The current VIN date & time: Eastern

VIN EXOT112-0122: Honey Bees – Reproduction

The lectures for this course will be presented in an audio format using a webinar platform.

Presenter: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
Course Open: January 28-February 23, 2022
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Sundays, February 6 and 13, 2022; 2:00-3:30 pm ET (USA) World Clock Converter
Total CE Credit: 3
RACE Category: 3 hours Medical

Skip to Enrollment

Course Information:
Honey bee reproduction can be thought of in two ways – the colony (super-organism) can reproduce through splits and swarms, and the individual queen can reproduce through laying eggs. In this course we will cover both types of reproduction. We will cover mating biology and queen rearing as well as how colonies naturally swarm and are split by beekeepers.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of the course, the participant should be able to
  • describe the actions of the colony preceding a swarm.
  • explain the environmental cues that drive swarm behavior.
  • identify visual clues that indicate the need for swarm management.
  • appraise different types of measures for swarm control.
  • describe the steps for basic colony splits.
  • describe the queen honey bee anatomy.
  • explain the life-cycle of the queen.
  • identify the major functions of the honey bee queen.
  • define the differences between the honey bee queen and the female workers.
  • recognize queen related issues in the hive.
  • outline methods to deal with problem queens in the hive.
  • describe basics of honey bee breeding.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic VIN CE course is open for enrollment to veterinarians and veterinary support staff actively interested in reproduction and breeding in honey bee colonies and the management of honey bee splits and swarms.
Accreditation: This course is approved for 3 hours of continuing education credit by RACE for veterinarians and veterinary technicians/technologists. (RACE 20-861047)

Course Agenda:

Week 1 (Real Time Session February 6, 2022): Splits and Swarms
Presenters: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
Honey bee colonies naturally reproduce yearly by splitting into swarms. This process needs to be managed by beekeepers for the health of the colony as well as to prevent their bees from becoming nuisance pests. In this course we will discuss the biology behind swarm behavior, how to recognize signs that a colony will swarm, and outline common methods of swarm management and control.

Week 2 (Real Time Session February 13, 2022): Mating Biology and Queen Rearing
Presenters: Meghan Milbrath, PhD, MPH
In this session we will discuss queen and drone biology, mating, and genetics. Participants will learn about queen management as well, including queen rearing, queen handling, and introduction. We will outline the basics of queen breeding and identify how to deal with common issues with queens.

Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course. To learn more about the requirements for earning a CE certificate, please refer to Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate.

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.
Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.


Enroll Now


Tuition: Member $69 ($62 early bird special if enrolled by January 14, 2022)
Non-Member $137 ($123 early bird special if enrolled by January 14, 2022)
Prices are listed in US dollars.

* Enroll in 2 or more Honey Bee courses on the same day and receive a 15% discount.
  • EXOT111-1221: Honey Bees – Working with Honey Bees and Beekeepers
  • EXOT112-0122: Honey Bees – Reproduction
  • EXOT113-0222: Honey Bees – Feeding and Care
  • EXOT114-0322: Honey Bees – Pests and Diseases

*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close on February 4, 2022 at 5 pm ET (USA) or when the maximum number of participants is reached.

*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from @vspn.org and @vin.com addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext. 797 or email . Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN office 800-846-0028 ext. 797 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.

*For more information on VIN's upcoming CE courses, check the VIN Course Catalog.

Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Director

VIN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 797
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01 45 222 6154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357