Bee school taught by Burrillville woman resumes at RIC Jan. 27

Betty Mencucci works with bees

PROVIDENCE – Burrillville’s Betty Mencucci, bee school director for the Rhode Island Beekeepers Association, has announced that beginners beekeeping courses will be held at two local colleges starting in January and February.

The association is offering four courses in beekeeping for beginners at Rhode Island College and the University of Rhode Island. Each course is 5 weeks long and is expected to cover everything the beginning beekeeper needs to know.

Subjects will include getting started, the honeybee life cycle, choosing an apiary site, buying bees and equipment, assembly of the hive, installing package bees, catching swarms, nectar sources, bee diseases and pests, hive inspections and wintering. A variety of beekeeping equipment will be displayed and demonstrated.

The cost for the 5-week course is $75 per person and includes all course materials, a textbook and membership dues in the Rhode Island Beekeepers Association through Dec. 31, 2023. As room space is available, additional family members at the same address may attend and share course materials for $10 each. The association reserves the right to limit family members. Advance registration is required.

Classes at RIC in Providence will be held on Friday mornings from 9 – 11:30 a.m. with instructor Mencucci on January 27, and February 3, 10, 17 and 24, with a snow day scheduled for March 3. A second session taught by Mencucci will be held on Saturday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on January 28, and February 4, 11, 18 and 25, with a snow day schedule for March 4.

Classes at URI in Kingston will be held Thursday evenings from 6 – 8:30 p.m. with instructor Stephen Burke on February 2, 9, 16 and 23, and March 2, with a potential snow day scheduled for March 9. A second session with Burke will take place on Saturday mornings from 9 – 11:30 a.m. on February 4, 11, 18 and 25, and March 4, with a snow day makeup scheduled for March 11.

To enroll, go to and follow the link for “2023 Bee School Information and Registration.” You can also register by sending check or money order payable to RIBA to: RI Beekeepers Association, PO Box 61, East Greenwich, RI 02818. The registration deadline is Saturday, Jan. 21, with those registering after the date to be charged a $10 late fee.

If you have questions, email Mencucci at [email protected] or call 401-568-8449. Some classes fill quickly. You will receive a confirmation email shortly after registration is received.

Read more about the classes and Mencucci’s involvement here.

A retinue of worker bees encircle the queen and take care of her. Credit: Betty Mencucci
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