Bee Guardianship Workshops & Intensives

Spring 2018

Natural Organic Beekeeping Classes Colorado Northwest Corwin Bell Top Bar Hives

Natural, organic and treatment-free

Learn natural beekeeping methods

Instructor- Corwin Bell
Corwin has been passionately working with bees for over 20 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 created a new full length top bar
"how to" DVD:
Alternative Beekeeping Using the Top Bar Hive and The Bee Guardian Methods

Natural Beekeeping Classes Colorado, Washington, California
Corwin working with a top bar hive at a spring beekeeping workshop


2018 dates to be announced

Email us to get the notification list when we announce 2018 class dates.

Classes are offered in Boulder, CO Feb and Mar,
Carbondale, CO in May plus other select US cities.
Bee Doctor Intensives offered in the spring and summer.


Session I Workshop: Beginning - Adventuring into Bees
Session 1 covers more than just the bee basics, which is a misnomer
because there is nothing basic about the bees!  Corwin paints a fascinating
picture of how bee genetics informs survivor behavior traits, how these traits
make up the bees behavioral immune system and directly relate to survivability. 
In Session1 Corwin launches into the big picture of the bees as a super organism,
why we teach bee keeping the way we do and designed the type of hives we use.
We compare and contrast not only different hive styles generally used by the
majority of the bee keepers, but we also explore the various management practices,
which will clearly demonstrate how a natural Bee Guardian approach creates a
sustainable habitat for the bees. Once we have the bee basics, understand the
individual types of bees in the colony, are able to identify and discern the various
combs and their uses in the nest, we will have the foundation to understand
Session 2 curriculum.

Feb 11, 2017 - Saturday
Boulder, CO 
10am-2pm, $75

Mar 18, 2017 - Saturday
Boulder, CO 
10am-2pm, $75

May 13, 2017 -Saturday
Carbondale, CO 
10am-2pm, $75
To register for the Carbondale classes contact Rose at:

Battle Ground, WA 2017
10am-2pm, $75
(dates to be determined)


Session II Workshop:
In Session 2 we go through step by step management practices
during the seasons of the hive. We learn to "read" combs from
different locations in the honey bee nest and assess their condition,
their state of health and many other factors.  Corwin demonstrates
unique techniques for hive management, presents a "time lapse"
perspective of how the honey bees nest is initially created, how it
evolves over the first year and how it is sustained over the years
through careful observation and applying specific management
techniques using right timing. By the end of Session 2 you should
be able to identify colony problems, apply solutions and be able to
assess what to do for your bees in just about every circumstance
that you will encounter. Session 2 is also when we get to see how
Corwin approaches the hives and how he flows with the energy of
the bees and moves through the hive, weather permitting.

Feb 12, 2017 - Sunday
Boulder, CO 
10am-2pm, $75

Mar 19, 2017 - Sunday
Boulder, CO 
10am-2pm, $75

May 14, 2017 -Sunday
Carbondale, CO 
10am-2pm, $75
To register for the Carbondale classes contact Rose at:

Battle Ground, WA 2017
10am-2pm, $75
(dates to be determined)

Both Session I & II

The weekend of workshops is for the bee guardian who wants
to dive in, experience and learn as much as possible toward
getting started with bees.
You will gain a big jump ahead in
knowledge if you can swing taking both classes

Feb 11 & 12, 2017 - Saturday & Sunday
Boulder, CO 
10am-2pm, $150

Mar 18 & 19, 2017 - Saturday & Sunday
Boulder, CO 
10am-2pm, $150

May 13 & 14, 2017 - Saturday & Sunday
Carbondale, CO 
10am-2pm, $150

To register for the Carbondale classes contact Rose at:

Battle Ground, WA 2017
10am-2pm, $150
(dates to be determined)


Cathedral Hive Workshop:

