This comprehensive course consists of five theory classes held from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons from late April onwards each year. After the theory classes finish, all beginners are welcome to attend the open sessions held at the Association's apiary on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer to observe and assist our experienced Apiary Management Team.
The cost for the full course is £75 per person or £130 per couple, payable in advance or on the day of the first theory class. Your first year's membership of our Association is included in this fee – see the Join Us pages for information on the benefits of membership.
The topics covered in the classes are:
- Life in the Beehive: The lifecycle of the bee & colony development
- Getting Down to Basics: What you do and don't need to be a beekeeper
- The Beekeeper's Year: seasonal management, siting apiaries & handling techniques
- Swarms: planning for and collecting swarms
- Things That Can Go Wrong: Diseases, stings & other problems
At the end of the theory classes, there will be a class at the Association's apiary where all beginners will be able to assist our apiary team with an inspection of the hives. Thereafter, all are welcome to attend the apiary on Sunday afternoons to continue to learn how to put the theory into practice. We highly recommend that our beginners take advantage of this opportunity to get hands on experience of a full beekeeping season BEFORE acquiring their own bees.
Later in the season there will also be a class on honey extraction that will take place at the apiary.
All members of our Association are welcome to attend individual course classes as refresher sessions – we charge £10 per class, although members who attended the full Beginners' Course the previous year are invited to attend all or any classes in the following year for free.
See Events for dates of the classes on the 2018 Beginners' Course.
Please contact us if you are interested in attending our Beginners' Course in 2018.