Bee Doctor Intensives

Get your Hive Doctor Certification this summer!

Small group, hands-on apprenticing with Corwin Bell
A unique opportunity to deepen your understanding
of top bar hives and Bee Guardian Methods



Bee Doctor Intensives 2018 Dates

to be announced

[Email us to be on the notification list]

Bee Doctor Intensives with Corwin Bell 2015

It is required that you have taken the Session I and Session II (Beginning) & Intermediate) workshops from
This will insure that you will have the "bigger picture", the skills and the overall philosophy of Bee Guardianship from which you can build on during the intensives. (If you live out of state and were not able to attend BackYardHive Sessions l & ll, contact us  for equivalent requirements.)

What is a Bee Doctor?

A Bee Doctor is an individual who has had the experience of seeing and working with many hives in varied conditions of health and vitality. A Bee Doctor is called upon when someone is unsure about how to resolve their hive issue. The Bee Doctors we have trained in the past have the physical dexterity and skills to perform all the necessary hive tasks, from harvesting honey, to realigning crooked combs. They are familiar with various techniques from combining weak or queen-less hives to assessing the hive and setting. A Bee Doctor is someone who has gained the experience and sensitivity to know what needs to be done for the well being of the hive and has the skills, knowledge and confidence to help others.

The Eldorado Springs Bee sanctuary sits on South Boulder creek on forty acres of land with a cottonwood forest
located just a walk from Eldorado Canyon State Park. The raw beauty of the location is punctuated by a
mountain river and is surrounded by the mystical five mountain configuration. The environment allows for
the experience of being with oneself and the bees in a harmonious union.

Out of town folks, we have recommendations for lodging and accommodations
Camping is available in beautiful Eldorado Springs.

A Typical Intensive Day

  • Begin 8:30am with discussion and questions

  • Work on hives in our Eldorado Bee Sanctuary or in Boulder County at a Bee Guardians hive(s)

  • We will do two to six Bee Doctor visits each day, each will be specific with unknown issues

  • Recap the days learning


What we are likely to encounter during the Bee Doctor visits

Happy bees!

Cross comb (booh!)

Checking for queen-less hive

Re-queening a hive

Hive transfers

Heat issues

Hive mishaps (oops!)

Dwindling hives

Harvesting combs

Intensive Fees
$200/day  -  8:30am and go until it gets too hot or it rains
Limited to 4 people per day for ample hands-on training

2017 Bee Doctor Intensive Days
Pick any days from the 8 days offered, attend 4 days in a row or space your days out.
Or just choose a day or two to attend an Intensive day.

April 2 (Sunday)  - Hive Assessment Calls
Start the season early. On Saturday April 1st Corwin will be teaching Hive Assessment class.
Come to the April 1st class for free (when you sign up for this April 2nd Bee Doc day)
learn how to assess hives then on April 2, you will make hive assessments for clients
at various hives in
Boulder and surrounding area.

April 15 Saturday - Bear Snack
We will be assessing overwintered hives, learn when to harvest combs,
which type of combs to harvest, when and how to rotate out brood combs, how many
combs to take to open up the brood nest, and how many honeycombs to leave for
the bees until the thereat of cold weather has passed.

April 16 Sunday -
Bear Snack

Same as above, April 8

April 29 Saturday -
Free- Volunteer
Bee Packages are being delivered on April 29. We need bee helpers to help assist newbies
with installing their bee packages
. Pay it forward by helping out someone new to
beekeeping! Contact Us to help out on April 29th,

May 5, 6, 7 (Fri, Sat, Sun) Check for 3 day old larvae, queens, swarms

A day of checking newly installed packages for a laying queen. Check
overwintered hives for laying queens, assess hives for potential problems,
learn techniques to avoid future problems in the hive and go on swarm

calls to learn how to catch swarms safely and the gentlest way for the bees.

May 26, 27, 28, 29
- Queen check, deep hive work

This is a great opportunity to take 4 days in a row. There will be
a large variety of hives to assess each with a unique situation to work on.
Transferring hives or nucs to
combine a queen-less or weak hvies, over-heated hives
to fix, no laying queen, re-queening, fixing cross-comb, harvesting honeycomb and much more.

