Natural, organic and treatment-free

Bee Guardianship Classes

2014 Spring

Colorado, Northwest, Seattle, Portland,
Olympia, Sequim, Chicago, Austin, TX
Southern California

Natural Beekeeping Workshops & Intensives (Register below)

Instructor- Corwin Bell

Corwin has been passionately working with bees for over 19 years.
He practices a holistic approach in caring for bees that focuses on enhancing
the bee’s immune system through attentive listening, meditative communing,
right timing and sustainable methods. In his courses he reveals a connection
between bees and humankind as symbolic of a broader interconnection
between humans and the natural world.

Corwin promotes a "backyard" hive method and philosophy in which he
encourages and inspires interested and willing individuals to connect with
bees through an altruistic Guardianship that goes beyond hobbyist beekeeping.
Bell travels widely giving lectures and workshops to raise awareness of
honeybee genetic biodiversity and to promote alternatives to conventional
beekeeping practices. Corwin has just finished a new full length top bar
"how to" DVD:
Alternative Beekeeping Using the Top Bar Hive and
The Bee Guardian Methods

Instructor -Karen Sadenwater
Karen has worked with the bees under the guidance of Corwin for

the past 9 years.  Karen brings a sense of calm and respect when
working with the honeybees.  She co-teaches the classes with Corwin
and is especially skilled with getting beginners started in their new
journey of bee guardianship.

View testimonials from students at the bottom of the page.

Bee Guardianship Intensives with Corwin Bell

Boulder, CO   (accomodation options for out of town folks)
June 13-21
June 28-July 5

(choose your dates)


Click Here for more information



Session I Workshop description:
This class is for those just getting started. We will cover basic bee ecology,
how the bees communicate with each other in the hive, explain why bees are
a super-organism, and the importance of honeybee genetic diversity.You
will learn how to set up the hive for bees, obtaining bees, catching a swarm
and getting the bees into the hive. You will learn the reasoning behind
treatment-free, natural beekeeping (it may surprise you). We will demonstrate
how to work with the bees in an altruistic, gentle manner so that a symbiotic
relationship is formed with the bees. And if there are combs to harvest, we
will demonstrate how to harvest and process honey comb.

Session II Workshop  description:
This class is for the bee guardian who has taken the beginner class
and has a colony of bees. In this class you will learn an in-depth working
relationship with the bees. The class will cover a deeper understanding
of the intimate workings of the colony and the brood nest, so that the
bee guardian can confidentially work their hive and feel comfortable with
interacting with the bees. We will cover queen-less hives, over wintering,
processing all comb types and spring harvesting.


Products of the Hive Class description:

Learn about the treasure trove of beneficial products the bees create in
their hive. Bees create one of the most amazing ecosystems of nutrition ?
and cleanliness in their hive. While practicing holistic management
techniques that allow the colony to prosper there is still an abundance
of products that can be utilized from the hive. Learn how to process
these amazing products and have your own natural pharmacy at home.
We will teach a unique way to process the wax from the hive which
can be used for numerous products such as candles, soaps, salves
and even artistic projects. Learn how to make candles in a new way
without molds or dipping. Learn how to process pollen, one of the
planet's most complete proteins. You will learn how to grade propolis
and make propolis tinctures, an incredible anti-microbial substance.
We will also be teach you how to make drink and food products
such as mead, honey essence drinks and all the honey treats you
can imagine. Learn about the benefits of bee venom therapy,
royal jelly and much more! Join us for a full day of discovering
the benefits of the hive!

Please select your classes below:


 Southern California Workshops: 2014!

Beck Grove Farm

Fallbrook, CA

These workshops are hosted by the local

CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers)
Pacific Southwest Chapter


Session I    May 31, 2014 (Saturday)
10am -2pm

 Register for the Session I _May 31_Fallbrook, CA

Session II    June 1, 2014 (Sunday)
10am -2pm

Pre-requisite Session I
Signup for both Sessions I & II below

Both Session I & II   May 31-June1, 2014 (Sat&Sun)
10am -2pm each day


 Register for both Session I & II _May31-June 1_Fallbrook, CA

(Detailed directions will be emailed when you register)

Yes, there are still spaces available in the workshops!


