Short Courses


We offer two annual short courses and several extension presentations on beekeeping, bee breeding, and native bee biology and identification. Our short courses occur at Purdue University. Our extension programs can be held anywhere, so please contact us for more information.


Due to the ongoing pandemic, Summer 2022 classes at Purdue covid contingent.

*The Queen Rearing Short Course will be held in Evansville IN June 28-July 1, 2022 with the Heartland Apicultural society. Check out the HAS website below to register, these classes typically fill up quickly!

Where: Heartland Apicultural society

No queen rearing short course at Purdue this year due to the course being offered at HAS!

This course is designed for those who want to learn the art and science of queen rearing using the larval transfer technique (grafting). This is a 2-day course. It ends on the first day of The Beekeepers of Indiana summer field day at the same location. 

Those attending the course will get a video and queen rearing manual demonstrating queen rearing techniques. Enrollment is limited to 30 people. Please bring your own veil and protective suit.

The cost of the two-day course is $200. The class is limited to 25 students.  To register for our annual course please contact us

In the course, you will learn about:
• Introduction to Queen Rearing Systems
• Biology of Queens
• Equipment Used
• Record Keeping
• Selecting Winter-Hardy Mite-resistant bees
• Drone Biology
• Commercial Queen Production
• Preparing Finishing Colony
• Preparing Swarm Box
• Cloak Board system (Tentative)
• Grafting (hands-on)
• Alternative Methods
• Procedure from Egg to Queen
• Queen Mating
• Practicing what you have learned
• Marking Queens
8:00 a.m. – Registration
9:00 a.m. – Class: Lecture on reproductive biology and queen rearing techniques
10:00 a.m. – Panel discussion on queen rearing with students
12:00  Lunch (provided)
1:00 p.m.   – Class: Colony manipulations, set up starter colony and swarm box
2:00  p.m.  – Cloak board set up (demo only)
4:00 p.m.. –  Adjourn
8:30 a.m. –  Hive manipulations and practice grafting (In the classroom)
12:00 – Lunch (provided)
1:15 p.m. –  Placing grafted cups in finishing colony and swarm box
4:00 p.m. –   Adjourn
Students are welcome to return Saturday and see if their grafted cells were accepted!
9:00 a.m. –   Check grafted cells for acceptance and remove from warm box and place in finishing colony
10:30 a.m. – Enjoy the ISBA summer meeting after you check your queen cells
4:00 p.m. –   Adjourn
At least one year of beekeeping experience
Krispn Given, Apiculture Specialist, Department of Entomology, Purdue University
Matt Evans, IN commercial beekeeper, Clover Blossom Honey
David Shenefield, IN commercial beekeeper and bee breeder, Clover Blossom Honey


INSTRUMENTAL INSEMINATION and the Architecture of a Successful Breeding Program in the 21st Century August 4-5 2022

Where:  Purdue Bee Lab

Sponsored by the Indiana Queen Breeders Association (IQBA)

The class is designed for beekeepers and researchers who want to create and maintain a successful honey bee breeding program. The course will begin with a presentation on honey bee mating biology with the latest methods for rearing quality queens and drones. Students will then get detailed instruction while practicing with semen collection and insemination of virgin queens supplied to them. Participants will be able to take their successfully inseminated queens home. The cost of the two-day interactive course is $1000 with a $200 deposit required to secure the course please contact Krispn Given contact us .  We keep our class sizes small so (6 students) we can focus on each student’s needs individually, so please contact us early.

The two-day course is held at the Purdue Honey Bee Laboratory.  It is principally taught by Krispn Given, who is recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities in instrumental insemination and bee breeding.  He maintains the honey bee breeding program and extension activities at Purdue University’s honey bee laboratory. Krispn has been engaged in honey bee breeding and researching honey bees for the last 17 years at Purdue. He was instrumental in developing the Mite-biter bee strain (in collaboration with Emeritus professor Dr. Greg Hunt).

Students are encouraged to bring their own instruments:  We offer a $150 instrument rental and a $50 microscope rental if you have not acquired an instrument of your own.  

If you have questions, please contact us.


Thursday August 4th

8:00 a.m……………… Registration/coffee and snacks

9:00 a.m………………..Class begins with ppt talk on instrument setup and Co2 safety, Krispn Given

10:00 – 12:00 p.m………….Krispn demonstrates how to set up the instruments hydraulics system, students start to set up their instruments with assistance from Dale and Krispn

Noon Lunch

1:00 p.m……………….Troubleshoot any problems with setting up your instruments, Dale McMahan Krispn Given work with individual students

  •  Demonstration of the semen collection technique 

1:30 – 4:00 p.m…………Students practice everting drones and semen collection; Dale and Krispn will assist with any questions with the process

4:00 p.m………………. Open discussion about bee breeding and semen collection:   Krispn, Dale 

5:00 p.m…………………. Adjourn


Friday August 5th

8:00 am……………………. Coffee and snacks

9:00 am……………………..Talk on Queen and Drone Reproductive Biology with Krispn

10:00 am…………………… Continue to practice collecting semen from drones

11:00 am………………………Instrumental insemination demo by Krispn

Noon Lunch

 1:00 – 4:00 PM………………….Continue student practice inseminating virgin queens. Each student will also have an opportunity to practice II with a microscope fitted with a camera to help identify technical problems on a 4K monitor

4:00 pm………………………… Final panel discussion on what was learned:  Dale McMahan, Brock Harpur, Krispn Given

5:00 pm………………………… Adjourn 

Krispn Given, Apiculture Specialist, Department of Entomology, Purdue University
Brock Harpur, Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology, Purdue University 
Assistance from:
Dale McMahan, Master beekeeper
Successful queen rearing skills.
Your own insemination equipment is strongly encouraged.
Please contact us to register. We can also be reached directly by calling the bee lab at  (765) 496-1299
*Please bring a veil and comfortable clothing.