The current VIN date & time: Eastern

EXOT112-0123: Honey Bees - Biology

The lectures for this course will be presented via the Zoom webinar platform.

Presenter: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
Course Open: January 27-February 22, 2023
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Sundays, February 5 and 12, 2023; 2:00-3:30 pm ET (USA) World Clock Converter
Total CE Credit: 3
RACE Category: 3 hours Medical


Enroll Now  

Tuition: Member $69 ($62 early bird special if enrolled by January 13, 2023)
Non-Member $137 ($123 early bird special if enrolled by January 13, 2023)
Prices are listed in US dollars.


*Enroll in 2 or more Honey Bee courses on the same day and receive a 15% discount off the regular price.
  • EXOT111-0123: Honey Bees - Working With Beekeepers
  • EXOT112-0123: Honey Bees - Biology
  • EXOT113-0223: Honey Bees - Management
  • EXOT114-0323: Honey Bees - Pests and Diseases


Course Information:
Honey bee reproduction can be thought of in two ways – the colony (super-organism) can reproduce through splits and swarms, and the individual queen can reproduce through laying eggs. In this course we will cover both types of reproduction. We will cover mating biology and queen rearing as well as how colonies naturally swarm and are split by beekeepers.


Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of the course, the participant should be able to
  • Identify basic external honey bee anatomy
  • Describe the functions of key honey bee glands
  • Outline key stages in honey bee development
  • Compare honey bee perception to humans and other animals
  • Match internal honey bee structures to function
  • Describe the queen honey bee anatomy
  • Explain the life-cycle of the queen
  • Identify the major functions of the honey bee queen
  • Define the differences between the honey bee queen and the female workers
  • Recognize queen related issues in the hive
  • Outline methods to deal with problem queens in the hive
  • Describe basics of honey bee breeding


Level and Prerequisites: This basic VIN CE course is open for enrollment to veterinarians, veterinary technicians/technologists, and veterinary support staff interested in reproduction and breeding in honey bee colonies and the management of honey bee splits and swarms.
Accreditation: This course is approved for 3 hours of continuing education credit by RACE for veterinarians and veterinary technicians/technologists. (RACE 20-954102)


Course Agenda:

Week 1 (Real Time Session February 5, 2023): Anatomy of the Individual Bee
In this session we will get to know the Western Honey Bee, Apis mellifera. We will focus on anatomy and physiological adaptations that are relevant to the care of these insects. Participants will view microscopic images that will allow them to really see this creature up close and understand how they are both similar to and different from other animals

Week 2 (Real Time Session February 12, 2023): Mating Biology and Queen Rearing
In this session we will discuss queen and drone biology, mating, and genetics. Participants will learn about queen management as well, including queen rearing, queen handling, and introduction. We will outline the basics of queen breeding and identify how to deal with common issues with queens.


Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course. To learn more about the requirements for earning a CE certificate, please refer to Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate.

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.
Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.


Enroll Now  

Tuition: Member $69 ($62 early bird special if enrolled by January 13, 2023)
Non-Member $137 ($123 early bird special if enrolled by January 13, 2023)
Prices are listed in US dollars.


*Enroll in 2 or more Honey Bee courses on the same day and receive a 15% discount off the regular price.
  • EXOT111-0123: Honey Bees - Working With Beekeepers
  • EXOT112-0123: Honey Bees - Biology
  • EXOT113-0223: Honey Bees - Management
  • EXOT114-0323: Honey Bees - Pests and Diseases


*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close on February 3, 2024 at 5 pm ET (USA) or when the maximum number of participants is reached.

*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.


Enrollment qualifications:
  1. VIN CE Courses:
    1. VIN CE courses are open to VIN member, VIN student member, and non-member veterinarians.
    2. Veterinary support staff must be VSPN members in order to enroll in a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. VSPN CE Courses:
    1. VSPN CE courses are open to veterinary support staff and veterinarians.
    2. Only VIN and VSPN members can enroll in a VSPN CE course.
    3. Veterinarians will only receive credit for those VSPN CE courses that specify in the Accreditation statement that the course is accredited for veterinarians.
  3. Please check the course Level and Prerequisites, Accreditation, and Tuition before enrolling.
  4. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from @vspn.org and @vin.com addresses.
    1. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  5. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext. 797 or email CEonVIN@vin.com. Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.


Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN office 800-846-0028 ext. 797 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.

*For more information on VIN's upcoming CE courses, check the VIN Course Catalog.

Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Director

VIN CE Services: CEonVIN@vin.com
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 797
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01 45 222 6154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357