Learn the basics of beekeeping. If you are curious about honeybees, interested in starting your own hive and harvesting your own honey, or you already have a hive and want to learn more about managing it, join experienced beekeepers to learn how to start beekeeping. Explore the history of beekeeping, bee anatomy, starting up a colony, managing it through the year, basic beekeeping supplies and equipment, honeybee pests and diseases, harvesting honey, and more.
This program takes place in person at The Morton Arboretum.
Instructors: Pete Soltesz, president, and Kim Kulton, board director, Cook DuPage Beekeeping Association
Age: 16 and older
Pete Soltesz, president, Cook DuPage Beekeeping Association
Pete Soltesz has been president of the Cook DuPage Beekeepers Association, one of the largest beekeeping clubs in the Midwest, since 2013. During this time, he has introduced hundreds of new members to the culture of beekeeping through classroom instruction, hands-on mentoring, and hosting guest Instructor and webinar series. He has also served on the board of directors of the Illinois State Beekeeping Association as a former vice president. He has extensive experience in raising treatment-free bees, rearing queens, splitting hives, pollinating crops, relocating bees, and creating habitat. Soltesz is passionate about helping others acquire the knowledge and skills needed to have a successful journey with keeping bees.
Kim Kulton, board director, Cook DuPage Beekeeping Association
Kim Kulton, a native of Elmhurst, earned her bachelors of science in biology and chemistry at Northern Illinois University, minoring in anthropology. She began her career as an entomologist with the state of Illinois and was the first to confirm the presence of West Nile virus in Illinois. In 2013, Kulton was visiting a friend who was having a colony of honeybees removed from her roof. She was so fascinated, she rolled up her sleeves, climbed the scaffolding, and helped the beekeeper vacuum the bees and cut out the comb. Later, she went on to form her own company: Bee All About It. Today, she collects and removes swarms, raises local queens, promotes bee venom apitherapy, provides pollination services, and produces local honey for sale. She manages more than 85 colonies of bees in 11 locations around Chicago. Kulton is a director on the board of the Cook DuPage Beekeepers Association.
What to Know
This program will take place indoors.
Recommended text: The recommended text, The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard & Garden, is available in The Arboretum Store.