Boulder, Colorado

 Join us in beautiful Boulder for a bee class.

We have had some great classes so far this year!


If you are interested in a Beginner or Intermediate

bee class in Boulder email us and if we get enough

interest we will set up another class. 

Email :

  karen (at) backyardhive (dot) com


(past class)
Beginning Class
March 30th, 2014 (Sunday)
11:30am - 4pm


(past class)
Intermediate Class
March 15, 2014
10am -2pm


(past class)
Beginning Class
Feb 22, 2014(Saturday)

(past class)

Products of the Hive Class
Feb 23 , 2014 (Sunday)


Carbondale, Colorado


From Brook LeVan at Sustainable Settings
Corwin & Karen and the BackyardHive crew are back! Join us again this year
with a beginning and intermediate/advanced level and a NEW CLASS - Products of the Hive.

Learn about the incredible world of the bee, how to care for bees and how to encourage
the multiple benefits of pollination and honey production on your farm/ ranch or right in
your backyard.  Start a hive and or build up your current beeyard and help build resilience
in your greater food shed.  The last 6 years of classes here have encouraged participants
to establish over 250 bee hives from Aspen to Eagle and Rifle!

Corwin & Karen teach you how to use Top Bar bee hives and how to work WITH the bees,
like no other we have seen: No smoke, no chemicals, low to no stress, all organically.

Our Beginning bee course sells out each year. Reserve early! 

All courses are $75 each per person and Lunches are all Pot Luck.

Beginning Class - May 9, 2014 (Friday)
10am -3pm
Potluck Lunch

Intermediate Class - May 10, 2014 (Saturday)
10am -3pm
Potluck Lunch

Products of the Hive 
- May 11, 2014 (Sunday)
This course has evolved out of years of experience by the BackYard Hive team. If you have hives
and have tried to harvest and process honey, wax, and propolis then you know the loss of good product
and the mess you can get into quickly.  This day-long course will teach you the tried and true and
some innovative well-tested methods that will make your processing easier and yield you a
higher quality raw product.
10am -3pm
Potluck Lunch

This new class is likely to fill quickly given the number of past beekeepers
we have helped get started.  We will limit this offering to 30 people so,
reserve early.

Register for the Carbondale classes

through Sustainable Settings

phone:  970-963-6107


Visit us online @


Paonia, Colorado 


Beginner Class 

Intermediate Class 

Both Saturday & Sunday



Northwest Classes: 2014!


Renton, WA

WA area)

(35 min SE of Seattle)

Beginning Class
April 26, 2014 (Saturday)
10:00am -2:00pm


Intermediate Class
April 27, 2014 (
10:00am -2:00pm


(Detailed directions will be emailed when you register)



Battle Ground, WA

(Portland, OR area)

On Biodynamic Farm


(35 min NE of Portland)

Beginning Class
April 18, 2014 (Friday)
10:30am -3:30pm


Intermediate Class
April 19, 2014 (Saturday)
10:30am -3:30pm

Products of the Hive Class
April 20, 2014 (Sunday)
10:30am -3:30pm


(Detailed directions will be emailed when you register)


Olympia, WA (Evergreen State College)

Beginning Class
April 12, 2014 (Saturday)
9:00am -3:00pm

Intermediate Class
April 13, 2014 (Sunday)
9:00am -3:00pm

(Detailed directions will be emailed when you register)

Yes, there are still spaces available in the classes!

April 10 (Thursday)
Bee Guardianship – Using Top Bar Hives –
A Holistic Approach in Caring for Bees

Presentation by Corwin Bell
Location: Traditions- Fifth and Water St.
Olympia, WA
Suggested donation $7 - 15
7 – 9 pm


, WA

Beginning Class
April 5, 2014 (Saturday)
10:00am -2:00pm

Intermediate Class
April 6, 2014 (Sunday)
10:00am -2:00pm

(Detailed directions will be emailed when you register)



