Basic Beekeeping Course
Our 2021 course is full. Registrations for the 2022 course will open in September 2021.
COVID NOTICE: Course structure and delivery method subject to change to ensure safety of students and trainers. If the course is cancelled a full refund will be given.
Being a beekeeper is not just a hobby but is a craft that allows you to join a long line of beekeepers going back thousands of years. It is an activity that is suitable for both young and old; a relaxing pastime to relieve the stress of work, something to take up in retirement, something to do together as a family, a topic that provides a lifetime of learning, and a great way to make new friends.
Our Basic Beekeeping course teaches everything you need to know to get started in beekeeping. It covers the knowledge and activities of the BBKA Basic Syllabus and so acts as a solid foundation upon which to build towards attempting the BBKA Basic Certificate once you have gained suitable practical experience of keeping your own bees.
The course comprises 6 theory sessions led by experienced beekeepers who will share their knowledge and experience. These sessions are regularly updated to ensure all information is current and include photographs, videos, and lots of time for question & answer to ensure your learning experience is fun as well as educational. Through the theory sessions you will:
- Gain familiarity with the equipment and tools used to keep bees
- Understand the costs involved to start keeping your own bees
- Understand the biology of honey bees and their life as members of a colony
- See how the collection of food by bees leads to pollination of plants
- Learn how to set up an apiary and take precautions to reduce any nuisance to others
- Learn what tasks you need to do throughout the year
- Understand the practices necessary to maintain good apiary hygiene and healthy bees
- Be introduced to the processes you can use to manage swarming
- Start to learn how to read your bees and understand what is happening in the hive
- Learn how to extract and bottle honey and harvest beeswax
- Learn how to spot problems such as pests and diseases and suitably control them
- Gain practical tips on how to successfully handle and manipulate colonies of bees
The course then provides 4 practical sessions at our Association Apiary in which an experienced beekeeper will work with you in small groups. We provide everything you need in order to get hands on with our bees and help you gain confidence in what you have learned on the theory sessions. Later in the season we also provide practical demonstrations of Varroa management and honey extraction.
At the end of the course you will have learned the basic knowledge and practical skills required to keep your own bees successfully. People attending our Basic Beekeeping course make new friends with which to share their new hobby and gain mutual support. We encourage all attendees to become members and join us at our regular apiary meetings to further their learning.
Please contact us if you have any questions.