Beekeeping, Birding and Bug Classes

Get ready to fly into the world of bees, birds and our insect friends with a variety of classes designed to help you explore the many creatures that live among us. Learn how to start and maintain your own honey bee hive, how to identify birds and bugs and support their conservation efforts, how various living creatures support our ecosystems and so much more.

Classes are offered in-person, as synchronous (live) online programs, or using hybrid methods with both in-person and virtual content. Class delivery methods are denoted next to each listing as VIRTUAL, IN-PERSON, or HYBRID.

Class Schedule April – August 2024


Learn how to observe a variety of insects in nature and cultivate your own nature journal practice with Stephey Baker, local artist and avid urban gardener. Nature journaling helps you slow down, let go of the never-ending tasks on your to-do list, focus on the natural beauty of the world, and find peace. Journaling in nature requires no artistic skills. Anyone can reap the benefits of nature journaling, which improves observation skills and memory, engages your five senses, decreases your blood pressure, and allows you to discover something new every day.

NEW! Nature Journaling: Observing Fireflies | June 3, 5 | VIRTUAL 

Discover simple techniques to observe fireflies in nature and develop a nature journaling practice. Learn a simple creative process for observing fireflies; access resources to help you identify fireflies; understand the life cycle and habitat needs of fireflies; explore firefly anatomy by creating a diagram in your journal; discover how to participate in free citizen science projects and make a difference in firefly conservation; and have fun creating in your nature journal.

NEW! Nature Journaling: Observing Native Bees of Virginia | July 13, 20 | IN-PERSON

Virginia is home to over 400 species of bees, spread across six family groups. Although we can’t cover all 400+ native bee species in this course, you will be introduced to some spectacularly colorful buzzing beasties. Learn how to observe our native bees and use that knowledge creatively in a nature journal. To help you record your discoveries, step-by-step instructions will be provided. Foster an appreciation for our native bee species, learn more about their habitat and conservation needs, and inspire creative journaling.

Native Moths & Butterflies Talk & Tour | June 6 | IN-PERSON

What are some of our native moths and butterflies? What do their caterpillars look like? What do they need for survival? Come talk and see pictures of some of our native moths and butterflies and learn what their host foods are. Then enjoy a walk around the Garden to see what we can find.

Pollinators and Pollinator Habitats Talk & Tour | June 20 | IN-PERSON

What is a pollinator? Why are pollinators so important? What do they need for habitats? How can you create a habitat? Come talk about what pollinators are, what they do and what is necessary for them to survive. Then we will enjoy a walk around the Garden looking to see what pollinators we can find and what pollinator habitats we have created here in the Garden.

NEW! Butterfly Pinning 101 | July 12 | IN-PERSON

Discover the amazing world of entomological pinning with instructors Justin Torone and Clara Aus! Participants will be led through guided pinning of the Giant Blue Morpho butterfly, Morpho didius, as well as learn about its unique adaptations, life cycle, and natural history (specimens provided). Students will leave with their own pinned Morpho didius, a frame, handouts, pinning supplies for future projects, and the confidence to continue pinning on their own.  

NEW! Beginner to Advanced Beekeepers: Sharpening Your Skills for Better Results | July 13 | IN-PERSON

This class, taught by Jesse Frierson of East Coast Honey, is tailored for beginner to fourth-year beekeepers. Explore beekeeping best practices and learn many “tips of the trade” to help to enhance your results in 2024 and as you begin preparations for the 2025 season. We’ll cover swarms, varroa mites, hive beetles, wax moths, honey harvesting, dealing with the late summer dearth, fighting back against yellow jackets, how to properly prepare your hives for the fall and winter months, and many other topics.

NEW! The Art & Science of Painting Birds | July 17, 19, 24, 26 | VIRTUAL 

In this virtual course, award-winning artist Patricia Savage guides students in the drybrush watercolor method utilized by scientific illustrators. On Days 1 and 2, students will study the anatomy of the bird’s skull, feet, wings and feather groups using photographic specimens on loan from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and handouts provided by the instructor. On Days 3 and 4, students will receive instruction on how to create value gradations, color temperature, chroma and matching color while painting their own bird.

NEW! Gardening for Birds | August 17 | IN-PERSON

By planting bird-friendly plants, you can attract more birds to your garden and support local bird populations! Join Barb and Buz Sawyer, both birdwatchers since childhood, as they share experiences from their own backyard garden, highlight which plants do well in our zone, and suggest ways to attract more species to your garden with a layered approach that focuses on what birds need during their life cycle.

NEW! The Secret Life of Insects | August 17 | IN-PERSON

Did you know that groups of fireflies can flash their light organs in sync? How about that many species of ants maintain their own mini mushroom farms? Or that some male butterflies perform a special dance to attract a female mate? If you’re looking to learn about how and why insects behave the way they do, this class is for you! Each participant will receive multiple informational handouts, an insect observation journal, and one native pollinator plant to bring home. This class will include two hours of lecture and discussion, with one hour of dedicated time to explore and observe in the Garden.

Login or Create an Account

We have adapted a new Garden-wide system as of March 6, 2024. You will need to create or activate your account the first time you use the system.

Create/Manage my Account

Stay Up to Date with Adult Learning Classes

Join our email list to learn about new Adult Learning opportunities at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

Join Our Mailing List

Updated Adult Learning Cancellation Policy

As of April 12, 2024, the Garden has an updated cancellation policy for Adult Learning programs.

Review the Policy