Whidbey Island
, WA
(Whidbey Institute)

email to be put on the notification list:


  karen (at) backyardhive (dot) com





Bend, OR 

We are working out a date for this class
Interested in the class in Bend, OR area? email
to be put on the notification list:



  karen (at) backyardhive (dot) com



Austin, Texas

Beginning Class & Products of the Hive



We are working out a date and a location for this class
Interested in the class in the Austin area? email
to be put on the notification list:

  karen (at) backyardhive (dot) com

For more information about our classes email:

  karen (at) backyardhive (dot) com



The Hive Helper

A Bee Guardian to help you with your hive


This wonderful service is offered for those who have a hive and would like
assistance harvesting honey, straightening crossed-combs, looking for a
queen, any other hive maintenance activities, if you are out of town
and need someone to harvest or tend to your hive, or if one of your
hives is in an unhealthy state.  One of our super qualified bee-guardians
will come to your hive and assist you with any questions.  This is
an amazing educational occasion that will allow you to feel
totally confident maneuvering most any situation in your hive. 
You will have the opportunity to ask questions, learn by observation,
and hands on guidance.  You will feel confident with more advanced
hive tool techniques such as learning how to manicure combs and
remove attached combs.

$35/hour for hives in Boulder, CO

$50/hour for hives outside of the
Boulder, Denver areas in Colorado.

To set up an appointment:

email:  karen (at) backyardhive (dot) com



Classes outside of Boulder or Colorado


If you live outside of the Boulder, CO area and would like to

have a Backyard Beekeeping class offered in your area
please contact us. We are setting up to travel to teach
new "bee guardians" the art of beekeeping. Most areas
we would travel would need about 20 people to attend the
class to cover costs. Local sustainable groups and University
extensions are a great place to offer classes.
Please email us if you have a group in your area
interested in a natural beekeeping class

email:  karen (at) backyardhive (dot) com


Testimonials from Students

"Really enjoyed the class.  Having taken more "traditional" classes it was refreshing not
to spend a large chunk of the class learning about dosages and chemicals they would
advise newbees to use.  The bees have been doing this much longer than us and I think
it's great you advocate for letting them do their thing, their way."
Rene in WY

"I can't believe the gift you gave us today, of offering us the entire course you had planned!
It was phenomenal! I am overwhelmed at what you have learned - and are still learning, about the bees,
and at how beautifully you present that knowledge. I come away with an ever greater love of the bees,
and an excitement to play my small part.
Thank you, thank you, for what you gave us and for what you are giving to the world."
Ellen in CO

"I had a friend say that she took your workshop and found it extremely valuable. She'd
been thinking about beekeeping for several years and had taken another
course previously, but she felt moved/empowered to jump right in after
taking your course."
Sue in CO

Please tell Corwin that the workshop was totally outstanding,
and gave me such a boost towards starting my own hive.
I would recommend your class to anyone who is beginning, because you
make it seem so possible, so wondrous, so important,
and so natural. Please continue to give it.
It was a very special day for me, being with you all outside in all the
beauty of nature - a holy experience.
Thank you all for all that you do to inspire and educate us. It is
deeply appreciated.
M. ~ Boulder, CO

Karen and Corwin hi, I just wanted to let you know how incredible the workshop was Saturday! Thank you all for your passion and knowledge and fine teaching abilities. It is one thing to know a subject or a system and another in knowing how to share what you know and communicate that with enthusiasm. You all are a great team and always welcome here at Sustainable Settings. It was a great pleasure to spend extra time pre and post workshop with. I hope you find the Grassroots TV interview useful too for future promotions of your important work. We look forward to working with you all more in the future.
Brook LeVan executive director
harvesting nature's intelligence

I attended the afternoon session with my daughter, Sonya. We both found the workshop so informative it touched our hearts. Corwin's gentle and sensitive approach to developing a relationship with the bees truely stood out. It's like the bees really didn't mind his intrusions or atleast he could sense their fear and move gently but quickly through the process. I also learned much more about effective techniques to manage a TBH and hope to begin using one in the near future. I really appreciated the introduction- the discussion of how to manage the top bar hive followed by the demonstration -
Natilie S., ~ Boulder, CO



Bee Classes in Europe



The Art and Craft of Natural Beekeeping
Teacher: Phil Chandler
please send an email to