekeepers’ course.
Why’s it fabulous? Please read on:

Instructor:  David Macdonald. Certified Bee Master, Co-Founder Hives For Haiti, & B.C. Ministry of Agriculture Apiary Inspector
Venue: Salt Spring Island Public Library (Program Room)
Dates: Six to Seven Wednesday evenings starting February 13, 2019 (6PM to 9PM) + two field days
Maximum 20 students
All proceeds go to Hives For Haiti hivesforhaiti.com
Cost: $325 – Please note: attendance in the class is assured once funds have been received (etrans, cheque, or cash).

Up to date, quality beekeeping manual.
Six to Seven (depends on class pacing) evening classes + two field days.
Assistance in procuring your first bee hive(s).

This course will start at a beginner level and carry on to an intermediate perspective.

We’ll cover all the fascinating basics of the honey bee, and how to gently manage a small-scale apiary, but the course will focus heavily on:

1. understanding pathogens, and their complex relationship with honey bees. In today’s beekeeping environment (i.e. multiple pathogens, toxicity, climate change, and intensive modern agriculture) it’s difficult to consistently keep colonies alive & thriving. It’s critical for the beekeeper to be knowledgeable, recognize pathogens as they appear, manage them (When Necessary), and, most of all, support colonies in maintaining healthy immune systems.

2. a mindful approach to apiary management. It’s of great value to beekeep in a peaceful, focused state of mind. This reduces stinging events, stress within the hive, and allows for more harmonious, rewarding experiences with our amazing honey bee buddies.

This training will be valuable to beginners, and/or intermediate beekeepers (E.g. someone that’s kept a few colonies for several years) that wish to improve their knowledge, colony survival rates, and ability to manage hives with minimal disturbance to our bee friends; thus making beekeeping more enjoyable for beekeeper and bee….

To register for this course, please email:  info@hivesforhaiti.com  or  dmacdonald@telus.net

Salt “Spring” – 2015 – Beginners’ Beekeeping Course 

This course is full. Please contact us regarding the cancellation list, mentoring and future course. 

  • Presented by: Bee Master Wendi Gilson (Black Horse Apiary) and Bee Master David Macdonald (Hives For Haiti) in collaboration with The Salt Spring Island Public Library
  • When: Tuesday evenings from March 3/ 2015 to April 14/ 2015 (6:30 PM to 9:30 PM). Two field days will follow. Dates: to be determined
  • Where: Salt Spring Island Public Library 129 McPhillips Avenue Salt Spring Island BC
  • Cost: $300 donation to Hives For Haiti
  • To Register: Please email wendigilson@yahoo.ca or david@hivesforhaiti.com
  • The first night, March 3, is open to the public – by donation. The evening will include Bees 101 (introduction to the life of honey bees) and viewing of the inspirational film, Queen of The Sun. There is limited seating so be sure to arrive early to avoid disappointment. Start time 6:30 PM.

Honey bees are responsible for one of every three bites we take. They are in trouble; the threats that they face are not a mystery. What are the top four reasons for the alarming decline in honey bee colonies? Answer:

  1. Pesticides
  2. Mono culture and other modern, unsustainable farming practices
  3. Varroa mites and other pathogens
  4. Intensive migratory beekeeping (i.e. moving bees around the globe to meet intensive pollination contracts) and other unsustainable, modern beekeeping practices

It is clear that the answers to these problems will not come from the large commercial apiaries. Commercial beekeepers are caught in a trap of needing to supply bees at an unsustainable rate for intensive pollination. They are also pressured to supply honey, wax and other hive products at prices that  do not reflect the cost of production. This leads to the implementation of quick fixes to complex problems. These quick fixes  endanger the survival of the species (e.g. chemical treatments, importing bees from other continents, intensive queen breeding, etc.)

It is in the small hobby and medium sized bee yards that we will find the kind of beekeeping that will support honey bee survival. In supporting these small ventures, we support ourselves.

“Colony Collapse Disorder, I think we ought to call it People Collapse disorder”  Sam Comfort, Anarchy Apiaries

The first night of the program (March 3) is an open to the public, by donation event.  It will include a presentation by instructors David Macdonald and Wendi Gilson: Bees 101, with time for questions, followed by a showing of the inspirational film, Queen of the Sun.

For the next 6 Tuesdays, the course participants will attend class sessions at the library. These sessions will cover the fundamental essentials for beginner beekeepers to start their own healthy apiary. The final two sessions will be in the field, hands on, working with honey bees at the Black Horse Apiaries and the Hives For Haiti Apiaries.


“We are really excited about training new beekeepers, supporting Hives for Haiti and the Salt Spring community.  

We’re also pleased to announce that we are offering a scholarship to attend the course. Applicants can send an email to either of us (David or Wendi) with the following information: 

Now closed. *Congratulations to Tali Hamel. Tali was awarded the 2015 scholarship.*

Lastly, the library administration has been so helpful in making this program possible. We’re very thankful for their involvement in the project”  Wendi & David 

To register for the Introductory Beekeeping course please email:  info@hivesforhaiti.com

What a great idea for a unique Valentines gift!