The current VIN date & time: Eastern

EXOT113-0223: Honey Bees - Management

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

Presenter: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
Course Open: February 10-March 22, 2023
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Sundays, February 19, 26, March 5, and 12, 2023; 2:00-3:30 pm ET (USA) World Clock Converter
Total CE Credit: 6
RACE Category: 6 hours Medical


Enroll Now  

Tuition: Member $138 ($124 early bird special if enrolled by January 27, 2023)
Non-Member $231 ($208 early bird special if enrolled by January 27, 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:
This course is focused on the care and management of honey bee colonies for optimal health. In this course we will discuss standard seasonal management including preparing colonies for winter. We will discuss the nutritional needs of honey bees at both the colony level and the individual level. Participants will learn the basic life stages of a colony over the season, focusing on environmental cues that drive management. We will cover common mistakes at each time of year and will focus on best management practices to optimize honey bee health and nutrition as well as honey crop production. We will discuss the conditions that lead to swarming and will cover multiple methods for swarm management. Finally, we will cover the basics of wax production and care of comb and equipment.


Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of the course, the participant should be able to
  • List the basic nutritional requirements for honey bees
  • Identify standard sources of food
  • Describe the standard methods of feeding honey bees
  • Identify signs that a colony is in nutritional stress
  • Describe the beekeeping tasks throughout the season
  • Explain the differences between summer and winter bees
  • Illustrate honeybee winter biology
  • Identify environmental cues that drive management decisions
  • Describe the actions of the colony preceding a swarm
  • Explain the environmental cues that drive swarm behavior
  • Identify visual clues that indicate the need for swarm management
  • Appraise different types of measures for swarm control
  • Describe the steps for basic colony splits
  • Explain the conditions necessary for wax production
  • Describe methods for protecting drawn comb


Level and Prerequisites: This basic VIN CE course is open for enrollment to veterinarians, veterinary technicians/technologists, and veterinary support staff interested in management of honeybee hives for optimal health and production.
Accreditation: This course is approved for 6 hours of continuing education credit by RACE for veterinarians and veterinary technicians/technologists. (RACE 20-954106)


Course Agenda:

Week 1 (Real Time Session February 19, 2023): Honey Bee Nutrition
In this session we will discuss the nutritional needs of honey bees at both the colony and the individual level. We will discuss forage identification, assessing a colony to determine if the nutritional needs are met, signs of starvation and nutritional stress. Participants will learn when and how to supplementary feed, including preparation for winter or periods of drought.

Week 2 (Real Time Session February 26, 2023): Seasonal Management of Honey Bee Colonies
We will cover basic yearly management for honeybee colonies with extra focus on areas with a cold winter or prolonged dry season. Participants will learn the basic life stages of a colony over the season, focusing on environmental cues that drive management. We will cover the biology of winter bees and discuss how colony needs vary seasonally. We will cover common mistakes at each time of year and will focus on best management practices to optimize honey bee health and nutrition as well as honey crop production.

Week 3 (Real Time Session March 5, 2023): Splits and Swarms
Honey bee colonies naturally reproduce yearly by splitting into swarms. This process needs to be managed by beekeepers for the health of the colony as well as to prevent their bees from becoming nuisance pests. In this course we will discuss the biology behind swarm behavior, how to recognize signs that a colony will swarm, and outline common methods of swarm management and control.

Week 4 (Real Time Session March 12, 2023): Honey Bee Comb Production and Care
All of the honey bee colony activities occur on wax comb in the hive. In this course we will discuss how comb is built, as well as how to optimize comb building. Participants will also learn how to safely store and manage comb to prevent damage from pests and pesticide buildup.


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 $138 ($124 early bird special if enrolled by January 27, 2023)
Non-Member $231 ($208 early bird special if enrolled by January 27, 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 17, 2023 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