4 week detailed course and bee colony to nurture, keep and grow starting April 2021 for aspiring beekeepers

The course will comprise of four, weekly lessons, the dates of which are Friday 23rd April, Friday 30th April, Friday 7th May and Friday 14th May. Each of a four hour duration separated by a one hour break. Each session starts at 1pm and continues until 5pm with a minimum 6 to run course.

The aim of the course is to offer, for those who would like to keep bees, knowledge and hands on experience that will empower them to successfully and confidently manage their own beehives. No previous knowledge or experience required but lots of enthusiasm essential.

Weather permitting, we will be visiting the beehives during each of your visits and I will provide a running commentary as we inspect several hives. You will be encouraged, after the first lesson, to help with inspections (should you wish to). This is really hands on and will help you gain confidence in handling bees.

There is a great deal of information available on the subject of beekeeping so it may appear overwhelming and baffling to the beginner. So much of it may remain a mystery as it demands a degree of knowledge before it can be accessed. This course offers a foundation of knowledge that will remove this barrier

The course is not an endurance test. A degree of humour will arise naturally as questions are presented and answered. Those attending on previous occasions have enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere that prevails and pleasantly surprised at how calm they have felt when near the beehives.

The lessons start from obtaining a beehive and introducing a colony of bees into their new home. They then continue, right through the process of seasonal management, culminating at harvesting your own honey and running it into jars that can be labelled using those of your own bespoke design.

One beehive, carefully managed should provide you with plenty for your own table and extra for much appreciated gifts. Each student will be offered a starter colony of bees at a discounted rate. Extra bees may be available but not discounted.

Lesson 1: We will demonstrate and discuss what is visible. This will include the layout of a beehive and how it works. When visiting the bees we will see, workers, drones, the queen, eggs, brood in all stages of their development, honey, pollen, fanning, bees returning from foraging trips with pollen on their hind legs, their own built in tool kit!

Lesson 2: I will explain non visible aspects. Visit the bees to quickly recap on lesson one. What are bees? Behaviour, life cycle, procreation by swarming and how this dramatically reduces the honey crop if not averted. Swarm prevention and control methods. Why it is better to keep two colonies?

Lesson 3: Visit bees. Making more colonies from our bees and how extra bees have multiple uses. Health problems and remedial action, Producing new queens and why the need. Feeding bees. Preparing for winter.

Lesson 4: Visit bees. Honey production. Runny and set honey. Comb honey. Health benefits. Removing honey from the hive, processing and running into jars. Processing equipment. Your own labels.

As we progress, over the weeks, many more aspects will be covered and questions are always encouraged. I will demonstrate making up frames from flat packs. This may be held back until the last lesson but covered before, should we experience some bad weather.

Cost for whole course: £400 to be paid in advance.
Bee colony supplied / additional charge £150 and includes a poly hive to transport colony.