Senior Dade Bradley shows student bees at work in an observation hive built and installed by the Blackburn Bee Program on the Blackburn College campus (credit: Blackburn College, Alexis Drury).

CARLINVILLE - The Blackburn College Beekeeping Program will host its first beekeeping class this spring. This exciting opportunity will be open to the public, and attendees will have access to the campus’s apiary as a learning resource. The class will run from March 13 until May 9, 2023.

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The opportunity will consist of eight evening classroom sessions and up to eight in-hive field days on weekends (weather permitting). Those attending the class will learn introductory beekeeping skills, honeybee anatomy and reproduction, as well as hive social structure and function. The class will also include understanding the bees’ relationship to each other, their relationship to humans, the human relationship to bees, the impact on our shared environment, and how it affects both the bees and humans alike. Blackburn College is a chemical-free apiary, and coursework will therefore reflect this.

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While Blackburn’s commitment to pollinators dates back to the late 1800s, the current Bee Program launched in 2016 when an insurance provider forced the College to remove a natural beehive from a tree near Lumpkin Library. The student group maintains several hives on campus and at Solomon Creek Farm, a private nature preserve, and two period-correct hives at Lincoln’s Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL.

Each evening class session will be held on Monday and will start at 7:00 pm. The cost for residents of Macoupin and Montgomery Counties will be $75, all other counties will be $100. To learn more about the class or find registration information, please contact Dade Bradley at or call (815) 216-2282.

About Blackburn College

Founded in 1837, Blackburn College is a four-year, Presbyterian-related, co-educational liberal arts college located in Carlinville, IL. One of only ten federally-recognized Work Colleges, Blackburn has the only program in the nation fully managed by students. Balancing academic rigor and experiential learning, each student at Blackburn gains tangible experience and develops critical skills by contributing to their community, all while building a resume and earning their degree. U.S. News & World Report recognized Blackburn College as one of the top Liberal Arts Colleges in the Nation for Social Mobility in their Best Colleges lists for 2020, 2021, and 2022. The Center for Education & the Workforce at Georgetown University ranked Blackburn as a top performer for Earnings-Price Return - 209% (#1 in IL, #10 in the U.S.) and Net Price (#1 in IL; #11 in the U.S.). The Washington Monthly twice ranked Blackburn as the best baccalaureate college in Illinois.

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