METTA EARTH institute

A Center for Contemplative Ecology

802. 453. 8111

Organic Beekeeping- Programs


Organic Beekeeping Class for Beginners

Saturday and Sunday, May 7 – 8, 2022
9:00am – 5:00pm both days

Learn about the current state of the honeybee and the beekeeping industry, as well as alternatives to the failing status quo. Designed for the rank beginner, but beneficial for those with several years experience, we cover honey bee biology, resources for sourcing bees, choosing an apiary site, and the tools and equipment you will need.

Safe, nontoxic, and effective methods for controlling hive pests and diseases such as mites and foulbrood will also be covered, as well as tips on successfully overwintering hives. Whether you are looking to use fewer chemicals, or are committed to keeping bees organically, this course is for you. The class will be punctuated with visits to the bee yard, weather permitting.

“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others”

~ Saint John Chrysostom

This workshop provides an introduction for folks interested in small scale and part-time (backyard) beekeeping and presents a balanced view of natural and organic beekeeping topics and practices, including:

• location and equipment requirements and construction

• basic honey bee biology

• swarming as an expression of the bees’ vitality

• overwintering

• presence and mindfulness in the bee yard

• non-toxic pest and disease control

• an appreciation for the role that pollinators and beekeepers play within Earth’s ecosystem

The program includes an open hive demonstration with the opportunity for hands-on experience by inexperienced students, weather permitting.

Program Details

To Register: 

Call: 802-349-4729


Metta Earth is nestled in the quietude of the mountains, the stunning headwaters of the New Haven river with abundant waterfalls and pools for swimming, wilderness trails to walk or bike, and 158 acres of Metta Earth land to explore.

Meals are vegetarian and lovingly prepared with seasonal, local and organic foods; much of our food comes from our own 3⁄4-acre organic garden and farmstead. Participants assist and have the opportunity to learn about harvesting, cooking, putting food by, and other aspects of organic, local food.

Options for sleeping accommodations include shared peaceful rooms in the main Metta Earth house, shared space in one of the yurts, or space to set up your own tent.

The Metta Earth main house provides bathrooms, laundry, phones, wireless internet, library, kitchen and dining facilities, and teaching, study, and practice space.

For meals & accommodations, and payment, contact

Fee: $135 per person
(covers the class for both days and includes your choice of a copy of the course text, Natural Beekeeping, 2nd Edition book, or Natural Beekeeping DVD)


Ross Conrad

Faculty at Metta Earth Institute

Ross Conrad learned his craft from the late Charles Mraz, world-renowned beekeeper, father of
apitherapy, and founder of Champlain Valley Apiaries in Vermont. Former president of the
Vermont Beekeepers Association, Conrad is the author of Natural Beekeeping: Organic
Approaches To Modern Apiculture, 2nd Edition (Published by Chelsea Green, 2013), co-author of
the Land of Milk and Honey: A history of beekeeping in Vermont (2020), and has written
numerous articles on organic farming, natural healing, and health issues.

His 25-year-old small sideline beekeeping business, Dancing Bee Gardens, supplies his friends,
neighbors, and local stores with honey and provides bees for Vermont crop pollination in the

To learn more about Ross, visit his website, Dancing Bee Gardens.