Sawgrass Marriott – Bee & Garden Program – SYLLABUS

(Version 1.0 – November 1, 2017, Matt Sanchez)

Congratulations, you are a charter member of the First Colony – Marriott Bee and Garden Program. Participating in this program is a very special privelage and unique to our Marriott. Consequently, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our Executive Director of Human Resources – Michelle Criswell, General Manager – Todd Hickey, Executive Chef – Joe Natoli, and Food & Beverage Director – Caneale Mills. Without their incredible leadership and support, this program would not exist.

As a participant in the Marriott Bee and Garden program, your focus may be specific to a certain aspect of agriculture (e.g., gardens only, chickens only, bee keeping and salt harvesting only, etc.) or you may participate as a generalist. Nevertheless, *all participants* are required to meet the same criteria outlined in each level O.J.T. (On the Job Training) card. Those that can not complete a practical exam in the apiary are still required to explain using a demonstration hive in a classroom setting.

Farming can be very hard work. And, even after an experienced farmer puts in all that hard work, they will tell you to expect unforeseen setbacks. What makes them (Farmers) unique is that they Never Give Up Hope. To quote a multiple generation commercial beekeeper (10,000+ colonies) after, losing 80% of his bees to colony collapse disorder, “…there’s always next year”.

I believe that you’ll find that working with nature is a very rewarding experience. However, expect to be challenged by unforeseeable circumstances (weather, time constraints, etc). Do not hesitate to strategize with “the colony” to find solutions. Timing is always critical. Events that take place over the course of 24 hours can often mean the difference between life and death (honey bees, plants, chickens, beneficial bacteria / earthworms in compost “living soil”, etc).

You are responsible for keeping a small note pad on you at all times. You are responsible for keeping your OJT card (on the job training card) on you at all times.

You have my unwavering support in your endeavors. My goal is to help everyone in this program become better than me. As you progress, I would hope that you choose to do the same with those that you mentor.

– Matt Sanchez

Note: You must always fulfill your obligation as a culinarian. Your availability to complete program tasks and / or attend required lectures may vary depending on the needs of your immediate supervisors.


“First Lessons In Beekeeping”

C.P. Dadant


“The Importance of Honey Bees in the Ecosystem”

* Required before working at the apiary

– Historical Relationship with Humans

– Synergistic Relationship with Plants / Domestic Agriculture.

– Marriott Honey Bees and Urban Beekeeping

– The “Canary in the Gold Mine”

“Introduction to Beekeeping at Sawgrass Marriott”

* Required before working at the apiary

– Bee Yard Safety

– Rules of the Apiary

– Using Protective Equipment

– The Smoker and Hive Tool

– Bee Biology

– Terminology

– Parts of a Langstroth Hive

– The Best Location

– Keeping it Clean!

“Composting and Regenerative Culture”

– Earthworm Composting (Vermi-Composting)

– Aerobic/Anaerobic Composting

– Growing from the Produce Cooler

“Planting for Honey Bees”

-Native Plants

-Trees / Bushes

-Bumper Crops

“Kratky Method of Hydroponics”

– Root Biology

– Feeding / Containment

– Advantages /Disadvantages

WINTER____“Overwintering Bees in Zone 8b NE Florida”____WINTER

•Planting for Winter

•Importance of Checking hive weight

•*Feeding Sucrose

•*Feeding Pollen Sub.

•How to examine a colony for a healthy winter queen

•Diagnosis and Treatment of Wintertime Pests and Disease

•Dormancy of Queen

•Do Not Disturb Days

SPRING____“Springtime Beekeeping in Zone 8b, NE Florida”____SPRING

– Planting for Spring

– What is a “Flow” and when does it start?

– Diagnosis and Treatment of Springtime Disease

– What is in bloom and when?

– Forage Map?

– Queen begins to lay

– An explosion of growth

– How to Equalize

“How to Install a Swarm of Bees”

– Three Pounds of Bees and a Mated Queen

– No Peeking, Please

– Preventing Absconds

– Final Release

– Maintaining Carbohydrates

“Swarm Prevention and Apiary Growth”

– *Swarm Mitigation

– Trapping a Swarm

– Making Splits

– Moving a Colony

“Harvesting Honey”

– When to Pull Honey Supers

– How to Pull Honey Supers

– Types of Extraction Methods

– What is Fermentation and How to Avoid It

– How to Measure Moisture Content with a Refractometer

– Proper Storage Methods and Shelf Life

– Honey Characteristics

SUMMER____“Summertime Beekeeping in Zone 8b, NE Florida”____SUMMER

– Planting for Summer

– Landscaping the Bee Yard

– What is a “Dearth” and when does it start?

– Reading the Frames

– Evaluating the Queen

– Diagnosis and Treatment of Summertime Pests and Disease

“Hurricanes and Heavy Rains”

– Emergency Steps to Secure Hives

– How Honey Bees React to Violent Storms

– Dealing with Absconds

FALL____”Fall Beekeeping in Zone 8b, NE Florida”____FALL

– Planting for Fall

– Landscaping the Bee Yard

– Evaluating Dearth / Flow

– Mapping the Local Blooms

– Evaluating the Queen

“Installing New Queens”

– Making the Colony Hopelessly Queen-less

– The Push-in Introduction Cage

– The Fondant Introduction Cage

– Mated Queen Introduction

– Virgin Queen Introduction

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