NOTE: Enter Quantity and Choose the date from the list for each day you want to attend
Then click Recalculate, each day is $200


Bee Doctor Intensives with Corwin Bell

The 2014, 2015 & 2016 Bee Doctor Intensives were a great success!! We had folks from California, Chicago and Colorado attending the Intensives. Many participants came away from the experience fully certificated and everyone experienced a deeper knowledge about the inner workings of the hive. Many folks who attended in 2014 also took the 2015 & 2016 Bee Doctor Intensives to gain more knowledge and hands-on experience.


Bee Doctor Intensive Certification Corwin Bell Natural Beekeeping

Bee_Doctor_Intensive_CorwinBell_Natural Beekeeping 


Who should join the Intensives?

This hands-on training will give each participant a vast amount of experience in understanding their own hives and give those wishing to become Bee Doctors, the confidence to go on house calls to help others out with their hives. We are limiting the intensives to 4 people per day so there will be a great opportunity for hands-on learningYou will have the opportunity to see how Corwin listens to the needs of the bees and how he sustains a particular space around the hive in order to create an environment  of trust.



We need more Bee Doctors
For many years Corwin has taken on apprenticeships and offered a small number of hands-on intensives to select individuals in order to get more Bee Guardians with higher skill levels to field “Hive Doctor calls”.

We recently have been getting many more requests for Hive Doctor visits then we have Bee Doctors available. Corwin is offering intensives for those who want to gain more experience and confidence with their own hives and to have the experience level to help out others.

What is required to get Certified?

First of all, Corwin really fought against claiming to be a "certify-er" or using a fixed certification model, so we are modeling the intensives after aviation training, where a student pilot keeps flying with the instructor until the teacher and the student agree that it is time for a solo flight.

In Corwin's experience it usually takes at least 4 days for a person to become confident enough to do a bee doctor visit solo. Just as getting ones pilot license, certification is not set at 4 days of training, but will depend on both the student and Corwin feeling there is confidence and competency to go solo!

We strive to teach bee doctors that we feel confident recommending to people who have contacted us with hive problems or emergencies. The goal of the intensives are to give you the experience to assess a beehive's health and well-being with confidence and to have the skills necessary to assist others in resolving problems.

  • Intensive days count toward your certification

  •  If you want to have the chance to go solo (!), you will want to sign up for 4 dates.

  • You don't have to take the intensives days in order. What is important is the knowledge gained each day and the hands-on experience.

  • 4 intensive days should get you certified. Then actually doing solo Bee Doctor visits will strengthen your experience.

  • Certified Hive Doctors will receive a special silver necklace medallion.This "proof" helps others to know that the person that is helping them with their hive has actually gained the necessary experience.

    You don't have to sign up for 4 days. if you want to learn more about top bar hive techniques and methods for your own hives, signing up for a day or two will also be very beneficial.

    You will also be acquiring the essentials for a "Bee Doctor bag".
    Corwin has some specific tools that he carries to every Bee Doctor visit and it is encouraged that every Bee Doctor have their own bag of tools to carry with them. 


    If you want to continue on to do Hive Doctor visits after you are certified, we will include your name in our list of Bee Doctors. This listing will become available to Bee Guardians who would like to have help with their hive.

    Lodging recommendations or camping in Eldorado Springs. Airport shuttle drop off for out of town participants. A rental car is not necessary.

    If you are coming in from out of town, let us know and we can suggest some nice places to stay or camping is available.   Email us for more information


Testimonials from the 2014, 2015 & 2016 Bee Doctor Intensive Participants:

I attended Corwin’s Bee Doctor Intensive last year (2014) and found it to be the most valuable experience in honeybee colony analysis and resolution that I’ve had in my brief four years as a bee guardian.  There is nothing comparable to hands-on experience, and Corwin filled our days with true field work - showing, guiding, teaching, encouraging, and supporting us as we experienced (and hopefully absorbed) his lessons.  Corwin’s mastery of bee guardianship, his skill at assessment and resolution, as well as his strong compassion and respect for the bees and all life, shone throughout the Intensive and kept me captivated.  Beginner or experienced, we all agreed that the Intensive was a unique and valuable experience.  Although very tired, with my head spinning from all that I had seen and learned, I didn’t want it to end, and I will sign up to do it again!
~Valerie G., Longmont, CO


