Have you ever dreamed about operating your own backyard hive? Integrating more pollinators into your garden? Or do you just love honeybees? No matter what your interest is, Rodale Institute’s Hobby Beekeeping Course is for you!

In this fully online, go-at-your-own-pace course, you will learn the basics of keeping a honeybee hive, the equipment you need, and about the current issues facing honeybees. Rodale Institute’s expert instructor will take you through a step-by-step process of understanding the life and work ethic of the most amazing human food producer: the honeybee!

Learn from the experts at Rodale Institute, the global leader in regenerative organic agriculture. Rodale Institute has been putting science behind regenerative organic farming for over 70 years. Now, Rodale Institute’s decades of research is right at your fingertips!


This course is for:

  • Beginning beekeepers
  • Beekeepers looking for no-treatment alternatives to their practices
  • Anyone interested in learning more about honeybees and their place in our ecosystem

In this course, you will:

  • Learn about honeybee biology
  • Understand the complex behavior of different members of the honeybee colony
  • Identify specialized beekeeping equipment and how to use it
  • Develop a clear understanding of management of the hive throughout seasons
  • Learn about management of pests and diseases of the honeybee

Meet your Instructor

Michael Schmaeling

Michael Schmaeling is the Farm Manager at the Founders Farm in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and serves as Rodale Institute’s Resident Beekeeper.

Michael manages and maintains the Institute’s treatment-free honeybee conservancy, where he selectively breeds healthy queens to create new colonies. 

Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?

The course is a completely self-paced online course — you decide when you start and when you finish. We estimate that the entire course should take approximately 1.5 – 2 hours to complete.

How long do I have access to the course?

After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like — across any and all devices you own.

Will I get a grade/credit or certificate?

No grades/credits will be given in this course, but you will receive a Certificate of Completion once you finish all the lessons. 

What if I have questions or need help?

If you have any issues with your purchase, please contact us and we will do our best to help. Refunds will be issued only within 30 days of purchase. 

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