Bee Bootcamp: Beekeeping Basics for Veterans

Hosted by Forever Heart Apiary LLC in partnership with the PA Veteran Farming Project/Troops to Tractors

Are you a veteran interested in learning about beekeeping and honey production?

Heroes to Hives  is a nine-month online training program that will provide you the basic knowledge to establish and maintain a beehive.  Bee Bootcamp is a hands-on hive management class to be held March-October, 2020, in Moon Township, Allegheny County, PA, that follows along with the online training.


Both are offered at no cost to eligible veterans.


The specifics: Learn through a combination of online lecture and hands-on, practical experience managing bee hives from March to October, 2020. Up to 10 veterans will be selected for Bee Bootcamp, meeting in person 2 Saturdays per month for  hands-on experience at Forever Heart Apiary, 1345 Coraopolis Heights Rd, Moon, PA 15108, Allegheny County PA.

How does it work?

Veterans enroll FREE in Michigan State University’s Heroes to Hives by February 29, 2020. The course consists of monthly 1-6 hours of pre-recorded lectures sent to you via email. View the video lectures and join a monthly online meeting.

Once registered for Heroes to Hives, Pittsburgh area veterans selected for Bee Bootcamp will work with host farmer and Navy Reserve veteran Rob Mowery, and instructors Steve Repasky, President, and Bob Tatro (Air National Guard veteran), Secretary, Pennsylvania Beekeepers Association.

How do I enroll?
1. Visit for eligibility information and apply to Heroes to Hives.


2. Apply to join the free Bee Bootcamp class at Forever Heart Apiary LLC no later than February 29 at

Class size is limited to 10. Veterans with a VA disability rating are especially welcome to apply.

What else should I know?


1. If you have a known bee sting allergy, this class is not appropriate for you.

2.  All safety and hive equipment at the Apiary will be provided during the 2020 season with generous funding from Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Greater Pittsburgh Chapter 8.


3. Students must arrange your own transportation to the Apiary at your own cost.



Heroes to Hives mission is “Safeguarding US food security by protecting the most important managed pollinator on the planet.”

“Beekeeping affords us the opportunity to really kind of engage in a different way with the natural world. You’re not thinking about what happened in Afghanistan or Iraq. You’re thinking about what’s happening right here, right now.” -- Adam Ingrao, director of Heroes to Hives and a fourth-generation soldier.

Bee Bootcamp Schedule 2020

Forever Heart Apiary LLC, Moon, PA

Schedule subject to change.


March 21st  2pm – 6 pm:  Equipment Assembly Workshop.  This workshop will be held at 110 Holly Hill Dr, Oakdale, PA.


April 16th, 6pm – 8pm: Nuc Installation at Forever Heart Apiaries LLC, 1345 Coraopolis Heights Rd, Moon, PA 15108


May 17th, 3pm  7pm: Hive Handling and Inspection Workshop at Forever Heart Apiaries LLC.


June 7th, 3pm – 7pm: Hive Inspection, Supering, and Swarm Management Workshop at Forever Heart Apiaries LLC.  This workshop will cover a hive inspection, techniques for supering hives, and swarm management techniques.


July 12th 3pm – 7pm:  Varroa Mite Monitoring & Management, the Nectar Dearth, and How to Recognize and Stopping Robbing.


August 16th 3pm – 7pm:  Hive Splits and Fall Management Workshop:  This workshop will cover fall management or hives and late season splits.


September 13th 3pm – 7pm:  Honey Harvest, Combining Colonies, and Winter Preparation Workshop.  Depending on the honey harvest, a honey extraction workshop will be scheduled.


October 18th 3pm – 7pm: Overwintering Workshop:




Copyright Mimi Thomas-Brooker, 2019.  All Rights Reserved.

PA Veteran Farming Project

Pennsylvania Veteran Farming Project

Troops to Tractors 

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