The current VIN date & time: Eastern

VIN EXOT111-1221: Honey Bees - Working with Honey Bees and Beekeepers

The lectures for this course will be presented in an audio format using a webinar platform.

Presenter: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
Course Open: December 30-February 9, 2022
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Sundays, January 9, 16, 23, and 30, 2022; 2:00-3:30 pm ET (USA) World Clock Converter
Total CE Credit: 6
RACE Category: 6 hours Medical

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Course Information:
This course will cover the basics of honey bees and working with beekeepers. Participants will learn honey bee biology, basic bee anatomy, and the function of the colony. Participants will gain an understanding of the beekeeping industry in North America and will learn the basics about safely inspecting a honey bee hive.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of the course, the participant should be able to
  • identify basic external honey bee anatomy.
  • describe the functions of key honey bee glands.
  • outline key stages in honey bee development.
  • compare honey bee perception to humans and other animals.
  • match internal honey bee structures to function.
  • identify key members and castes of a honey bee colony.
  • identify key equipment used by beekeepers.
  • demonstrate the basic skills needed for a safe hive inspection.
  • identify all types of cells and cell contents within a hive.
  • define the three categories of beekeepers in North America.
  • describe key biosecurity issues for beekeepers.
  • outline the annual schedule of American production beekeepers.
  • identify areas where veterinarians can have a positive impact on the honey bee industry.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic VIN CE course is open for enrollment to veterinarians and veterinary support staff actively interested in the basics of honey bee medicine, working with bees, beekeepers, and performing hive inspections.
Accreditation: This course is approved for 6 hours of continuing education credit by RACE for veterinarians and veterinary technicians/technologists. (RACE 20-861045)

Course Agenda:

Week 1 (Real Time Session January 9, 2022): Anatomy of the Individual Bee
Presenters: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
In this session we will get to know the Western Honey Bee, Apis mellifera. We will focus on anatomy and physiological adaptations that are relevant to the care of these insects. Participants will view microscopic images that will allow them to really see this creature up close and understand how they are both similar to and different from other animals.

Week 2 (Real Time Session January 16, 2022): Colonies and Hives
Presenters: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
In this session we will focus on the honey bee colony (super organism) and the hive. Participants will be introduced to basic colony biology and the lifecycle of the super organism. We will also cover different hive types and structures and basic equipment involved in beekeeping.

Week 3 (Real Time Session January 23, 2022): Bringing Value to the Beekeeping Industry
Presenters: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
This session is designed for veterinarians who are interested in working with beekeepers. Participants will be introduced to the beekeeping industry, and the current threats to honey bee health. We will cover the logistics of antibiotic use, as well as other ways that veterinarians can work to improve honey bee health, and how they can incorporate honey bees into their practices

Week 4 (Real Time Session January 30, 2022): Safe Hive Handling, Biosecurity, and Inspections
Presenters: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
In this session we will focus on hive handling. We will cover the basics of how to perform an inspection in a way that is safe for you and the bees. Participants will learn basics of PPE, handling techniques, and use of a smoker. We will cover the purpose of inspections and when they should be done.

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.


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Tuition: Member $138 ($124 early bird special if enrolled by December 17, 2021)
Non-Member $231 ($208 early bird special if enrolled by December 17, 2021)
Prices are listed in US dollars.

* Enroll in 2 or more Honey Bee courses on the same day and receive a 15% discount.
  • EXOT111-1221: Honey Bees – Working with Honey Bees and Beekeepers
  • EXOT112-0122: Honey Bees – Reproduction
  • EXOT113-0222: Honey Bees – Feeding and Care
  • EXOT114-0322: Honey Bees – Pests and Diseases

*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close on January 7, 2022 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.

  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from @vspn.org and @vin.com addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext. 797 or email . 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:
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