I attended the Bee Doctor Intensives this past spring.  Corwin and Karen set up a thoroughly enjoyable learning experience.  I appreciated their willingness to share their vast and rare knowledge of Natural Bee Guardianship and their teaching style, which allowed me to return home with the confidence to work on my own and others' hives.   Along with absorbing the knowledge, came the daily opportunity to work "hands on" in Backyard Hive's Bee Yard and with many other natural bee keeper's in the area who needed some kind of assistance with their bees.  This experience presented us the opportunity to see a large variety of issues in a short period of time and ,and with Corwin and Karen's guidance, to learn the proper techniques to deal with them.  In only a few days, we saw a variety of situations that it might take years, or even a lifetime to see if you had to wait for them to come along.  Along with the beautiful peaceful surroundings and the hospitable atmosphere, I enjoyed very much meeting the other attendees.  They were a diverse group from all around the country, and were successful and knowledgeable in their varied backgrounds.  It was a complete pleasure meeting and learning with them.  It's also a great pleasure being around other people who care about bees.  If you'd like to expand your knowledge and abilities with bees, I'd highly recommend taking part in Backyard Hive's Bee Doctor Intensives.  I couldn't allow myself to miss doing it again and intend to sign up for this year's session.

~Kevin S. , Eldorado Springs, CO

It was really great to work with Corwin in such close contact with his hives as well as the hives of others.  We had a great combination of lecture and discussion time as well as hands on time with hives in Corwin's apiary and on site at client's houses.  The opportunity to understand the nature of what a thriving hive looks like and then to assess the situations that are causing symptoms was really valuable.  After 4 days of working with Corwin I came away feeling very confident is assessing the situation that a hive is in and have a good foundational understanding of a variety of situations that affect the hive.  From this knowledge, helping people to address the needs of their hive feels much more clear.  Thanks so much!  I learned so much and although I got certified to do doctor visits on my own, I would love to come for the intensives again as there is such rich material for more learning and continued understanding of the nature of bees and their needs.    Cheyanna B.- Northern California


"I spent five days last summer in the intensive course as preparation for getting my own top bar hive up and running. I had wanted bees for many years but the responsibility for knowing more about them, and doing the right things, kept me from getting started. The course was the perfect solution to my dilemma. The morning discussions were filled with the wisdom of Corwin’s many years of beekeeping. The rest of the day was mostly hands on practice as we visited 3 or 4 hives each day and made plans for: queenless hives, crosscombs, swarms, bear attacks, honey extractions and general maintenance. I caught my first swarm 3 months after the course and have been able to help some local farmers with their hives. I love being a bee doctor."

~Tony C., San Diego, CA
"The Bee Doctor intensive was an amazing experience! It was great to spend 4 full days saturated with bees and people who love bees! I loved every day and couldn't wait to go back for my next day. To be able to see so many different hives, evaluate what was happening and what assistance we might offer to the hive exponentially increased my knowledge and confidence with managing my hives. Corwin's knowledge, respect, connection, and love of the bees is palpable.
I felt like a kid at the best summer camp ever and I plan to go again this year!"

~Rosemary H., Boulder, CO

"There is absolutely nothing like jumping in and actually doing the work.  The live, in action experience allows one to overcome any hesitancies with working a hive, or attempting to diagnose and hopefully remedy a “situation.”  These folks are the best at what they do, and they have a keen awareness and understanding I can only begin to comprehend.  Incredibly helpful and informative and I would highly, highly recommend the experience for those truly committed to our world’s bees."

~Bob G., Boulder, CO
"A great learning opportunity for intensive exposure to a number of hives and challenges they (the bees) are facing.   Corwin has a 'bees eye view' of how humans can best collaborate with hives. "

~Janet K, Boulder, CO