Winter Training Programme for would-be beekeepers

Sundays – 2pm – 4.30pm – 2nd, 16th and 23rd February and 2nd and 16th March

To book a place please contact Morag Crawley –

02/02/14    Introductory Session   — Tutor – Tom Blackburn

Brief outlines:

  • what is a honey bee, (as opposed to bumble, hover, solitary etc
  • how does it live, (communal structure and how that differs from those above
  • brief history of beekeeping
  • where do we keep them (garden, apiary etc)
  • how do we house them (hive types)
  • hardware involved in keeping them (not just a beehive!)
  • amount of work involved in their care and management
  • basic beekeeping year
  • why they swarm (no hols in swarming time!)
  • hazard
    • to keeper (stings and allergies)
    • to bees (varroa, animals, man)
  • reward
    • honey (what it is and its care)
    • increased pollination
    • increased awareness of insects

A fee of £30, to include Associate Membership of the association, will be charged to cover the following four sessions


16/02/14    Tutor – Brad Davis

The Beekeeping Year

  • Autumn, winter, spring, summer
  • Importance of record-keeping
  • Swarming and swarm control
  • Swarm collection
  • Pests and diseases
    • Importance of keeping healthy bees
    • Control methods


23/02/14   Tutor – Pippa Barker

Colony Forage and Products

  • Wax
  • Pollen, pollination
  • Nectar, Honey production
  • Propolis
  • Water


  • Composition
  • Seasonal variations
  • Harvesting
  • Treatment
  • Storage/Selling/Distributing


02/03/14    Tutor – Brian Herbert

Bee colony

  • Composition (castes)
  • Structure
  • Bee Life cycle
  • Colony Life cycle
  • Colony Management

Bee Housing

  • Bee Space (fundamental building block)
  • Basic hive types
  • Hive composition

Equipment (personal and apiary)

  • Explanation
  • Use


16/03/14   Tutor – Debbie Burton

The Hive hardware and handling (indoor practical on dummy hives)

  • Basic tools and use of them
  • Handling hive and component parts
  • Frames and wax

Setting up an Apiary

  • Site
  • Getting the bees


  • Local, county and national Associations
  • NBU
  • Bee-base
  • Joining the Association and what we offer