Each year we run an Introductory course for new and aspiring beekeepers which needs to be booked in advance. It is a good idea to consider booking a Taster Session before committing to this course. The course begins with a Theory Day followed by practical hands-on training throughout the beekeeping season. This leads into the Improvers Course in the following year, after which there is an option to take the BBKA Basic Assessment
The beginners’ Theory Day introduces the main topics to get you started as a beekeeper:
- The honey bee colony
- The hive – including a hands-on session with demonstration hives (without bees)
- The beekeeping year
- Getting Started
The new beekeeper will quickly learn that there are different methods of achieving the same outcome and so the course focuses on introducing the core elements of beekeeping. Technique and method will come through practical experience combined with your further reading and development. We do not cover the complete topic (that would take years!) but give you enough knowledge and understanding to get started on the practical side of beekeeping.
Hands-on Apiary Sessions
We start with an initial half day apiary session involving a hive inspection. You will be able to see workers, drones and maybe the queen and the various stages of development of the honey bee. Most important, it will give you the chance to be close to a real working colony and handle the bees if you feel ready – and to decide if beekeeping meets your expectations.
After the initial session, weekly sessions will be run usually at the Association Apiary, based around the same hive(s) each week so the beginner sees the progression of the hive, and the work required, through the beekeeping year. Through the year the beginners take greater responsibility for the training hive(s) and develop their practical knowledge and skills. This is an excellent opportunity for the beginner to build their confidence and ability under the supervision of an experienced beekeeper. In addition, it also enables the beginner to learn more before purchasing their own bees. Your fellow trainees will become your training buddies and friends, hopefully, for years to come.
If you are interested in signing-up for this course, please get in touch with the Training Group using this contact form: Training Enquiry