The Biology and Management of Honey Bee and Native Pollinators

Summer 2022 Full Session
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
16 Credits per quarter
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Insect populations are in peril throughout the world, but none more so than insect pollinators. This hands-on field program will focus on the biology, ecology, and management of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera, and the ecological, environmental, physiological, and behavioral needs of pollinators native to the PNW.

We will also study the biology, ecology, and habitat assessment of native pollinators and parasitoids. Academic work will be divided between readings, lectures, seminar discussion, and a significant hands-on practicum portion involving learning how to manage beehives and the physical, ecological, environmental, physiological, and behavioral needs of native pollinators and parasitoids. Most of the focus will be on bees and other insect pollinators such as flies, beetles, moths, butterflies, and the ecological services.

We will examine the biology of honey bees, the technical aspects of managing and caring for honey bee cultures, and maintaining a healthy population during the summer months. What do honey bees need to thrive through each year? Why do honey bees swarm, and how do you prevent it? We will look at the life history and biology of bumblebees, flies, butterflies, and other native pollinators. What environmental conditions do they need, and what habitat modifications can we provide to improve their chances for successful nesting and survival? We will also examine selected case studies of insect parasitoids' life history, biology, and physiology.

In the practicum portion of the program, we will put our theoretical knowledge to work by starting and managing honeybee hives throughout the quarter. We will also learn to identify native pollinators and parasitoids in the field and the laboratory using dichotomous keys and picture identification. In addition, we will practice building and planting hedgerows and other critical environmental modifications that will encourage and improve the survivorship of native pollinators and parasitoids. Finally, through classroom and field workshops, we will study and practice the latest techniques for measuring the impact of hedgerows and other environmental modifications on the native pollinator and parasitoid populations.

This program is ideal for students who have taken the spring program on honey bees and native pollinators, but all students are welcome. In addition, students can deepen their focus on the business of beekeeping and native pollinators during the fall quarter through the Changemaker Lab program, Business Fundamentals (…), where they will learn how to start and manage a beekeeping-related business.


Summer 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Fr - Sr Full Session (16): 40134

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory For

Personal beekeeping business, Extension, Agriculture State, and Federal government.

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing

$125 total fee: $75 for beekeeping equipment and field trips, $50 for required lab fee. 


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

SAL 102 - Food Safe Lab


Date Revision
2022-05-04 Student fee increased to $125 (was $75)