Join Corwin for the day learning about the new Cathedral Hive!
Session I & II are a prerequisite
The Cathedral Hive Workshop is specifically geared toward examining
the amazing and natural way the bees develop their nest and utilize
the Cathedral Hives hexagonal cavity. The Cathedral workshop will
demonstrate how the 'colony regulated venting system' works and
we will get an in depth look at how the bees use the "super highway"
for winter migrations through the honey stores and for their own hive
nest productivity. We will have the unique opportunity to spend time going
through two "non active" experimental Cathedral Hive nests. One Cathedral
Hive was established 4 years ago from a swarm and intentionally left
without any hive management or intervention. Here we will discover that this 
hive's 4th year dwindling was because of the need to open up the brood nest,
which would have allowed the colony to continue to grow and prosper. The
second Cathedral Hive we will examine was established from a very small swarm
late in the season. Inspecting this hive will give us the opportunity to see how the
initial nest construction begins in this unique hive cavity and what could have been
done to enable them to overwinter successfully. If weather permits we will venture
into a live Cathedral Hive at Corwin's apiary and learn special techniques developed
for the management and movement of the Hexagonal bars.

April 1, 2017
Boulder, CO

1pm-3pm, $35

Hive Assessment Workshop
Why my hive didn't make it to spring
Sometimes hives don't make it though the winter.
There are many various reasons and we can really learn so
much from the hive. Corwin will do a hands-on hive assessment
of your hive, so bring your hive fully intact to the class.
Everyone can learn from several hive assessments with
each assessment often being very unique. There will
also be time for Q & A with Corwin.

April 1, 2017
Boulder, CO

10am-Noon, $35


Both Cathedral Hive & Hive Assessment Workshops

April 1, 2017
Boulder, CO

10am-3pm, $70


Session III Workshop:
2017 Hive Assessment
using the Bear Snack Method
Session I & II are a prerequisite
This weekend workshop is for the bee guardian who has taken both the Session I & II 
workshops and wants more hands-on experience. We are excited to offer this workshop
to help bee guardians build confidence in working with the bees. 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. This 2 day, in-depth workshop is hands-on, going through
several hives for assessment, brood comb determination and harvesting honeycombs
in the spring. Our methodology is to harvest combs in the spring not the fall. In the
spring time the bees have used all the combs they needed to survive the winter
and they want space in the hive to store fresh nectar and pollen to rear their young.

Boulder, CO - 2017
10am-1pm each day, $90 for both days
(April date to be determined- once weather warms up)


Bee Doctor Intensive Course with
Corwin Bell
The Bee Doctor Intensive Courses are for those who have attended both
Session I & II with BackYardHive.  The Intensives are advanced, full day, hand-ons
courses where attendees can get a Bee Doctor certification with Corwin Bell

 2017 Dates

April 2 - Hive Assessment Calls

April 15 & 16 - Bear Snack

April 29 - Free- Volunteer
help newbies install packages

May 6 & 7 - Check for 3 day old larvae, queens, swarms

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

Requirements: Attended Session I & II workshops
Location: Boulder, CO 
Accommodations offered for out of town registrants

Register and learn more about our Bee Guardian Intensive Courses


Findhorn Sacred Bee Immersion Course with
Corwin Bell

August 5-12, 2017

Findhorn Foundation, Scotland, UK

Embody sacred relationship with the Earth and revel in communion with nature’s greatest emissary, the honeybee.

All of humanity is experiencing the effects of the Anthropocene Epoch, an era marked by the impact of wanton civilisation.

This has perhaps been a result, in part, from a deep disconnect from our nature family. It is well known that nature experience heals. Those of us who work intimately with the bee have discovered an opportunity to be restored and inspired toward the fulfilment of the grand work of becoming good ancestors.

Click this link to find out more about Findhorn, the course and
to Register:
Findhorn Sacred Bee Immersion



From Brook LeVan at Sustainable Settings,
Carbondale, CO

Corwin & Karen and the BackyardHive crew are back! Join us again this year
with Session l & Session ll beekeeping workshops.

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 bee yard and help build resilience
in your greater food shed.  The last 7 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 Session l Workshop sells out each year. Reserve early! 

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


Want to host a Bee Guardianship class in your area?

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:  melissa (at) backyardhive (dot) com

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




The Bee Doctor - 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.

Corwin Bell's Bee Doctor service
$100/hour - Depending on the situation it takes about an hour per hive.

A Certified Bee Doctor
$50/hour for hives in Boulder, CO

$50/hour plus $20 travel time & gas fee for hives outside of the
Boulder area in Colorado.

To set up an appointment:

email:  melissa (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 - United Kingdom and Europe
Teacher: Phil Chandler Training